Colorado has been a little short on snow so far this year, but it hasn’t been warm enough or snowless enough for skating the outdoor parks in the high country. That’s why Copper Mountain Snowboard Instructor Nick Dekovich thought it would be a good idea to put in an indoor skatepark at the resort’s mid-mountain lodge, Solitude Station.

Does anyone really want an indoor skateboard park at 11,250 feet above sea level? Copper’s Snowboard School director Christine Sperber thought so and Copper President David Barry decided he was willing to give it a try. “It will stay where it is for the rest of the season and if the feedback is positive enough it may stay around,” he said.

We wanted to find out what the place was all about so a bunch of us donned our snowboard gear, strapped our skateboards to our heli-packs, threw in our skate shoes, and headed up to check it out. Amidst the stares and comments in the lift lines I began to feel like a snowboarder in the late eighties, odd man out to say the least. But we persevered, heading up the American Eagle lift to Solitude Station.

We found the ramp by following the deafening sounds of Pantera reverberating throughout the lodge. After going downstairs we saw the sixteen-foot wide, six-foot tall mini-ramp with a spine, roll in, and seven-foot trannys. The mini sits in an atrium where local artist Cordell Crosby, a member of the Copper park and pipe crew, is in the process of painting a mural. I should mention that although the mural is outstanding, Cordell will be lucky to escape with his life. While we were there here was nearly hit by flying skate decks more than once.

In addition to the ramp, the lower level of the lodge houses a cafeteria area, couches, and a small arcade featuring video games and a full size air hockey table. So there are definitely other activities in between skate sessions, and at 11,250 ft. believe me, there was some serious break taking going on, yes the air up there is THIN.

Season pass holders get to ride the ramp for free, however, anyone else who is interested can buy either a $39 foot passenger ticket, or a full day lift ticket. The mountain is considering offering a mid-season price pass for those who want to take advantage of the mountain now that they have added the skate facility. Don’t forget a helmet is required and you must sign a waiver, or if you are under 18 your parent or guardian must sign it.

The mid-mountain mini gets the thumbs up from our crew, and although we doubt that the future holds a special strap on the pack for a skate deck we recommend bringing along your skate and shoes if you are heading to Copper because the ramp is definitely worth sessioning.

If you would like to voice support for the ramp you can log on to the Copper website at www.ride-copper.com and e-mail them to let them know you like it.