Big Bear Lake, Calif., January 8, 2002- In the summer of 2000 Big Bear Mountain Resort (Bear Mountain) expended substantial time and resources toward digging out a 600-foot-long, 67-foot-wide and 17-foot-deep chasm into Salt Creek trail near the base area. This enormous aperture was designed specifically to be an in-ground form for a world class SUPERPIPE. After a season of practice in building the SUPERPIPE and a few improvements to the form over the past summer, Bear Mountain’s Master Terrain Builder Keith Pfahler and Consultant Michael Binnell of Snow Park Technologies along with Bear’s dedicated terrain park and mountain operations staff set out to create a world cup quality SUPERPIPE. This monstrous half-pipe would rival competition class pipes such as those built for the X-Games and Vans Triple Crown.

The first stage in building the SUPERPIPE required a serious commitment in snowmaking. Bear Mountain’s snowmaking crew focused 18 snow guns for five days and a total of 120 hours, on pumping tons of snow into the in-ground SUPERPIPE form. Once the in-ground form was almost completely filled with snow it was time to establish, through measurement, the vertical-to-vertical rollout decks, which basically describes the width or distance between walls. “We set the lip-to-lip width at 49 feet, as it is important to start out narrow so that when you start cutting the pipe with the grinder to create that ideal shape you can cut your way into a perfect sized pipe,” said Pfahler.

Next, three grooming snow cats spent 55 hours each cutting out a 16-foot-deep by 600-foot-long by 49-foot-across snow rectangle within the form. “More than two days of hogging snow out of the in-ground form left us with a perfectly squared pipe shape and one hell of a huge pile of snow,” added Pfahler. The Bombardier SUPERPIPE Grinder was then run through the pipe on both walls to make certain the entire length of the form on both sides was 16-feet-high from top-to-bottom. Then, two grooming snow cats pushed snow into the pipe to round out the boxed shape. The final step in this massive undertaking was to cut the pipe with the Bombardier SUPERPIPE Grinder to create prefect vertical transitions and a flawless U-shape form.

“I enjoyed working with Michael Binnell on this project. He has his methods and I have mine and together we made the best SUPERPIPE Southern California has ever seen and it is absolutely world cup quality. I would advise anyone who lives to ride half-pipes to get up to Bear Mountain and experience one of the best,” Pfahler stated in conclusion.

A series of outstanding photos that demonstrate the SUPERPIPE building process are available for use in articles. Contact Brad Farmer at 909-584-0205 or e-mail at

Big Bear Mountain Resort ¿ 43101 Goldmine Drive ¿ P.O. Box 6812 Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 ¿ Phone: 909.585.2519 24 Hour Snow Phone: 800.BEAR.MTN ¿ E-mail: ¿ Web site:

Big Bear Mountain Resort is a member of Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. a collection of resorts located across the United States. Big Bear Mountain Resort is an equal opportunity service provider operating under special use permit from the San Bernardino National Forest.