By Jason Gewirtz
When you set about building a 140-foot big air ski and snowboard ramp in a 104-year-old ballpark for an event that has never been staged before, any number of things could conceivably go amiss. But by all accounts, February’s Polartec Big Air at Fenway was deemed a success, leaving the door open for more such events at the longtime home of the Boston Red Sox—and perhaps elsewhere.
By nature of the massive construction project required, not everything came easy. While unseasonably warm weather leading up to the two-day event aided the ramp construction, it also posed a challenge for snowmaking, causing U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association events staff to resort to a backup plan of layering in a few inches of crushed ice to form the base of the ramp. From there, snowmaking experts from Vermont’s Killington Resort were brought in to get the snow in competition form. “We got one good night of snowmaking and managed to make all the snow we needed in one night—and that was our savior,” said Eric Webster, USSA’s senior director of events. “It was cold enough and the winds laid down so we could get it where we needed it.”
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