Year in Review: Snowboarders ride hidden 'glacier' in the city

3:24 PM, Dec 28, 2010   |    comments
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The spot nicknamed "The Denver Glacier" is a secret that its riders make no effort to hide.

"It's like our little oasis," snowboarder Pat Milbery said on a recent sunny day. "This is our playground."

"It's what, like, 60 degrees today, but we're going to be snowboarding right downtown in the city," Milbery said. "Which is rad."

City snow crews and plows at the nearby Pepsi Center push snow under the overpass where it is sheltered from the sun.

"There's no other snow anywhere around," Milbery said. "They often times dump so much snow down there that it's almost tough to dig it all out."

The snowboarders dig it out and pack into ramps build with frames of wooden pallets leaned against the pillars of the overpass.

The snow of the "glacier" is distinctly glacier-like.

"It's dirty. It's got a lot of rocks," Milbury said glancing at the pile. "There are some broken bottles."

Milbury, who likes to describe himself as a "life enthusiast," and the other snowboarders get around their lack of a high spot to start their runs by using a bungee.

They wrap it around something stable, a few guys pull it taut, hand it to the snowboarder at the end of the run and away he goes, rushing toward the homemade ramp.

"The bungee is the greatest invention snowboarding has seen in a while," snowboarder Marc Moline said. "[It's] totally changed what you can do on a snowboard."

It is not that these urban snowboarders are opposed to riding in the high country. They just want to prove that snowboarders do not have to join a structured competition or stand in a lift line to ride.

"If you want to win that gold medal in the Olympics, cool. We don't have anything against that," Milbery said. "But there's so much other stuff you can do rather than compete."

This story originally aired on April 9, 2010.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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