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Ruby Hill Railyard, open for ripping

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About 30 rippers, shredders, bros (and even a Betty) were out on Sunday night at Ruby Hill Railyard at Ruby Hill Park (S. Platte River Dr. and Florida Ave.). The free mini-snowboard park opened January 9, and has six boxes and one metal rail to get your jib on with.

The mellow, street-session-like vibe was encouraging for rookie rail huckers like myself; it was nice not having to line up with someone immediately in front of and behind me. The setup encourages progression as well, with the easier rails on the skiers left and the more expert rails to your right. By the end of my night, with a bit of help from some new friends, I had gone from turtle-speed nose pressing on the wide box to blasting a board slide across the metal rail.

A partnership between Denver Parks and Recreation and Winter Park ski area, this is the third year the park has gotten up and running since 2007 (warm weather prevented an opening last year). Bringing down two snow guns, Winter Park employees blew about an acre of snow roughly 18-inches deep that they estimate should last several weeks. The nearly 1 million gallons of water used will melt back into the vegetation, and the park has agreed to reduce watering by the same amount this summer.

Christy Sports has also set up shop and offers rentals Tuesday through Sunday. And for those of us who work until well after most ski areas have closed, the rail park is open until 9 p.m., lit up under the park lights. The University of Denver will be holding a rail jam at the park January 30 starting at 2 p.m. The contest is open to the first 120 participants that show up.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.