Freestyle skier Whitney Henceroth launches off the water ramp at Bald Eagle Lake last week as part of a U.S. Ski Team camp. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club will host a free weekend at the ramps Saturday and Sunday.

Photo by John F. Russell

Freestyle skier Whitney Henceroth launches off the water ramp at Bald Eagle Lake last week as part of a U.S. Ski Team camp. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club will host a free weekend at the ramps Saturday and Sunday.

SSWSC to host free weekend at Bald Eagle Lake

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— Those wondering what it's like to be a freestyle mogul skier or aerialist can find out this weekend at Bald Eagle Lake.

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club hosts a free weekend Saturday and Sunday, allowing skiers, Telemarkers and snowboarders of all skill levels to soar off the ramps at the lake off U.S. Highway 40 just south of Steamboat Springs.

"Definitely, all levels will be there," said Erik Skinner, the Winter Sports Club's freestyle director. "Some people will just bounce on the tramp, and some people will be doing technical tricks on the ramps. It's great for guys that ski the backcountry and ski the parks once in a while to see if they like it."

Whereas in years past, people had to be a member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, this year the event is open to the public.

The ramps at Bald Eagle Lake are one of only three like it in the country. The others are in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Park City, Utah.

All people who participate this weekend will have to sign a waiver. Those can be downloaded at www.sswsc.org or signed at the water ramps.

Participants also will have to take their own equipment. Although Skinner said there is some equipment at the water ramps, there is not enough for every person.

Skinner recommended bringing old skis, snowboards and boots. People also will need to tie a string or tether from their bindings to their boots and have wet suits.

Helmets will be provided.

"For moguls skiers and free riders, it's more realistic than any other facility," Skinner said, noting it does take some time to get used to skiing on the plastic. "It's the way the jumps are built and the relationships between jumps and the water."

After the free weekend, the Winter Sports Club will run camps and jumping programs for the rest of the summer.

The programs cater to all ages and levels.

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