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Ruby Hill Rail Yard closes Saturday with free snowboarding lessons and tubing

Ruby Hill Rail Yard will close for the season on Saturday, but not before giving never-ever snowboarders a chance to try the sport with free lessons conducted by Winter Park Resort snowboard instructors.

And you don’t need gear, because 60 free rental packages of boots, bindings, boards and helmets will be available. A tubing lane also will be set aside with free tubes.

The Ruby Hill Rail Yard is a joint venture of Denver Parks & Recreation and Winter Park. The resort is owned by the City of Denver but is operated by Denver-based Alterra Mountain Company. The Rail Yard collaboration was engineered by Bob Holme, a two-time Olympian in ski jumping and former Winter Park snowboarding coach who is now the resort’s director of mountain maintenance.

Saturday’s event is still planned despite the intense snowstorm that blanketed the Front Range on Thursday.

“On  Friday we’ll bring in a snowcat and we’ll pull all the rails,” Holme said. “We’re going to mash all of the snow flat so that it’s truly a beginner riding experience, without the rails in the way.”

Holme, who founded the rail yard 18 years ago, said it’s been a successful season for the unique urban snowboard venue.

“We had 17 new rails, and our snow quality was really good,” Holme said. “We did have challenges with a lot of low- to mid-60-degree days, but with the weekly rebuilds and freshening up of the features, the feedback was absolutely awesome. I think it was our best year. We will be getting numbers in the next couple weeks for visitation, but we had four great events out there. It was fantastic.”

Saturday’s event will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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