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Katal Landing Pad safety device coming to Mammoth Mountain

May 20, 2010 |  9:44 am

The Katal Landing Pad, a next-generation safety device that allows skiers and snowboarders to try out challenging maneuvers, is coming to Mammoth Mountain beginning Saturday through May 31, and it looks like a whole lot of fun and worth a jaunt to Mammoth to try out.

Measuring 50 feet wide by 90 feet long, the 5-foot-thick pad covers the entire surface area of a jump after the takeoff, allowing users to attempt new tricks without the consequences of crashing on an icy landing. Unlike traditional foam pits used for jumping, the Katal Landing Pad allows users to simulate more closely an actual jump landing.

The multi-chambered inflatable structure, featuring a patented air-release mechanism, was conceptualized by Aaron Coret in 2005 after he broke his neck in a snowboarding accident and was left a quadriplegic. Coret teamed up with best friend and fellow engineer Steve Slen to build the pad as a way to allow skiers and snowboarders to progress in a safe environment.

The Katal Landing Pad will be installed on a custom jump featuring three takeoffs ranging from 10 to 60 feet and will be accessible from Face Lift Express. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, passes will be available at Main Lodge ticket windows and cost $40 per day for unlimited use.

Mammoth’s Snowboard and Freeride Ski Teams also will be offering training camps that are open to the public. Enrollment includes individualized instruction, daily video review and unlimited use of the Katal Landing Pad.

Training Camp dates, prices:
•    May 22-23 -- weekend session: $250
•    May 24-28 -- weekday session: $625
•    May 29-31 -- holiday weekend session: $375

Training camp daily schedule:
•    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- air bag session
•    2 to 3 p.m. -- on-snow training
•    3 to 4 p.m. -- video review session

For more information or to enroll in one of the sessions, contact Ben Wisner at bwisner@mammoth-mtn.com or (760) 934-2571, Ext. 3144.

-- Kelly Burgess

Video: "Rethinking Safety." Credit: Mitch Budreski / Katal Innovations

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