It can take two people to get in and out of the bowl at Laramie’s skatepark in wintry conditions. The threat of slipping on the smooth, frozen concrete lurking below fresh flakes is a constant for the volunteers shoveling and launching snow over the coping.
Thomas Mazzetti, one such volunteer clearing the park on Dec. 23, found his winning strategy for staying vertical was to actively try to slide through the smooth contours, especially through the full pipe.
“So you expect it,” he said.
Even if it means spending hours hauling heavy snow across 15,000 square feet of slick concrete, volunteers have been showing up for at least nine years to help clear the frozen debris from the LaBonte Skate Park, according to Josh Kaffer.
Kaffer has led advocacy efforts on behalf of the park in the last few years, and said the recently formed nonprofit Skate Laramie — also known around town as Friends of Laramie Skatepark — delivered a trailer with on-site equipment like shovels and brooms for volunteers to use.
A snow-free skatepark by Christmas is the goal each year, Kaffer said.
“Typically if we can do that, it is significantly easier to keep it clear all winter and of course more fun for anyone getting new equipment for the holidays,” he wrote in an email, noting that a core group has kept it clear this year.
After the snow is shoveled, swept into piles and launched out of the bowl, the sun gets to work drying the concrete to make it clear for skating — or even walking.