Words: Pat "the eYe" Bridges
Five years ago, Jake Burton Carpenter had an idea. Always eager to bolster the on-hill riding experience via any means available, Jake approached Burton's Global Resort Director, Jeff Boliba, with the challenge of creating enhanced freestyle environments utilizing natural ingredients to mimic a more organic freeriding experience. Drawing inspiration from archival footage of Craig Kelly flowing from tree rides to bank slashes to stump bonks aplenty, Jeff and Jake committed to bringing this project to fruition. Once SPT Parks signed on to lend their practical park building expertise to the project, The Stash was born and unveiled in no time at Northstar-At-Tahoe.
For those who haven't had a chance to partake firsthand in the unique park experience that is a Stash, let me give you a brief overview: Unlike the sterilized stomping grounds and traditional geometries which distinguish modern parks from the groomers, Stashes replicate the misty spots crafted by locals in DIY fashion. These gladed descents integrate organics into their flow exposing lappers to a run wrought with rainbow trees, slatted wallrides, tranny finder gaps and wood shaving sliders. As conditions change and the living aspects of the Stashes evolve, new lines become realized and the character of these trails multiplies. A decade ago, the outlandish terrain that distinguishes Stash parks from the pack were Sci-Fi video game environments.
Historically, Jackson Hole, Wyoming has been content to sit back and let nature's bounty be its calling card. And who could blame them? With unrivaled alpine and snow depths measured in meters rather than inches, this tepid approach to parks is very understandable. Yet as The Stash Parks matured and garnered more accolades, Jackson Hole decided that this was the ideal way for them to throw their hat into the high-end park game in a big way while also enhancing what it is that sets Jackson apart from other, less rugged resorts. With two story wallrides, twisting banks, and artificial pillow lines, the six–count 'em, six–Stash parks constructed across this Teton locale have brought Jake's vision to the next level and then some.
On hand at the official opening of the Jackson Stash were a select group of media and Burton riders including Danny Davis, Natasza Zurek, Stephen Maurer and Gabi Viteri. With nearly a foot of fresh snow having fallen the day before, the conditions at Jackson were ideal to debut the Stash. After two days of watching pros and locals alike send it and ride pow, I can only say that this is one stash that everyone should find.
Don’t miss the Stash Gathering at Jackson Hole on February 12th and at Killington on March 19th. For more info go to The Stash website.