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Thursday, February 3, 2011
Updated: February 24, 9:45 PM ET
What exactly is a Burton Stash Park?

We've all heard about Burton Stash Parks for a while now. There are parks in New Zealand, France, Austria, Tahoe and Vermont. But until they decided to build one in Jackson Hole this summer, and I started to pay attention, it was never really clear to me what -- exactly -- a Stash Park really was.


I figured I might not be the only one with this sort of conceptual problem. So first I hit up some of the local Jackson crew to film the construction of the park during the summer, and enlist the help of some of Jackson's next generation of supershreds -- otherwise known as the Funblock groms -- to demonstrate what the features are made for once the snow started to fall. The multi-season before/after video edit/Stash Park explanation is above.

Then I called up Stash Park mastermind, Jeff Boliba, to give us a little background on the project. The explanation below, and the video above should fully answer the question of what a Stash Park is, and why you should want to go ride one. (Did we mention that Jackson is having one of its best seasons on record? Just checking.) The Stash Park has been open all season, but its "grand unveiling" is this weekend. And next weekend is the Stash Gathering event. If you've been meaning to visit Jackson, but haven't yet -- now's the time to check it out.

Stash Park explained -- in Boliba's words:

"Originally, Jake [Burton] and I were talking about resort snowboarding, and he had this vision of creating a run that was a little more organic, to encourage riders to go top to bottom -- something more fluid instead of your standard park run, which is: stop, hit a jump, stop, hit a jump.

Craig Kelly was such a big inspiration for Jake, the way he could ride a flat run at a resort and make it look super fun. We wanted to bring this new generation freestylers into the woods, because what we were seeing at resorts were these kids destroying the park, but we wanted to encourage them to get out, hit the full mountain -- take it back to the roots.

After... Por ejemplo.

And we wanted to inspire resorts to get more creative when they're designing runs -- like: there's a dead tree over there, we can turn it into a flat down. Or, there's a roll, let's make it a hip. Recycle things, like wooden cable spools -- we're making powder mounds out of them in Jackson. Basically, each Stash Park is custom tailored to each resort. In New Zealand, they're above tree line, so we used more rocks and stones to build features.

In Jackson, [they got] so creative. Travis Rice was telling us how much he loves powder mushrooms in Japan, so we built an eagles nest that could hold powder and replicate that. They took the stump of a log and put a John Deer tractor axle in it, so it spins and you can jump on and off of it. There's a wall ride that looks like a tent so you can 50-50 off the top.

We had a chainsaw artist, Bob King, make us a moose that's like a cannon feature or an up-rail -- it's an up-moose. There's a gong hanging from a tree that you have to jump up to gong with your tail. I'm so pumped on all the features built there. There are four different runs and all kinds of features to hit when there's no powder.

It's a pretty big undertaking for a resort -- that's why there are not more of these. Not only do they have to agree to the undertaking that is building the park, they have to commit to maintaining it for years to come. But once they see the value in it, they usually don't have a hard time doing that."