Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has become the first ski area in the Rocky Mountains to build Burton Stash Parks. The unique parks that mix local wood, logs, and trees organically into the natural terrain stand in stark contrast to urban rail parks.
Crews are building four Stash Parks on various slopes, with elements and terrain geared toward different skill levels. But many of the unique features being constructed for Jackson Hole are cloaked with secrecy until their unveiling on opening day.
We spoke with Zahan Billimoria, who has been involved with the project, to see what we could pry in the way of a sneak preview. "There are definitely surprises to blow people's minds," he said.
One feature -- the Eagle's Nest -- stands atop an eight-foot-high stump. A gigantic nest of tightly intertwined twigs wraps around the top with a hole in the center. A few stubby limbs to the side allow for climbing up to stick your head out the hole for unique photo shots. Billimoria said the design requires a kicker before the Eagle's nest, so you can air onto it and then land in a powder pillow.
The Up Moose, a chainsaw-carved sculpture, will be in the advanced beginner Stash Park. The oversized statue of a moose includes a 15-foot-long wooden spine to use as a rail.
Billimoria remained tight-lipped about other features, although online videos show a select few being constructed. Some include log and plank rails while other pieces needed to be sent away to be milled into specialty designs. "They capitalize on the wilderness feel," added Billimoria.
Campground Stash in Casper Bowl will contain the highest, most advanced, and most challenging features. Intermediate features will be closer to the ground in the Ashley Ridge Stash Park. The beginner and advanced beginner parks flanking green runs near the base area will contain wood rails and little jumps from logs.
Two lucky jibbers can win a vacation to Jackson Hole to test-drive the new Stash Parks this winter. The resort is holding a random sweepstakes drawing around Dec. 15 that will select the winner of a trip for two that includes two domestic US airline tickets to Jackson Hole, four nights lodging, and two four-day adult lift tickets. Tacked onto the prize are two new Burton snowboards with bindings and boots. The drawing is open to legal U.S. residents who are at least 18 years old.
Those who don't get chosen in the drawing as well as those who simply don't enter can check out the new parks with the Stash and Cache Package. It includes four nights of lodging in a ski in-ski out condo, three days of lift tickets, three days of lunches at Nick Wilson's at the base of the Tram, and a half-day Stash park lesson. The package starts at $575 per person, based on double occupancy. Reservations should be made through Jackson Hole Central Reservations.