Raiding The Stash
Always a leader in its field, Burton Snowboards is branching into new territory with the creation of an innovative freestyle run through the woods of Northstar-at-Tahoe.
“It’s not quite a park. And it’s not exactly like riding the backcountry. It’s somewhere in between both,” Chris ‘Gunny’ Gunnarson, director of youth market development for Northstar owner Booth Creek Resorts, said in a release.
The Stash, as the run is named, is scheduled to open on Dec. 15 and will boast at least 34 features ranging from road gaps to cliff drops, log jibs, tree vert walls, hip jumps and even an A-frame cabin specially built for the project.
“I think this really gives people a chance to experience a different type of riding,” said Kimmy Fasani, a 2002 Truckee High grad and Burton National Team rider who has been involved with the project since day one. “It’s going to generate more focus on riders becoming better overall, instead of just focusing on boxes and rails. It puts more creativity into the sport.”
Accessible via the new Tahoe Zephyr ” a six-pack express chairlift that will whisk skiers and snowboarders 1,050 vertical feet from mid-mountain to the summit in 5 minutes ” The Stash is located in the Northwest Territory area, under the old Pioneer chair on what used to be Deerskin Run. The Stash then spits out at the base of the Pioneer chair.
“Everything is made to be experienced and found,” said Michael Bettera, youth marketing brand manager for Booth Creek Resorts. “You can ride it every day for a week and not discover everything. It’s pretty neat stuff.”
And there’s nothing extreme enough to deter the average skier or snowboarder.
“It’s no Squaw,” Bettera said. “If you’re an experienced rider you’re not going to come here and be scared or anything. It’s more for fun and to bring more natural lines back into snowboarding.”
Andy Finch, a professional snowboarder and Truckee resident who is sponsored by Northstar, likes the concept behind The Stash.
“I think what’s good about it is that it’s an original idea. It hasn’t been done before,” Finch said. “It gives you more freedom.”
That original idea came from the snowboard company’s founder and chairman, Jake Burton, who “was feeling like snowboarding was leading away from the creative side,” Bettera said.
So he passed along his vision to Burton global resort director Jeff Boliba, who then called on Gunnarson and Bettera, as well as Burton team riders, to help map out the plans.
Fasani said she, Dave Downing and Jeremy Jones were the main three riders involved. Their primary job: To lend input and expertise on “everything from design of the run to the features and even the logo.”
After scouting out the area under Pioneer a couple times last spring, Fasani said the three Burton riders did a walk-through in July to offer their final recommendations.
The Stash then came to fruition with help from Snow Park Technologies and the Northstar terrain park crew.
“I think that this concept is going to take Burton and snowboarding in a different direction,” Fasani said. “Especially with intermediate riders, it’s going to give people a different view of what they can actually do and open doors to more possibilities.
“December 15 will be the time to be there.”
Artist Bob King used chainsaws to carve out wood signs that will lead riders to The Stash, and artist Scott Lenhardt has been working this week on artwork inside the A-frame cabin.
“There’s definitely an artistic side to everything,” Bettera said.
The A-frame cabin is named the “CK Cabin” in honor of the late Craig Kelly, a legendary snowboarder who died in an avalanche while riding in British Columbia.
Burton said in a release that Kelly’s creative style of snowboarding helped inspire the concept of The Stash.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.