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The King Reigns   

Words: Kyle Clancy 

Photo: Willie McMillon  

After 75 years, our little town ski hill is finally growing up. Snow King has been sowing the seeds during the last few seasons to become a real training ground for aspiring young athletes. With its weekly Wednesday Night Lights contest series, expanding terrain parks, and unique natural terrain features, the King is undergoing an overhaul that will introduce new amenities for everyone 

The Building Our Base campaign (BOB), which has raised almost $3.6 million dollars of its goal, is a collaboration of Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club and Snow Kings management to facilitate major changes at the King. This project has allowed Snow King to install a state of the art snowmaking system as well as an upgraded, more efficient lighting system that uses 40 percent less energy than previous lights. The result will be an earlier opening date for our Town Hill with improved alpine race training and a world-class terrain park.  The improvements to Snow King will double the amount of slopestyle training my athletes get every season, noted Jeff Moran, director of the Jackson Hole Ski Club Freeride Program and former pro rider for K2 Snowboards.   

What this means for you and me: Shredding after work or school on a fully lit slope, plenty of snow for terrain park features and filled in runs regardless of weather. Ever notice those long lift lines at Snow King in the evenings? Me neither. 

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Better lighting means no more shadows, less residual light leaking into the night sky and more visual on the snow. The new lights are optimal for night filming too. Night skiing here is like nowhere else in the country. While youre riding the lift, glance back at the town of Jackson gleaming in the night with that unique western feel and youll know what Im talking about. Its romantic. I said it. 

Snow Kings terrain park is also in good hands. Weve got J.P. Martin, veteran park builder and owner of Parkdiggers.com, handling the initial design and build and I will be acting as Snow Kings staff pro while working with its team of new park attendants. Our goal mimics that of the B.O.B. campaign — to make sure the young rippers who are the future of our sport dont have to travel early season or attend schools in Utah and Colorado in order to compete against riders who enjoy top of the line terrain parks at their home resorts. (Imagine playing basketball games against other teams when you only have half a court at you own school.)  

Lets be honest, Snow King doesnt have hundred foot cliffs or a tram. But what it does have is the potential to offer a snowy skatepark with obstacles for all levels, killer parking, affordable passes and nighttime turns. Did I mention killer parking? 

See you at the Town Hill this winter, where well be catching air every day and night right downtown. Be there or be square. 

 
Kyle Clancy is a professional snowboarder and intermediate writer. 

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