Locally-made skis, snow terrain parks, backcountry awareness, winter events.
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Left Olympic Bronze medalist, Scotty Lago, goes huge on one of the many jumps constructed by Pete Colombo last winter.
Right Ben Verge executes a perfect 360° at The Secret Stash.
THE SECRET STASH
Smith's private backcountry park
The folks over at Smith Optics in Ketchum have a secret. And, like most secrets in small mountain towns, it’s lasting about as long as it takes to drink a schooner over at Grumpy’s.
Of course, bringing in some of the top snowboarders in the industry to shoot movies and ad campaigns at their confidential confines doesn’t really keep things hush-hush.
“It was a secret,” explained J.P. Collett, Smith’s Board Sports Promotions manager. “But it’s tough to keep something this cool a secret for long.”
“The Secret Stash,” as it’s sometimes called, was first discovered eight years ago by former professional snowboarder Cory Smith. Nestled in a secluded spot in central Idaho, Cory found an ideal place to shoot snow industry movies. After getting permission from the owners to use the perfectly-pitched, private land while it was snow-covered, Cory called up his moviemaking buddies at Robot Food.
They showed up. Were blown away, and ever since that first day of filming, the industry has been flooded with movies and breathtaking photos from a place usually referred to simply as “Somewhere in Idaho.”
“It’s just a really cool spot,” said Cory, the Senior Promotions manager for Smith (no relation).
“The Spot,” as it’s also called, offers 1,500 vertical feet, over 890 acres and is usually ride-able for about two months each winter. It’s full of technical lines and tends to receive more white gold than other spots in the Northern Rockies. “It’s in a snow belt. It gets way more snow than we do in Ketchum,” Cory said.
Last year, Smith Optics was allowed to bring in a snowcat. So snow terrain park builder, Pete Colombo, came in and built 35 jumps for them. “That place was just ridiculous,” Pete laughed.
Smith then invited some of the world’s finest winter athletes to come for some photo and filmmaking shoots, and the result has been the stuff of legends.
“What happens there is just incredibly unique. No other company or brand has anything like it. And the people lucky enough to go there—and willing enough to trek there, it’s definitely an off-the-grid type place—really understand how special it is,” J.P. said.
“We do what we love to do and actually use what we sell,” J.P. said about the crew at Smith Optics. “The reason we can’t always answer the phone is usually because we’re out doing something incredible like riding our own private backcountry stash.”
The crew at Smith now has another reason not to want to answer the phone—so they can avoid people asking them how to find The Secret Stash.
-Photography - Scotty Lago & Prospecting Idaho: Courtesy Smith Optics / Ben Verge: Tal Roberts
Smith Optics shows off their own private Idaho backcountry terrain park with these short "webisodes". Showcasing the creative work of terrain park builder Pete Colombo, the film details the making of the park and the talents of a handful of handpicked pros like Scotty Lago and Scott Stevens who were invited to come ride it last winter.
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