Imagine this: you wake up, grab your snowboard, and head to your own backyard. You strap in and get towed to the top of your own private snowboard park. It’s a snowboarder’s dream. DC President Ken Block has realized that dream by installing a 600-foot-long rope tow at the DC Mountain Lab, located on a 22-acre spread in Utah’s Wasatch Mountain range, near Salt Lake City.

The new Mountain Lab park, serviced by the rope tow, is bigger and longer than the previous park, and has more obstacles packed in per square foot than any other snowboard park in the US. Hiking at the Lab is now a thing of the past, as the rope tow is the most convenient transportation to the top of the park.

“You’re going to be able to take laps like you’re at a park like Mammoth,” said DC rider Eddie Wall. “For me, the coolest thing is that we can build any jump or rail combination we want, then use the rope tow to hit it again and again. We can learn new tricks easier. There’re no crowds, no lines, and no people sitting around. I want to build some big, crazy stuff, and film for my next video part there.”

Teammate Travis Rice’s first comments on seeing the rope tow? “Holy sh—t!”

When we opened the Mountain Lab in the beginning of 2003, it was already the ultimate private snowboarding R & D center and training facility. The hill in front of the Mountain Lab had one of the best parks in the US, with unique obstacles like a 40-foot-long “s” rail, double-kinked rails, and more.

Over the course of the year, our team made repeat trips to the Lab to film and shoot photos in the park, and used the Lab’s four custom DC snowmobiles to ride the Wasatch backcountry. They tested our new winter gear, trained for upcoming contests, or simply chilled and rode for fun.

How could you improve on a place like that? DC President Ken Block answered that question by asking another: What “resort” is complete without a lift? Accordingly, a run was cleared down the Lab’s hillside and a 600-foot-long rope tow was installed.

“I’m living a dream right now,” said Ken. “If you’re going to dream, why not dream big? I mean, who wouldn’t want their own rope tow in their backyard? This is the epitome of owning a company and having fun with it, all with the end result of improving our products.”

“DC is the first and only company to do something like this for its riders,” said Eddie. “It’s so cool to ride for a company that is so supportive of its riders and product, and into the progression of snowboarding.”

CONTEST: NAME THE ROPE TOW AND WIN A FULL DC WINTER KIT

This one’s easy. Every lift needs a name, and that includes the Mountain Lab’s new rope tow. So we’re asking for your help. Send us your rope-tow name ideas. If the judges pick your entry, you become a part of Mountain Lab history. We’re looking for a name that captures the Mountain Lab park’s essence—from the new 600-foot-rope tow to the many obstacles.

If we choose your entry, you’ll get a full DC winter kit that includes a pair of DC’s premium boots, the Phantom, pants, jacket, hoodie, and beanie—the works. The judges will also select names for the categories of “Runner-up” and “Most Random” rope tow name entries. The winner of each snags a pair of Phantom boots. Enter as many times as you wish and get as creative and funny as you want. The deadline is Friday, January 16, 2004, and we’ll announce the winner in the following week’s NewsClip.

Go to www.dcshoes.com to enter.