AdventureSnow Sports

Boarding House

If you were to die and go to snowboarder heaven, it might look a lot like the DC Mountain Lab, a 22-acre R&D facility and crash pad in Utah's Wasatch Range, operated by SoCal-based DC Shoes, maker of snowboard boots, skate footwear, and board-sport apparel. Company president Ken Block, 37, an avid boarder, broke ground on the sprawling estate in 2001, intending to build a private winter retreat. He soon decided it was too good to keep to himself and went on to erect an exclusive venue to test new products—and make everyone else in the industry jealous. Here's a voyeuristic look inside the best backyard in the country.

dc mountain lab

1) A 700-foot ROPE TOW provides rides to the top of a new 11-acre terrain park, built by Chris "Gunny" Gunnarson, designer of the Winter X Games parks. It features a 50-foot kicker, rail slides, and a curving, 250-foot-long quarterpipe.

2) A SNOWCAT is essential for grooming the park and grounds following typical Utah powder poundings.

3) A combo garage/pro shop contains a grinder and other board-tuning tools, plus three stylin' rides, including a silver 2002 MERCEDES G500 pimped with a DVD player and PS2.

4) The three-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot HOUSE boasts a hot tub, walls adorned with vintage snowboards, and a living room with turntables, Ping-Pong table, and projection TV. Off the porch: a skeet-shooting range.

5) Four YAMAHA SX VIPER MOUNTAIN SNOWMOBILES, customized with snowboard racks and avalanche supplies, provide fast access to the virgin slopes of the Wasatch backcountry.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
From Outside Magazine, Jan 2005
Filed To: Salt Lake City
Lead Photo: Illustration by BLK/MRKT
More Adventure