Bouldering Park scheduled for construction in Summer 2010
Jackson, Wyo. Organizers of the Teton Boulder Project (TBP) today (January 3, 2009) released plans for a bouldering park they seek to construct at the base of Snow King Mountain in downtown Jackson Hole. The park, which is being designed by Nona Yehia and Jefferson Ellinger of E/Ye Design under the auspices of Teton County Parks and Recreation Department, is scheduled for construction in Summer 2010. “We believe this park will offer not only world-class bouldering and a long-overdue tribute to Teton climbing,” said Yehia of the project. “It will become a true community asset.” Teton Boulder Project coordinator Christian Beckwith agreed. He also commended Yehia on her ability to execute a challenging idea. “Yehia has done an incredible job pulling together diverse and, at times, contradictory needs into one seamless design,” he said.
The E/Ye plans reveal a fluid integration of the TBP’s three main objectives. The first, to honor the historical role of Teton climbing in North American mountaineering, is represented by a metal retaining wall, into which the twelve most significant Teton mountaineering achievements will be inscribed. The list of ascents was compiled by Grand Teton National Park climbing ranger Renny Jackson. Jackson, who leads the TBP’s historical initiative, is also the author of the definitive guidebook to the area, A Climber’s Guide to the Teton Range. The TBP’s second objective—to remember Jackson Hole climbers who have died in the Tetons and while climbing abroad—is represented by a circular form that mimics the stone structure atop the Enclosure, a subsummit of the Grand Teton. The Enclosure circle predates the first Caucasian ascent of the formation; no one is quite sure who built it or why, though it is assumed that Native Americans constructed it as part of a vision quest. The TBP’s use of a similar ring is designed to create a contemplative space that allows park users to reflect on the power of the Tetons as well as on the loss of loved ones who have perished in their midst. The boulders themselves comprise the TBP’s third objective: to create a singular climbing experience for children, families and visitors alike. The design and construction of the boulders will be conducted by professional climbing wall manufacturers. Requests for designs have been submitted to the nation’s top such companies; Jackson Town Manager and TBP committee member Bob McLaurin reported that five bids from competing companies are expected in the first week of January. Randall Townsend, the manager of Jackson’s Enclosure Climbing Center, has agreed to oversee the quality and “climbability” of the final boulders.
Fundraising for the TBP continues as organizers approach the one-third mark in their goal to raise $300,000. Presentations to potential donors are being made throughout the winter, and future plans include a community challenge grant that will allow residents of Teton County to raise funds individually or in groups. “Our goal is to make this a true community project,” said Beckwith. “Imagine walking up Snow King, then having a bouldering session at the base of the mountain with your friends. If we can get everyone who loves the Tetons behind it, we know we’re going to have a extraordinary park to enjoy by the end of next summer.”
ABOUT THE TETON BOULDER PROJECT: The Teton Boulder Project is a grass-roots partnership between the Town of Jackson, Teton County Parks and Recreation Department and the Teton climbing community. The project, which is being administered under the auspices of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, will create a park that honors the history of Teton climbing, commemorates departed Jackson Hole climbers, and provides unique climbing opportunities for children, families and climbers of all levels. More information about the Project is available on the Project’s website, www.tetonboulders.org.