Sun Valley, ID- Emotions are boiling over in the Wood River Valley after reports that a snowboarder refused to give up his seat to a skier on the Mountain Rides blue route. According to witnesses, the incident occurred when local resident skier Ben Tuckwillow confronted snowboarder Josh “Rosa” Parks and demanded he relinquish his seat on the bus, stating, “Hey, boy. What the hell you think you’re doing up here?” to which Parks responded, “I’m just so tired, bro! I’ve been shredding all day, my feet are killing me and I’m not moving!” It was at this point the Mountain Rides driver stopped the bus and told Parks to “get your ass up outta that seat or, by God, I’ll do it for you!”. Parks, defiant and steadfast, refused to move and mayhem erupted. Passengers began taunting and jeering at the snowboarder who was described by multiple witnesses as 'uppity'.
Ketchum police quickly arrived on the scene and proceeded to night stick the living shit out of Parks before taking him into custody. Parks was arraigned and charged with 2 counts of felony ‘talking back to a skier’ and 1 misdemeanor count of ‘vandalizing police property’ after breaking an officers baton with the top of his head. Judge Haemmerle denied bail as Parks is from Texas and is therefore considered a flight risk. A tentative court date is set for August 2019.
The victimized skier, Ben Tuckwillow, commented regarding the incident on the Teton Gravity Research Facebook page, “Listen, I'm not that put out on the whole bus deal. Hell, I never use it. But, if those degenerates are gonna use the same water fountain or restroom, we got ourselves a problem. Besides being a pretty reliable source for weed, I got no use for these clowns. I can only pray my daughter doesn't end up marrying one.”
Incidents like this are, sadly, all too familiar for area residents who are haunted by memories of the Great Boarder Uprising of '04. On
a bluebird February day, two snowboarders were run over and killed in a Ketchum crosswalk by a van full of drunken backcountry skiers. The driver of the van, who admitted under oath that he sped up to hit the boarders and then proceeded to back over them numerous times, was acquitted on all charges by an all-skier jury. Immediately following the verdict, violent riots broke out and numerous businesses including the Veltex, Board Bin and Tater Tots were looted then set ablaze. In addition to calling in the Idaho National Guard, authorities used German Shepherds, firehoses and light jazz music to disperse the crowds.
Tensions between skiers and snowboarders have existed ever since the single plank sport was invented. Traditional alpine resorts were hesitant to allow what was considered an inferior form of slope enjoyment and resisted change but, eventually, succumbed to the financial and political pressure of tolerance and inclusion. That is, all resorts except for one. Alta, often compared to Augusta National Country Club, is the last bastion of rider discrimination left in the country. Alta president and majority owner Paul Laughlin addressed a cheering crowd at a recent rally, stating, “We want to keep and preserve Alta for what it is and we will not bow to the demands of these no good agitators! Skiers now, skiers tomorrow, skiers forever!”