© Avoriaz Snowzone
If it is the snowparks you look out for on a ski holiday, listen up!
Perhaps you’re new to park life or perhaps you’re a seasoned professional, complete with long baggy hoody and tricks on tap.
Avoriaz is home to five snowparks. Each of them has something unique so, depending on your ability or just what mood you’re in, there’ll be fun to be had across the resort. Here is the lowdown on park features, location and lifts.
The Chapelle park is located at the top of the Proclou chairlift if you’re coming from the Super Morzine side of the resort, the Lindarets chair coming up from the Lindarets Bowl, or a short ski down from the Tour chairlift if you are coming from Prodains. It is extremely accessible because it is arguably the resorts most popular park but, why?
Chappelle has four different lines, coloured accordingly to ability. Like the ski slopes around the area, there is a green, blue, red and black line meaning that all abilities can come here to practice their jumps and tricks. It’s a great way of measuring your progression too as you will find that, visiting over the season or the years, you can hit the bigger jumps than the last.
The park has its own drag lift, meaning that there's a quick turnaround depending on the size of the queue. It usually gets busy up here on nice weather days, as there is a picnic bench at the top and the lifties blast out music from their hut. It has become a desirable place to hang out amongst seasonnaires and for good reason. If you manage to get up here for sunset on a sunny evening, it’ll make your holiday.
The Stash is located in the heart of the Lindarets forest. Tucked away in the trees, the park’s wooden features are disguised and could almost be part of the natural landscape. It was created in 2007 by the park shapers in resort and funded by snowboard brand Burton. The shapers developed the features in the summer from wood found in the forest and, since then, it hasn’t stopped evolving. This season the park is celebrating its 10th anniversary and there's going to be an appropriately big celebration.
This park is designed for intermediate riders as some of the features look huge if there hasn’t been a big snowfall. It does have something for everyone, though, and even if you don’t feel confident to hit the features, it’s worth a ski around in the woods.
If you’re more of a beginner when it comes to park skiing, check out the Mini Stash. New this year, the Mini Stash is primarily designed for kids. However, if like me you weren’t born to look cool in a snow park, it’s a great place to get introduced to rollers, boxes and kickers. It’s a really friendly park for your young ones, complete with cool wooden sculptures in the woods at the end. There’s even a play area in the form of a wooden castle that you can ski over or just play around on. Making skiing super fun for the kids is what it’s all about and the Mini Stash definitely fits that bill.
This year, the Arare Park is yet to be built. However, from previous experience, I can tell you that it’s the place to be later on in the season. If you are visiting Avoriaz in the spring (March/April) the Arare Park will be in its finest form. It consists of boxes, rails for intermediate riders, and huge XL jumps which are not for the faint-hearted. The park is located halfway down the Arare face, which can be accessed by the Lac-Intrets lift or the Stade chairlift followed by the Arare button lift. This area is higher than the other parks in resort and the shaded north-facing slope means that the pistes over here are still in great condition at the end of the season.
Treeline Chalets have previously arranged a competition day here known as the ‘Hip Jam’, which has grown massively over the last two years. At the end of the winter, they get some of the best riders in resort to hit the XL jump whilst spectators enjoy beers, burgers and (fingers crossed) sunshine. Keep an eye out on our events calendar for upcoming events such as this one.
Below the Arare Park, at the bottom of the slope, lie two perfectly shaped half-pipes. Accessed via the Stade chairlift below Prodains or the half-pipe’s own button lift, you can play around on the pipe that best suits your ability. There is a smaller one and a larger one, so you can ease yourself into the motion of skiing a half-pipe, before trying out the pro structure.
The bigger half-pipe is actually one of the last of its kind in France and every year it welcomes pro riders and competitors. In the spring, from the 7th-21st April, local lovers of the pipe and professional shapers work together to deconstruct it and create a new masterpiece. This event is called ‘Pipe Ground’ and marks the end of the season when riders can enjoy it all together for the last time. From the 7th-14th, the pipe is used for photo shoots and competitions. Then, from the 15th until the closing day on the 21st, it is for all to enjoy. ESF Avoriaz will be running 100% freestyle lessons in the pipe so, if you want to practice with professionals, book yourself on to one of these lessons.