Park Life, snowboarding the Portes du Soleil
Portes du Soleil Snowparks
Whether you love them or hate them, snowparks are an ever present feature of today’s ski resorts. Even if it is not your thing, there is no denying that landing a backflip in a snowpark is impressive, even if you disagree with the colour co-ordination of the snowboarder’s outfit. Many holiday makers from the UK head out to the Alps with the sole intention of spending a week in a snowpark. It helps that Britain has a genuine chance of a medal at the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi through James Woods in Slopestyle. Here is our guide to what is on offer across the Portes du Soleil:
Avoriaz has an outstanding choice for all levels - it helps that the snowparks are sponsored by Burton. For the beginners there are a number of little rollers and short ride-on boxes. The boxes are wide and the jumps are small, offering a perfect way to get into the sport. Then there are nice progressions onto the medium jumps and then the big ones for some serious air.
The Chapelle Park has some green and blue jumps. Each line of jumps has 4 or 5 features and is perfect for intermediates looking to progress. The Arare Park is much bigger and designed for the advanced skier and boarder. Smaller jumps at the start lead onto bigger jumps of between 10 and 25 metres. There is even an airbag at the bottom that is free to use and a great way to learn new tricks. The Avoriaz Superpipe is a lot of fun, not too big, and even serviced by its own button lift!
The Mont Chery Park has a number of jumps, boxes, and rails. It is also less-known than the Avoriaz areas so is pretty quiet throughout the season. There is also a boardercross course that runs under the Chavannes Lift.
There is currently a small park in the Nyon area. However there is big talk of a great new development for winter 2013/14. A decent snowpark is something that Morzine is currently lacking and would be a fantastic new addition for this season!