Posted by on Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I just wanted to touch on something that I mentioned previously, but wasn't sure about. The old Arare park in Avoriaz has been moved and the bigger park, now called Snowpark des Lindarets, sits alongside the Stash.
This means there's a whole lot of freestyle in one area, which personally I think is a great change. Off the Prolays lift you can now choose either to ride through the park or the Stash. I think you can even cut across after the park to make some of the bottom hits from the Stash.
Notice also that they've added the Lil'Stash, something I mentioned briefly in this review of The Stash. I haven't had a chance to check this out yet, not being able to snowboard and all, but I'm keen to see what they've done.
So, Avoriaz has 3 parks: small, medium and large, an awesome pipe, The Stash and now a Stash for the kids... That's pretty impressive!
Posted by on Sunday, October 25, 2009
I took a bunch of photos of the Arare park in Avoriaz: January 2009. The Arare park is the biggest park in Avoriaz, or at least, it has the biggest features. It's setup mainly for advanced shredders, but there are still a few features that may entice less experienced freestylers.
The park team at Avoriaz are unlikely to have it all finished early on in the season: first, a lot of snow is required for the bigger features (see some of the photos below), and second, when it's still cold in January this park is quite hard and icy, and not many people want to ride it that way. So if you're interested, look for them to them to start getting it dialled by February/March.
Posted by on Thursday, October 22, 2009
Back in Janury, 2009, I was in Morzine. We spent quite a bit of time shredding in Avoriaz, and I was particularly impressed with the Stash. In addition to making numerous runs through this natural park, I got the chance to meet with the head of the Avoriaz Park Team - Jean Noel - the connection being made as part of the review I was writing for the wsg. He gave me the low-down on the current design, future plans for the stash and some general info on all of their parks.
Over and above what I've wrote for the wsg, I wanted to post the majority of the photos I took, to try and give a good impression of what type of features are available. With it being spread out over a large area I didn't get everything, and specifically, I didn't get any good photos of the more advanced features. I did take a couple of runs through the more difficult sections, but didn't have the camera at the time...
So the Stash was originally built back in 2004/2005, and at that time it was for advanced riders only. Since then they've added additional runs, like "Main Street" or "BioTop". With 3 or 4 routes through, the Stash now caters for all levels of freestyle ability. The park team has designed it as a freestyle "run", the aim being to provide good lines that flow. I think they've achieved this. They shape it every night and there're easily 20 hits from the top to bottom: rails made from logs, boxes, pic-nic benches, rainbows, wall-rides, pow-slashes, hips, jumps through trees - it's awesome.
All the wood they use comes from California - they couldn't get it carved the way they wanted in France; all of the natural feature are smoothed off so they're safe for jibbing. Also from America is the grading system they use. The runs through The Stash are rated from 3 levels - as the parks are in the states. It's good for all shredders.
And they're not sitting back. Each summer when the snow's gone they look for new lines, places to put new jibs. Jean was explaining that they'll have the diggers out, moving dirt, building up take-offs and landings, he even showed me a one or two ideas that didn't quite work out the way they wanted them too. Constant effort. It's evolving. And there are potential plans to build a new, separate Stash, for kids, somewhere below the Chapelle Park.
I love The Stash. Seriously, it's really good. There's a lot to explore and its jibby-design complements the other parks they've got - especially the nearby Chapelle Park. You won't find any kicker lines in the stash, or metal rails, but that's ok because they're available in the park. What you will find is something pretty damn close to a natural, freestyle run. Lots of hits, lots of fun. It's got a new, 6 man chairlift servicing it too - so getting back to the top is quick...
Posted by on Tuesday, October 13, 2009
...In North America?
On my way back from America I picked up a copy of Transworld Snowboarding at the Airport. Sure it's a snowboard mag and therefore interesting, but I was attracted by their poll of the best parks, pipes and resorts in North America.
So it turns out that from the 1700+ readers that voted, the best park in North America is Buttermilk, CO. Interesting. I'm not disputing it (how could I?), I'd just naively assumed that Whistler and Mammoth took the top spots. Maybe that's the impression we have from over here?
I've only been to one North-American resort, and whilst I probably wouldn't swap those two weeks in Fernie for any others I've had on snow, I didn't get the chance to sample a park from across the pond. Something I'd like to do.
Here's the top 10 from the Transworld poll:
- Buttermilk, CO
- Keystone, CO
- Mammoth Mountain, CA
- Snowmass, CO
- June Mountain, CA
- Bear Mountain, CA
- Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.
- Northstar-at-Tahoe, CA
- Sierra-at-Tahoe, CA
- Park City, UT
Anyone been to any of these parks? Got a different idea of which is the best? (Incidently, Buttermilk was also voted as having the best pipe, and Snowmass is considered the best overall resort).
And what about Europe? It's not like I've been to a good selection of the best parks, but recently I've been really impressed with the freestyle options that Avoriaz, France provides. They've got a bunch of parks for different abilities and the Stash is pretty sick...
Labels: snowboard parks
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