The snowpark in LAAX just gets better and better:
- Since 2013/2014, the new Pro-kicker-line in olympic size in Snowpark Curnius,
- the new Superpipe at the NoName Park, which from winter 2014/2015 will at 200 metres in length be the longest continuous Halfpipe in the world,
- more than 90 obstacles spread over four snowparks,
This confirms once again that LAAX is not only Europe's leading and most comprehensive freestyle resort, but also a magnet for a host of international professional riders. LAAX also plays host to numerous regional and international top events, such as the Burton European Open and the European Freeski Open, where each year over 300 snowboarders and freeskiers from across the world demonstrate just what is possible in the half-pipe and how slopestyle brings out the remarkable creative talents of the riders.
There are four snowparks around Crap Sogn Gion - Beginner, Ils Plauns, Noname and Curnius. All are guaranteed to set the pulse racing and all are ideally suited for any level of freestyler, from beginner to professional. More info at www.laax.com/en/experience-laax/fun-freestyle
"The crew around Snowpark Laax decided to throw themselves a little afterparty once the 2015season wrapped up at Europe's prime freestyle resort. During the last two weeks of April, in the heat of spring, a small group of like-minded fun-loving people gathered around the playground dubbed "Crap Sogn Gion" to snowboard, film, shoot, BBQ, tan, and have a good time. As a result, a short film appropriately titeled"
Without question the best destination for freestylers to head to in Switzerland, Laax has four parks and a superpipe all located around the Crap Sogn Gion which adds up to about 80 individual features.
The recently added Ils Plauns was constructed two years ago between the Crap Sogn Gion and the new six seater chairlift Alp Dado. It was here that the Burton European open slopestyle event was moved, and its more sunny, open aspect proved a massive success. With a beginner, medium and pro line, the new park offers a huge and varied playground for each level. There's a good selection of easy kickers, plenty of entry-level rails and boxes and now a permanent airbag to try your inverts on. There's also a boardercross park to satisfy you and your mates' competitive streak.
Right below the summit restaurant is the 'No Name' park, whic is dominated by the legendary Laax Superpipe - an intimidating, 140m-long beast that gives some of the pro's jitters, never mind joe public. They tend to stuff this dug-out earth shaped beauty full of the last remaining snow at the end of the season, so they can get it up and running almost as soon as the resort opens.
On one side of the pipe is the Swatch 'Shoot-my-Ride' with three kickers and a few rails, while the other side is more jib focused with 15 or so features. Continuing down from the No Name park, piste 60 (the Crap Sogn Gion-Curnius piste) is a dedicated freestyle run, with 30 or so obstacles and kickers dotted along it's 1km length. You can also cut across to meet this from the newest Ils Plauns park; either way you're looking at te closest European equivalnet to the long park runs of Claifornia, which you can lap to your heart's content.
Nicolas Müller lives in Laax, which is a good indicator that the place offers something pretty special when it comes to freeriding! There are 43km of dedicated safe freeride routes marked in yellow on the piste map, which are always the first to go on a powder day. In-fact if its first tracks of any description you’re after then you’ll need to be up and on it. The section down from La Siala summit is a good starter and can be tackled by most intermediates. It is an established freeride route down but it’s easy to work out a good line from the chairlift as you head up. The Vorab Glacier provides access to the Sattel which has some fun lines in, but this area can slide, and there’s two large hidden cliff faces past the restaurant so go careful. The Vorab Pign has some good freeride routes and the top of the Crap Masegn has a few easy hikes that should get you a few clean lines. The Cassons area in Flims is pure off -piste but it is rare that the resort can be bothered to run the cable-car up there. However, below that the area from Naraus to Foppa is great after a good dump for beginner and intermediate freeriders.
The two new chairlifts connect a new area to the resort and expand an already excellent range of pistes, from the high altitude open runs at Nagens to the twisting trails which run through the trees back to Laax and Flims. Hardpack lovers who want things steep should try the black 'Home Run' down from the Crap Sogn Gion, which is genuinely sheer in places and will certainly put a smile on your face. For some serious mileage, work your way up to the Vorab Glacier and wind all the way down into Flims - a decent of nearly two vertical Km that can take you from dry powder to full on slush. Entry-level riders should head to the new beginner area, which includes four blue pistes and a rope lift for complete newbies inbetween.
Some resort information provided by Whitelines.com
RENTAL & LESSONS
Leave your equipment at home. Our six rental stations contain the most coveted brands of skis, snowboards and shoes. And our ski and snowboard school ensures fun and success on the piste and in the snow parks. More info at www.laax.com/en/rental-lessons
As if all this wasn't enough, Laax also offers Europe's first indoor freestyle academy, which includes a snowflex jump into a foam pit, a skatepark, and trampolines for practising inverts. Perfect for those bad weather days or evenings although be aware that an initial introductory course is mandatory. More at www.laax.com/en/skiing-area/freestyle-academy