Snowparks in Avoriaz
Avoriaz was one of Europe's first resorts to welcome snowboarders with open arms and a legacy of this is that the freestyle scene is still strong to this day.
There are six freestyle areas in Avoriaz; Snowpark de la Chappelle, Snowpark Arare, The Stash, L'il Stash, Burton Kids Parkway and the Superpipe, which all come under the collective name of the Avoriaz SnowZone.
The Stash is a 100% natural snow playground. Created in conjunction with Burton, the Avoriaz Stash is one of its kind in Europe and it comprises 3 routes of varying difficulty through the Lindarets trees.
The features in The Stash are either shaped by the natural terrain or built using wood and the challenge is to link a flowing run through the trees and over the various modules. The 3 slopes join up halfway down at a hidden cabin in the Lindarets forest and then separate again to continue snaking through the pine trees. It is definitely best when the snow is falling; the trees help with visibility and the landings are softer and the modules in better condition. Although it's open to everyone it should be treated as a park and not a piste so be aware of where you stop as it might be on a take-off or landing.
This area is as its name suggests the baby brother of The Stash. Winding down the edge of the Procolou run it has a wall ride and some wooden modules like you'll find in Lindarets.
The Burton Kids Parkway
This beginner area is tucked away in the shelter of the lower buildings of Avoriaz in the Falaise Sector. The park officially opened in 2012 and is designed specifically for absolute beginners. A short 400m, very gentle piste is serviced by the "Trashers" drag tow and kickers and boxes here are small and wide. Perfect for kids and first-time jibbers.
Snowpark de la Chappelle
This snowpark is located under the top of the Express Proclou and Lindarets Express. Locally known as the "Baby Park" this is a perfect area for beginners to advanced-intermediates.Three lines of kickers, graded like pistes, offer green, blue and red jumps and the rail line has flat boxes, kinked boxes and a large pipe rail as well as a C-rail, S-rail and an 18m long hand rail.
The park is very popular and in peak season the queues here do get long and slow as the park is serviced by one drag tow but it is a natural sun trap and there are spectacular sunsets that can be enjoyed from the "Baby Park".
This snowpark sits above Avoriaz and is accessed via the Express Lac Intrets lift. This is locally known as "The Big Park" and although the size of the kickers tends to depend on the season's snowfall it is home to much larger and more technical features than the "Baby Park". The kickers here are again graded like pistes, red and black, and they do require more skill and a lot more bravery. The layout of the park changes from year to year and it is often better later in the season - its north facing aspect means it keeps its shape better than its sun-baked little brother.
Don't be intimidated by the "Big Park" though, although the kickers are best left alone unless you are comfortable on all the features in the "Baby Park" the airbag here is perfect for anyone wanting to try a new trick or, as is often the case, anyone whose bravery and enthusiasm outweighs their skill. It's free to use and it's the perfect place to practice in a consequence free environment. There is also the snowcross course here which is free to use and open to everyone.
This has been a feature in Avoriaz for over two decades and is located just below the Prodains bubble, above the Stade Chairlift. It isn't as big as the Superpipes in competitions like the X-Games but it can still be a daunting sight to beginners. It has its own button lift and is best ridden in the morning or cold winter months. In Spring time one wall softens quicker than the other. Watch this video of the superpipe.
Please note that helmets and back protectors are recommended whilst in the snowpark and obligatory on the Superpipe and Arare.
If you’re looking for speed on skis and a bit of a technical challenge, head to the Pointe de Voriaz and attempt the Skicross run which runs parallel to the Choucas lift in the Chavanette area. It has a mixture of difficulties but allows you to really test your skills advanced or intermediate.