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Swatch Snowpark Sölden Checkout

16:48 14th February 2011 by Uli Köhler @ulikoehler
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If you ever wondered what our raison d’être is here’s the answer: We are here to promote the joys of sliding sideways, get a free board every now and then and help you get a decent shred on. Let’s stick with the latter for a moment: Since it is not always easy to pick the right destination for a decent set of park laps may we suggest you go to the Swatch Snowpark Sölden next time? The park is as good as it gets (with all sorts of beginner to pro features, a cool shape crew and a lot of support from the resort), the backcountry options are spectacular, and the après options are a North American party dream come true.

Our friends from QParks sent us these two park checkout clips. One shows Mario Wanger on the pro line (including a cringeworthy end), the other Thomas Hoerhager and Dominik Brunner on the beginner and medium features. QParks slapped our logo onto them and we guess that means ‘please post them.’ Which we will gladly do as they give you a good idea of the park and its features. Lots of photos and a pretty detailed description of  the park were also included. All of which is to be found underneath this yackety-yak. Go visit Sölden everyone!

Mario Wanger making use of the Swatch Snowpark Sölden. Photo: Rudi Wyhlidal

Swatch Snowpark Sölden

The Swatch Snowpark Sölden has become one of the most outstanding snowpark in the Alps over the last years. The varied set-up gets an upgrade with every season and also in 2010/11 it will boast with some additional obstacles to provide the right challenge for the international freestyle community. The Ötztal, with its majestic mountains and a height difference of nearly 2000 meters between bottom- and top station, is also well known as a freeride eldorado.

The proline panorama. Photo: Rudi Wyhlidal

Freestylers can reach the Swatch Snowpark Sölden on the Gigijoch easily by using the chairlifts “Hainbachkar” or “Silberbrünnl”. The park offers a very good balance of beginner-, medium- and pro- items as well as kickers between 4 and 15 meters (13 – 50 ft). Furthermore, the park harbors a huge number of rails, boxes, wallrides and numerous other features, which are maintained every single day. Also legendary became the gondola rainbow or the e-rail, at which you will need more that one try for sure. Two years ago the “Swatch Shoot my ride” started, that gives you the chance to watch and analyze your tricks on a big video wall at the bottom of the park. The upcoming season this special offer will be continued and again the park promises freestyle at the highest level. Beginners as well as professional riders can expect both new obstacles. Besides the two new XL butterflat boxes also an a-frame box, a 9m double kinked box and a 9m butterbox rollercoaster will be built up. Set-up variety, high chill factor and a training ground for new tricks are the keywords that best describe the popular Swatch Snowpark Sölden.

The uncontested terrain for Sölden’s freeriders is definitely Gaislachkogl. Its peak (3,058m/ 10,032ft) offers long runs in all expositions and the mainly steep slopes are a true heaven for skiers and borders alike. Sölden’s second major ski area is the Giggijoch, where wide and open slopes present themselves as the perfect freeriding area for beginners. In the rare case that there isn’t enough snow in Sölden’s winter ski area, Rettenbach glacier is the place to be! The mainly short to average sized runs guarantee pure powder fun. Even though Tiefenbach glacier predominately offers short ski trails, its peak (3.249m/ 10,660ft) is the starting point for some fantastic powder runs of up to 2.000 altitude metres. However, to be on the safe side make sure to take a guide with you!

Mario Wanger getting some airtime. Photo: Rudi Wyhlidal

Besides traditional events like the Freestyle Feast there have been some truly epic shootings at two of the enormous big kickers, designed and build by QParks parkdesigner Rudi Whylidal. Many well-known film crews and riders followed the invitation and the shots will be featured in the upcoming video projects. There is for sure more to come in 2010/2011, so get yourself ready!

Local Tipp: Rene Schnöller

„The absolute highlight of Sölden is its Public line. Even if there are quite a lot people, the queues are not too long and the riding-flow is not disturbed. It’s just a cool line where beginners and pros are having fun together in the snow. Instead of taking the direct route to the park, a little detour to the Geislachkogel is definitely recommendable, as the reward is a breathtaking panoramic view and some sick powderruns.”

Dominik Brunner shot by Rudi Wyhlidal

Snowpark

Swatch Snowpark Sölden by the Chairlifts Hainbachkar and Silberbrünnl at 2.250 m (7381 ft)

Set-Up 2010/2011

Kickers:
– easy
- advanced
- pro lines from 4 to 15 m (13’ – 40’) table

Boxes:
– Flatbox 5m (16,4’)
- Flatbox 4m (13’)
- 2 x Flatbox 3m (10’)
- Rainbowbox 5m (16,4’)
- Double Kinkedbox 12 m (40’)
- Beginnerbox 4m (13’)
- Up Box 6m (20’)
- Up Down Box 6m (20’)
- E Box 6m (20’)
- 2 x XL Butterflat Box 6m
- A-Frame
- Double Kinked Box 9m
- Butterbox Rollercoaster 9m

Rails:
– Rainbowrail 5m (16,4’)
- Kinked Rail 6m (20’)
- Kinked Rail 12 m (40’)
- Gondola Rail
- E-Rail 12 m (40’)
- Down Rail 12 m (40’)

Other obstacles:
1 A-frame wallride
1 Jibcan
1 Waveride for Freestyle-beginners
1 Chill area

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