Snowparks in Chamonix
The Grands Montets snowpark runs alongside the Marmottons chairlift that you can access from this (rather slow!) 2-man chair or from the slightly faster 4-man Tabé chair.
The snow park is partnered with HO5 Park, who are responsible for a number of snow parks throughout the alps. At Grands Montets, the park is laid out by difficulty – green, blue, red and black – just like the pistes, so you can pick your level and find a line of obstacles designed for your capabilities. There are a range of kickers, table-tops, a step-up, rails, rollers and banked turns, which can be accessed from the top of the Tabé chair. Often, there are some big kickers at the bottom of the course that get used for contests but have a look first before jumping them as coming up short could result in a trip to the hospital. The park has added a video system so you can swipe in with your ski pass and get filmed as you hit the various jumps and modules on your run down - once at the bottom check out your line on th big screen.
Over on the Brevent side, there is often a small boarder cross area but it’s mostly maintained during peak holiday periods only and it's also not very well signposted. You'll find it by turning off to the right about a third of the way down the Cornu piste.
There is a big air bag and a set of rails which are located just under the Parsa chairlift or next to the Altitude 2000 drag lift. So if you want top practise before you take on the real kickers in Grands Montets then check this out.
Of all the valleys snow parks the Bellevue snowpark in Les Houches has seen the most work and adjustment over the summer with focus on making it more accessible and fun for beginners as well as making it more technical for experts. At the top of the run you will find the beginner area with jumps, rails and boxes created especially for those learning and getting a taste of freestyle. As you head further down the piste at the bottom you will find the advanced area of harder jumps, rails and boxes for those experts who are looking for a challenge and play in the park.
In 2009/2010, the DC Area 43 snow park in Les Houches has since moved to Meribel. We still hope it may make a come back one day..(sniff).
While the freestyle areas in Chamonix are getting better and better each year, you’ll find no shortage of lips and hits in the natural terrain of the valley which can often be more fun for trying tricks than the snow parks.