In the park

There are two great snow parks in the area - one in Tignes and one in Val d'Isere. The larger, and better of the two, the Val d'Isere snowpark is situated on the Bellevarde/La Daille sector (2500m) and can be reached from Val d'Isere by the Daille funicular, the Bellevarde cable car (the "Olympique") or from the centre of Tignes by the Bollin Express (Val Claret) and the Aeroski in Le Lac. The French Snowboard Federation has approved the Val d'Isere park, proving it is of a very high standard.

The Val d'Isere Snowpark

The snowpark now sponsored by DC has 2 draglifts, 1 three seated chair lift and 1 rope tow which service:

  • • Different hips and jumps for all standards
  • • 1 quarter pipe
  • • Hand rails: 1 Fun Box; 1 Rainbow, several single, double, high & low rails
  • • 1 boarder cross for all levels.

A wooden hut which has

  • • a webcam
  • • a repairs corner
  • • a PC to check out the photos of the day
  • • a recreational area is also available with music, BBQ facilities, chairs and tables for you to take it easy as well!

The Tignes Snowpark

The Tignes park is now found at the top of Col du Palet lift which is dedicated to freestylers. There you’ll find a snowpark complete with rails, boxes, hip and wall ride and two Half pipes to finish your runs!

Opening Hours are daily, all winter long, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Snowpark reviews by Endeavor rider Rich Jonas

The Espace Killly ski area has a choice of two parks, the Swatch Tignes park and the DC Val park.

The DC Val park is situated underneath the Mont Blanc chairlift situated between La Daille and Tignes. The Val d'isere park has been pretty sweet over the years that I have ridden it. From a nice small box to get your jibs down to a good 65-foot booter.

They spent 10,000 euros on upgrading their boxes from the 2007/08 season and it paid off! This investment has seen the park transform from an average to well made park. There is a huge variety of boxes and rails with whale tails, rainbows, banana's, flat downs, a-frames, shotgun down rails, picnic benches right down to the humble box. These vary in size from 1 metre to 15 metres. Giving the range needed for all standards.

The park has a hut where you can buy over priced coke or fake red bull with a cool chill out area kitted out with deck chairs, where you can sit and watch the action whilst soaking up the sun and listening to some tunes.

The park runs competitions throughout the season for progressing riders who want to try there skills, you usually have to pay to enter but you always get a bbq included for you 20 euros. There is also Valpark week in late March where the pros come down for a helicopter photo shoot. Well worth checking out!

The usual DC Park setup/layout:

Working from skiers left to right: Small 'green' jumps on the far left entry level kickers in a line of three with approx 3-6 foot tables. with small boxes to learn on.

The blue line then follows on the right of that with again three hits in a row at approx10-15 foot tables. These are good for beginner to intermediates looking to progress.

Then on the right of that you have the rail section with the rails as noted above usually in a line of 2-3 with 3 side by side so you can take a number of different options through the rails. A wall ride normally features as well.

On the right of the rails you then have the red kicker line. These are intermediate to advanced kickers ranging from 20-35 feet. Again there are three in a row but with a Val park twist as they have to match the terrain, meaning the first and second kickers are not in line so you have to move right after landing the first hit.

Following up the hill to the right you have the 'bowl' section, this usually consists of a bowl jump which really pops you up followed by a hip or step-up step-down feature. If you take the higher line you take the black rail line. This is the more advanced-expert rails which consists of down-flat-down, straight down and flat-down single round rails which are all side on hits.

On the far right you have the black kicker line. Here live the big kickers for expert riders only. This is usually a 'whippy' 30 foot into a 45-50 followed by the big one which is usually round 60-65 foot!! They do make random huge ones down in the bottom right corner too, which they built for Val park week which can be huge!!

The Tignes 'Swatch' Park

The other park in the area is the Swatch Tignes Park, situated next to the Grattalu chair lift above Val Claret. This was named as such after Swatch paid for some cameras to be installed on a small jump at the end of the park.

Tignes Park
Tignes Park

All you have to do is swipe you pass at the start hit the jump then look back at the big screen to see your fat air on display!! More of a novelty than anything else but always funny to see your replay on the way back up to hit the run again.

As far as the Tignes park goes, it's on a smaller budget than the DC park. This means the jumps aren't quite as big or the rails quite as smooth, but all in all still a fun little park. This park works it's way down under the drag lift which takes you back up to the top.

The jumps here don't usually get any bigger than 30 feet with lots of beginner to intermediate jumps at around 10 feet. This park is more user friendly and has a very relaxed feel to it, so if you don't want to feel the pressure of the park whilst you learn that trick, its probably best to learn it here.

As far as the set-up goes it is definitely subject to change. Unlike the Valpark which has an almost year in year out setup, the Tignes park changes from year to year so you never know what to expect. The one thing which stays the same is the halfpipe which sits at the bottom of Les Lanches chair. This usually gets big for the Tignes Aiways competition in January at around 20 foot walls. Expect it to all get bigger with Tignes hosting the first European Winter X Games - 2010!!.

Backcountry Kickers

Tignes is pretty much the biggest playground in the Alps. The natural terrain offers endless possibilities. If you have the time, dedication and skills nothing quite beats the backcountry powder kickers!

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