If Baqueira Beret offered us "few things" for freestyle, now I won't even tell you. Since the remodeling of its snowpark Era Marmòta in 2018, no one of any level is left out. The terrain park of the station has three independent lines: red, blue and green, where you will find different obstacles, rails, etc. to progress and improve your tricks. All of them are shaped by the shapers in charge of their maintenance every day, giving them the shape and inclination required in each case.
If you're new to freestyle, whether you're more into snowboarding or skiing, we recommend starting with the circuit of the green line. In this you will find perfect jumps and drawers to start and start taking a run. Flat caissons, downhill… and a boardercross! Because beginners have advantages too, be prepared to hit the dubbies. This is accessed with the Blanhiblar chairlift, where you will arrive at a track full of jumps, edges and cambers. You can do it with your friends, family or accompanied by a monitor to help you start freestyle to progress with better technique.
If you are already advanced in this and this is a bit short for you, the blue track is yours: an intermediate level circuit with jumps and modules that require previous experience to avoid any possible scare . After all, we don't want to ruin our snow days because of a bad fall. This line promises us jumps, rails, rails and tubes for skiers who defend themselves well on the slopes (along with the emotions that each one brings, but we'll leave that up to you to tell us).
Finally, whether or not you are one of the professionals in this modality, you have to go through the red line (expert level) to enjoy the tricks you can see. If you are just starting out this can be very inspiring and encouraging to keep practicing, and if you have nothing to do with freestyle, to be blown away by the amazing jumps and flips they do here. On the other hand, if you are one of those who has this great level, I think it is enough to encourage you to go, because it will most likely already be on your checklist of things to do in Beret.
WHAT OR WHO ARE THE SHAPERS?
These green, blue and red lines that we mentioned, are accessed by TQ Fernández Ochoa, by TSD Dera Reina or by TSD Jesús Serra respectively. The weather conditions will determine which creatives we will find in these 30 modules and, if in doubt, we can always ask the shapers team that is in charge of modeling this exciting conglomerate of obstacles. Because yes, shaper is what the person in charge of maintaining the modules of a snowpark is called. In the first place, when modeling, they prioritize finding a balance between safety and giving riders tracks with the necessary fluidity so that there is fluidity in the lines. Of course, each skier must be responsible for checking the good condition of each element and following the rules indicated in the park.
GOING BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS
And it is that, although now there are these people who make it easier for us to spend a good day with the flu, in the past the only snowparks that existed were those that formed naturally in the mountains, due to accumulations of snow of a certain shape, irregularities in the terrain and large rocks hidden under the white blanket. These were the first banked slalom states for skaters and surfers from the 80s who were looking to extend their modality to other terrains in winter. From there, competitions began to emerge and little by little, with the consolidation of freestyle and the increase in demand, the resorts began to make room for riders, creating spaces for them in almost all ski resorts.
Finally, we want to give you as a little advice to avoid accidents, be very careful when entering, exiting and receiving modules, since this is where collisions can occur the most.Although, to your surprise, there are more accidents on slopes than in snowparks, only to call freestyle lovers crazy afterwards!
COMPETITIONS IN THE MARMOTA ERA
By now we imagine that you already know very well what a slalom is, but what about a banked slalom? Perhaps, if you are an expert in snowboarding in the purest freestyle style, competitions like the Sudden Rush Slalom of Laax or the mythical Banked Slalom of Mt. Banker. We tell you this because we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that these are only made in the United States. The good news is that, since 2019, the Baqueira Snowpark, Era Marmòta, hosts the Banked Slalom Tour, organized by the World Snowboard Federation (WSF). But what is a banked slalom? It would be like a traditional ski slalom with the difference that instead of being straight, it is a circuit with banked U-shaped curves. The winner of this exciting test will be the one who completes the route in less time and, although it may seem so, it is not so risky due to how it is structured, since the curves and irregularities of the terrain reduce speed and the danger of falls.
The Banked Slalom Tour was started by Igor Domínguez and Javi Guimont, the founders of Landing Snowboard, whose objective is to promote the learning of this sport discipline. This championship is suitable for all kinds of levels, promising to bring the pure skater feeling to the snowy summit.
And it is that, if you are not lucky enough to coincide to be able to register in this exciting competition, you can always organize your own with your friends, since this banked slalom circuit is permanently in Era Marmòta.
Another of the banked slalom championships that has begun to take place in Spain since 2020 is the Dual Banked Slalom, in this case in La Molina instead of in Baqueira. This is a new modality of Paralympic snowboarding, whose difference with the regular banked slalom is that the two snowboarders descend at the same time, while in the other the route is done individually.
ENTERTAINMENT FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
And since there has to be freestyle for everyone, in Baqueira, in addition to having the initiation line of Era Marmòta, it has a funpark for future riders who still cannot carry skis and their families. The latter are found in the stations of Beret, Bonaigua and Baqueira, where we will find two.
The funpark for beginners who do ski, has fun activities, such as looking for the animal figures scattered throughout the park.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
IS THERE A SNOWPARK IN BAQUEIRA?
Yes, in Baqueira we can find the Era Marmòta snowpark, also a Funpark and four other parks for the little ones who can't ski yet.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LEVELS IN THE BAQUEIRA SNOWPARK?
In the Baqueira snowpark there are three different lines of modules: green, blue and red; each one for a different level, from beginners to professionals.
WHAT TO DO IN THE BAQUEIRA SNOWPARK?
In the Baqueira snowpark you have 30 different modules of various levels to practice freestyle, or to come and enjoy the skills of the most professional. You will also find a beginner level boardercross.
WHAT ARE SHAPERS?
Shapers are the people in charge of shaping and inclining the modules of a snowpark, in addition to their maintenance.
WHAT IS A BANKED SLALOM?
A banked slalom is a freestyle competition. This would be like the traditional ski slalom, but with the difference that the track has curves and cambers.