The Hohe Tauern or High Tauern is a mountain range on the main chain of the Central Eastern Alps. If you still don't know where the hell that might be, here is a little hint: the range includes Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner. Recognized as one of Europe’s most innovative winter sports resorts, the Shuttleberg Flachauwinkl - Kleinarl has you really covered from up to bottom. But what interest us the most is the local terrain park. Actually, the area has more than one: there is the Absolut Park, one of Europe's longest terrain parks and The Stash, a unique park concept featuring elements consisting only of snow and wood.
The Absolute Park - Europe's Longest Terrain Park
Over the last few years the Absolut Park has developed into one of the biggest and best known parks in Europe. The entire park area stretches over a length of over 1.5 km, which is divided into 5 sections and is equipped with an extremely wide and varied range of obstacles. The more than 100 obstacles are attended to daily by a professional shape crew to ensure perfect conditions for the riders. No matter which level, from beginner to pro: The Absolut Park offers everything that the freestyle heart could desire.
Five kickers in a row, sweet!
At Absolute Park you'll find every rail and jib obstacle imaginable: s-rail, barrel, elbow, kink, double-kink, straight ones, you name it.
But the absolute highlight is the Superpipe. Since last year, the pipe has been serviced by its own lift and with a height of 7 meters; the pipe conforms exactly to the dimensions required for X-Games and Olympic Games. A number of top professionals and European national teams have found this to be a perfect training ground as it is maintained daily by the Olympic pipe cutter John Melville, the eminent shaping expert from New Zealand and head shaper of the biggest snowboard contests around the world. Together with stable snow conditions all year round, this combo is hard to beat. You need to definitely give the pipe try.
The Chill House - the world’s first ever indoor mini skate ramp on a mountain and more.
The Stash - Unleash your Creative Mind
What I personally find more entertaining though is nature terrain itself. And there are plenty at Shuttleberg Flachauwinkl - Kleinarl. One of the most interesting features is without doubt The Stash. The park concept was created by Jake Burton and the snowboard legend Craig Kelly and it's absolutely a must shred! It's not about flawlessly prepared slopes and obstacles shaped to perfect detail. This is about encouraging the creativity of the riders as the park has lots of extraordinary obstacles integrated into the natural environment and can almost always be ridden in numerous ways. An enormous backcountry area with countless natural powder jumps, cliffs, windlips combined with the most diverse range of wooden obstacles.
The many hand-carved figures and obstacles in the Stash Park were made by the American chainsaw artist Bob King, who was also responsible for the art work in the four other Stash Parks worldwide.
The Absolut Park hosts numerous events throughout the season including the Spring Battle, Austria’s most famous mountain snowboard contest. The first event of the season is the Jib King. This is where the Jib Queen and Jib King are crowned. Jib King will be held from 09.01 - 10.01.2016 and the format is slopestyle with main focus on rails and jibs. Event-driven riders mark your calendars. All in all, the Absolut Park is definitely worth to check, superb snow conditions are almost guaranteed here and the season starts already on 5th December 2015.
Jib King 2014
Jib King 2014
Photos: © Markus Rohrbacher