Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time for sunny, slushy park sessions with a good crew. All across the Alps at this time of year, ski resorts are beefing up their terrain parks, planning special events and sessions to celebrate the spring in style. Thanks to a bountiful winter, there’s plenty of snow to work with, and this March it’s just kept on falling, turning many of these spring sessions into more wintry affairs.
Dropping in. Photo: Merki
Mobbing with the crew at the Warmtobel Jam. Photo: Merki
One such session is the Warmtobel Jam at the ski resort of Wildhaus-Toggenburg in eastern Switzerland. Toggenburg is home to the Snowland.ch terrain park, which has been around for 17 years and is the center of a small but thriving local freestyle scene. Each spring, the Snowland.ch team rallies a crew of local volunteers to build the Warmtobel Jam, turning a 1.7km long snow-filled gully into a playful jib paradise. A team of about 15 volunteers spends five days hand-building jumps and wooden jibs to create one of the Alps’ longest and most creative park runs, and then sessions it for a week straight.
Warmtobel Jam 2018 edit by SnowlandTV/chrigL
360 blunt for the boys. Photo: Ethan Stone
I had plans to shoot photos around Innsbruck with Magnus Granér and Maximilliam Smith from the Bunch and their friend Forster Meeks from the USA. The boys had been tipped off about the Warmtobel Jam by their friends in Innsbruck, the El Makrell crew, and we decided to roll over to Switzerland with them for a few days to check out the scene.
Warmtobel HYPE from the El.Makrell crew
Forster Meeks pushing the limits on this tail stall. Photo: Stone
Torge Nagel swagging on the wallride. Photo: Stone
What we found was a ridiculously fun park setup, a laid-back atmosphere and a stoked crew of local riders who’d been dialing in their runs through the jib gully to a ridiculous degree of precision. We rolled through the park with a big crew, watching the locals slay their lines and ogling the cornucopia of options. The Bunch guys, looking like they’d just found Nirvana, quickly got busy buttering their way down the mountain, and I unpacked the camera for a few shots.
Mario Grob with a steezy 540 on the hip, peep the shot in the recap video. Photo: Merki
Sven Rauber tree tappin´. Photo: Merki
Lukas Mangold boosts the hip into the sunset. Photo: Merki
The big, leg-burning challenge: complete a top-to-bottom run through the entire park without stopping. Not many were up to the task, but Maxi managed to put one down for the ‘Gram.
Top to bottom run from today at #warmtobeljam @snowland_ch . took me 4.25 min to ski through this funslope. this park is one of the most fun parks I ever skied. Dank combination of piste, off-piste, and park. All squeezed in an long action filled cuoloar that all ready has very fun terrain. It's you're family friendly fun slope/ ski cross course but a bit more challenging filled with really groove features everywhere. It's open til sunday. Shout out to the homies making this. N shout out to @skimanguy /@filmmanguy for being insane on that phone follow cam 📱😎😀😀🙏🙏🙏🙋❤❤❤🌳🌈💐 #ON3P #funslope #piste #offpiste #skiing #skicross #styleturn #flow #turns #mob #hillbomb #extreme #jibpark #skirun #slope #skibum #swag #goskiingwithyourefriends @on3pskico #on3pmagnus @bergbahnen_wildehause
After a few hours of barreling through the gully, it was time to recharge with beers and sausages at the outdoor bar at the base of the park before heading up with the locals to help reshape the setup for the following day. With around two dozen guys and girls with shovels and rakes, the park was quickly back in shape, with a few new side-hits added during the reshape.
Adding a new side hit. Photo: Stone
If you help shovel, a free beer is waiting for you at the bar. Photo: Stone
Huge shoutout to the Snowland.ch crew and everyone who volunteered their time and energy to help create such an amazing event. It’s not every day that you find such a passionate local crew willing to dedicate their time to build something really cool, then open it up for everyone to enjoy. There are a lot of sick park sessions going down at this time of year, but the Warmtobel Jam is truly a special one. Make sure to mark your calendars for next year.
The BCBC crew chills into the sunset. Photo: Merki