7 Nights | 6 Days Riding
March 04, 2018 to March 11, 2018
$2499 PER PERSON
LAAX – Piste, Park and Powder are all abundant in this Swiss snowboarding mecca.
Laax is to Switzerland what Mammoth is to California – a freestyle Mecca that attracts riders from far and wide to its perfectly sculpted parks and pipes. It’s played host to the Burton European Open (now the LAAX Open) – the continent’s premiere freestyle competition – for more than a decade. But although Laax trades on the reputation of its parks, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. While the gentle slopes around the central Crap Sogn Gion can’t compete with say Chamonix or Verbier for sheer gnarliness, they’re littered with cliffs, rock drops and other features that turn Laax into a backcountry freestyle paradise when there’s fresh snow around. It says a lot that Nicolas Müller, widely recognised as one of the world’s best backcountry riders, has chosen to make his home here.
Join us for an unforgettable Swiss snowboarding tour, as we venture to Central Switzerland, and Europe’s leading freestyle and freeride destination, LAAX. We spend six days exploring this incredible shred destination, with great freeriding, fun tree runs, and four perfectly crafted snow parks (including the longest halfpipe in the world). We also spend a full day riding beyond the resort boundaries with a fully guided off-piste backcountry day. This fully inclusive tour runs in March which is consistently rated the most reliable time for snow, allowing us to make the most of the best snow conditions. This tour is fully hosted and guided by Mint Tours crew. All you need to do is show up and ride.
It’s hard to find fault with Laax’s pistes. Riders will enjoy 224 kilometres of perfectly groomed, wide-open slopes, serviced by 28 ultra-modern lifts, 70 per cent of which are situated at 2,000–3,000 metres above sea level, making LAAX one of the most reliable snowboarding regions in the world to find snow. Though the main run down to the resort can get a bit bumpy at the end of the day ( but where isn’t this the case?), but there’s nothing too steep or tricky here – it’s all just fun. The amazing Curnius piste is a run created by the park staff that is not only full of park features from top to bottom (rails, kickers, hips etc.), but also has heaps of side hits and fun natural shapes to jib off. If you do manage to drag yourself off though, there are some great runs down from the Vorab glacier at the top of the resort – big, wide, cruisy reds and blues. The run down into Flims is probably the most epic – you can start right from the glacier if you really want to give your legs a test. But the best bit is the red 18 on the piste map, which winds down through the trees and even cuts through a rock tunnel at one stage.
Laax has one of if not the best park setup in Europe – there are four parks all accessible from the main cable car and they cater for all different ability levels. Laax’s parks are not only massive, they’re impeccably shaped. Every kicker, from the smallest green right up to the monster booters of the pro line, will send you perfectly to the sweet spot. They’re all well-spaced too, so it won’t kill your run if you scuff your first trick, and the gradual steps up from green to blue to red to black make progressing easy. It also boasts not one but two halfpipes (a competition standard super-pipe and a fun mini-pipe) both of which are shaped on a daily basis and regularly used by pros like Jan Scherrer and Markus Keller to train. And then of course there’s the 2km long piste-cum-fun park that is run number P60. Honestly, lapping this in the sunshine is about the most fun you can possibly have on a snowboard.
When there’s fresh snow, the best place to head for open, high alpine lines is up to the top of the Vorab glacier. Ride straight down from the top of the T bar, and make a short hike to the top of the Vorab Pign peak at 2,897m. You’ll be rewarded with the kind of wide-open powdery bowl that dreams are made of. It’s not particularly steep or technical (though you can make it more so, depending on where you drop in) but you’ll be howling for more as soon as you finish. If the light’s bad or the snow’s coming down hard there are plenty of good tree run off the six man Plaun chair. This area is also great if you want to tap into your inner Müller and practice your methods off of wind lips, rocks and pillows – there is plenty of amazing natural terrain round here.
There’s no avoiding the fact that food and drink are pricey which is why we stay in apartments equipped with full kitchens. If you do want to eat on the hill, the best place to have a beer a bite and maybe do a spot of pro-stalking is Café No Name up at the top of the snowpark. They do great coffee too, and you won’t have to remortgage your house for a latté. The Rocks Resort, clustered around the bottom of the slopes in Laax, has a few restaurant options including the Nooba noodle place and the imaginatively-named Burgers which serves, you guessed it, burgers. Rustica Pizza just down the road which does good Pizza for an affordable price. If you’re after an après pint, the famous Crap Bar (‘crap’ means ‘rock’ in Romansh, so stop sniggering at the back!) at the bottom of the slopes is a good place to start. The Living Room Bar is probably the pick of the bunch for après, and our tip for the best restaurant in town is the Casa Vegl (the ‘Cow Shed’).
Your tour includes:
- 7 nights mountainside twin share accommodation
- Breakfast daily
- 6 day lift ticket
- 6 days on-snow guiding
- Guided backcountry day includes safety equipment (pack, beacon, shovel and probe)
- Return airport transfers from Zurich
- Hosted by Mint Tours
We’re staying in the main village, just a stones throw away from the chairlift and cable car. Throughout the tour all guests are accommodated in twin share rooms. So you have more room and more amenities, we will stay in 2 bedroom apartments at Signia Hotel Casa Prima Apartments. These centrally located apartments enjoy typical hotel services including a breakfast buffet daily in the hotel, access to all the hotel bars and restaurants, access to the wellness centre including heated pool with therapeutic jets, sauna and massage, room service and housekeeping. All apartments include 2 bedrooms with 2 single beds in each room, bathroom, a south-facing balcony with a fantastic view and a fully fitted kitchen including dishwasher. The living room features radio, TV and telephone. All apartments offer free Wifi.
As part of this tour you will have a fully guided backcountry day where you can access the amazing backcountry terrain. This is suitable for intermediate and advanced riders.
Mint Tours Guides
Your professional guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour enjoying themselves and pushing your riding in a relaxed and fun environment.
Small Group Numbers
Our guest to guide ratio is 5 : 1. We like to keep our group sizes small so you can get the most out of your time with us. There’s nothing worse than riding with a large group, especially on a powder day! We have our guides on-snow every day. At night we’ll have our hosts on hand to show you around the local area. With our small groups, you’ll feel like part of the Mint Crew and not just another face in the crowd.
If you’re travelling solo you won’t be alone. In fact our tour is perfect for solo travellers, we just match you up with someone to room with for the entire time. Not only are our guides with you on-mountain during the day, they keep the stoke going well into the night, so you’ll always have people to socialise with and places to go.
Arrival Day (March 4, 2018)
Welcome to Switzerland! Meet your guide at Zurich Airport and jump in the van for the drive to LAAX. After settling in to our accommodation, we head out for welcome drinks and dinner so you can get to know the rest of the crew.
LAAX Ride Days (March 5 – 9, 2018)
We spend the next 5 days snowboarding at LAAX. If you’ve never heard of LAAX, you’re in for a treat. LAAX is not only amazingly beautiful, but also Europe’s snowiest and sunniest winter resort, home to over 235km of pistes to explore. This resort is a mecca for freestyle riders, with great tree riding, four perfectly constructed snow parks (catering to all abilities), and the longest continuous half pipe in the world. Surprisingly, LAAX has remained a Swiss secret shred destination, meaning great riding and non-existent lift queues. Situated between 2000-3000 metres of altitude, the resort has consistent snowfall, especially at the peak of glacier Vorab, providing the opportunity for great off-piste powder turns. As Europe’s leading and most comprehensive freestyle resort, there is no wonder it is a magnet for international pro riders. You’ll get to check out pro riders from across the world showcase their talents in the half-pipe and slopestyle courses. After riding, join the crew at the Riders Palace for some after hours fun.
LAAX Backcountry Day (March 10, 2018)
For our final day on-snow you’re in for a treat. We’ll spend a full day checking out the incredible off piste, backcountry terrain that is on offer here in LAAX. Follow your guides for some unforgettable pow turns and some incredible views along the way.
Day 10 (23 JAN) – Departure Day
We transfer back to Zurich with the crew, and with high fives all round we bid farewell to an epic Swiss riding tour.
We have limited availability for they tour. Bookings close September 30 unless sold out prior. Contact us to check availability:
Email – [email protected]
Call – 1300 205 609
$500 deposit required to secure booking with balance payable 90 days prior to departure. All bookings are subject to Mint Tours terms and conditions and are subject to availability at time of booking.