GO SNOWBOARDING WITH KEVIN BACKSTROM AND INGEMAR BACKMAN IN LAAX NEXT MARCH
Join Mint Tours and all-time legend Ingemar Backman for a truly unique spring shred to the home of European snowboarding in LAAX, Switzerland.
Laax is to Switzerland what Mammoth is to California – a freestyle Mecca that attracts snowboarders from far and wide to its perfectly built parks and pipes. Although Laax trades on the reputation of its freestyle terrain, there’s a whole lot more to it than that with incredible natural features from rock drops to open pistes and gullies. It says a lot that Nicolas Müller, widely known as one of the world’s best backcountry riders, has chosen to make his home here.
In 2021, we’ve timed the LAAX Freeride Tour to coincide with the Sudden Rush Banked Slalom hosted by Nicolas Müller and Terje Haakonsen. The event now in it’s 7th year, is open to all riders including Mint Tours guests to race against the clock in a safe, fun and friendly environment – in other words you don’t need to be a pro to compete!
Our lodging is based at the famous Riders Hotel located on-mountain and is is hosted by Ingemar who will not only be riding in the event but shredding the whole resort with us all week.
Guest to Guide Ratio
6 guests : 1 guide
Freeride - Be prepared to ride off-piste and in the trees
Why Travel With Mint
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. We are a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conduct business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
On a powder day in LAAX there's really nothing like it in the Alps. Expect to ride wide open powder fields, natural halfpipes and when it's low visibility we head to the trees
Home to the LAAX Open, the resort has been the home of freestyle ever since the movement began in the 1980s when the first halfpipe was built here.
Ride with the pros
LAAX is the ultimate training ground for some of the worlds best snowboarders. Whether its park laps or pow turns you'll be stoked to be riding some of the best terrain in Europe - just like Nicolas
Our modern LAAX accommodation is based in the main village, just a stones throw away from the chairlift, cable car and right in the middle of all the LAAX events
Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info
The Flims Laax Falera ski resort is one Europe's most snow-sure regions and is located only 90 minutes from Zurich Airport and 20 minutes from the township of Chur. With 220 kms of runs and altitudes ranging from 1,100 metres to 3,018 metres (Vorab Glacier), there's plenty of terrain to ride for every ability level from bowls, pistes, parks, pipes and trees.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
Our LAAX Freeride Tour is scheduled to run on the first week of Spring. You can expect anything from perfect bluebird days, spring riding to alpine powder and tree riding. Even if we don’t get fresh snow overnight, the altitude and our local knowledge will ensure you’ll be able to ride light dry snow days after a storm. Temperatures range from +5 during the days through to -10 celsius at nights.
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 snow’s coming down hard there are plenty of good tree run off the 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.
Laax has the best park setup in Europe with four parks that 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 ups make progressing easy. It also boasts not one but two halfpipes 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-come-fun park. Lapping this in the sunshine is about the most fun you can possibly have on a snowboard.
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. 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 but also has heaps of side hits and fun natural shapes to jib off. 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.
There’s no avoiding the fact that food and drink are pricey which is why we include breakfasts and dinners as part of this tour. 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 the GALAAXY 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.
Meet your expert team
LOCAL GUIDES & PARTNERSHIPS
Mint opens doors around the globe. Our long-standing relationships with local guides, local legends, professional athletes, local businesses and resorts allow us special access to places and people. Travelling with us, you go behind the scenes to get a close-up view of each destination. You’re enriched by the knowledge of our experts and local guides.
Meet your expert team
Ingemar Backman. If you don’t know who this legend of snowboarding is, we encourage you to type his name into Google and see how much of an influence this man has been on the progression of snowboarding. He set the record for the worlds’ highest air out of a quarter-pipe way back in ’96. After countless trips to Japan, Ingemar will be on board to share his many years of knowledge and experience.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES
- 7 nights twin share accommodation at Riders Hotel, LAAX
- Daily on-snow guiding with professional Mint Tours guides including Ingemar Backman
- 6 days LAAX lift tickets
- Nightly dinners
- Daily breakfast at Riders Hotel, LAAX
- VIP access to event parties
- LAAX ‘out of bounds’ freeride session with local backcountry guides
- Arrival and departure day airport transfers from Zurich
DATES March, 2022 (enquire for more details)
PRO-TIP – GO PRIVATE!
Book this tour as a private departure – with your own guide and all the benefits of a Mint group tour – for any group, big or small (even just one traveller). Get in touch to discuss.
WHY TRAVEL WITH MINT?
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. Mint is a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conducts business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we can take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre-or post tour arrangements.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BORDERS ARE CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The global health crisis has impacted everyone enormously, so we want to make sure your future travel plans are safe and reassure you that we are committed to supporting our customers in the best way that we can. You can view our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates HERE
WHAT IS A FREERIDE TOUR?
The LAAX Freeride Tour is all about the snowboarding. We spend the week exploring the entire resort of LAAX with our experienced guides have an in-depth knowledge of the terrain which gives you the ultimate advantage when chasing deep, un-tracked snow or simply riding varied terrain. We’ll aim to snowboard a lot of powder, glades and trees so please be prepared to ride in the trees for multiple days straight. Of course weather and conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride or ski anything.
WHAT HAPPENS ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DAY?
Once you’ve signed up for the tour we will send you through a comprehensive guide with details about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information.
WHAT IF I’M TRAVELLING SOLO?
About 99% of our guests are travelling solo, so you’ll be in good company. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snow sports and an eagerness to explore all that Canada has to offer. If you are travelling solo, you will be paired with another guest to room with. The accommodation for this tour is twin share i.e. 2 beds per room. Single rooms are unavailable on this tour.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THIS TOUR?
Each tour is different, but we know that by offering one of the smallest client to guide ratio in the industry allows you to ski or snowboard at your preferred pace, and ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. When we are on mountain, we have a maximum of 6 people per guide. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us, and keeping the groups small means less time waiting and more time riding powder.
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR ME?
This tour is best suited for advanced skiers and snowboarders wanting to ski and ride deep powder snow. Weather and ski conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride or ski anything. If you have never ridden in powder or shy away from it at your local resort, this is not the tour to learn. Canadian terrain has lots of glades and trees – please be prepared to ride and ski in the trees. If you’re not sure of your ability, simply give us a call.
WHICH RESORTS WILL WE VISIT?
This is a set itinerary that includes in-bounds guiding at Powder King, Hudson Bay Mountain Resort and Shames Mountain co-op. Backcountry guiding is an optional extra.
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY OR STAY ON AFTER THE TOUR?
For most tours you can arrive earlier or stay later. We can tailor the trip to suit your travel plans. Speak with one of our tour specialists when you are booking and they will be more than happy to assist.
WHO ARE THE GUIDES?
All of our tours are guided by friendly, knowledgeable and expertly trained guides who are passionate about the mountains. Most of our guides work for us season after season. If you have a preferred Mint guide, just let us know and we’ll be able to tell you which tours they are leading.
CAN YOU BOOK FLIGHTS?
Yes. Let us take the hassle out of selecting the right flights for the tour. We can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?
No, flights are not included. If you need assistance booking flights, we can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes. All guests on tour need to be covered by comprehensive travel insurance. Once you have booked on the tour, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We offer all of our tour guests discounted snow specific travel insurance.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE I’VE BOOKED?
Once you’ve booked your spot on tour, we will send you through a booking confirmation and provide updates about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information. We will send out a Pre Departure Guide 30 days prior to departure. Prior to the tour commencing we will invite you to a group chat which is managed by your tour manager and guides.
CAN I BRING MY PARTNER WHO DOESN’T SKI OR SNOWBOARD?
The Secret Canada Tour is not recommended for non-ski or snowboard partners.
HOW DO I CHECK MY ABILITY LEVEL?
The best way to check if a tour is suited to your ability is by speaking with one of our tour specialists. They will be able to determine if the tour you have selected is a good fit for your ability, as well as suggesting other tour options.
HOW DO I GET TO KELOWNA?
We’ll provide you with airport meet & greet times for Prince George and recommended departure times for Terrace Airport. If it’s your fist time to Canada or if you’re unsure about travel arrangements, often we can link you up with other tour guests to travel with.
HOW DO I CHECK AVAILABILITY?
Speak with one of our tour specialists. As this is a small group tour with limited availability, it’s best to get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
DO YOU TAKE SKIERS & SNOWBOARDERS?
Yes! We are ski and snowboard friendly. Please note that the majority of our tours are led by snowboard guides.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
Yes! We can arrange rental equipment for most destinations, however we do recommend bringing your own equipment. We do recommend bringing powder boards or ski’s for all our tours.
WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
Canada can be a cold place in winter, with temperatures typically ranging from 0 to -10. We strongly recommend that guests dress in clothing specific for traveling in backcountry areas. We recommend that guests have a good quality waterproof jacket and pants, lightweight insulated layer, merino base layers, merino gloves and waterproof gloves, goggles with low light & high light lenses, sunglasses, balaclava, beanie, and helmet. We recommend that all guests bring their own ski or snowboarding equipment for the tour (board, boots, bindings & outerwear). Powder boards and ski’s are recommended.
WHO WILL BE ON MY TOUR?
Your group will be made up of travellers from diverse backgrounds and will be varied in age. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snow sports and an eagerness to explore all that the tour has to offer.
ARE LIFT TICKETS INCLUDED?
Yes. You’ll get 6 days of lift tickets in total per person. These are pre-paid as part of the tour inclusions and cannot be excluded from the tour price.
PRICE PER PERSON
The LAAX Freeride Tour is EUR
Please contact us if you would like a quote in your local currency. We can accept payments in USD, AUD, NZD, GBP, CHF, EUR, JPY, CAD.
RESERVATION AND DEPOSIT
To secure your spot on tour, a non-refundable 25% deposit is payable within 3 days of booking. The balance is due 90 days prior to tour departure. You can view our terms and conditions HERE and COVID-19 policy HERE
If you would like some more information or a quote for the tour you can contact us by:
Enquire below. Once we receive your request one of our Europe Snowboard Tour Specialists will be in touch with a with a quote, availability and further details about the tour.
2. OVER THE PHONE
Call us and follow the prompts to speak to one of our Europe Snowboard Tour specialists.