NOW that winter has kicked in, Hanazono’s park, the Stomping Ground, has been able to reach close to its full potential.
Designed with beginner and advanced riders in mind, the park started out little by little at the beginning of the season – and is by no means finished (when is a park ever ‘finished’?) – but recent heavier snowfalls mean things have really started to go ahead. There are even a few new additions to the park this season, including a selection of straight and curved boxes, and a wall ride. A rainbow-shaped rail is also proving challenging for this year’s park riders.
Proof that the kids still love going big, the jump lines are a favourite this season. Hanazono has put on big and small jump sequences, boasting smooth flows between jumps, a variety of styles, and gaps that range between tiny (3m) to monstrous (15m). Keep in mind, the more snow Niseko gets, the bigger the jumps will get, too.
The half-pipe will be better and longer this year; it is being built and used for the Hokkaido Half-Pipe Championships (Feb 7-8) and the Kissmark Cup (Feb 6-7), and will officially open to the public after that.
The iconic bus also returns this year, with park rats once again able to jump on and off the vehicle, and perform spins, carves and more from the roof.
Hanazono’s park is open until the end of the season. A big thanks needs to go out to all park builders at the resort, the Hanazono grooming team, and NISS instructors for teaming up and putting this year’s park together.
Hirafu also has a smaller park this year, with jumps and a half-pipe located on either side of the gondola.