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One of the most popular snowparks in Austria!

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Area 47 Snowpark Sölden Media Obstacle – Pushing the Envelope since 2004

There are some locations within freestyle that are instantly recognisable. Whether it’s the heart-stopping drop of the Mt Baker Gap, the iconic staircase in Quebec, or the icy depths of the Helsinki Harbour that riders launch themselves over. All of these spots are like the UNESCO heritage sites to us. One of these has to be the notorious media obstacle in Sölden that graces our screens each autumn in a plethora of the finest snowboard films. Strongly influenced by park designer and photographer Rudi Wyhlidal, the infamous Sölden feature has been a fixed date in the shooting calendar of numerous international crews. It is about time it got the history it deserves.

Soelden 2004 Pyramid Jonte Edvardson Soelden 2004 Pyramid Jonte Edvardson

The Pyramid - a theater scenery

For the last decade, the Ötztal valley has hosted some of the most progressive film riding in Europe at the end of each season. The journey started in 2004 with the pyramid: Originally built as a prop for the “Hannibal” open air on the Rettenbach glacier, some resourceful riders quickly converted it into an obstacle. From that day onward, the project has developed each year with the progression of snowboarding. 

The Art of Design – From Cube to Needle

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The Cube - geometry at its best

Right from the outset, this chapter of freestyle history was co-authored by park design mastermind and photographer Rudi Wyhlidal. In its third year, in2007, the level changed dramatically. No less than 3 features were put on snow that winter: The “Cube”, based on an idea of photographer Gian Paul Lozza, the first big kicker on the Roßkirpl Mountain and a special multi-obstacle, which was shaped out of an avalanche. Freeride legends like Nicolas Müller and Gian Simmen as well as locals like Rene Schnöller did not let this unique riding-opportunity slide, which lead to a flurry of magazine covers and posters hung on bedroom walls across the lands. 

Soelden 2008 The Needle Rudi Wyhlidal 002 Soelden 2008 The Needle Rudi Wyhlidal 002

The Needle - built using huge cement clamps and with tons of snow

This creative energy also powered next year’s special feature, as photographer and Snowboarder MBM editor in chief, Sebastian Gogl, came up with the idea for the “Needle”, a thin quarter extending into the sky like a monument. This obstacle, too, was received enthusiastically by the media due to its unique style. Then, in the spring of 2009, the time was ripe for some massive airtime! Since it was the last time that the media obstacle was built on the Roßkirpl Mountain, the occasion called for something special. Thus, not one but two massive jumps were conjured up: Firstly, a jump that in its shape was reminiscent of a medieval castle tower, including battlements, and secondly, a massive gap kicker! Amongst others, US sports channel ESPN used this opportunity to shoot in Sölden together with superstar Eero Ettala

Up in the Air – a Tradition of Big Jumps

Sölden has always aimed for higher goals, therefore the decision to stick to the kicker-concept was easily made, and all that changed was the location. Consequently, in 2010, the already established media obstacle had its premiere as a massive kicker on the Rettenbach glacier.  The feature distinguished itself by allowing European riders to push the progression of their riding with the jump’s unmatchable airtime and pop. Only 2 years later, thanks to it being a huge success, history repeated itself, but this time with an additional massive corner feature to top things off.

 

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The Incredible Project 2011 - Rudi Wyhlidal's creative climax

Never one to stay the same for too long though, the feature got an injection of creativity in 2011, and it went down in history as the “Incredible Project” located at the top station of the Silberbrünnl chairlift. It was one of the first and most spectacular multi-feature obstacles that incorporated a myriad of side hits, quarter pipes and jibs for the riders to paint their own line on. 

Soelden 2012 SvenThorgren Medienobstacle byRudiWyhlidal4966 Soelden 2012 SvenThorgren Medienobstacle byRudiWyhlidal4966

Go big or go home - the Big Jump in 2012

For the last few years were about refocussing on the classical kicker-aesthetics, the “Big Jump” has grown better with tuning, tweaking and planning ever since, and 2014 was no exception. For the first time in history, the experienced Park Designer Sven Toller was tasked with building the mightiest kicker of the Oetztal valley - in a new location - on the Tiefenbach glacier. You may have seen this year’s creation in the latest Pirates Film or maybe in the latest Freeski-Crew or Boyz ‘n’ Toyz edit. The QParks media crew, too, was tasked to capture the Big Booter Sessions 2014 for eternity. You can have a look at the footage under this link.

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The guys from Legs of Steel standing tall at the top of the world aka the Big Booter in 2014

The results are impressive and reflect the great developments that have made the Sölden feature what it is today: From the blunt beginnings on the Pyramid all the way to a highly professional work ethic and production in the last years. The Park Designers have always pushed the envelope and they will be redefining the boundaries next season, too - that’s for sure! 

Video Freeski

Video Snowboard

 web Soelden  09-03-2016  lifestyle  fs sb  Roland Haschka QParks  013 Header In need of a new profile pic?
On February 28, 2017 you got the chance to get your shred pic from legendary photographer Rudi Wyhlidal – for free! Just for you guys n’ girls, he and his camera are going be at AREA 47 Snowpark Sölden from 10am to 12noon!
Shred-Love-Inside-AREA-47-Snowpark-Soelden SHRED LOVE: INSIDE AREA 47 SNOWPARK SÖLDEN
They love the snow, they love the mountains, they love their twin tips and snowboards – and they love the Ötztal valley area. The shape crew of the AREA 47 Snowpark Sölden is made up of 12 shapers from 8 different countries. Besides the park, they are also in charge of the Funslope and the Adrenalin Cup and they are up in the mountains during the whole winter. We spent a day with park designer Tomek Zwolak and his girlfriend, multimedia shaper Joanna Woronowicz. This is a story about PistenBullys, freestyle tricks, 3000-meter-high mountains, vegan buffets and love…
Snowpark Soelden Buildup 2017-01-10 by Joanna Woronowicz 21 We proudly present… AREA 47 Snowpark Sölden 2017!
Since winter finally arrived in Ötztal, the crew of the AREA 47 Snowpark Sölden shaped and shovelled as hard and quick as possible to present the first setup of 2017 TODAY! Freestylers get your boards and twin tips ready because you really don’t want to miss out on this epic combination of kickers, boxes and rails!
 web Soelden  09-03-2016  scenics  fs sb  Daniel-Ausweger  Qparks006 A #soeldelicious Xmas everyone!
This year, the snow is taking its sweet time. Our shape crew and their tools are ready but the essential ingredient just doesn’t want to show up quite yet. We keep on #prayingforsnow these days to see our park in all its glory as soon as possible again!
 web Soelden  15-04-2016  action  sb  Boris Mouton  Roland Haschka QParks  018 #TheWedge 2016 – Traditional Pro-Gathering in Sölden
„Holy s***, how huge is that jump?“, “Alright, that thing is definitely big!”, “What an INSANE take-off!”, “Way bigger than it seemed on the pics … scary!”. These were the first comments of first-class snowboarders like Boris Mouton, Rowan Coultas, Jose Aragon, Werni Stock or Roope Tonteri. Likewise, renowned freeskiers like Tom Granier, Tyler Harding, Javi Vega, Katie Summerhayes, Tobi Müller or Ole Pavel had the same sketchy feeling when they first saw Sölden’s humongous 2016 special obstacle in real life. However, after their first runs the freestyle-pros’ opinions had totally changed…
 web Soelden  15-04-2016  action  sb  Boris Mouton  Roland Haschka QParks  018 #TheWedge 2016 – Traditioneller Pro-Aufmarsch in Sölden
„Holy S***, wie riesig ist dieser Jump!?“, „Ok, das Ding ist wirklich groß!“, „Was für ein MEGA Take-off!“, „Viel größer als auf den Fotos … scary!“. Das waren die ersten Worte von erstklassigen Snowboardern wie Boris Mouton, Rowan Coultas, Jose Aragon, Werni Stock oder Roope Tonteri. Auch durchaus namhaften Freeskiern wie Tom Granier, Tyler Harding, Javi Vega, Katie Summerhayes, Tobi Müller oder Ole Pavel ging es nicht anders, als sie Söldens gigantisches Special Obstacle von 2016 zum ersten Mal live vor sich sahen. Nach den Shred-Sessions kamen allerdings ganz andere Sätze aus den Freestyle-Pros raus …
 web Soelden  15-04-2016  action  fs  Manuel Pleifer  Roland Haschka QParks  001 3 Avalanches for Sölden’s „The Wedge“
A distinctive bunch of snowboarders and freeskiers are standing in front of „The Wedge“. It’s Sölden’s newest beast of 2016, following a long tradition of giant media obstacles. We can bluntly hear their minds boggle like “that’s a bloody steep take-off”, “pretty massive hip” and “damn, I’ll rather go for a hundred speed checks before taking on that one”…
 web Soelden  09-03-2016  action  sb  unknown rider  Roland Haschka QParks  012 Slide into the summer and back!
Thank you so much for an unforgettable season! It's been a pleasure and we're already looking forward to 2016/17 when it's time to shred the park again!
 web Soelden  09-03-2016  action  fs sb  unknown rider  Roland Haschka QParks  027 GoPro - A Day in a Shaper’s Life
You always wanted to know how the daily routine of our shapers at AREA 47 Snowpark Sölden looks like? Here’s the answer in this brand-new GoPro Edit, enjoy!
 web Soelden  09-03-2016  action  sb  Stefan Morocutti  Roland Haschka QParks  005 Söldelicious! Nowhere else we’d rather be!
Only recently, a host of motivated freeskiers and snowboarders, including Frederic Aitzetmüller, Manuel Pliem, Benjamin Maurer, Fabian Fraidl, Max de Boer, Peter Walchhofer and Stefan Morocutti made their way to Sölden. Eventually, the riders agreed on two things: The AREA 47 Snowpark Sölden is a unique and brilliant playground, and secondly, there’s no place like Sölden for letting a shredalicious day on the mountain pass at a couple of drinks in the valley!

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