Menu

userImg showBgrSwitcher

Background by

userImg

Thanks!

Menu

Freestyle Architects of the BEO: MINI Space Interviews the Lead Builder of LAAX’s Pipe and Snowparks

Here at Laax we recently met up with the resort's Freestyle park designer and manager Roger Heid, who is responsible for not only the detailed planning and construction of all the resort's jumps, jibs and halfpipe, but also for this year's MINI Creative Use of Space feature and the ultimate safety of the riders that take to his courses. We talked about what it takes to deliver this scale of big mountain freestyle architecture — read the interview below.

BEO 2012 - The Architects

Hi Roger, thanks for taking the time to chat. What's your job here all about?

Well as Park Manager, I build the team that will plan and construct the parks and pipe here at Laax.

BEO 2012 - The Architects

How many people in your crew?

We are now like around 14 people, including the cat drivers and everything.

How many snowcats do you guys have? Do you use a different cat for the halfpipe than for shaping the slopestyle course?

Yeah for sure, we have the pipe dragon — the monster — which is doing the shape with a winch cat supporting. Then we've got two park bullies for the park, grooming it.

BEO 2012 - The Architects

Tell us a little bit about the pipe - It's huge.

Yeah I mean, the pipe, it's huge. No really, it's a bit bigger than in other years actually, because we're trying to get more out of it, to make it a little bit bigger, we're cutting it two different steps.

It looks sweet now, but hopefully it gets a bit colder for the riders. It's good for the riders when it's colder, so they can see the edge better, get more speed for going high.

BEO 2012 - The Architects
Laax local, 5-year old, and basically most amazing person on the planet: Siria Poltera drops in to the pipe.

Is it a big challenge to cut a superpipe and slopestyle course that all three groups will use in the competition? Men, Women and the youngsters?

Not really, in the end each person can just do their tricks...

(grins big)

...some, yeah just go much bigger than others.

BEO 2012 - The Architects
This year's youngest competitor: 5-year-old Siria Poltera.

How did you approach the slopestyle course this year? It's a totally different layout and in a different spot than last year.

I mean the idea was basically we wanna make the jumps better, and the kickers, get them safer and better — the other area was a bit in the shadow, which was hard, and the jumps we couldn't move around like we really wanted to because of the earth in that area, we needed to bring too much snow to get the jumps the way we really wanted them to be.

We changed the location to where we were free to build what we want where we want.

What makes a safe jump?

It needs a long tranny, a good flat, and you really need the right place to build.

How does it all start? Multiple drafts and drawings?

First thing is to go up in summer to check the area, where are the jumps gonna be, where will the snow build in certain places. Then we do a drawing, the drawing goes to Burton and we check it with Burton together.

We work up here all summer, fixing the rails and shit, fixing up the cats, and during this time we're always planning a bit. But mostly it changes anyways. (Laughs) The winter, you know? This winter was big snow, so we could really go wherever we want and use as much snow as we want.

So in the end, even though the features are man made, what the winter brings is a big influence on the final product.

Year for sure, for sure. Usually snowmaking is an important thing, but this year we didn't need it — the courses are all natural snow.

BEO 2012 - The Architects
BEO 2012 Creative Use of Space Slopestyle Winner Jamie Anderson.

The Vision for the MINI Creative Use of Space Feature?

Our MINI Feature is inspired by the snowboarding that is happening on the streets, at the same time, the MINI Feature is designed to give the riders great freedom in choosing their line.

BEO 2012 - The Architects

Are you from around here?

I'm living in Flims.

What's the best part about LAAX?

It's the whole thing coming together, riding down Curnius from the No Name, everything — the atmosphere, there's a lot of good people around. I think that's basically it.

BEO 2012 - The Architects

Check out Roger and some of his team practicing what they preach here, and see the gallery of this year's BEO overall and MINI Creative Use of Space Winners in the gallery below.

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (8 images)

Share

facebook
googlePlus
pinterest
stumbleUpon
E-Mail
seperate multiple email addresses with a comma

Comments

Next on Your Itinerary: A MINI Romp Through Historic Southern England

September 26, 2014
Next on Your Itinerary: A MINI Romp Through Historic Southern England

If you're looking for a journey worth replicating, read up on some of Britain's most beautiful counties, put them in your sat nav and hit the road.

The MINI International Vol. 43

MINI Report: The Race is On!

March 12, 2015
The MINI International Vol. 43 MINI Report: The Race is On!

What happens when the brains of two brilliant, visionary-minded men collide? The MINI Clubman Vision GT, a brand new MINI concept car for video game sensation Gran Turismo, is born.

The MINI International Vol. 43

Extra Miler: Surf’s Up

March 12, 2015
The MINI International Vol. 43 Extra Miler: Surf’s Up

When in doubt, paddle out - so believes Carsten Kurmis, for whom surfing is not just a sport but a career and lifestyle.

MINI Space Mixtape: Tracks for a Leisurely Late Summer

September 29, 2014
MINI Space Mixtape: Tracks for a Leisurely Late Summer

Sit back and watch the sun sink below the horizon with these six tracks to herald the arrival of autumn.

The MINI Effect: Across Europe with The Blue Lobster

April 28, 2015
The MINI Effect: Across Europe with The Blue Lobster

After twelve years and 300,000 kilometres, Wim from the Netherlands is thoroughly fulfilling his long-time dream of owning the road with his own MINI. See how he got there on MINI Space.

Go Boundless Design Competition: Winners Announced!

April 02, 2015
Go Boundless Design Competition: Winners Announced!

The Go Boundless design competition asked the MINI Space community to see where the extra mile might take them. The evidence of adventures has been reviewed and the winners are in.