Freeriding, terrain parks and pistes
Freeriders who like to ride the trees need to head straight up the gondola and explore the options found in the Bowl Area. To ride in the trees here though you need to register with Ski Patrol in the main Resort Centre first (at the gondola base); they will then ask you to wear a bib and a helmet – hey, at least they allow tree riding here! The area known as Under 4 is also worth some runs and is found under chair number four, funnily enough.
Those in search of the highest quality powder are better off on a Cat or Heli Tour taking you into the backcountry peaks. The Cat Tours are suitable for intermediate to advanced riders who are comfortable riding trees and off-piste. The Heli Tours are more suited to advanced and expert riders as the pitch can get up to 40 degrees in some places. At this stage Tomamu only offers the Heli Tours four days per season, so you have to get in quick to secure a spot - they post the dates during October every year. The Cat Tours are scheduled every weekend but you usually need to book a week or so in advance.
Freestyle riders will find the park, known as 'Slope Style', under lift 7. To get there you need to head up the gondola and take a cat track along the ridge. When you get there you will find a perfectly sculpted park and pipe suitable for all levels of rider, except maybe the pros. There are two super-nice double-takeoff step-down jumps, with gaps varying in length from 5 to 15 metres in addition to perfect landings. There is a series of boxes and rails, from C shapes and rainbows to flat bars and double kinks. Near the bottom of the park Tomamu maintains a smaller jump for the novice freestyle riders among us. The halfpipe is truly impeccable. It's 5 meter high walls are cut to perfection, providing the ideal place for those wanting to expand their bag of tricks or simply those just learning to get up the transitions.
Piste riders will find a nice selection of groomed courses at Tomamu. The most consistent groomers are found off of chair 10, providing smooth corduroy suitable for all levels. The courses accessible from the gondola end in a long, flat ride back to the base so keep your eyes open and your speed up.
Beginners are well catered for at Tomamu with the Burton LTR programme. Like all the LTR programmes around the world Burton supply great beginner boards featuring bevelled edges which help to minimise those nasty edge catches. The runs accessible from Lift 3 are perfect to learn to turn on, after which you should look to Lift 2 for a bit more of a challenge.READ NEXT: Village life, accommodation & nightlife