Engelberg ski resort
One of Switzerland’s leading ski resorts, Engelberg (meaning ‘Angel Mountain’) is situated in the country’s Central canton. This unique location grants the resort enviable access to Zurich and its international airport, making it a popular weekend ski break destination for European powder hounds.
Engelberg makes the most of its topographical prowess with access to two main skiing areas, Titlis and Bruni, while some smaller, less developed ascents are on offer too.
2000m (6,560ft) above the town, glacier crowned snowsure slopes guarantee skiing from early October to late May. This area is accessed by a network of state-of-the-art lifts, including one of the world’s few revolving cable cars, and a new gondola unveiled in 2015-16 that has dramatically cut ascent times.
Glorious slaloming runs of up to 10km (6.2 miles) in length take skiers back down to the resort centre, originally centred around an ancient Benedictine monastery, which boasts a superb selection of restaurants, cafés and a bar scene that gets lively when the lifts close on Saturday.
None of this however manages to distract from the resort’s primary attribute, it’s impressive terrain, which will entertain everyone from bow-legged to off-piste powder freaks.
Engelberg is found in the Obwalden canton in south eastern Switzerland, about 35km (21 miles) south of Lucerne and not far from the Italian and Liechtenstein borders.
On the slopes
At 3,239m (10,627ft), Engelberg’s main ski mountain of Titlis provides dependable snow and glacial skiing. Additional snowmaking facilities are also on hand for lower-lying slopes and these services are continuing to expand.
There are some 82km (51 miles) of pistes on the Titlis side of Engelberg village too, including some tricky blacks and narrow reds. It also has a wonderfully challenging red/black route (run 1) from the summit, which is accessible by revolving cable car.
There are fewer skiers across at Jochpass, where the runs are less steep, but there are two interlocking blues (runs 7 and 10) that are a nice change of pace, plus a gentle and rather pretty route (run 5) into town.
On the other side of the village, Brunni, at 2,040m (6,693ft), has some lovely tree-lined routes and a huge area for children, families and beginners featuring T-bar lifts and magic carpets as well as small jumps and a slalom course. There are 7km (4 miles) of graceful, sun-kissed runs here, which dip between the trees further down the mountain. There’s also sledging available.
Multilingual ski schools are available on both sides of the resort. With such accessible free-riding opportunities, especially the 35% Laub run and the glacier fields of Galtiberg, off-piste instructors are recommended.