Meiringen-Hasliberg ski resort
An area of outstanding natural beauty, Meiringen-Hasliberg is one of Switzerland’s leading ski resorts.
While some associate Meiringen as the place where Sherlock Holmes fell to his supposed death in The Final Problem, few realise its secondary claim to fame as the apparent birthplace of the meringue. The egg-white-based dessert is believed to have been created here first in the early 17th century by a patisserie chef named Casparini, who originally called the fluffy treat ‘meiringe’ after the town.
The Sherlock Holmes connection abounds throughout Meiringen-Hasliberg ski resort. The Reichenbach Falls, from which the tumble ensued, provide a spectacular day trip in the summer months (the funicular up to the waterfall is closed during winter), while a museum housed in the charming English Church is dedicated to detective. Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, stayed just yards away in the Parkhotel du Sauvage – his chosen setting for the fictional Englischer Hof hotel.
Putting the resort’s heritage to one side, Meiringen-Hasliberg offers skiers a bustling base town and plethora of runs ideal for intermediate skiers. The resort has also successfully maintained its attractive authentic Swiss mountain town feel, something that other resorts have sadly lost during expansion.
Meiringen-Hasliberg ski resort is situated within the Haslital ski area of the Bernese Alps in the Swiss canton of Bern. It lies near Lake Brianz, between the cities of Interlaken to the west and Lucerne to the northeast.
On the slopes
The ski season in Meiringen-Hasliberg runs from mid-December to early April. The snowfall is not always reliable; but with some slopes above 2,000m (6,562ft) and snowmaking facilities, there are normally good skiing conditions throughout the season.
Options for beginners, who can progress steadily from the varied nursery slopes of the Skihäsliland Swiss Snow Sports School at Bidmi, include plenty of wide and gentle blue runs that make up part of 60km (37 miles) of groomed pistes. As well as ski and snowboard instruction, the ski school provides tuition in cross-country skiing, heli-skiing, Telemark skiing, slalom training and deep-snow skiing.
Intermediates are also well catered for with nearly two thirds of runs classed as red. These slopes connect the areas of Mägisalp, Käserstatt, Bidmi and Lischen; offering varied skiing and terrain.
Facilities for experts are more limited, however, with only the ‘Nordpol’ (North Pole) black run, which stretches from the Alpen tower at 2,250m (7,382ft) to Mägisalp at 1,710m (5,610ft), and the Ringturen run, which was upgraded from a red ahead of the 2013/14 season. But guides can be hired from the Skihäsliland Swiss Snow Sports School to explore more challenging off-piste areas.
Beginner snowboarders have a terrain park to explore at Mägisalp, while the blue, red and black slopes are suitable for more competent boarders. There is also a Skicross-Piste in the area of Mägisalp, which is a lot of fun for skiers and boarders.
Cross-country skiers, meanwhile, can make the most of 38km (24 miles) of dedicated trails.