Sunday, 15 March 2020

Andermatt - Steep and Deep

With over thirty top Swiss ski resorts to choose from at, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. So, to help you decide, we will be doing a blog focusing on a particular resort and its merits. This week, we take a look at Andermatt.

Andermatt is a very diverse resort in Central Switzerland. It consists of two very different ski areas which span across the cantons of Uri and Graubünden. These two areas are the Gemsstock mountain and the Andermatt-Oberalp-Sedrun area. Whilst the former is an absolute haven for freeriders, the latter provides a more leisurely experience with wide, intermediate pistes, two nursery slopes, three toboggan runs and a whole host of mountain restaurants. 

Initially a sleepy Swiss village, the area has been transformed by the construction of the award-winning luxury hotel, the Chedi Andermatt, in 2013. Fortunately, though, the village has managed to retain its Alpine charm throughout its redevelopment. 

Since the opening of the Andermatt-Sedrun connection at the end of 2018, the resort consists of 120 kilometres of piste, making it the largest ski area in Central Switzerland. The piste, however, is not where Andermatt has made its name. 

Expert skiers often make their way to the steep and shady slopes of the Gemsstock in search of the perfect powder lines. Indeed, as the Ski Club of Great Britain so accurately put it, ‘the Gemsstock is home to some of the world’s finest off-piste and the snow quality is usually excellent.’ 

The mountain is the highest point of the resort at 2,961 metres and the many black runs and off-piste routes that descend the mountain are the perfect place to enjoy Andermatt’s fantastic snow.

Andermatt is situated at a meeting of valleys in the northern side of the Swiss Alps. This means that it is ideally positioned for powder and is one of the most snow-sure resorts in Europe. 

The natural geography of the area accounts for why the resort has been lauded for its deep powder and excellent freeride conditions. Indeed, the Telegraph has highlighted the resort as the very best in Switzerland for powder. This makes Andermatt an excellent alternative to the major resorts of Europe, particularly when snowfall in the rest of the Alps has been scarce. 

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Laax - A Mountain Playground

With over thirty top Swiss ski resorts to choose from at, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. So, to help you decide, we will be doing a blog focusing on a particular resort and its merits. First up, Laax!

Laax is an expansive and slightly unique ski resort in the canton of Graubünden. Its eastern location in Switzerland means that it is an easy resort to get to, only taking ninety minutes from Zurich. 

With over 235 kilometres of piste, Laax has plenty of variety in its slopes and is suitable for all groups and abilities.

From skiing on the Vorab glacier, the highest point of the resort at 3,018 metres, to eating at excellent mountain restaurants, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The connected resorts of Flims, with its extensive network of hiking and cross-country skiing trails, and Falera, an authentic Swiss village, really add to the diversity of the ski region. 

That being said, Laax is particularly renowned for freestyle snowboarding and skiing. In fact, the peak of Crap Sogn Gion has become somewhat of a Mecca for adventurous snowboarders looking to experience the mountains to their full potential.

Boasting the world’s largest halfpipe, four snowparks of varying difficulty, special freeride areas reserved for snowboarders and the Freestyle Acadmey, Europe’s first indoor freestyle centre, Laax is more of a mountain playground than a ski resort. 

It’s no wonder, then, that it has been named the World’s Best Freestyle Resort at the World Ski Awards for the past four years in a row. David Hablützel, a professional snowboarder from Switzerland, described the resort as ‘one of the top freestyle spots in the world.’ Indeed, it often plays host to elite freestyle events, such as the recent 2020 Laax Open. So, whether you’re only just learning to 180 or are already pulling off double backflips, Laax is the resort for you. 

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