or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › International Zone › any tips regarding Jungfrau ski areas near Interlaken, Switzerland?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

any tips regarding Jungfrau ski areas near Interlaken, Switzerland?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Does anybody have helpful information or first-hand experience regarding the Jungfrau ski areas near Interlaken, Switzerland? I will be spending a week in Interlaken, from which one can access those areas and I think some others. I'd rather stay in one of the villages up higher but the lodging location was chosen by a group.

 

I would like to ski the entire area. I believe, but am not quite sure because the information is a bit vague, that a "Jungrau" lift ticket provides access to everything from Grindelwald-First to Schilthorn. It's also not clear whether such a pass includes the railway connections from Interlaken or not.

 

Is there a good plan of attack for this region? The trail maps suggest that the terrain is easiest toward looker's left and steepest toward looker's right,  but perhaps the map is deceptive. I don't have a good sense of the effective scale of the area or the connections, so I don't know whether it's possible to work one's way from one area to the other during a single day in order to follow (or avoid) the sun.

 

I also don't see an area below tree line that would be a good choice in white-out conditions. (Near Chamonix, for example, Les Houches at the bottom of the valley fits that bill.)

 

In short, any first-hand knowledge would be welcome. Thanks!

 

Mod note: moved to International Zone

post #2 of 13

Well there is good news and bad news.

 

The good news is Interlaken is a pretty town and bad news is it's really low so you won't be skiing back there at the end of the day.

 

The good news is the ski bus is free and bad news.is there is only one in the morning and one in the evening. so no swopping ski resorts during the day.

 

The good news is the skiing above Grindelwald is really good and the bad news.is it will take you an hour on the bus to get there.

 

The good news is the skiing at Kleine Scheidegg above Grindelwald has spectacular views that even weak intermediates can enjoy  and bad news.is there is not much that is testing.

 

The good news is the mountain food is excellent and bad news.is it is really expensive.

 

The good news is I enjoyed my skiing there with a friend who was a weak intermediate and bad news.is neither of us have gone back.

post #3 of 13
Quote:
 The good news is the ski bus is free and bad news.is there is only one in the morning and one in the evening. so no swopping ski resorts during the day.

There's the train, which runs a lot more often than just once a day! (my recollection was every hour or so) 

 

But I can't help the OP as to whether it's included in the lift ticket. I stayed up mountain when I was there.

 

Up mountain, the train-as-lift is cute but not terribly efficient. Having to wait for 1/2 hr for the next train is really bad. Add the train journey from interlaken, you could easily end up spending more time on the train more than on your skis!

 

Trees: can't be counted on because the treeline is low. So it may or may not have enough snow to ski below the tree line. But that's not so uncommon in the Alps. What's uncommon is all the below tree line runs are served by train only. So in a white out, you won't get to ski too many runs. 

 

Working from First to Schilthorn: I don't think it's a good idea. You waste too much time on the train. Focus on one or the other on a single day. 

 

Quote:
 The trail maps suggest that the terrain is easiest toward looker's left and steepest toward looker's right,

Schilthorn (looker's right on the map) does have steeper terrain. But within each sector, that doesn't apply. 

 

As you can tell by the tone of the response, a lot of people find it frustrating, because it's not like any typical mountain. But the scenery is spectacular (when it's not socked in). The area is rich in ski history. So adjust your expectation accordingly, you'll enjoy your stay.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for the input! I was already aware this trip would be a challenge regarding daily transportation. I will definitely plan to focus on one area per day.

 

One more question: Are guides available and recommended for off-piste skiing?

post #5 of 13

The above comments confirm what I have read that the Jungfrau region is noted for its jaw-dropping scenery but is more rewarding as a summer vs. winter tourist destination.  The snow record is also so-so. There is a long list of Swiss resorts that offer a better ski experience. 

post #6 of 13
Excellent mountain guides will be available try the ski school.

Also consider a 1 hour private lesson and specify off piste.it will be considerably cheaper and if it is early morning you know where the powder is.

Finally and I am real serious here be ABSOLUTELY sure you have insurance for skiing off piste AND you are within local rules. I am not current on this as there have been changes since I last skied in that area. The Swiss mountain rescue organization got fed up hauling injured climbers off the Eiger so started charging for rescues and this got applied to skiers outside the posted runs.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

The above comments confirm what I have read that the Jungfrau region is noted for its jaw-dropping scenery but is more rewarding as a summer vs. winter tourist destination.  The snow record is also so-so. There is a long list of Swiss resorts that offer a better ski experience. 

It really depends on your expectation.

 

I found it a GREAT vacation spot. Skiing is part of that package. 

 

Regarding Jungfrau as a summer destination, I wouldn't. It's a lot more expensive to fly to Europe in the summer. I do almost all my visits to Europe in the winter! Skiing just a good compliment on top of doing all the tourist stuff. Not to mention work off the good food I have. 

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post

 

One more question: Are guides available and recommended for off-piste skiing?

I'm pretty sure guides are available. Some in my group went far afield with guide for a couple of days. 

 

I guess it's always recommended. I didn't, as I could see there's plenty of powder right by the side of the groomed runs and between runs. I just went for it on my own. I wouldn't "recommend" you to do what I do because I don't know you nor your comfort level with off-piste. 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am comfortable with off-piste skiing alone between or near established runs. I don't know whether there are areas to explore that are farther afield. I did see that at least one outfit offers heli skiing but I don't plan to do that.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post
 

 I don't know whether there are areas to explore that are farther afield.

There are, according to the group that went away with the guide.

 

At apres, this is what they say "you wouldn't believe the kind of places we ended up"! I tend to believe them. If I go again, and had the opportunity to go with guides, I will. 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, I will certainly post pictures or a trip report upon return!

post #12 of 13

I go to Grindelwald / Wengen every year...of course I tore my ACL in December and just had surgery so can't go this year.  Have a meeting there that lasts one day and enables three days of skiing.:)  I have been there 5 times I believe.

I stay in Grindelwald and then ski one day on that hill and the other two I take the Kl. Scheidegg into the Wengen side.

It is a great region and I think folks here summarized it well.  Skiing is fairly tame (which may be good if you have a group) and scenery is great.  Since I am with a group there – the lack of super challenging hills is actually helpful and removes sticky situations with clients and colleagues.

I am an ex-racer so love flying the Lauberhorn top-to-bottom after the sun softens that side (under Wixi lift).  At the bottom of the Lauberhorn you can dine at Mary’s Café which is great way to soak in the scenes and Swiss skiing.  Make a reservation, if you have a group.

Mary's Café - Häxehüsli, Staubbachbänkli - CH-3823 Wengen Tel.: +41 33 855 25 75 mary@wengen.com

Staying in Interlaken forces some train time each day but allows you to launch to both the Grindelwald and the Wengen sides to ski.

I have only done night life in Grindelwald and it primarily revolves around dinner.  It is a bit quiet in town but there are good places to duck in for a cocktail here and there.  I spent 2-3 nights at Gepsi Bar and always hit Avocado bar also.  Hotels have nice bars also.  No sports bars or cowboy bars like you would see in USA.

I think it is best to view region as an overall experience rather than just a ski trip measured by vertical or amount of runs.  I would recommend going two days into Grindelwald – one to ski that mountain and another to take Kl. Scheidegg.  I would also leverage the Interlaken location to visit the village of Wengen – something I have never done.  I can't help with guides as I have not done that.  Most skiing seems to be on piste and lot of folks in SL skis - which is different from US (MT anyway).

Should be a great trip. It is a special place. 

post #13 of 13

My not so recent experience with Interlaken/Grindlwald/Wegen area.

 

Bought my lift ticket at Interlaken 'Ost' train station.  It included the train and all lifts in the area.  The train takes you indirectly to the to the goods.  You will need to transfer to another train/lift depending on the area.  In Wegen you can get off train and walk to the cable car OR stay on the train until it reaches KL Schideg(s).  In Grindlewald you needed to change trains to get to one set of lifts.  A short walk from Grindlewald station will get you to the bottom of Grindlewald First.  The trains were the first lifts in the area and run every 20 or so minutes.  Normally the time spent riding the train, getting off, putting skis on, skiing to the train station and taking the skis off would allow the next train to be arriving/loading.  During my first visit the lifts were mainly 'T'bars.  Most have been replaced by High Speed lifts.  The lift lines used to be a real ZOO.  Been a few years so my current information is limited.

 

I'd go, but limited funds have kept me in Co. for the last few years.

 

Pick one 'area' per day.  Most are large enough so boredom shouldn't be a problem.  Hope you enjoy your trip. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: International Zone
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › International Zone › any tips regarding Jungfrau ski areas near Interlaken, Switzerland?