Monday6.9 cm snow-1°
Tuesday1.1 cm snow1°
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Small, but definitel...
Small, but definitely beautiful...
Have had some great days here, and definitely recommend if you are in the area mid-week and outside the school holidays.
There are two hot-spots for freeriding, which are unfortunately on opposite sides of the mountain, and thus take at least 30-40 mins to get between:
- the Laucherenstoeckli T-bar has some great tree skiing, some really interesting undulations in the terrain for airing off and has an uncanny ability to hold lots of soft, fresh snow if the wind is blowing, being a big bowl shape facing North-East, away from the prevailing wind. Terrain is steep enough to be absolutely great crack, and though the run is short-ish, there are lots of variations along its width, including a couple of really cool chutes off to the skiers right when descending from the top of the T-bar. Runs on the front face end with about 500m of flat-ish piste which bring you back to the T-bar; otherwise, there is a good run off the back, but it's definitely worth knowing where you're going and especially where to cut back in as otherwise you might end up with a fair old hike back... I spent a whole Tuesday here in mid-March, skiing endless fresh-tracks in waist-deep powder with literally no more than 7 other riders on the face all day, most of whom I got chatting to and one of whom I ended up skiing all day with.
- the Weglosen-Seebli + Sternen access the other interesting area, which is the obvious face underneath the Grosse Sternen - this offers good, solid vertical on another interesting, undulating face with consistent steepness and a few drop-offs to interest the air-orientated skier, and can feel properly wild in the right conditions. I would speculate that this is a much more frequented area of the hill, was certainly much more tracked out and doesn't seem to hold the snow in the same way, but has much more of a big-mountain feel to it so it's definitely worth a few cracks at to see what you reckon. I should add that this is definitely very much avalanche terrain, so be careful and assess the risk yourself - if in doubt, head back over to that spectacular T-bar and work on your powder turns in the trees and on your own...
The resort functions, as a lot of smaller resorts do in the Alps, primarily as a holiday resort for families and a weekend resort for locals and those from nearby cities (in this case Zurich). As such, I would imagine that even during the holidays, the demand for freeride lines would be low, and during the week the place is just blissfully empty. And by that, I mean a carpark made for 200+ cars with literally only 8 cars parked there...
Best time to go is when it's bucketing it down with snow to low altitudes, i.e. when places like Engelberg and the other high resorts are just not worth bothering with. I've had a very good few days here over 3 different seasons, and each time have been amazed at what was on offer. The only reason I'm giving this "OK" rather than "awesome" is that it is still a small/cheap resort, rather than one of the big guns - but if it's snowing when you arrive at the carpark in Hoch-Ybrig Laucheren (the preferred starting point for the T-bar), I reckon you'll not be disappointed.