Engelberg Ski Resort and Ski Holidays

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Engelberg   Resort Information
Season Dec to Mid April
Nearest Airport Zurich (90 mins away) or Basel
Ski Area 82km
Ski Lifts 24
Ski Runs 32
Longest Run 12km
Resort Height 3020m
Snowball Ratings
Beginners 2.5 / 5
Intermediates 4 / 5
Experts 4 / 5
Families 3.5 / 5
Nightlife 4 / 5
Affordability 4 / 5
Non Ski Activities 4 / 5


Engelberg is an historic isolated village which grew up around a Benedictine monastery (established in 1120). The monks brought skiing here early in the twentieth century . The Rotair, the world’s first revolving cable car is here, as is the Titlis where the nearby Ice flyer 6 seater chair opened in 2000.

With the majority of Switzerland’s internationally famous resorts in the country’s far west or south eastern corners, ancient Engelberg in the canton of Obwalden stands out alone in the centre of the country. The first hotels appeared here in the 1850s and winter sports not long after, but the village had been dominated for many centuries before then by the impressive Benedictine monastery, established in the early 12th century and still operational today, with about 34 monks in residence.Not sure though if they are skiers or boarders!

The people of Obwalden have always had a reputation for their independent spirit, and the Swiss Confederation was established very near here. Although a village with a population of around 4,000, Engelberg’s long standing status as a holiday resort means that the architecture is of the grand Swiss model with old and new architecture meeting in a generally pleasing way and giving the feel of a small town, rather than a large village, with oodles of character.

The surrounding classic Alpine mountain scenery rises up to 2000 metres above the village creating a spectacular backdrop. The impression of size is underlined by the list of facilities the resort offers, which would normally only be found within a large town or even a small city. As is increasingly common with Swiss ski centres, Engelberg mixes the best of old fashioned standards of service and quality with the latest in new technology on the mountain, including the already legendary rotating ‘Rotair’ cable car/tram, which ascends to 3020 metres (10,000 feet) to access skiing on the Titlis glacier.

Engelberg has always been at the cutting edge of technology; the first electric rail line in Switzerland was installed here. At the top station of the Titlis Rotair there is a tunnel through the glacier, where an ice bar sometimes operates and at the far end of which you find yourself in another canton (equivalent to walking in to a different State in North America).A must see, must ski place to go

Most of Engelberg's pistes are above 1800 metres and best suited to intermediate skiers and snowboarders, with some terrain lower down for beginners. However, Engelberg has deliberately left much of its terrain un-pisted, making the resort especially popular with powder skiers and snowboarders. Much of the off-piste is easily accessible and perfect for confident intermediates, while for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders there are cliffs, couloirs and genuinely extreme terrain. There are 36.5 kilometers (25 miles) of cross country ski trails at Engelberg. For snowboarders, there is a terrain park. About 40% of the pistes at Engelberg are covered by snowmaking. The closest airports are at Zurich and Basel, each with a transfer time of 1.5 hours by road. There are rail services from Zurich airport to the resort and Engelberg can be reached by rail from most parts of the country. Engelberg is not a purpose built resort and there is limited accommodation located close to the pistes. Most of the resort's hotels have shuttle buses and equipment can be stored at the lift station.


To summarise the skiing...it's high, glaciated and steep. Fantastic, in other words. The groomed pistes - all blacks and reds at this height - are on the left-hand side of the mountain, while the best off-piste descents start on the left. Access to the Galtiberg is from the top cable-car station, at Klein Titlis. To reach the infamous "Laub" you get out at the mid-station.


There are numerous runs, many off-piste and over the glacier and some of the off piste is not recommended without a guide. Unless of course you've had training in how to identify crevasses, and test snow bridges and have tranceivers,shovels etc with you...


Easier, cruising pistes are lower down the mountain and also on the other side of the valley, on the lower, south-facing slopes beneath the 2040m Schonegg. They're fine for a couple of days of easy, mid-winter cruising (although they suffer in late season from the sun): but if you're looking for a short-break destination for good intermediates and advanced, then Engelberg hits the spot pretty well and easy enough to get to from Zurich.



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