Engelberg, Switzerland

Engelberg trail map, SwitzerlandMountain Layout — Skiing

Here is a larger, more detailed map.

When skiing at Engelberg in central Switzerland, just remember that the Gerschnialp is for beginners and the Titlis is for the advanced. This will save you a few difficult moments if you’re wary of the ski school of hard knocks.

At Engelberg there are two major areas. The Brunni is on the sunny side of the valley, with slopes all the way up to the Schonegg, at 6,691 feet. From Schonegg it’s an in-termediate cruise down to the village.

The finest beginner and lower intermediate skiing is on the opposite mountain, below the Titlis glacier on Gerschnialp. Ski out the doorway of the six-person gondola station at Trübsee and down to the Gerschnialp lifts.

Because it is central Switzerland’s major resort, Engelberg is crowded on weekends. During the week things are far less hectic. Everyone but the beginner eventually makes it up to the 10,624-foot-high summit of Titlis. This is where the best skiers sharpen their skills. To join them, take the gondola from the valley floor to Trübsee. Then take the unique two-section rotating cable car the rest of the way up to Klein-Titlis, at 9,908 feet. It takes over 40 minutes getting here, so enjoy the view. You can see all the way to the St. Gotthard Pass off to the south, and from Lucerne to the north past Interlaken to the Bernese Oberland.

From the Kleine Titlis there is a memorable run from an area that seems on clear days like the roof of Europe to Trübsee. The run crosses the snowfields below Titlis peak toward the Rotegg lift. Then it becomes a black trail, dripping steeply for most of the 2,500-foot drop to Stand. After Stand, the run mellows a bit as it tracks down to the base of the cable car. Take it easy the first time down. The glacial ice, sharp turns, and steepness of the slope can be treacherous. Don’t let the nets, set out at the worst places, break your concentration.

After one run some intermediates choose to stay on the wider red run from Stand down to Trübsee. If you make this decision, take the horizontal chair lift across the frozen lake to Alpstübli, where you can go up to the 8,474-foot-high Jochstock. The red run down to Jochpass and Alpstübli is a good warmup for the Kanonenrohr.

Engelberg photo, SwitzerlandThe Kanonenrohr (cannon barrel) section is only a few hundred meters long, but you’ll turn enough to keep your thighs burning for a while. Lower intermediates should opt for the blue trail to the left of the toughest section. To repeat the best part of the run, stop at the Untertrübsee cable car station and go back up. From Jochstock down to the ground sta-tion is about six miles, and it’s about eight miles from the Titlis peak.

The best off-trail skiing is on the Laub above the Ritz restaurant and below Titlis. The 1,000-meter vertical drop is a challenge for even experienced skiers, and a guide (for about €90) is recommended.

Mountain rating
For beginners, the slopes of the Gerschnialp and Untertrübsee are best. Intermediates will be challenged on both sides of the valley, particularly up on the glacier which tops Titlis. Experts will discover whether they really merit that classification after several runs down from the glacier summit.

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