Beginners will enjoy learning to ski in such a beautiful area and there are several areas of nursery slopes accessed via the cable car from the village. On the downside the fact that you have to get to the cable car – usually on the ski bus as the base station is 800m from the edge of town - and go up the mountain in the cable car makes the learn-to-ski experience more effort before you begin than at a purpose built area where your accommodation may be steps from the nursery slopes. On the other hand the ski school has an excellent reputation, with teaching in small groups (minimum four people) with lessons from Monday to Friday. You meet just before 9.30am at the base of the cable car to ride up with your instructor. Three and five day courses are available and these include video analysis and feedback and the use of an easy-to-ride conveyor carpet lift to get you back up the nursery slope.
Engelberg has a moderate-sized ski area with just over 50 miles of runs, the vast majority of it on the Titlis mountain although there’s a smaller area on Brunni on the other side of the resort. The Titlis mountain boasts a spectacular vertical of more than 2000 metres served by a succession of three cable cars but, unusually, most of the descents are single routes around different areas of the mountains – there are few sectors where you’ll find more than a couple of different runs down from the lift. Most of the terrain is intermediate level with 25 of the runs reds or blues, many of these are quite steep so early intermediates may find terrain options a little limited. However more confident skiers will enjoy some wonderful runs, the longest a remarkable 12km from the top to the bottom. Jochstock, linked to the Titlis area, is often quieter than the main runs and Brunni quieter still, you’ll find a long blue back to the village there and a few reds up on the mountain.
Engelberg’s attractions for experienced skiers very much depend on whether you plan to stick to the groomed runs or head off piste with a guide. In the former case the opportunities are a little limited with just one run graded black, albeit the fairly impressive 2km (one-and-a-quarter mile) long Rotegg descent which pitches at up to 45%. In the latter case Engelberg has a formidable reputation for superb off-piste itineraries easily accessed from the cable cars, which open up spectacular long 2,000 vertical metre powder runs of truly world class significance. Classic descents include the Laub route above the village and the longer Galtiberg which makes the full vertical.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Boarders will find the main freestyle facilities at the Jochpass where a terrain park is built each winter so long as the snow is adequate. A second fun park is built at the more snowsure Titlis glacier too, which is the centre of attention in autumn and spring.
The Jochpass park aims to include two jumps (small and medium in size) as well as a big kicker. There are also boxes for freestylers on boards or two planks for all ability levels right up to pro standard. Facilities here also include a timed race course and a wave run.
Cross country is big in the Engelberg valley where there are nearly 40km of tracks for all ability levels at three separate locations. From the village centre there’s a 5km network of trails suited to both classic and skating styles. The short sharp ascent to Herrenrüti is rewarded by a wonderful view of the village. Use of the trails is free-of-charge for those staying in Engelberg and thus in possession of a ‘guest card’ which is given to overnight guests. The only exception is when using the 1.5km long floodlit loop by the sports centre at night for which a trail pass must be purchased (except for children under 16 who ski free). It is floodlit to 9pm twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
There’s a second, higher area of slopes at 1300m above sea level at Gerschnialp – Untertrübsee which stretches for 10km and is largely easy terrain through the deep snow of the Gerschni forest. The same rules apply for using the tracks – they’re free to guest card holders. Finally, at Trubsee, cross-country skiers get a unique view of glacial and mountain surroundings on a 4km long loop, 1800m above sea level. The course is the most snowsure in the region but is NOT open unless the other two larger areas are closed!
Engelberg Average Snow And Weather Conditions
Engelberg’s ski areas extend over a hefty vertical from permanent snow fields on the glacier, 3000m up, down to resort level slopes 2000 vertical metres below. Snowmaking on lower runs means that this full vertical is available most of the winter.
The glacier lifts ensure that Engelberg is one of the world’s most snow-sure resorts, often opening its upper slopes in early autumn and keeping them open through to mid-Spring. In recent years, Titlis-Rotair Cableway has invested 3.5 million SFr (2.5 million Euro) in snow-making machines, so that 41 km of slopes are guaranteed to be snow covered (33 km artificial snow, 8 km glacial snow).