Crans Montana’s nursery slopes are conveniently located on what is a golf course in the summer time. There’s a choice of ski schools to teach you here, some modern conveyor lifts that are easy to ride on your first few days (compared to a drag lift) and once you have learned the basics of turning and stopping, plenty of longer, gentle easy blue runs to progress on to. The only issue you may face, depending on where your accommodation is in the resort, could be a bit of a trek to reach the ski slopes so that’s worth checking before you book your hotel or apartment.
Intermediate level skiers will probably enjoy Crans Montana’s skiing the most with miles and miles of wide sunny motorway type piste, much of it above the treeline with wonderful views out across the valley below as you descend. Getting back up the mountain is easy too with an efficient network of high-speed chair, gondola and funitel lifts. The skiing is divided in to three lift-linked areas, the largest of which is Cry d'Err, while the second area, Violettes, has the reputation for steeper terrain. The third area Aminona has a separate resort base of its own although it is linked again to the main ski area. There are wonderful long runs of up to 12km in length, with the descent from the glacier at the top one of our favourites.
Although Crans Montana is not frequently referred to as a destination for advanced skiers, there are four good black runs, totalling 15km in total, and plenty of off-piste opportunities the ski schools or mountain guides will be happy to show you the best of, according to the conditions when you visit. Experts will enjoy the men's downhill course, the Piste Nationale, and the 4.5km long Toula descent is another favourite. Excursions are possible to neighbouring Anzère or further afield to Grimentz, Verbier or Zermatt.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Crans Montana’s 50,000 square metre snow park is one of the best in the Alps complete with rails, jumps, wall ride, box, hip, C-Rails and a Rainbow rail, and the wider ski area itself is very boarder friendly with fast, easy to ride chair and gondola lifts to whisk you back up the slopes on all key routes.
Altogether there are around 30km of cross country trails around and above Crans Montana, including a high altitude loop on the glacier. Popular routes include a route marked out over the Jack Nicklaus Golf Course (much more enjoyable than playing golf on it for skiers of course!) which takes an average ability cross country skier about an hour to complete. A second route from Lake Moubrab, winding through the forest around the edge of the resort, takes a similar amount of time. A more challenging route is laid out each winter on the Ballesteros Golf Course and takes around 90 minutes for a good skier to complete the 6km loop. Rentals and tuition are offered in resort.
Crans Montana’s ski area is at a high altitude and the upper slopes include a glacier so snowsports are guaranteed all season long. Unusually however the slopes are south east facing so get full sunshine – great for sunny days on the slopes.
The resort has invested heavily in snow making machinery with several hundred snow guns covering about a third of the terrain, particularly the busiest lower runs. The ski season usually lasts from mid-November to the start of May – among the longest anywhere. A 20 year study found that Crans Montana receives 90% sunny days in summer and almost as many in winter, 30% higher than the average for northern European resorts.