There are several areas with nursery slopes but, unless you are staying nearby, they can be a bit of a trek to get to, the only real disadvantage for beginner skiers as the ski schools are excellent. The closest nursery slopes are at the base of the First ski area, but a second option is at Klein Scheidegg to which you catch the train each morning to your lessons. This has the advantage of more snowsure slopes and being positioned at the top of a long easy blue back to resort, once you are confident enough to face it.
Although all of the ski schools have English-speaking instruction, the Altitude Snowsports School (C/o Vogt’s Corner Passage, Dorfstrasse; +41 (0) 33 853 00 40) make a point of just teaching in English. The ski schools can also arrange discounted rentals with their hire shop partners in most cases, although it’s still worth shopping around for the best price.
Intermediates have the most to enjoy in the Jungfrau region with nearly 60 blue and red runs in the area, the majority spread across Mannlichen as well as the smaller First area. 50 percent of the terrain is rated intermediate and long cruising runs above the treeline are the norm. The longest is 13km (eight miles) long, and several of them plunge down in to the trees, so it’s no surprise they’ve been popular for the best part of a century.
The 20 black runs spread around the ski area include some serious challenges, particularly the dramatically named run number 27, Oh God!, which is regarded as the resort’s toughest. Most skiers will want to take a run on the famous Lauberhorn downhill race course where one of the classic World Cup races is staged each winter. Groups of at least four advanced skiers can sign up for the full Lauberhorn experience one afternoon each week (+41 (0) 33 856 66 66). A great deal of classic off-piste skiing is also available with one of the ski schools or a mountain guide, and heliskiing is another option.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
With most of the lifts being chairs and gondolas, uplift in Grindelwald is easy, but there are flats to look out for on some of the blue runs back down to resort, especially by the train line. There are two terrain parks, one in the First area, the other on Mannlichen, the former with an 80 metre long half pipe as well as lots of fun terrain features.
Grindelwald has been offering cross country skiing for more than a century, and currently has 15.5 km of prepared cross-country tracks that include something for all ability levels as about two thirds are easy, and a third more difficult. Both classic style trails are available on the Bussalp and skating style tracks with snowmaking cover in Grindelwald Grund.
You can use trails free of charge but the locals hope you’ll show willing and make a voluntary purchase of a track "sticker" at a cost of 35 Swiss Francs per week – particularly if you plan to make a lot of use of them. This helps fund the cost of their maintenance and stickers are available from the Grindelwald Tourist Office (+41 (0) 33 854 12 12).
Grindelwald Average Snow and Weather Conditions
Grindelwald is not high by modern standards, however the resort has invested heavily in snowmaking in recent years and now has 90km of runs covered, about half the total area, including key routes.
Gondolas and the funicular railway from the resort provide direct access to higher slopes