Ski Lodge Bulletin #2

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SKI LODGE BULLETIN CLASSICS & SECRETS Where to ride on what day

TAKE ME HOME!

SAFETY FIRST Get home safe and sound

FREERIDE EVOLUTION From the sixties to the modern day

PHOTO GALLERY Oskar Enander’s magic photos


The ultimate lift to the Alps. Fly with the ski experts and not only will your skis travel free, but you’ll also be greeted with the same hospitality that awaits you in our ski villages. In fact, we bring you closer than anyone with ďƒ&#x;ights to Zurich and Geneva. All you have to do? Relax.

Book now at SWISS.COM



EDITORS

JOHAN JONSSON

ARON ÖSTMAN

SPECIAL THANKS

OSKAR ENANDER MATTIAS FREDRIKSSON

DAMIAN PHILLIPS

JOHAN AXELSSON

FREDRIK NORDHEIM

KRISTOFFER JOHNSSON

ON THE COVERS WINTER LARS WINDLIN PHOTO OSKAR ENANDER SUMMER ROBERT LONNELL PHOTO OSKAR ENANDER

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission from the publisher. If you do not obey you will be haunted by snowless winters until the end of time.

PHONE / +41 41 637 35 00 ERLENWEG 36, CH-6390 ENGELBERG INFO@SKILODGEENGELBERG.COM SKILODGEENGELBERG.COM


ENGELBERG / Switzerland POPULATION / 4 274

AREA / 74,85 KM²

AIRPORT / ZRH, Zürich Airport LANGUAGE / Swiss German CURRENCY / Swiss franc

TOURIST INFO / Engelberg.ch COUNTRY CODE / + 41

COORDINATES / 46°49’18.4”N 8°24’25.5”E


10 Classics & Secrets A combination of the Big 5 and some secret runs will give you the most out of your stay in town.

Intro 18 // Matilda Rapaport 08 //

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24 Safety First We want you to come down to the après ski with a smile on your face. Read this before you shred.

Restaurants 28 // Gear We Like 20 //


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30 Freeride Evolution Engelberg hasn’t always been known as a freeride paradise. We explore its evolution.

The Board Maker 54 // Updays & Downdays 40 //

Photo Gallery Ten pages of eye candy from one of the best ski photographers in the world.

Piste Map 60 // Zimmerinfo 65 // Summer Guide 58 //

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skiing is believing Dear reader, Last year we created the first Ski Lodge Bulletin, which we thought would be a fun, one-off project. It was definitely fun, but it also turned out to be a whole lot more as reading about our exploits in this little Swiss valley seemed to chime with our readers. With tons of shares, comments and a readership of 50 000 so far, we thought we would up the ante this year. This years edition is bigger and better, including a summer special, another batch of Oskar Enander’s epic photographs and a look back at how Engelberg became one of the world’s most well-known freeriding destinations, from Geny Hess in the 60s to the modern day. Enjoy your read, and if you’re reading this on the web - remember that sharing is caring. Welcome to another season with Ski Lodge Engelberg. Eric and Niklas

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PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

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CLASSICS,

Secrets O

SWEATING ski the big five in Engelberg

Engelberg is attractive as it is still far away from being compared to the most crowded and famous ski towns in the Alps, but it’s no longer a forgotten resort at the end of a winding road either. So to maximise your ratio of powder-turns-per-day you need to know the classics and some secret spots. To give you an insight we have listed some here, starting with the icons of Engelberg, the Big 5.

PHOTO OSKAR ENANDER

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something for everyone

WENDELüCKE PHOTO JOHAN JONSSON

SNOWBOARDER DANIEL FURBERG LOCATION WENDELÜCKE

LARGE AREAS OF WENDELÜCKE are easily accessed from the top of the Jochstock lift. We still recommend that you walk a bit further though as this is a perfect place to sample the beauty of ski touring. Wendelücke also has something for everyone so whichever way you decide to get down you are guaranteed a great time.

Big 5

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46°45’55.1”N 8°23’20.7”E

CHECK OUT THE MAP ON PAGE 58 TO FIND WENDELüCKE


the biggest of the big 5

GALTIBERG 46°46’38.1”N 8°26’00.1”E

THE BIGGEST OF THE BIG ONES takes you all the way from the top to the bottom of the valley. You will never forget this majestic run, and your legs won’t either. It’s all worth it though but remember that you need a mountain guide, or someone who knows the way down really well. Getting lost is not an option!

Big 5

CHECK OUT THE MAP ON PAGE 58 TO FIND GALTIBERG

the glacier

STEINBERG 46°46’16.4”N 8°25’26.8”E

THIS GIANT PLAYGROUND is easily accessed from the top of the Titlis Rotair lift. But don’t let easy access fool you as it’s still big mountain glacier skiing and you need to have the right blend of skills, equipment and mountain sense before you drop in. If you have them the possibilities are endless on you way down to Trübsee. If you don’t then hiring a mountain guide will help you find the fun!

Big 5

CHECK OUT THE MAP ON PAGE 58 TO FIND STEINBERG

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PHOTO JOHAN JONSSON

SKIER MATTIAS HARGIN LOCATION LAUB

the perfect powder run

LAUB 46°47’34.9”N 8°24’58.6”E

MANY SKIERS CALL LAUB “the perfect powder run”. Of course that is always a matter of taste, but it is hard to disagree. This powder field, which drops 1000 meters back to the valley, will put both your legs and ever expanding grin to the ultimate test. Our friend Linus skied Laub from top to bottom in less than 3 minutes. We don’t suggest you try that, but enjoy it at your own pace instead. When you finally reach the finish use your poles and legs for five minutes to get back to the middle station, or pay two CHF and take the “cab”. Big 5

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CHECK OUT THE MAP on PAGE 58 TO FIND LAUB

JOHAN AXELSSON Local knowledge KÄSESCHNITTE / LAUB Ride Laub and eat a käseschnitte at Ritz Gerschnialp, located at the base of the run. The cheese will definatley fill you up to the max so aim for a strong coffee to get your motivation back!


PHOTO OSKAR ENANDER SKIER PIERS SOLOMON

LOCATION MIDDLE SULZ

three in one

SULZ 46°46’47.7”N 8°23’37.5”E

THE SULZ AREA consists of three different runs, Small, Middle and Big Sulz. Depending on how you ski them they all have different challenges and characteristics. Little brother ‘Small Sulz’ is a mellow run, but we recommend you to ask the staff about “The Julian Carr Way” down. ‘Middle Sulz’ is the favourite among many locals due to the variety of challenging technical lines and cliff drops, while big brother is the longest run for those with legs of steel.

Big 5

PIERS SOLOMON Local knowledge THE ÄLPLERSEIL LIFT The lower parts of the Älplerseil terrain will make you feel like a kid again. Winding lines through big trees and small jumps everywhere. It’s the perfect playground when the visibility is poor higher up.

CHECK OUT THE MAP ON PAGE 58 TO FIND SULZ

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PHOTO FREDRIK NORDHEIM

ON EVERY MOUNTAIN and in every valley there are secrets. Some may be next to the slopes, others will be further away, but all of them will make you smile if you find them.

PST! Autumn 2015 Dani Perret will release his guide book to the valley and its surroundings. Get it from www.prime-engelberg.ch

THE SECRET LIFT On snowy days when visibility is low or the highest lifts on the Titlis side are closed, ‘The Secret Lift’ is your best option. Its real name is Älplerseil, and the charming old gondola is almost as good an experience as the skiing. Make sure you respect the wild life areas. GAFF Steinberg is far from being a secret, but the far side of skiers right can often stay untouched longer than the more central lines. Gaff is also a great spot in flat light due to the huge cliff wall on your right side which gives you reference and visibility. The drop in is a bit gnarly, but you can scope it from the Titlis Rotair. GRÜNENWALD At one time this was a more popular run, but for no apparent reason it has almost been forgotten. It’s a beautiful run through forests and farms on the Brunni side of the valley, perfect on a snowy day when visibility is difficult in the high alpine areas. To avoid getting lost we recommend you have a mountain guide or someone that knows

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the run. You end up at the Gasthaus Grünenwald a few kilometres down the valley. Share a cab to get back. Every year ski touring is becoming increasingly popular. Those who have discovered this ideal combination of exercise, skiing and adventure often spend more time in the backcountry and less in the resort. The best thing is that with modern equipment you no longer have to choose. You can ski half a day using the lifts, and then go touring in the afternoon. There are several different tours connected to the resort. WENDELÜCKE is the most popular, but don’t let this fool you – it’s not crowded, and the possibilities are endless. Depending on the avalanche situation and your skills, you can do everything from ten minutes boot packing to heavy two-hour tours. Almost right off the Titlis Rotair, you can put on your skins and start the tour to the GROSS TITLIS peak. About an hour later, and a little more than 200 vertical meters, you’re at 3238 meters taking in one of the areas most stunning views. Take it easy on the way down as the run involves glacier skiing.


If you are interested in a full day of touring then hire a guide and opt for the TITLIS RUNDTOUR – an amazing adventure which starts in the resort and then takes you far beyond any lift and allows you to discover the ‘backside’ of Mount Titlis. From the top station terrace, you can see the tracks from the ‘rundtourers’ if you look the “wrong” way. Anyone looking for even more adventure should visit the guide office and ask them to take you to EL CANAL DEL EMPERADOR. This narrow couloir is not for the faint hearted, but the rewards for the daring will be an adventure they will never forget. Skiing down 500 vertical meters, surrounded by massive cliff walls, is something that can’t be described – you have to do it. This is just a small selection of the tours in Engelberg and its surroundings. Dani Perret and his friends at the guide office know every little corner of this valley and we strongly recommend you spend at least a day or two with them during your stay. A mountain guide will teach you a lot, and help you get the most out of your day, whether you want to ski inside the resort, or go off piste for a real adventure.

A L D EL E M P E R A D O R EL CAN ”Skiing down 500 vertical meters, surrounded by massive cliff walls, is something that can’t be described – you have to do it.”

VISIT PRIME-ENGELBERG.CH TO BOOK A MOUNTain guide

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matilda rapaport the freeride queen

PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

When Matilda Rapaport turned 20, she quit ski racing, started at a fancy economics school in Stockholm and set her aim on 80-hour-weeks as a consultant careerist. Along the way though something went wrong. Or right maybe? – I guess right, Matilda says with laughter. I had my goals, which were the same ones as everyone else at the school. But then I started thinking about what I felt was important to me, and at that same moment this job opportunity in Engelberg came up. So I took it. THE OPPORTUNITY was actually as the hotel manager for Ski Lodge Engelberg, a job Matilda held for two years. – Managing the Lodge was super fun, but as I started doing more and more freeskiing competitions, I simply didn’t have time to do both. So one opportunity led to a job in the Alps, where I could ski almost every day, and that opportunity led to another one – a job as a professional skier. So I took that one too. FOR THE LAST two years, Matilda has been travelling all around the world, competing in the Freeride World Tour and participating in different photo and film shoots. But home is still home...

– I have an apartment in Engelberg together with my

boyfriend (World Cup slalom racer, Mattias Hargin), and this is home to me for big parts of the year. After a long trip away I really enjoy coming back to Engelberg. Just skiing with my buddies and having a cold beer at the Lodge is worth a lot after all the stress which comes with competing and photo shoots. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a dream job! But powder days without judges or cameras are necessary in between. LAST WINTER, Matilda brought the cameras to Engelberg though, as she and her friends from the ski movie crew ‘Shades of Winter’ came to get material for their forth-coming movie. – It was great showing my friends around here: first of all the resort and the Big 5, and then all the mountains around it. We spent a night in a mountain hut called Tierberglihütte and went heli skiing in the Sustenpass area – both visible from the top of Titlis, and strongly recommended! SKI LODGE ENGELBERG is hosting the Swiss premiere of Shades of Winter’s new movie PURE. Keep an eye on www.shades-of-winter.com for tour dates.

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Our Dear

KONRAD KONRAD MAY SOUND like some old uncle or friend, but it’s actually our beloved restaurant. Through the years we have developed and adapted it, but we have never lost sight of the basic philosophy we had when we created it: Tasty, modern cuisine with no shortcuts.

WE MIX our French and Nordic influences with fresh and locally produced quality ingredients. When almost every local valley has their own herd of beef, brewery and multiple cheese makers then there’s simply no reason to import more food than is absolutely necessary.

NO SHORTCUTS has always been our mantra, and we will stick to it. Making our food from scratch might mean a little more work, but once on the plate, we’re sure you will agree that it’s worth it.

TO ENSURE the perfect balance Konrad’s sommelier will also guide you through the plethora of great wines available. Swiss vinyards might not be one of the big players on the export market,

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STEAK TARTARE but it seems they keep the best for themselves as we have an abundance of wonderful wines to choose from. We recommend the Merlots from Ticino or Pinot Noirs from Valais. Don’t worry if your wine compass points to France and Italy though as we have a cellar with all points on the globe covered. THE SKIER’S DINNER is the heart of our menu. It’s a prix fixe meal that we change daily and is based on our chefs seasonal choices. It’s a

Our famous steak tartare is made of grass fed local beef.

three-course dinner, made not only to be a culinary jackpot, but also the perfect meal for a hungry skier. EVERY YEAR, we also invite world famous chefs to pay a visit and cook for our guests. Bocuse d’Or silver medallist, Tommy Myllymäki, and Culinary Olympic gold medallist, Klas Lindberg, are two examples of food wizards that have been creating in our kitchen. Check out our blog for updates.

a tip from the bar

AMARETTO SOUR 5cl amaretto 2,5 cl lemon juice 1 cl syrup of sugar Shake on ice Pour into a tumbler glass

TRY OUR CHEESE PLATTER, it’s local

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Brünnihütte

MOUNTAINFOOD Many professional freeskiers claim they never eat a real lunch as they feel it makes them “slow”. We’re not sure if that’s the truth, or if it’s more a myth created to keep a space for that extra beer during apres ski. Whatever their reasons, we think you shouldn’t go hungry in the mountains, so here are some recommendations for good mountain food.

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46°50’30.5”N 8°24’39.3”E

Excuse me, I can’t find Brünnihütte

WHEN SKIING on the south side of the valley, we recommend BRUNNIHÜTTE. It’s sometimes a bit busy, but that’s for a good reason. When you sit down in this cosy mountain hut, eating some delicious home made Swiss food, it’s not easy to get up again. ON THE TITLIS SIDE there are more options. At Jochpass you have BERGHAUS JOCHPASS, which is actually three restaurants in one. The local shredders often go for the “tagessuppe”, soup of the day. Those who want to sit down for a longer lunch

are better off choosing Jochstübli, and one floor down you have the newly built Gadä, “The Barn” - we don’t think it houses animals though! At the bottom of the gondola up to Stand, BERGHOTEL TRÜBSEE has a great value salad buffet, and at the top of the gondola, SKIHÜTTE STAND offers some finer dining. RITZ GERSCHNIALP not only offers a quick break and good food but also the perfect location – the bottom of Laub. If you do the run more than twice after lunch you will have built up a significant thirst and the right to jump the après ski gun...

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Safety

FIRST

Simply put, there are no excuses – you will need to know what you are doing when you enter off-piste terrain. There are various hazards which can easily become dangerous very quickly, so read this before you go shred! PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

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PRACTICE YOUR TRANSCIEVER SKILLS ON TRÜBSEE

IT MAY SOUND alarmist but this is the most important text in this magazine. It can sound a bit scary, but with a healthy dose of common sense, mixed with a good knowledge of snow and mountain craft, you will be able to take the decisions that will give you the best skiing and get you back for the après ski safe and sound. THROUGH READING THIS you will by no means have all the necessary knowledge, but it’s a good reminder on what to watch out for, and it will give you a base from where to start. AVALANCHES ARE of course the biggest risk for all powder skiers. The sad thing is that you can never predict exactly when, or where, one will be triggered. However, the good thing is that you can read mother nature’s signs and know when to be extra vigilant: new snow, wind and temperature changes are the three biggest factors

to take into consideration. When two or three of them are combined, you should be extraextra careful. Also remember that if you trigger an avalanche, you might be able to ride out of it, but there may be others on the slope who will be affected by your decisions. GLACIERS REPRESENT another hazard where knowledge is crucial. In Engelberg the most obvious glacier to note is located right under the Titlis Rotair lift, and covers big parts of the Steinberg run. Even though skiing around the blue ice can be mesmerising remember that crevasses are everywhere, even next to powder tracks. Hire a guide, or make sure you ski with someone who knows the area, to ensure that you ski on the most stable snow and not over weak snow bridges. UNINTENDED EXPOSURE is not always

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Alarm CH 1414

REGA RESCUE Buy a Rega insurance at the post office across the street from the lodge.

Basic equipment

TRANSCIEVER / SHOVEL / Probe food / WATER / FIRST AID KID / PHONE extra clothes / GLOVES / GOGGLES MULTI tool / CLIMBING SKINS

Wear the transciever close to your body, never in the backpack, and always turned on. Basic climbing equipment and a head lamp can also come in handy on more serious missions

easy to spot from the top of a run. As such it’s always really important to plan a run before you drop in. Sadly it’s quite common to see people stranded on top of a cliff they didn’t want to jump, just because they followed someone else’s tracks. Following tracks may not always be bad, if you know where you are that is. But if you’re not aware of where the tracks end, you didn’t plan your run well enough. In short: always make sure you know where you are, and what’s below you. THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT for the job is also crucial. Take a look at the picture above and ensure your backpack contains it all. In the first instance the most important thing is to avoid avalanches, but if you have a situation where

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someone is buried, it’s extremely important to know your transceiver extremely well. Luckily there is a training centre located on Trübsee, where you can practice and build your transceiver skills. Mountain guides and professional skiers do this many times every winter and you should too. Please remember: No equipment can replace knowledge. Use all the safety gear possible, but ski like you didn’t have any. LAST BUT not least: Read the avalanche report. You can see them close to many lifts on the mountain or read them online at www.slf.ch. A new one is released at 8 o’clock every morning. If you don’t understand it, ask someone who does.


Hire a mountain guide The best way to learn about the mountains and snow pack stability is to hire a mountain guide. They know the area, and they will have the answers to all your questions through the day. Even if you are an experienced skier it’s a great way to learn more. Trust us, a mountain guide can teach us all something. The fact that they will also take you to the best powder skiing available is a pretty nice bonus.

ASK the boss As the head of the slope and rescue department in Engelberg, Christoph Bissig knows what he’s talking about. To share his wisdom we asked him some short questions about safety on the mountain.

If you could give three pieces of advice to freeriders visiting Engelberg, what would they be? – It’s very hard to give a short answer, since mountain and snow knowledge is such a complex subject. One hundred and three answers would be easier. But here are some of the most important basics: - Be updated on snow, wind and temperature conditions and how they affect the snow pack and safety. - Freeride only when the visibility is good. - Know your route well. Tracks are no guarantee. - Have the right equipment and know-how. - Have a good insurance (REGA).

- Never go alone. - The first day after a snowfall is the most dangerous one. - Read the signs during the day e.g. new avalanches around the mountain, “whof ” sounds in the snowpack, etc. What’s the most common callout you have? – Helping freeriders who have got lost. What’s the most common mistake offpiste skiers make? – Following tracks without knowing where they lead. Other common mistakes are not respecting signs and warnings, and not being properly equipped.

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BLACK DIAMOND CLIMBING SKINS

DYNAFIT TLT RADICAL FT

OAKLEY AIRBRAKE

BLIZZARD SPUR

POC RECEPTOR BUG ADJ. 2.0 TECNICA COCHISE 130 PRO GORILLA TAPE SUPER TAPE PEAK PERFORMANCE CHUTE GLOVES

PEAK PERFORMANCE M’S HELI PRO JKT

ASK THE FRONT Desk for the best deals on rental skis

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TECNICA COSHISE 95 W

GREGORY TARGHEE 26


BLIZZARD SCOUT

PEAK PERFORMANCE M’S FROST DOWN JKT

KANG POLES POLES

GEAR we like

PEAK PERFORMANCE W’S HELI GRAVITY PNT

PEAK PERFORMANCE W’S HELI GRAVITY JKT SKI LODGE BULLETIN |

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Geny hEss first down Galtiberg

t Today pro skiers and photographers flock to Engelberg to sample its holy powder and majestic freeride runs, but it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when topics like “skiing or snowboarding?” and “Tip rocker or full rocker?” just didn’t exist. So how did we end up where we are today? To find out, we went back to the source.

PHOTO / MATTIAS FREDRIKSSON

1965

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IN THE LATE SPRING of 1965, Engelberg started its journey towards becoming a freeride mecca. That spring, a 19 year-old local boy named Geny Hess became the first man to ski down Galtiberg. He skied it together with the Blatter brothers, Ueli and Ruedi, who were good friends as well as mountain guides. Geny beams with happiness when he talks about it. – We had been there the previous summer to get a better view of where we could ski down. We were not strictly the first though. We were certainly the first on purpose, but in 1961 a man got lost in the fog on Titlis. He went too far right and ended up in Galtiberg, but in some miraculous way he still managed to ski all the way to the bottom, without even realising it! I was only 15 years old then, but I immediately started thinking that I wanted to do that run. GALTIBERG IS a very serious run, even with today’s modern safety equipment, easily manoeuvred skis and knowledge about the snow. Back then, it was considered madness. – I guess most people thought we were

crazy. Back then though you just had to ski next to the slopes to be considered strange. I remember suggesting to the boss of the ski school that Engelberg should offer an off piste school. As he naturally dismissed the idea we decided to do it on our own instead. Our family hotel arranged holiday packages with everything, including powder skiing! But Galtiberg was only for the very best skiers. Imagine doing this run on very skinny 210cm long skis. You had to have strong legs and perfect technique! GENY STILL skis a lot, but not all the time. – I used to ski every day, but now I ski when the weather and conditions are good. That’s good enough. Of course I still ski Galtiberg, even though it worries some people. Last winter when I skied it together with my wife, four guys came up to us and asked: “Are you sure about skiing here?!” I explained to them that I was the first man down it 50 years ago, and that I was sure then, and I’m sure now. Ha ha! GENY HESS’ BEARD might be grey today, but you only have to close your eyes to imagine you’re talking to a 19 year-old explorer.

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G O C D L U T O B H

Titlis

When you wonder back through the history of the bad boys of the Titlis several themes just keep re-emerging. They claimed skiing was never about taking things too seriously and that having fun was always the most important by-product of their time on the snow.

BACK IN THE 80s neon coloured one-piece-suits and matching war paint was the way to be seen on the mountain. Coupled with super long skinny skis, which had the manoeuvrability and feel of an oil tanker, it is easy to dismiss this period in skiing history. BUT RESEARCH ON the Hot Dog Club Titlis shows that these were no ordinary glam rock skiers. These were seriously talented individuals paving the way for a new kind of skiing led by an extraordinary Olympian, Hans Ettlin. As he was a multi-talented action man who competed in gymnastics at two Olympic Games (1968 and 1972), coached the Swiss Freestyle Team and also picked up a

bronze medal at the World Champs in canoeing (?!) the club was never going to be about tea and cake after a few nice turns. AN EARLY club member, Chris Balmer, who now works for Alpine legends and has been living in Engelberg long before skis were fat and people were talking about “shredding pow” and “hucking cliffs” gave us an insight. – We skied because it was fun and didn’t really have a plan about “doing something” with our skiing. My brother and I joined in the late seventies when it was still young. We had never really competed but the founders took us under their wings and started to

1980s

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Engelberg’s freeride evolution

train us. Some of us had a lot of natural talent, some had less! Club member Sonny Schönbächler was one of those amazing natural talents who was infuriatingly good regardless of training. For most of us club membership and training hard to Van Halen’s ‘jump’ was the pinnacle of our skiing, but as Sonny went on to win the Olympic Gold in Aerials at the Lillehammer Games in 1994 he may have had other career highlights! DANI FRIEDLI, now running the OKAY shop in Engelberg, remembers that some parts of training were more fun than others...

– We competed in ski ballet,


moguls and aerials. Ski ballet with all its hip wiggling and star jumps wasn’t always the most fun but we could always disappear for a lap or two of powder skiing if we got bored. It was great as back then no one was skiing pow and we were always alone with our fresh tracks, although if you looked at the skis and equipment we had it wasn’t that surprising really! WHEN THEY WEREN’T competing the club often had freestyle shows up on the Titlis mountain. In the beginning payment for these shows was made through food and drink, but after a while some bright spark figured out it would be cheaper to give the club a small salary as mem-

bers were always so ‘thirsty’. Dressed in unbreathable suits dancing to the beats of Salt N’ Pepa’s ‘Push it’ or Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ that decision probably saved more money than the average Swiss bank account!

champagne. As quickly as it had arrived the fog cleared, so we had to be quick to get back up and start the show. I think the sun came out just in time and it was one of the best shows we ever did. And no one was nervous! Ha ha.

CHRIS BALMER laughs as he recalls the infamous “Champagne Show” which highlighted the thirst members had: – One show was sponsored by a champagne brand who placed loads of bottles in the snow around the jump. Just as we were about to start a thick fog rolled in to delay the show, but which also provided the perfect cover for club members to sneak up and ‘test’ the

IN THE EARLY nineties Dani and Chris transitioned into work with a proper salary, and eventually these freestyle disciplines, and the club, started to fade away. But if you see someone doing a double backflip off a jump, or spins a perfect pirouette on a flat slope, it might just be one of the former members from the Titlis Hot Dog Club, having some fun and being awesome at the same time.

PST! Join the 80s day in April SKI LODGE BULLETIN |

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it’s in the walls

Mattias Fredriksson Chronicle

o Gallery

SWEDISH SHARP SHOOTER Mattias Fredriksson travels the globe with different photo assignments and often finds himself in all the major ski resorts. But when he wants to wind down, feel the pleasures of home and get some good skiing for himself, he comes to Engelberg. WHEN I TRY and count how many times I have been to Engelberg my memory always gets a bit fuzzy as most of my 30 plus visits were not planned, they just... happened. Bermuda has its

1997

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Engelberg’s freeride evolution


2001 year

LOCATION BRUNNI

triangle and I think there’s some kind of magnetic field in this valley that constantly drags people like me back. One thing is for sure though, this is the place for me, and I really don’t mind getting lost here! THE FIRST OF THOSE trips was way back in 1997 and long before it started to build a reputation as a freeride paradise or, as one American professional skier put it, “the cliff hucking Mecca of the Alps”. Back then, things were the same, but different.

IN 1997 people were more cautious with new snow and you didn’t see fresh tracks on the biggest runs the first few days after a big dump. Today, and even as the snow falls, the mountain echoes to screams of joy as big powder turns are laid down. The positive from this is a slightly more stable snow pack which also makes everything more understandable and manageable. Engelberg is not as huge as other freeride meccas, such as Chamonix, but it’s still big enough for me and I never feel scared. That’s is the perfect balance in my view.

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2001 year

SKIER PER HUSS LOCATION FLÜHMATT

THE MAGNETIC field that drags me back seems to work on most pro skiers too as there always seems to be more here than “normal” skiers. This makes it a real ski town, and it’s something you can feel! Parties naturally play a part in creating the vibe but this is not the main reason to come here, and most skiers I speak to agree. The professionals mixed with really good locals and season workers make it special. It’s really motivating to see all the action going on here on a normal powder day.

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I FEEL LIKE a part of Engelberg but there are times when I reflect on when it was an unknown village at the end of the road, more famous for the old timers ice hockey tournament and ski jumping, and wonder what’s next. BUT THE FEELING when you enter Engelberg today is the same as it was 1997. It’s in the valley, in the air. In the walls maybe. Those walls which may now house something different, but they remain in Engelberg. The town is


2 0 04 year

SKIER HENRIK WINDSTEDT

LOCATION JOCHPASS

more modern, but not full of branded, exclusive stores. That is something to savour and appreciate. ENGELBERG’S MAJOR appeal is that it isn’t like the big and famous resorts in the Alps. Those skiers who spent a season here as ski bum ten years ago, or somehow were dragged in by its magnetic force now return with their families. But the reason they came then, is the same reason they come now – to ski powder.

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2011

year

SKIER TAISUKE KUSUNOKI LOCATION STAND-TRÜBSEE

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2011

year SKIER EMANUEL HEDVALL

2 0 13 year

LOCATION STEINBERG

SKIER OSCAR SCHERLIN LOCATION WENDELÜCKE

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Bimba the board maker

PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

MARCO BERNASCONI, or Bimba, as everyone calls him, isn’t a loud “snowboard shredder dude” caricature. In complete contrast Bimba prefers to sit in a corner, sip on his coffee and have a mellow conversation with his friends. But when he drops into a run on the mountain, the power of his riding speaks for itself. Few, if any, in the valley are able to keep up with him in the powder. It helps that he has grown up riding these slopes, but he also has a secret weapon. – A few years ago I felt that none of the snowboard brands made boards precisely for my needs, so I started making my own instead. The first few were pretty rough and far from perfect, but they got better and better as I learned more about the design and materials. Then all of a sudden people started asking me if I wanted to make boards for them too. ONE THING LED TO another, and now Bimba has a small “factory” where he makes big mountain snowboards and splitboards (a snowboard you can split into skis, for touring). He created the business with friend and ski maker, Effi, and together they run EfBi Skis & Snowboards. If you feel like trying, or buying, ask in the reception and they will help you.

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BUY THE PICTURES AS PRINT

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All pictures in this gallery and on the walls of Ski lodge are possible to buy. Ask how at the front desk.


GALLERY

POWDER FOCUSED Oskar Enander is one of the most renowned and published ski photographers in the world with numerous awards and covers under his belt. Although you would expect that most of the award-winning photos were shot on epic heli skiing trips in Kamchatka or Alaska, the truth is that most were shot back home in Engelberg. – Engelberg is one big photo studio and I guess that’s a big reason why I’m still here. Originally I meant to spend just one season. That was back in 2002 but there’s simply no good reason for me to leave. I now have my family and home here, and shoot most of my photos on this mountain. The nearness to Zurich makes it easy to travel, and more importantly – to come home. FOR A PROFESSIONAL photographer travelling is difficult to avoid, luckily as the family grows the motivation to travel less becomes even stronger. Even better still though is when your backyard happens to be the Titlis mountain and many of your friends are professional skiers. In this perfect setting staying at home can be creative enough. – I’m still finding new things to shoot in Engelberg, and new angles of old things. That’s the beauty of ski photography; it’s your own creativity that sets the bar. And if I want a change, there are a

few good resorts suitable for day tours, not to mention the endless possibilities if you spend a night or two away. I prefer not to though. WHEN TALKING ABOUT the best places to work in Engelberg it’s never easy to get a straight answer. In many photos the exact location is obvious, but some of the best are impossible to place. – If I told everyone my secrets I might lose my job. Ha ha. But it depends greatly on which month it is. In December and January we don’t get too much sun, but when we do get some light, it is extremely good. In this period I also try to ski more for myself, without all the camera gear on my back. HIS FAVOURITE run though, that’s no secret. –It almost feels like a boring answer, but I love Laub, just like everyone else.

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SKIER PIERS SOLOMON

LOCATION ENGELBERG

AS PRINT

BUY ME

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All pictures in this gallery and on the walls of Ski lodge are possible to buy. Ask how at the front desk.


All pictures in this gallery and on the walls of Ski lodge are possible to buy. Ask how at the front desk.

AS PRINT

BUY ME

LOCATION ENGELBERG

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BUY ME

AS PRINT

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All pictures in this gallery and on the walls of Ski lodge are possible to buy. Ask how at the front desk.


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SNOWBOARDER YVES HÜSLER LOCATION ENGELBERG


SKIER LARS WINDLIN

LOCATION ENGELBERG

All pictures in this gallery and on the walls of Ski lodge are possible to buy. Ask how at the front desk.

AS PRINT

BUY ME

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LEFT

SKIER PIERS SOLOMON

LOCATION ENGELBERG

RIGHT

SKIER LARS WINDLIN

LOCATION ENGELBERG


UPDAYS ODOWNDAYS local knowledge

PAULA HANSEN

Bimba Bernasconi

JOHAN JONSSON

Restaurant hero

Snowboard builder and local hero

Skier and editor for this magazine

SPORTING HALL

SCHNITZEL

CHEAP COFFEE

A visit to the Sporting Park is a nice downday or evening activity. There’s curling, ice hockey, indoor climbing, badminton and more. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and miss a powder day!!

Galtiberg is the best run in Engelberg. At the bottom, in Restaurant Wasserfall, you can also get the best schnitzel in the world. Not a bad combination.

At the bottom of the Stand Gondola, there’s a coffee machine that delivers caffeinated black gold for a mere 1 CHF. She’s my best friend in Engelberg.

YVES HüSLER

SANDRA MARTI

Mattias Fredriksson

Party animal

Yoga and local ripper

Photo wizard and Engelberg lover

HELI SKIING

YOGA CLASS

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Go for a day of heli skiing. And treat yourself with a couple of extra beers afterwards.

Go for a yoga class after your day on the mountain. It’s the perfect way to treat sore muscles, increase your flexibility and be able to ski more the next day. Check out www.raumimhinterdorf.ch for classes.

Go cross-country skiing up to the end of the valley. There’s a different view and atmosphere in there. If you need a break before heading back to town, stop at restaurant Wasserfall and have a rösti.

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”One big Klosterbräu! On the double!”

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An urge

AFTER TWO YEARS as head chef in the five-star Sigtuna Stadshotel, our former Ski Lodge chef, Jonas Bolling, is back in our kitchen. Jonas who is almost as talented a skier as chef, has also been missing the mountains. – It’s not that I don’t like Stockholm, but there’s just no mountains there. I’ve been missing the more personal and less anonymous village life in Engelberg, not to mention all the great characters in the valley. This time I also managed to persuade my girlfriend to come with me. It’s going to be a good winter!

Know someone who wants to work in the alps? Visit www.exploreyourpassion.com

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ENGELBERG PHOTO OSKAR ENANDER SKIER SIMON JOHANSSON LOCATION SUSTEN

FOR


to-do This list is of course optional. You don’t have to tick off things if you don’t want to. But we know you do...

Eat Älplermagronen. Yes, we know a combination of potatoes, pasta, cheese,

onions and mashed apples sounds weird. But take our word for it; it’s weird in a very good way!

Go faster than you’ve ever done before. Don’t overdo it, but getting a healthy scare and pushing your limits a little will make you feel more alive. Try ski touring and hike to the top of Wendelücke. The touring trend

keeps growing for a reason. Bring a sandwich and eat it at the end of the hike as you admire the view down the next valley.

Buy some local cheese. Gruyère, Emmentaler, Appenzeller, Sbrinz. The list of quality Swiss cheese is very long and we suggest you take parts of the list back home.

Ski the Big 5. It’s easy to get stuck on one or two of these runs, since they’re all so much fun. But try them all to really know which your favourite is!

Have a proper après ski in your ski boots! If you’re not 20, pretend you are.

Don’t worry about taking a shower or stretching, just have an extra couple of beers and laughs.

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Ruchstock

Hahnen

Engelberger Rotstock

2811

2606

Gr. Spannort 3198

2818

Fürenalp 1850

Schonegg 2040

Rigidalalp

Brunnihütte

Panoramaweg

1860

Horbis Neuschwändi Eienwäldli

Rodelbahn

Klostermatte Globis Winterland

Yeti-Park

Ristis 1606

Kloster Flühmatt Museum

Sprungschanze Sporting Park

Engelberg 1050

SKI LODGE

Bahnhof

Schwand

Brunnihütte 23 58 | SKI LODGE BULLETIN

Sporthalle

Bergli

Home

Gschneit

n

er

z Lu

Nachtloipe

Ror


Titlis 3239

Klein Titlis 3028

Kl. Spannort

Reissend Nollen 3003

Stotzig Egg

3140

Ice Flyer Big 5

Rotair

Gletscherlift Rotstöckli

Big 5 Big 5

Rotegg

2450

Jochstock

Steinberg

2564

Stand 2428

Big 5

Jochstock Xpress

Laubersgrat Obstacle-Park

Jochpass 2207

Engstlenalp

Speedstrecke Big 5

Rindertitlis

Laub

Jochpass

Graustock

Trübsee 1800

Rutschpark

Trübsee-Hopper

Alpstübli

Obertrübsee

Ritz

Älplerseil

Gerschnialp

Standard Kanonenrohr

1262

Untertrübsee

Skihütte stand 23

Laub 14 Ritz Gerschnialp 23

Galtiberg 13

Steinberg 13 Berghotel Trübsee Avalanche training center 23 24

Sulz 15

Berghaus Jochpass Wendelücke 12 23 SKI LODGE BULLETIN |

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INFORMATION All our ROOMS have en-suite bathrooms, LCD TV and free WiFi. Our towels are changed every fourth day, or more often on request.

Please leave your ski equipment in the SKI AND BOOT ROOM in the blue house basement. We’ve even installed boot warmers for you!

The RECEPTION is open daily from 7.30am until late. If you have any questions after hours, you can always ask the bartender, or call +41 78 675 33 66.

Fancy a SAUNA AND HOT TUB? Our reception staff can book an appointment for you.

BREAKFAST is served from 7am to 10am. The BAR is open from 4pm on weekdays, and 3pm on weekends. Our RESTAURANT BRASSERIE KONRAD is open daily. Choose between à la carte selections or a prix fixe three course Skier’s Dinner. SMOKING is of course strictly prohibited inside Ski Lodge. If you ignore this, you will have 500 CHF less to spend on the après ski. Avoid the queues at base station and purchase your SKI PASS at our reception desk.

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Hiring a MOUNTAIN GUIDE assures a safe and fantastic day on the mountain. The reception staff can help you book one. RENTAL SKIS are available at several places. Our front desk staff can help you find the best option for your needs. We have eight PARKING spots in front of the hotel. If they are occupied, ask the staff for closest option. The name of our FREE WiFi is Ski Lodge and the password is Nagano98. Surf around, but please wait until you get home before you download all seasons of The Wire.


In case of EMERGENCY, call 144 for an ambulance or 117 for the police. If there’s a FIRE, stay calm and follow the instructions listed on the inside of the door. Fire extinguishers are located by the staircase on every floor. Our dear Powder Express minibus provides AIRPORT TRANSFER in a bit more than one hour. Although the train to the airport leaves from outside the hotel, you’ll have to add another hour to the trip. If you want to EAT OUT or experience the vibrant Engelberg NIGHT LIFE, our reception staff will clue you in with latest and greatest info on where to go. For FOOD AND DRINK SHOPPING, the COOP is open 7.30 am to 19.00 pm on weekdays, to 18.00 on Saturdays and 17.00 on Sundays. During summer, the COOP is closed on Sundays.

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HENRIK WINDSTEDT IN OUR NEW HELI GRAVITY JACKET AND PANTS #justaddski



3 turn the page for next season


SKI LODGE BULLETIN TRAIL RUNNING Sweating with a view

HIKING Crisp air and green fields

INSPIRATION Conference in the Alps

CHEESE VALLEY Extremely local

TAKE ME HOME!

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70 Hiking Imagine the cover photo for ‘The Sound of Music’. That’s what you’ll get when you go hiking in Switzerland.

Intro 74 // Hiking 2.0 68 //

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72 Cheese valley Switzerland is a cheese country, and the Engelberg valley is no exception. Small farms and cheese - everywhere!


78

76 Inspiration “Conference� might sound like hell on earth to some people. Read this to discover why our approach makes it inspirational.

Climbing 80 // Updays & Downdays 75 //

Trail running Fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and your head with inspired views. This is as far away from plodding on city streets as you can get!

Biking 82 // Engelberg Map 01 // Winter Guide 82 //

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another season We first set foot in Engelberg in 2002 but it wasn’t until a couple of years later that we saw it without snow. It was a revelation, and once you see this valley all dressed in green, we can assure you that you will come back for more. The summer, with its infinite list of amazing activities, might just become our favourite part of the year! As you tuck into a delicious home made plum pie after a trail running session, with the view over the Titlis massif from Rugghubelhßtte as your company, it is easy to see why. Eric and Niklas

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PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

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SUMMER IN ENGELBRG

Hiking Think crisp air, green fields, a fresh breeze through your hair and mountain views that will make most postcards look dull. Welcome to a hike in Engelberg! WITH SUCH AN abundance of natural beauty it is easy to understand why the hiking culture in Switzerland is so strong. The Engelberg valley is no exception and has beautiful trails throughout. They range from lift accessed mini strolls to full blown adventures that will take a day and make dinner taste better than ever before. Some of the bigger hikes can also be combined with visits to charming mountain huts. Here you can take a break and indulge in some local delicacies, or even stay the night, before you continue with your adventure. THE ACTIVITY MAP found in the reception is a good aid when choosing among the basic trails. There you can find vertical meters and estimated time for all the marked trails.

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PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

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SUMMER IN ENGELBRG

s Local Ingredients

PHOTO / ENGELBERG-TITLIS / C. PERRET

ONE MIGHT THINK that Switzerland’s cheese image is just a myth, but it’s not. The Engelberg area alone boasts several small factories, some of which can be visited if you are keen to see close up how the cheese is made. At the Schaukäserie next to the monastery you can even watch the cheese being made, live! If you want to combine a beautiful hike or bike ride with a culinary visit to one of the smaller producers, the Stäfeli or Gerschnialp farms are excellent options. Here at the Lodge you can indulge in a variety of local cheeses, both for breakfast and dinner. ANOTHER LOCAL PRODUCT we really like (we’d suggest you don’t have it for breakfast though) is the Engelberger Klosterbräu. This is a beer made from the clear and fresh Engelberg water and is a favourite for many locals. With a slightly turbid character it tastes good every time you drink it, but even better after a long summer hike or a really good day of powder skiing.

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SUMMER IN ENGELBRG

Hiking 2.0 PHOTO / FREDRIK NORDHEIM

A GUIDE WILL KEEP YOU SAFE

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HIKING IS A FANTASTIC activity and simply through the addition of using our hands, and some climbing principles, traditional hiking can be transformed and taken to another level of enjoyment. With a mountain guide and basic climbing equipment (which is possible to rent) a whole new range of tours become

available, and many don’t require any previous climbing skills or experience. As you will be roped up to a mountain guide you are sure to get there, and back, safe and sound. Those who are unsure of heights might need to think hard about the most “airy” alternatives, but it will be well worth it in the end!


SUMMER IN ENGELBRG

Climbing

PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

Engelberg is relatively unknown as a climbing destination. Those that do venture here to climb though will find a treat in store as the valley boasts a wonderful variety of climbs to suit all.

WHETHER YOU LIKE “hiking 2.0”, multi pitch walls, sport climbing or bouldering – you can find it all in Engelberg. Bettlerstock on the sunny Brunni side of the valley is really versatile as it includes routes with a variety of lengths and pitches and a nice mix of climbing challenges and grades. If you are looking for a slightly different climbing challenge then continue further into the valley until you find Fürenalp and its magnificent bouldering spot. The Schlänggen wall, located just next to the golf course, is your all weather climbing insurance as its overhang protects it from the rain. Unfortunately this also makes it quite tricky for beginners.

THOSE WHO MAY NOT be sure if climbing is their thing, or if they are weary of letting their partner hold the rope, should consider hiring a guide or start with Via Ferrata. Guides are great at getting you started with useful tips and tricks, not to mention providing a healthy dose of confidence and re- assurance. Via Ferrata is a series of fixed ladders and bridges that you will be able to hold on to all the way from the bottom to the top. As you are clipped in at all times it’s a great way to inspire your future in rock climbing. There’s no shame in hiring a guide for Via Ferrata either. You are, after all, far up in the mountains and a helping hand or calming tip can sometimes be useful.

Both experienced climbers and beginners can benefit from the advice of a mountain guide. www.prime-engelberg.ch will help you out. SKI LODGE BULLETIN |

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GOLFER / JONAS HYDÉN


Inspiration At Ski Lodge we truly believe that inspiration comes from inspirational environments, which is why this valley is the perfect venue for a conference. MOST PEOPLE GET the chills when they hear the word ‘conference’ being muttered by their colleagues or bosses. Our goal is to change that. Our experience has shown us that having business meetings after a few hours of deep powder skiing, or a hike in crisp mountain air, is a formula for enhanced happiness and success. Who knows, with all the inspiration that comes with the mountains, it may even help you unlock some of your companies greatest challenges.

in a huge conference complex, a small and charming hotel might just be the spark you need to get your creativity going.

THE PROXIMITY TO Zurich airport makes Engelberg a really good proposition for a few days of meetings in the Alps. Instead of feeling trapped

Call it a conference if you want, or just a very productive vacation with business colleagues.

MANY OF THE activities offered in the valley are suitable for half a day or less. A mountain bike tour or easy hike will refresh your senses. In winter cross-country skiing, or a couple of carving laps on the slopes, will clear your mind and enhance your soul before you head into the next meeting.

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SELFIE / OSKAR ENANDER

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SUMMER IN ENGELBRG

Trail

Running People have been running on trails longer than we can imagine, even the modern marathon was essentially born from a long trail run. However, recent years have seen a huge rise in runners treading mountain trails. When you consider the beauty, fitness and simplicity trail running involves, the only question really is why hasn’t it always been a trend!

WHEN SOMETHING IS so close it is often harder to see. This adage holds true for Engelberg as it wasn’t until trail and sky running became more established that we eventually opened our eyes to see what others already knew; we are in the middle of a trail runners paradise. All those hiking trails, which lead up to secluded lakes, mountain huts and beauty beyond words are a runners dream. OUR PARTNER Swiss Alpine Explorers arrange sky running camps at the lodge. Run with them for extra motivation and receive advice and support from elite runners that will help you maximise your potential. Visit www.swissalpineexplorers.com for more info.

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UPDAYSODOWNDAYS local knowledge

LARS WINDLIN

Nadja Niederberger

LOUISE HIDÉN

Strongest skier in town

Beanie maker

Multi hero

WELLENBERG TRAIL

SALISTOCK

ENDE DER WELT TO FÜRENALP

A little bit down the valley, between Grafenort and Wolfenschiessen, is the Wellenberg trail. It feels as if it was built by the best bike park trail builders, but it’s all natural - heaven on wheels!

A hike up to Salistock is my favourite as you uncover a totally different view of Engelberg. Happily for me it works equally well as a ski tour in the winter.

The hike from Ende der Welt to Fürenalp is a long one, but also really beautiful. Start early, eat a hearty lunch at the end, and then take the lift and bus back to town. You will not need to do anything more that day!

JOHANNA HÖGLUND

JULIA PALM

LINA BODI ENSTRÖM

Wine wizard & drama queen

Reception hero

Massage boss

SPA

ÄLPLERMAGRONEN

CLASSIC SWISS DINNER

Treat yourself to a visit of the Waldegg or Eienwäldli Spa. A great way to loosen up sore muscles after a day of skiing or hiking.

Try the local speciality “Älplermagronen”. Restaurant Flühmatt, half way up Ristis, on the Brunni side, makes the best in town.

Go for a classic Swiss dinner at Alpenclub. Finish off the night in their Gadä Bar with the locals.

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Scare yourself once a day, it’s supposed to be good!

PHOTO / FREDRIK NORDHEIM

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PHOTO / OSKAR ENANDER

PST! Check out Lars Windlins’s bike tips on page 80. 82 | SKI LODGE BULLETIN


SUMMER IN ENGELBRG

Biking Whether you like going uphill, downhill or both – Engelberg has something for you. You can find everything from technical and fast downhill runs in the high alpine to long inspiring single track tours.

DOWNHILL FANS CAN get their adrenaline fix around Jochpass. Simply take your bike on the lift all the way up, ride back down - and repeat, as many times as your body and bike will allow! The Trudy Trail is a manmade downhill course with a great mix of berms and jumps. If your preference is the ‘natural way’ though there is also a variety of single tracks which provide everything from technical steeps to nirvana flow. Some will require pedal power to hit the high point others can make use of the lifts.

take you everywhere in the valley, or up the mountain. Our recommendation is to take one which leads you further into the valley and where you can’t go by lift or car. The isolation and beauty is energising.

DEPENDING ON HOW SWEATY and difficult you want to make it, Engelberg’s cross-country mountain bike trails can

NOT SURE what’s right for you? Ask for a tip in the reception, or hire a bike guide.

FOR THOSE WHO PREFER to stay on asphalt there are many small roads around town where you can get lost and pretend you’re in one of the grand tours. Climb up the Brunni side until your legs scream at you to stop, or bike down to Stans, and then climb all the way back!

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SKI LODGE

Fl체hmatt Waldegg 80 80

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Hiking 70

Home

Eienw채ldli 80 Cheese X2 72


Trudy trail 82 SKI LODGE BULLETIN |

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