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SKI LODGE BULLETIN BIG 5 ENGELBERG’S LIFT-SERVED SKI CLASSICS

SKI TOURING DROP THE CROWDS, SHRED POW

GALLERY THE BEST SKI PHOTOS IN THE WORLD

THE SKI WHISPERER NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

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The get away car. THE VOLVO V90 CROSS COUNTRY. DISCOVER MORE AT VOLVOCARS.CH/V90CROSSCOUNTRY

INNOVATION MADE BY SWEDEN. SKI LODGE BULLETIN | 3


SKIING IS BELIEVING EDITORS

JOHAN JONSSON

LESLIE ANTHONY

ANDREAS SKÄRBERG

OSKAR ENANDER

GABRIELLA LIDBERG

ON THE COVERS WINTER PIERS SOLOMON PHOTO OSKAR ENANDER SUMMER LINA BODI EDSTRÖM & MARCUS LINDH 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.

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

Thanks to the great help from europatryck.se this bulletin is printed on 100 % recycled paper.

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08 // INTRO 10 // BIG 5 16 // SAFE SKIING 20 // SKI TOURING 1

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22 // SKI TOURING 2

32 // PHOTO GALLERY

50 // DOWN DAY STAFF PICKS

24 // SKI TOURING 3

42 // FROZEN ROPES

52 // TO DO / DO NOT

28 // HUMBLE MOUNTAIN

46 // DEAR KONRAD

54 // HOTEL INFORMATION

30 // YOUNG GUNS

48 // THE SKI WHISPERER

56 // WINTER MAP

PROFESSIONALS

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INTRO Last year, Ski Lodge Engelberg celebrated its 10th anniversary. A lot longer than we ever thought our little hotel would exist at the start. What started out as a naïve idea — to create a hotel to “make people fall in love with the mountains” has become a meeting place for people from both near and far. The 10-year mark was celebrated in April with a week of events, full ski days, and late nights with friends, regulars and staff from over the years — the people who actually helped make Ski Lodge the place it has become today, and who laid the foundation for what it will become tomorrow. We still remember our first Tripadvisor review from a German man in his sixties who thought we had “room for improvement.” To be fair, we knew a lot more about skiing than we did about running a hotel during those first few seasons. But with a little help from friends with greater knowledge of the hospitality industry than we had — plus our own curiosity — we’ve come a long way. We hope you’re as excited as we remain about coming here, and wish you an amazing time in Engelberg. If you need the low-down on where to find the best hiking, skiing or cheese fondue, look no further than the following pages or ask a question of our amazing staff. After all, you’re now officially a part of the next 10 years. Eric & Niklas

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BIG 5 When we came up with the idea to call our favorite zones around Titlis the “Big 5”, we didn’t expect it to become such an institution. But it did. And we’re pretty darn proud of it. We’re also proud of how good these five areas are. So let us tell you a little bit about them.

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LAUB It’s hard not to start with the Laub, one of the world’s most iconic powder runs. Some even call it “the perfect powder run,” and we won’t argue. Like an old wine, the Laub seems to get better with age, but perhaps its best quality is having something for everyone — from the steep and committing wall side on skier’s left to the huge, lower-angled snowfields on skier’s right. We love them both, almost as much as we love the Käseschnitte in Restaurant Ritz at the bottom.

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SULZ This playground on the Jochpass side of the ski area is never boring. Just when we thought we knew every rock there was to know, a young local lays down a sneaky new line between Middle Sulz (the cliff-dropping Mecca) and Big Sulz (the mellower of the Sulz siblings). The third member of this trio, Little Sulz, is still a great short run for a few warm-up laps — and no less fun for its size!

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WENDENLÜCKE Wendenlücke is the huge area above you to the right when you’re riding the chairlift to Jochstock. It offers everything from easily accessed off-piste straight off the lift, to a short hike to an area of fewer tracks, to the mellow hour-long tour to the top of the run. From there unfold endless options to get you to the bottom. As always — make sure you know exactly where to go, especially in the lower sections.

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STEINBERG The glacier. The big one inside the ski area. It’s wonderful, of course, but also demands respect. Like any glacier skiing, there are crevasses to potentially fall into, so you need to know the route, or better — ski with a mountain guide. But when you hit it right and feel at home on the Steinberg, it’s as fun and rewarding as it is tiring on the legs. The side to far skier’s right is very steep at the top, but a great run in flat light due to the huge wall you ski next to.

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GALTIBERG The King. The Queen. Maybe the entire Royal Court. Certainly the biggest of the Big 5. To have a run featuring 2,000 vertical meters of awesomeness without a single meter of hiking is skier luxury at its best! But it’s not all ice cream and balloons; the Galtiberg is a serious mountain descent and we strongly recommend you only do it with a guide. First, to actually find the route (it’s tricky), second because guides also find the best snow. In addition, local snowboard hero Bimba claims Restaurant Wasserfall at the bottom has the best wiener schnitzel in the world. The bus back to town runs every 30 minutes.

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Many skiers who’ve been in the game a while now look back to when they started skiing off piste and think: “Mamma mia… I’m lucky to have gotten away with all that.” These days, with the required knowledge and equipment so easy to get a hold of there’s no reason to have those Mamma-mia moments. These pages barely scratch the surface when it comes to “mountain safety,” but with the increasing popularity of backcountry travel they offer some basics on how to get started, and a reminder to those already used to freeskiing. Repetition is a good thing when it comes to safety! First off, you need to carry the right equipment when skiing outside of the groomed slopes. Flip the page to see what that is, and what you need to know about it to be able to use it correctly.

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SAFE SKIING Skiing may be the comes with some scare you — just to things you should

best activity ever invented, but it responsibility. We’re not here to let you know that there are a few always have in the back of your head while in the mountains.

Avalanches are the most obvious danger in off-piste skiing, and something you never want to be close to. Make sure to start every day by reading the avalanche bulletin (you’ll find it printed in the hotel lobby and in the app White Risk). If you’re unfamiliar with such reports, ask someone to explain how it works. The bulletin is a great start, but remember that it’s only an overview of a large geographic area, and conditions can vary locally as well as change over the course of the day.

Some of the skiing in Engelberg is on glaciers, and they present different hazards. Believe us when we say that you don’t want to fall into a crevasse. To avoid this, you need to know where you are at all times in relation to crevasses. You can’t, for instance, completely trust tracks, as they’re sometimes laid down close to hazards. Standing below seracs (ice towers) is also not recommended; they don’t often break loose, but when they do, you don’t want to be below them.

Read the signs mother nature provides. Snowfall, wind and big temperature swings are the three biggest factors affecting avalanche danger. Be extra cautious when two or more of these occur at the same time. If you see fresh avalanches, it’s an obvious sign to stay completely away from that area — and the same aspect and altitude elsewhere. And don’t forget that deep powder isn’t required for an avalanche to occur. Hard, wind-packed snow can be just as touchy and dangerous.

Another important rule: don’t ski on your own. In case of an accident, friends are the key to survival. Whether an avalanche, a broken binding far from the lifts, or a tweaked knee — ski buddies are crucial. Plus, skiing in a group is way more fun! At the risk once again, There are a professional

of sounding like your mother, don’t ever blindly follow tracks. lot of hard-charging locals and skiers in Engelberg, and so just

Mother nature showing who’s in charge and letting us know that although using the right equipment is important, not ending up in an avalanche is even more so.

because there’s a track down something doesn’t mean you would want to — or could — ski it. Don’t drop into anything where you don’t know where you’ll end up. One backcounztry rule is that backing off and turning around is never the wrong decision. No matter how good the powder in front of you looks, if it feels wrong, or if mother nature or the avalanche report are telling you it’s nogo time, then stop. No run is worth risking life and limb. Our best tip for getting started in the backcountry? No surprise here: hire a mountain guide. Ask them anything and you’ll get the correct answer. It’s a great way to calibrate your eyes for the off-piste and learn how to shred pow in the safest way possible.

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EQUIPMENT The following is a list of basic equipment that you — and the rest of the group you’re skiing with — must always carry when freeskiing. AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER Carried close to your body, and always turned on so it is emitting a signal. Don’t turn it off at lunch or while riding the lift to save battery power. “On at the car, off at the bar” is our mantra. And remember: once you own a transceiver you need to practice with it regularly so that using it is second nature in the event of an avalanche. At Trübsee there’s a training center where you can work on transceiver-locating skills — make use of it. PROBE This is a flexible, sectional probe that you assemble and use to more precisely locate a person buried in an avalanche and already located by transceiver. Using a proble is also a skill you’ll need to practice. Bury backpacks and friends (if they’re willing) and learn to feel the difference between a person and rock or ground. SHOVEL Shoveling is often the most time-consuming and physically demanding part of an avalanche rescue. In order to minimize the stress you need to have a proper shovel with a sturdy blade — not plastic — and telescopic shaft to be able to dig effectively. Avalanche debris is more similar to setting concrete than the soft snow it started out as, so learning how to dig fast in a group is essential. ADDITIONAL GEAR Besides the minimum basic gear, experienced backcountry skiers carry other items that could come in handy. Everyone has their own list, but an air-bag backpack, first aid kit, water, food, extra clothing, Recco reflectors, a small multi tool, straps, headlamp, extra pole baskets, and hot packs are contenders for this list. And finally, remember that your gear is only as good as your knowledge and ability to use it. Perhaps even more important is that you should plan your skiing so that you never have to use your rescue gear. Just like always buckling up the seatbelt in your car, you still know that the most important thing is to drive safely. The best way to learn about gear and mountain safety is doing a course with a mountain guide. Get together some friends and start your trip with a day in the mountains with a guide. If it’s a half-day of basic avalanche safety and half day of shredding pow, then it’s win-win!

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SKI TOURING 1 Sorry to sound like a broken record, but ski touring is still growing. And we like that! It’s a great way to elevate your heart rate for a bit, with the added bonus of awesome skiing on the way down. Engelberg is a paradise for ski touring, with easily accessed terrain both close to the ski area as well as in the surrounding mountains. Almost every skier who tries ski touring loves it. Sure, we all appreciate a good groomer, but what most of us live for is untracked powder, and chances of scoring it grow exponentially if you’re willing to hike a bit — especially when it hasn’t snowed in a while. Ski-touring equipment these days is very good — lighter than you can imagine without sacrificing performance. If you don’t have your own, many shops in town rent the latest gear. Make sure to carry safety equipment and check avalanche conditions before heading out and, as always, hiring a guide is a great option. Touring in the WENDENLÜCKE area starts just off the Jochstock lift. Like many classics, it’s called that for a reason. In this case its combination of easy access and great skiing.

Wendenlücke

Hiking to the top of GROSS TITLIS is a wonderful experience, not only because of the skiing you’ll get on the way down, but for the views from the top. At 3,238 meters above sea level you’ll have sightlines to everything from the mighty Jungfrau Massif to the Gross Spannort and the smaller peaks of the Engelberg Valley. The SCHAFBERG tour is just as close to the lifts as Wendenlücke, but somewhat hidden and can’t be as easily seen from the slopes. The good thing about this is that it’s also hidden from the wind, often holding good snow even after a hard blow. Take extra caution with avalanche conditions if you’re climbing directly from the sunny side of the Jochpass.

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Walk a little further and you’ll find fewer tracks


SKI TOURING 2 For those who feel their legs are ready for bigger adventures, next-level touring options can be found both nearby and only a little ways away. Each are sure ways to prove to yourself that the Engelberg Valley is much more than what’s visible at first sight. Given the complexity of the terrain, we recommend mountain guides for all these tours. The closest big-time adventure is the TITLIS RUNDTOUR. Maybe you’ve seen the ski tracks wiggling down the “wrong” side of the mountain while standing on the Titlis balcony? Those are from skiers on the Rundtour, and what you’re looking at is the first of two big descents. Before and between these are a couple of sections with easy climbing and rappelling plus a walk over a big glacier. Have a rest in the little mountain hut Grassen Biwak before taking on the last and biggest run — a 1,500-vertical-meter paradise with tons of options.

conditions. Like most of life, however, when the timing is right, the reward is great. You may not have noticed, but as you ascended the last 20 kilometers to Engelberg by road you passed by a few small resorts and gondolas. BANNALP, HALDIGRAT and RUGISBALM might not be famous names among skiers, but paired with a mountain guide and some touring gear they can become part of a story about your best day ever — whether you’re into mellow powder fields or huge and committing couloirs.

MÄREN and REISSEND NOLLEN are two

peaks on either side of the easier Wendenlücke tour. They’re both cool adventures, but set in terrain that demands greater knowledge of backcountry travel and very stable avalanche

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SKI TOURING 3 The definition of “luxury ski trip” varies depending on who you’re asking, but more and more, skiers are seeking the deep backcountry rather than a champagne lunch and heli-ski run back to the hotel. And isn’t a couple of days without cellphone reception what we could all use these days anyway? Yes, to always go “farther” and “deeper” might be backcountry clichés, but once you’re out there you understand why. Sure it’s possible to work hard enough to drop the crowds during day missions, but if you really want to get off the beaten track, there’s nothing like a hut trip. Schweizer Alpen-Club (SAC) manages an astounding 153 huts around the Swiss Alps, and several of those close to Engelberg are great for one or more nights in the wild. The URNER HAUTE ROUTE, a high tour through roadless land between Andermatt and Engelberg, is slowly becoming an area classic. Normally it’s a five-day tour (four nights in huts), but depending on how fast you move and whether you want to tweak the route a bit, it can be done in shorter or longer time. The Urner is called The Skier’s Haute Route for a reason — not only a big walk in beautiful terrain, but great skiing along the way.

Multi-day tours aren’t always required to get into the wild. Engelberg’s home hut, the GRASSEN BIWAK, is located just on the backside of Gross Titlis but still requires a few hours to reach. As a result, if you avoid spring touring high-season, you can often find yourself on your own there. The hut is usually passed on the Titlis Rundtour, but if you head out there equipped for a night in an austere but cozy setting, you’ll be blessed with a sunset you’ll never forget. There are many huts similar to the Grassen in the Engelberg Valley and surrounding area. Some are newly renovated and manned yearround, others mere shelters with a couple of beds, a stove, and little else. Contact a mountain guide service in town to help you find a backcountry hut adventure that suits both your skill and will.

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@carlregner Ã…reskutan

LIVE MORE

WORKOUT PROGR AMS / TR AVEL DESTINATIONS / SKIING TUTORIALS peakperformance.com/livemore


HUMBLE MOUNTAIN PROFESSIONALS Engelberg has long been recognized as a hub for professional skiers and photographers, but the past few years have also seen the rise of another kind of mountain professional: the mountain guide. Pro skiers and snowboarders have always known that employing a mountain guide for photo and film shoots is the best way to both stay safe and to find the best possible snow — coincidentally the same two things most important to any skier or boarder. Some of us spend a lot of time with the town’s mountain guides, whether over a beer in the bar, on a powder day in the Big 5, or on a long ski tour to somewhere we’re not allowed to mention in print. But if we were ever to suggest to one that they’re regarded as local heroes, they’d only laugh and wonder if we’d had too many Jägers. Though becoming a guide is never motivated by a desire to be in the spotlight or seen as a rockstar, we still look up to them.

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Guides are mentioned often in this magazine, and for those unfamiliar with the reasons to ski with one, here’s the very short take: They deliver you to the best possible skiing. This should actually be enough, but let’s add the quite short version as well: Mountain guides are experts in everything you need to know in the mountains, not only steering you directly to the powdery part of a run when other aspects are tracked out or destroyed by wind, but also getting you there and back safely. Because guides pay close attention to prevailing avalanche conditions, they know when to go and when to turn around. Perhaps most importantly, in the rare case of an accident they know exactly what to do and in what order. Even with the need to keep your brain fully on and constantly aware in the mountains, skiing with a guide is the best way to relax and have fun while learning the fundamentals of mountain travel.


Local mountain guide Tobias Granath having a decent day at work

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YOUNG GUNS

Photo: Lean Niederberger

One of the best things we know is to show international ski pros around on the mountain. First of all, we’re super proud of what we can show, and those who don’t get blown away by what Titlis has to offer is probably someone who’s not into skiing. But another thing we love about it is to point out tracks that seem to be made by someone with wings, or other international super pros. But often, it’s just the young locals who are out shredding for themselves, without thinking of cameras or hashtags. The WHITE CARPET CREW is a group of eleven ski fanatics who are, unlike most talented skiers these days, mostly out skiing for the fun of it. Some are full professionals, some are on a road to become one, and some 30 | SKI LODGE BULLETIN

are just interested in getting as much skiing as possible in, every single day. When they’re out together on their home mountain in Engelberg though, they leave their careers behind and focus on the skiing. Looking at them coming down the mountain is pure joy, and they all have a different view of skiing and laying turns and jumping cliffs down a mountain. The days when they are actually shooting what they’re doing too, the result is often

mindblowing — doesn’t matter if it’s a phone video or pro photo from the crew’s own photographer Gianmarco Allegrini. Have a look at their Instagram and you’ll understand what we mean. @whitecarpetcrew We sometimes get a tad bit nervous over the size of their double backflips, but as long as they manage to get back and have a beer with us at the end of the day we’re happy!


Joel Bleyer / Photo: Lean Niederberger

Joel Bleyer, Jonas Rüegger, Moses Bissig / Photo: Gianmarco Allegrini

Joel Bleyer / Photo: Gianmarco Allegrini

Moses Bissig / Photo: Gianmarco Allegrini

Joel Bleyer, Jonas Rüegger, Moses Bissig / Photo: Gianmarco Allegrini

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PHOTO GALLERY With multiple international magazine covers and celebrated work for the industry’s biggest brands, Engelberg-based ski photographer Oskar Enander has cemented his status as one of the best in the world. We’re proud to have his photos on the walls at Ski Lodge. If you’d like to buy a print of any, visit oskarenander.com. But first: enjoy the following ten pages from the Swedish master of light.

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Piers Solomon

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Johan Jonsson


Marcus Caston

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Martina Müller, Chris Davenport, Chad Sayers


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Marcus Caston


Piers Solomon

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Piers Solomon


Heidi Pallin Aaring

Johan Jonsson

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Local mountain guide Dani Perret on his way to a powder run that’s almost certainly untracked

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FROZEN ROPES Paralleling the growing ski-touring trend is the desire to take even this activity one step further — into ski mountaineering. For some it’s a wish to stand atop more difficult summits in the winter. For others, about getting away from the crowds. But there’s another benefit we like the most. Even if it’s more common for some ski adventurers to carry a rope in their pack these days, the majority still don’t own one. For those who do, however, the ability to ascend a new peak, cross a sketchy pass, or rappel into a couloir in a safe way certainly improves their odds of finding fresh powder. Ski mountaineering isn’t anything new, but as we humans are an odd species, it seems that the concept of doing something once labelled “difficult” has now been replaced by the idea of “learning and development.” Nevertheless, ski mountaineering remains a winter activity in which a guide is mandatory to get started. This

is a good thing: since guides also want to shred pow, don’t be surprised if they show you the hidden backside of a frontside-famous peak. Today’s ski-touring equipment and packs are designed to be compatible with necessary mountaineering tools like crampons and ice axes, and we promise you’ll be surprised over how much fun it is to travel in big mountain terrain — at least when you’re attached to a rope and in the company of a good mountain guide. Since the town is brimming with them, tomorrow might be just as good as any other day to do your first winter climb!

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DEAR KONRAD Year after year we have to pinch our own arms to actually believe what kind of chefs we have in our kitchen. How they’ve been coming from national culinary teams and Michelin-starred restaurants just to put their own personal touch on our menu. From the first days of Ski Lodge Engelberg’s Brasserie Konrad we’ve always wanted our food to be something special. Not special as in “weird” or “never heard of that before”, but special like “mmmmmm.” Our head chef, Tobias Joutsen, will doubtless manage this heritage in his own way:

"My basic idea when it comes to food is the same as it has always been here — great tasting food without shortcuts. I like to speak of my food as being honest and tasty." Honesty is a good thing, and in our restaurant one thing that means is as many local ingredients as possible, with the addition of interesting elements from neighboring countries — “picking the raisins out of the cake” as Swedes like to say. And yet, modern Scandinavian cuisine is the foundation on which everything is built, which pays no undue homage to any specific country or style.

"I don’t think food comes from a country, it comes from the one cooking it. It has always been important to me that what I cook comes straight from the heart and onto the plate. And that doesn’t change whether I’m cooking at the North Pole or in Switzerland. I do appreciate the amount of high-quality local ingredients available in this valley though!" Coming from a family that has always collected what nature offers in terms of herbs, berries, fungi and more, seasonality is important, and the menu will change as often as makes sense or is possible. Great taste and new ideas are important, of course, but we are also skiers, focused on filling up for the next day’s powder-pounding. That’s why our Skier’s Dinner offers a perfect combination of satisfaction on all levels. It’s a prix fixe three-course meal that will make your taste buds sing and your belly swell. Expect it to change daily — just like the wine package that will accompany with it. And what better welcome than that to Brasserie Konrad!

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THE SKI WHISPERER — Can you fix this?! — Hmmm... well... let me have a look...

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Just a stone’s throw from Ski Lodge Engelberg lies the OKAY ski shop. DANI FRIEDLI, who runs it, often fills the role of saviour when you need help with... well, pretty much anything to do with your equipment. And if you think that money-saving miracles can’t happen in ski towns, think again.

The more-or-less authentic conversation to the left happens a few times a year when someone treats their skis too recklessly. It might be hard to detect the subtle smile on Dani’s face when he gets a desperate request to save the life of a demolished ski, but we know it’s there. Given that he’s the head-down, hardest-working person in Engelberg during certain periods of the ski season, this might not seem like it’s always the case — though we’re pretty sure he embraces each challenge.

In these days of mass consumption we’re happy for people like Dani who still take pride in craftsmanship and do their best to repair what’s broken rather than just trying to sell new gear. And that’s why one thing we do know is that if Dani can’t fix your busted ski, you might as well buy a new one.

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DOWN DAY STAFF PICKS Straight up: down days suck. But since they occasionally happen, it’s good to have a few activity options so you don’t end up sitting in the hotel all day going down social-media rabbit holes. We asked some staff what they’d prefer to do on a day when the lifts aren’t running.

Sanne Mona and Paula Hansen not thinking about down days

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PAULA HANSEN

I’d probably go to Schwimmbad and do laps in the 25-meter pool to get in shape for the swimrun I regrettably signed up for last summer. Swimming is also great for sore ski legs. After that I’d play a game (or seven) of Chicago Poker with friends.

OLIVER KARLIN

GRAZIA SATALINO

SIMON JOHANSSON

SANNE MONA

I’m not the best at sitting still and taking it easy, so on a down day I’d rather gather up a crew and use the time for some avalanche rescue training — you can never do too much of that.

There’s no such thing as a down day only down skiers. I’d maybe hike up to Untertrübsee and eat a käseschnitte.

I would get a beauty treatment at Løvlid Cosmetics. This might be a mountain town, but some relaxing skin work is nice no matter where you are. After that I’d probably take my kid for ice hockey or indoor climbing at Sporting Park Engelberg.

My recommendation would be to drop your fat skis off for much-needed service, do a few cross-country laps, après at Ski Lodge and brag about the horizontal metres you covered, then watch every episode of Line Skis Traveling Circus... oh, and eat a Skier’s Dinner in Brasserie Konrad.

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TO DO SKI A DAY WITH A MOUNTAIN GUIDE

Think about it: someone finds the best skiing for you, keeps you safe, and knows all the local secrets. Win-win-win! SKI THE BIG 5

In some ways to tick it off the list, but more because it’s awesome skiing. Feeling strong? Ski them all in one day. You’ll probably sleep well that night. TAKE A “TRADITIONAL PHOTO”

On top of Titlis you’ll find a photo studio where you can get the profile picture of a lifetime. You won’t regret it! TRY SKI TOURING

If you like skiing but aren’t familiar with the touring world, we can almost promise you’ll be hooked. Hire a mountain guide and we can guarantee it. EAT ÄLPLERMAGRONEN

If Engelberg was a country this would be the national dish. Potatoes, pasta, cheese, cream, onions and mashed apples might sound like an odd mix, but once you get used to the thought and actually try it, we know you’ll love it! Restaurant Flühmatt does the best in town. TRY UP-TO-DATE EQUIPMENT

If you haven’t tried really wide powder skis or superlight ski-touring gear, make sure to take the opportunity to rent a setup here. It will make the good days even better!

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HAVE A PROPER SKI-BOOT-APRÈS

Forget your age, drink a few beers (and maybe a Jäger bomb) and exaggerate about the cliff you dropped before you even get out of your ski boots. Make sure to round it off with a burger in the bar and a lot of water before (early) sleep. You don’t want to miss your next ski day! VISIT THE MONASTERY

It doesn’t matter if your religion is Christian or Powder-worshipper — a visit to this historic Benadictine monastery is a mighty experience. EAT KÄSESCHNITTE AT UNTERTRÜBSEE

Every Wednesday evening, Dani from the OKAY shop leads the way up to Restaurant Untertrübsee. It’s a 30-minute ski tour, but the weight of all that Käseschnitte in your stomach will make you faster on the way down. Pro tip: don’t forget a headlamp.

SKI A DAY ON BRUNNI

The sunny side of the valley might be smaller, but the slopes are fun, it’s less crowded, and features the best stormday tree skiing. Hire a guide or ski with someone who can find Grünenwald, and try to squeeze in a detour lunch at Gasthaus Schwand. If not possible, Brunnihütte also has great food.


DO NOT TAKE CHANCES

Dropping cliffs, shredding powder and skiing fast is all well and good, but make sure you know what’s in the landing, that the snow is stable, and that you can take a fall without big consequences. SKI THE KANONENROHR HOME AT THE WRONG TIME

Around 2:30-3:00pm, ski-school kids are on their way home — a potential danger. Also, late-afternoon weekend drunks that were once good skiers go way faster here than they should — use caution. DRINK THE LAST BEER/DRINK/SHOT AT 2:00 AM IF IT’S SNOWING

Enjoy your cocktails earlier in the evening so that you can also enjoy the next day (if you do insist on getting a little drunk, do it at après — see “TO-DO” list).

BUY GEAR YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE OR DON’T NEED

We encourage everyone to use equipment that’s up-to-date as a lot has happened in the past few years. But make sure to spend your money on equipment that’s suited to your skill level.

TRY TO BE A TOUGH GUY IN THE MOUNTAINS

We skiers are in the mountains because we love them, but they dictate the rules we should follow. Don’t ignore the signs — be “humble guy” in the mountains. SKI LONGER THAN YOUR LEGS CAN TAKE

Sometimes it feels like we never want to stop skiing, but many injuries happen when we’re tired and our bodies aren’t fully cooperating. And remember — the next day will also be better if you stop in time. SKI SOMETHING THAT IS ROPED OFF

Titlis security management and ski patrol want to keep as much of the mountain open as possible, but if they rope something off or tell you not to ski somewhere, they got a good reason. Respect it. SKI OFF PISTE WITHOUT AVALANCHE EQUIPMENT

Just. Don’t.

DROP IN IF YOU HAVE A BAD GUT FEELING

Even if you’re skiing with people who “know more than you,” gut feelings about a run are often a hint of something. Turning around is never a bad decision.

FOLLOW TRACKS IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY END

It’s easy to get excited when skiing — we do it all the time! But keep your cool, make sure you know where you are, and don’t trust other skier’s tracks. They might lead you seriously astray.

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

RENTAL SKIS are available at several places. Our

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.

We have eight PARKING spots in front of the hotel. If they are occupied, ask the staff for the closest option.

BREAKFAST is served from 7am to 10am.

The BAR is open daily and from 4pm you can order food from the bar menu. Our restaurant BRASSERIE KONRAD is open daily from 6pm. 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. Please leave your ski equipment in the SKI AND BOOT ROOM in the blue house basement. We’ve even installed boot warmers for you! Fancy a SAUNA AND HOT TUB? Our reception staff can book an appointment for you. Hiring a MOUNTAIN GUIDE assures a safe and fantastic day on the mountain. The reception staff can help you book one.

front desk staff can help you find the best option for your needs.

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 Sopranos. 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 from 7.30am to 8.00pm on weekdays, and to 6.00pm on weekends. During low season, the COOP is closed on Sundays.

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WA L E N P FA D HIKING

WA L E N P FA D T R A I N D U RO

V

Ä L P L E R M AG RO N E N

HOME

B RU N N I H Ü T T E K I D S S LO P E

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T I T L I S N O RT H WA L L E P I C T R A I L RU N N I N G E P I C T R A I L RU N N I N G

HOME

V I A F E R R ATA

L AU B

S K I H Ü T T E STA N D

RITZ GERSCHNIALP

SULZ

WENDENLÜCKE

ST E I N B E RG B E RG H AU S J O C H PA S S

G A LT I B E RG B E RG H OT E L T RÜ B S E E

AVA L A N C H E TRAINING CENTER

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NEXT SEASON


SKI LODGE BULLETIN HIKING FROM SMALL STROLLS TO BIG ADVENTURES

TRAINDURO MOUNTAIN BIKING WITH A TWIST

SOLID ROCKS ENGELBERG’S HIDDEN CLIMBING GEMS

RUNNING WITH A VIEW STUNNING TRAILS FOR EVERYONE

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04 // THE WARM PART

12 // ONE FOR ALL

20 // TRAINDURO

06 // WALKING IT OFF

14 // RUNNING WITH A VIEW

22 // WHEN SMALL IS BIG

08 // BIGGER HIKES

16 // WALENPFAD

24// SUMMER GUIDING

10 // MEETING. NOT MEETING.

18 // TRAIL TRIALS

26 // SUMMER MAP

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THE WARM PART There’s something about summer in Engelberg that makes us drop the shoulders and relax a little more. It’s not like we’re just taking it easy — our valley is a great biking destination, trail-running paradise, hiking mecca, and hidden climbing spot — but more like the pace is just a little lower in the warmer months. Besides all the mountain activities, we love to spend time visiting small restaurants, cheesemakers, and other food producers who are basically doing what they’ve always done — delivering local culinary sensations to those who pass by and the restaurants that serve their specialities. Keep reading for tips on everything from the short hike to a mountainside cheese factory to the thrilling mountain bike ride that lands you in another valley and a boat and train ride home.

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Jonas Engelin running above Bannalp. Read more about the Walenpfad trail on p. 16-17.

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Even though you had planned for only a short hike, mountain views can sometimes inspire you to end up in a place like this instead.

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WALKING IT OFF Hiking is a trend that’s growing at both ends of the spectrum — from walking routes that don’t involve much sweating to high-wire acts more akin to alpine scrambling. Engelberg offers something for everyone along this continuum, and a great way to get started is with a warmup hike to one of the valley’s many restaurants or local food producers. And yes, hard-core hikers, there’s something for you too — not all restaurants are just around the corner, and there’s always the option to aim for two!

you continue for another kilometer you reach the cheese factory and restaurant at STÄFELI, where, should you become too full to move, you can also spend the night. If you’d rather burn off those sleep-inducing calories you can rent a bouldering mat and get in a climbing session. If you’re really frisky, a couple more kilometers brings you to BLACKENALP ALPINE DAIRY, where the menu might be smaller but the views much bigger. Total elevation gain from Fürenalp is 550 meters.

The walk from the bus stop at Fürenalp to RESTAURANT ALPENRÖSLI is only three kilometers, but given the route’s stunning views it might take longer than expected. Take your time — both walking and, once you’re there, eating. According to local World Cup ski-racer Marc Gisin, it serves the best rösti in town! If

On the other side of the valley, at the bottom of the iconic Laub, ski patroller Sälmi Töngi keeps busy during summer creating wheels of yellow gold. The Alp Sbrinz AOP he makes at GERSCHNIALP is an award-winning masterpiece — a hard cheese aged 18 or 24 months whose character isn’t far off Italy’s

Parmesan (though perhaps a bit better if you ask the Swiss). From the door of Ski Lodge Engelberg it’s about three kilometers and a 200-meter rise to Gerschnialp. After loading up with a chunk of Sälmi’s cheese, a half-hour further hike brings you to UNTERTRÜBSEE ALPINE DAIRY, where you can complete your local cheese portfolio and add some butter and milk if you’d like. A stone’s throw back towards Gerschnialp, you’re at RESTAURANT UNTERTRÜBSEE, a spot known to some locals as “The Meringue Curve”. In winter, a ski slope swoops past and the meringues offered here are the perfect (big) snack to get you back down to the village; but don’t worry, you don’t have to be on skis to appreciate it!

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BIGGER HIKES On the previous pages we talked about shorter hikes. But what if you want to go big? Maybe spend a night in the mountains? Well, it just so happens that the Engelberg Valley is also a paradise for this. The huge mountains that surround us here can sometimes feel intimidating. But like many other intimidating things, once you get to know them a bit better, they’re actually pretty fun to spend time with. The following are a couple of options if you want to go for a bigger hike. The walk to RUGGHUBELHÜTTE is one that we make sure to do at least once every summer — a better lunch spot is hard to find in the valley. From the village it’s almost 1,300 vertical meters to the hut, though if you’d like, you can skip the first 600 by taking the Brunni 8 | SKI LODGE BULLETIN

gondola to Ristis. This can be a good choice, especially if you’re not staying at Rugghubel; instead, keep on towards Rötgrätli, Schonegg and Bannalp, adding another 335 vertical meters up, for a total of about 900 down. The views down to Bannalp Lake will be worth it. Make sure to check timetables for the lift, post bus and train back to Engelberg. FÜRENALP is one of our favorite viewpoints

in the whole wide world. There are several ways of getting there, but we’re extra fond of the hike from End der Welt (“end of the world”). It’s a less-famous hike but oh so beautiful. The start is fairly steep and rough, but once you’ve reached the small farm of Ober Zieblen, most of the 800 vertical meters are done. From there you can enjoy remarkable views of Mount Titlis, Mount Spannort, and everything in between. The hike takes around three hours in

total, so it’s a good idea to enjoy a meal at the restaurant before heading down by lift or foot. If you’d rather view Fürenalp from the other side of the valley, the hike to SPANNORTHÜTTE is the one you should aim for. It starts at the Fürenalp gondola station in the valley, and rises upward passing restaurants and alpine dairies. At Stäfeli you take a right, and some three hours after starting you’re at the hut. Staying a night and making a push for the Gross Spannort summit is highly recommended for the more adventurous. Read more about this tour on page 24.


On the way to Rugghubelhütte

Fürenalp — also nice on two wheels

Gross Spannort seen from Spannorthütte

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MEE

Where great ideas pop up

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ETING. NOT MEETING. Think conference. Then rethink it. Our goal is to help you get as far away from a standard meeting room as possible. And here’s the thing — it’s actually the easiest thing in the world to do. When we say a meeting should include trail-running, climbing, paragliding, mountain-biking or hiking, we know what we’re talking about. Like any business, also we need to conduct meetings to come up with new ideas, and over the past few years our understanding of how fresh air and a little sweat can contribute to creativity has grown immensely. Sure, things need to be written down at some point, but being locked up in a stuffy meeting room for a whole day isn’t the way to drive solutions (other than figuring out ways to escape). So we’re helping you get the juices flowing with tailor-made meetings in our beautiful mountains. It’s the way we think a conference should be done — which is pretty much the opposite of the way it normally is.

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ONE FOR ALL Although Engelberg is still fairly unknown as a climbing destination, we have no problem bragging about the climbing around the valley. THE SCHLOSSBERG, WENDENSTÖCKE and TITLIS NORTH WALL have all been labelled “world-class limestone climbing” by people who know what they’re talking about. These are mostly big walls for experienced climbers, but even beginners and those between the ends of the experience spectrum will find something suitable to hang off of in this valley. On the sunnier Brunni side, the climbing season is long, and you can find routes ranging from quite easy to quite tricky. The SCHLÄNNGEN wall just next to the golf course is easy to reach and has great climbing for intermediate-to-skilled climbers. If you’re more into bouldering, we recommend a stroll along the valley south of Fürenalp, where you’ll find plenty of boulder problems from the end of the car road all the way to Stäfeli (where you can also rent a bouldering pad). Still hungry for more? Take the train or drive a little farther downvalley where great climbing can be found both off the beaten track and right next to the road. Being built directly into the rock, VIA FERRATA (“iron way”) is a less demanding form of climbing but no less fun. It’s a great way for both beginners and experienced climbers to get onto a big wall or even engage in what feels like more of a walk with the occasional safe scramble thrown in. The best part? From your first to last move on a Via ferrata you’re attached to infrastructure that’s securely bolted into the rock. And there’s an added bonus for those who enjoy this experience: Engelberg has six different routes for all levels.

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Via Ferrata Zittergrat, Brunnistöckli


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RUNNING WITH A VIEW

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Running is one of the quickest ways to get a great workout and a main reasons why we love it. A bigger reason, however, is that running can get us farther out into the mountain environment we cherish in the blink of an eye. We lost count of “favorite trails” in Engelberg a long time ago. Our “Wow — why haven’t we run this awesome trail before?” moments now happen a few times a year, and there seems to be an ever-deepening pool of trail goodness to dive into. Whether you’re into steep climbs or more marathon-like distance trails, there’s something here for everyone. Some desire a little kick start and take a lift to higher ground. This isn’t really cheating

— just a way to skip running through the cool, shadowy trees. Other runners appreciate the lush forests surrounding Engelberg as much as the loftier alpine areas. In our mind, neither precludes the other and we can only recommend you try them all! If you want to boost the workout potential of your run with a few heavier exercises, pass by the “Vita Parcours” close to the ski-jumping hill. It’s a fitness trail with different exercise stations spread out over two kilometers. ON YOUR MARK, GET SET – GO. Ivan Zumbühl is a local trail-running machine who’s aiming to run 200,000 vertical meters in 2019 (that’s around 1,000 vertical meters per

session if you run four times per week, every week, all year). Here are a few of this trailrunning guru’s best tips for getting started in mountain terrain: — To save your knees, begin by running a lot of uphill to build up muscles before you actually start to run downhill. — Get good shoes. Start with softer shoes with solid grip. — Pack light but necessary (water, food, extra clothes). And always bring the world’s best safety device — your phone! — Don’t use earplugs when running in places with large animals, frequent rockfall, or in case of bad weather. — Take a course with a running expert.

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WALENPFAD When a certain hike is selected as one of the top 12 in all of Switzerland, you know it’s really, really good. Walenpfad is a four-hour adventure that suits almost everyone. Well, at least everyone who loves a beautiful hike or run... You might not get much of an off-the-beaten-track feeling on Walenpfad, but we promise that the many wow-this-is-beautiful moments will make up for it. You can start the hike at Ristis on the Brunni side of the valley, or at its other end in Bannalp. We prefer the first alternative because of the sensation you get peeking over the edge at Walegg and seeing Bannalp Lake far below for the first time — a real postcard. Before you get there, however, you’ll pass by Walenalp, where you can get a snack and sit for a while. If your Swiss German is good enough, make sure to ask the host about the history of this little farm and how it has been managed through the years. If you’re not much into sitting and talking, you can still have a great time running this trail. It’s about 11 kilometers long with a 670-vertical-meter climb and a descent of about 560 meters. Check timetables at the train station across the street from Ski Lodge Engelberg where you can buy a “Walenpfad ticket” that will cover all the bus, train, and gondola transportation required.

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TRAIL TRIALS As the latest generation of high-tech mountain bikes make it possible to use only one bike for pretty much anything, mountain-biking has grown fast, both as a sport and a super fun way to get a workout and some fresh air.

pro could have fun together. Those looking for a more challenging experience can try a few laps on Hells Bells Trail down towards Engstlensee, and if you want to turn it up to eleven, choose Trudy Trail just next to the Jochpass Trail.

When the new Jochpass Trail opened a couple of years ago we were pretty stoked. We knew there were plenty of more advanced cycling in the valley, but now we had a long, flowy trail where everyone from beginner to old

If you’re more into pedaling than pure downhill, there’s plenty to be found. It’s also possible to bike on many of the hiking trails. Just make sure to properly share the trail with pedestrians; be courteous and choose

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to slow down or stop in areas where passing them might scare other trail users. Also remember that biking doesn’t have to be an action-packed speed adventure — it’s ok to use it as a casual way to get to one of the Alpine Dairies and buy some cheese that just happens to be a little faster than walking.

Jochpass Trail


Hells-Bells Trail

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TRAINDURO For a long time, the word “enduro” was something mostly associated with motorbikes. These days, however, it seems that leg-powered two wheelers are the more common enduro machines. And Engelberg, in combination with surrounding valleys, is an area more than suited for such activity. You might wonder about the headline, but it’s easy to explain. Switzerland has the world’s best train system, one on which you’re also allowed to bring your bike (in fact, most train configurations have a designated bike wagon). This opens up a whole wide world of different, bigger trails that you can go and bike (or hike, or run) but still make it back to Engelberg in a day. There’s many Engelberg-based trails where you can go out on a big loop and return, but some of our coolest experiences have been when we ended our rides far from home. 20 | SKI LODGE BULLETIN

One of our favorite close trainduro rides starts in town, at Ristis, if you’re OK to take a gondola for the first part. From Ristis you follow the signs for Walenpfad while enjoying The Sound of Music-esque views. At Walenalp you leave the trail and dive left towards Oberrickenbach. The start of this trail is very steep, and walking a bit is totally acceptable. In Oberrickenbach you’ll roll for a bit on asphalt road then take another left onto an epic, bermed trail that ends close to the train station in Wolfenschiessen. Here you buy a bike ticket and take the 24-minute train back to Engelberg. Repeat. (Or just take an après bike beer in the bar). Another beautiful bike adventure goes up and through the Surenenpass then down towards the big lake Vierwaldstättersee. The climb to the pass is about 600 vertical meters, and you

might have to push your bike a bit at the end. But once you start the downhill ride you’ll know it was worth it! Take a swim in the lake before taking the combination of boat and train back to Engelberg. Since we have the luxurious problem of having a lot of trails around here, it can make sense to hire a guide or bike with someone who knows the different routes well.

T H E R E ’ S N O ST R I C T D E F I N I T I O N O F

E N D U R O M O U N TA I N B I K I N G , B U T I T ’ S

B A S I CA L LY D O W N H I L L B I K I N G M I N U S T H E

L I F T S , W H E R E YO U P E DA L TO T H E TO P A N D

THEN MAKE ONE OR SEVERAL DIFFERENT D E S C E N T S D U R I N G YO U R R I D E .


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WHEN SMALL IS BIG When we think about all of the local food producers in this valley, we sometimes wonder if Engelberg should be known as a culinary destination as well as an outdoors and mountain town. Born 1990, Walter Grob has a Masters degree in cheesemaking (for real), owns the cheese factory at the Benedictine Monastery — Schaukäserei Kloster Engelberg — and has just started producing Switzerland’s first cheddar cheese. Walter embodies the combination of tradition and new ideas that have changed the energy around Engelberg. At Schaukäserei Engelberg, “local ingredients” and “seasonal” aren’t just buzzwords to sell more products, but heart and soul. When you ask Walter about his favorite cheese, his answer is that of someone who really loves his job: “Every cheese has its own culture, its own DNA. So it depends... on the weather, my feelings, the mood of the day.” Not far from the monastery lies Roastery Engelberg, a local coffee roastery founded and run by Sophia and Oscar Wetterblad. With coffee blend names like Dark Side, Sunny Side and Blue Bird it’s easy to see the ski connection that initially drew the siblings to Engelberg.

For the last five years, however, they’ve also blessed the town with their freshly roasted coffee — whether a bag of your favourite beans to take home, or a cup to sample as you pass by. Patrick Ambühl and his sheep are quite a different story. Working part-time with livestock wasn’t something he’d anticipated a few years ago, but has now started to love. There’s no mass production meat here, just a flock of happy mutton sheep spending the green half of the year with the best view possible from the small family farm in an alp high above Engelberg. You can enjoy all these local delights either at breakfast or in the restaurant at Ski Lodge Engelberg, but we also highly encourage you to swing by these establishments for a visit if you have the chance.

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SUMMER GUIDING You might have noticed how we’re always pointing out the importance of engaging a mountain guide if you’re freeskiing, skitouring or ski-mountaineering in an area you’re not familiar with. But how about summer activities? How do guides fit into what we’re doing when the snow is gone? Many of us here at Ski Lodge Engelberg began our mountain lives as skiers and only learned to appreciate the knowledge that guides can bring as we broadened our snowy horizons. But now that we’re spending more time in the summertime mountains, we’ve come to really understand the value of good guiding. We asked local mountain guide Dani Perret to describe a couple of guided Engelberg adventures on the easier side of the spectrum: “Getting to the top of Gross Spannort, for example, is a great adventure that most people who enjoy hiking can accomplish together with a mountain guide. It’s a full package with an overnight stay in the Spannorthütte, watching a sunrise, a glacier hike, easy climbing to the summit, and a little rappelling. Standing atop something that from town looks almost impossible to reach is a mighty good feeling!” “Climbing through the Titlis north wall is another “wow” adventure for those who aren’t used to climbing big walls. It’s rated as an “easy” climb, but the size of it will make you feel like superman when you make the top. You get back down to town on the gondola — or with a paraglider if you really want to max out the day!”

If this all sounds a little too familiar or easy for your tastes and you prefer to be on the more difficult end of the easy/hard spectrum, Dani and the other mountain guides around town have that covered, too — we promise.

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Just want to get started with rock climbing? Contact one of the local mountain guides! SKI LODGE BULLETIN | 25


Buochserhorn

Musenalp

1807

Chaiserstuel

Brisen

1747

Engelberger Rotstock

2400

2404

2818

Schlossberg

Wissigstock

Gr. Spannort

3132

2887

3198

Wissberg 2627

Hahnen

Rotgrätli

Spannorthütte SAC

2606

2559

1956

Fürenalp 1850

Vierwaldstättersee

Niederrickenbach 1230

Haghütte

Haldigrat

1510

1935

Luzern

Rugghubelhütte SAC

Urnerstaffel

Brändlen 1221

1587

Rigidalstock

Oberrickenbach

2593

894

1860

511

Walegg

Fell

1951

Wellenberg

Eie

Hinter Horbis Walenstöcke Härzlisee

1270

1413

Neuschwändi End der Welt

Oberfeld

Wolfenschiessen Oberalp

1631

Bannalpsee

Spiss

1188

Wirzweli

Ober Zieblen

2294

Chrüzhütte

Dallenwil

Am Dürrbach

Rigidalstafel

Bettelrüti

Diegisbalm

Walenalp

934

1650

Rosenbold

Brunnihütte SAC 1860

Museum

Ristis 1606

St. Joder

1352

Brunniswald

Engelberg 1050

Bergli

1310

Bän

Flühmatt

Altzellen

Büelen 1112

Schwand

Grafenort 569

Oertigen

Eggendössli 1418

Grünenwald

Rugisbalm 878

Aaschlucht

Zingel

Lutersee 1740

WA L E N P FA D HIKING T R A I N D U RO HOME

V I A F E R R ATA

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Titlis

Kl. Spannort 3140

Sustenhorn

3028

Finsteraarhorn

3503

4274

Reissend Nollen 3003

Wendenstöcke 3042

Jochstock 2564

Triftgletscher

Tällistock

Stand

2580

2428

Geologischer Wanderweg

Jochpass 2207

Meiringen-Planplatten

Graustock 2661

Trübsee

Gental

1800

Trübsee

enwäldli

nklialp

Klein Titlis

3239

Alpstübli

Engstlensee

Meiringen

1850

Rotsandnollen

Trauboden

Engstlenalp

2700

1834

Tannalp

Tannensee

Melchsee 1891 Melchsee-Frutt

1976

1974

1920

Bonistock 2169

Ritz

Gerschnialp 1262

Huetstock 2676

Unter Trübsee 1300

Juchli 2171

Arnialp 1325

Nünalphorn 2385

Stöckalp 1073

Sarnen-Luzern

T I T L I S N O RT H WA L L

DIESE KARTE IST NICHT RECHTSGÜLTIG THIS CARD IS NOT LEGALLY VALID

BIKE TRAILS E P I C T R A I L RU N N I N G

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Ski Lodge Bulletin #5