Three good days skiing in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland

28th February 2018, by Dave Watts

The stunning scenery is one of the big attractions of the ski area. This photo was taken on Tuesday from near the top of Mürren’

The stunning scenery is one of the big attractions of the ski area. This photo was taken on Tuesday from near the top of Mürren’

I’m in the middle of a week-long exploration of the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, part of the research for the forthcoming Where to Ski in Switzerland book.

The three resorts in the Jungfrau region are Wengen, where I’m based for the week, Grindelwald , and Mürren

Avid readers of this blog will know that after Sunday’s top-to-bottom fog, the forecast for Monday and Tuesday was bitterly cold weather and clouds. Happily the forecast was wrong.

Monday was a mix of sun and clouds and the lowest temperature was a balmy -15ºC. I met Rolf Wegmüller, director of the Wengen Tourist Office, in time for the 8.45am cable car to Männlichen and a tour of the local slopes. We whizzed round the Männlichen slopes, including a free Giant Slalom timed course (don’t ask who won).

The grooming was fabulous and the slopes very quiet until 10.30am or so when we stopped for a warming drink and some chocolate at the Eigergletscher mountain restaurant, where they make their own delicious chocolate on site – try the Eiger-shaped choc with cherry liquor in the centre.

Rolf with the North face of the Eiger appearing out of the clouds

Then it was down Oh God, the steepest run in the region, before skiing the whole of the famous Lauberhorn downhill run (rather more slowly than the racers do).

Tuesday it was much sunnier. I took the 8.45am cable car again and skied straight down to Grindelwald (almost 1300m vertical and virtually deserted all the way, a terrific way to start the day).

Dave’s first run of the day – almost 1300m vertical of deserted pistes down to Grindelwald

The rest of the day was spent on First (a separate ski area reached by ski bus). The pistes here are well groomed and gentle – ideal for high-speed cruising and for timid intermediates to build confidence, all amid stunning scenery. The big downside is that the pistes to the valley end up a bus ride from the gondola back up. There’s an off-piste ski route directly back to the gondola, but that was closed on my visit.

The First ski area has lots of easy slopes which were very quiet on Tuesday

Wednesday dawned to brilliant blue skies. So it had to be the day to explore Mürren and its fabulous views (see the photo at the start of this blog).

After taking the 8.33am train from Wengen, we eventually arrived at the high point of the Mürren ski area, Schilthorn, at 10.15am. After a quick admiration of the 360º panoramic views and a whizz round the James Bond exhibition (the Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was filmed here), we hit my favourite slope in the Jungfrau region – the brilliantly groomed black run down to Birg.

Scenes from the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service ware filmed on the Schilthorn

But maybe it’s going too far to name the ladies’ loos ‘Bondgirls’

Mürren’s slopes are generally much tougher than elsewhere in the region. But there are a few lovely blues, especially the one below Birg. And the snow is usually the best in the region.

All in all, a great day. Made even better by my Rossignol Hero slalom skis – quick turning and with great edge grip. Colin Willmott, owner of the Ski Set Wengen rental shop had suggested I tried them ito compare them with my favourite Head Supershape Magnum skis that he’d supplied for the previous three days. Both sets of skis were great and I’d be happy to ski firm pistes on both of them. I may even try a different pair tomorrow. One of the great advantages of renting rather than owning skis is that you can try all the latest models – provided you choose the right shop. Ski Set Wengen has a great choice.

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