Superb piste skiing in Adelboden

22nd February 2010, by Chris Gill

Great views from the village (even better ones from the slopes)

Great views from the village (even better ones from the slopes)

Day three of our tour of central Switzerland we have spent in Adelboden, a resort you may not have heard of, but one with a long history of British visitors – they say the village’s first ski instructor was an English priest, even.

It is not the most convenient resort in the world, but it has excellent varied slopes with marvellous views, and today offered piste skiing that was as good as it gets – provided you don’t lust for moguls. (There are several proper black runs, but all get groomed daily – suits me perfectly!) There is vast amounts of attractive off-piste up here, too, but the bits we tried were windblown today – there has been quite a bit of wind in the last day or two.

We caught the best of these blacks – the shady pair served by the fast Luegli chair – early in the day when the snow was just perfect. It took a real effort of will to move on. But move one we did, to explore the sunny slopes over the ridge above Lenk. Great cruising terrain, this, and even here the snow was good - soft and powdery on the top, soft and slightly slushy at the bottom.

We did encounter some less than perfect snow – sheets of boilerplate at the top of Lavey – but then it was business as usual on the excellent all-red Aebi sector.

We found the runs generally uncrowded, although this is high season. But the lifts were not without short queues, notably at the main hub of Geils. So we took off to check out Adelboden’s neglected Tschentenalp – the smaller hill just above the town.

Tschentenalp is small but perfectly formed – three or four genuine reds and a pleasant blue, all shady and therefore blessed with more excellent snow, more or less deserted, and served by a fast chair. Another blissful hour. Sadly, the itinerary to the village appeared to be closed, but we’re told it was perfectly skiable.

We’ve now moved south to the the Valais via the marvellous Lötschberg car-carrying rail tunnel, and are installed in Val d’Anniviers. The forecast for our exploration of Zinal and Grimentz is mixed. With virtually all the slopes above the trees, we’ll be hoping for more sun than snow in the mix.



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