The birth of a ski area

15th April 2014, by Dave Watts

A new 150-person cable car spans the 1.7km between the ski area peaks in just over three minutes

A new 150-person cable car spans the 1.7km between the ski area peaks in just over three minutes

Last week I spent a couple of days exploring the newly linked Arosa-Lenzerheide ski area. I stayed in Arosa and the place was almost deserted and had a distinct end-of-season feel. The excellent 5-star Kulm hotel that I stayed in had very few guests staying and the other 5-star hotel, the Tschuggen Grand, was already closed for the season. Bars and restaurants were quiet or shut too.

But the upside of all this was that the open pistes were still in good condition – no stones or bare patches to negotiate – and deserted. Indeed we had many to ourselves.

And the new cable car (which opened in January) has transformed the attraction of the resort for intermediate and good skiers. Arosa used to have just 70km of mainly blue and easy red pistes. But now the new 150 person cable car whisks you the 1.7km from Arosa’s Hörnli peak to Lenzerheide’s Urdenfürggli in just over 3 minutes. And that opens up another 155km of pistes, including some tougher reds and serious blacks. With 225km of linked pistes, the joint ski area is now on a par for size with many other big name resorts.

There is excellent off-piste too, with a six-hour circuit around the two resorts that looked enticing but we were unable to do on our short stay. I can’t wait to return in good winter conditions to try it and the parts of the ski area that were also closed.

Conditions were typical spring snow – frozen hard first thing and softening up as the sun hit them, so it was important to be on the right slope at the right time to ski soft snow in the brief period before it turned to slush.

We’ll be putting a full chapter on Arosa and Lenzerheide in the forthcoming 2015 edition of WTSS. So you’ll be able to read much more there.

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