Main Events in the Swiss Alps, Winter 2011-12

Ski Racer in Engelberg, Switzerland
The ski and snowboard season is slowly starting in the Swiss Alps, with limited skiing on some glaciers. Skiing and snowboarding are not the only things to do in the Alps though, with most resorts offering cross-country skiing, sledging, snowshoe itineraries and a host of other seasonal activities. In addition many resorts feature a number of off-piste activities, such as spas, music concerts and festivals and après ski. There is also a full itinerary of winter sports events planned, the pick of which include:

Date Location Event
26-28.10.2011 Saas-Fee/Saastal Snowboarding Half Pipe (Europa Cup)
29.10.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v ZSC Lions – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
02-03.11.2011 Saas-Fee/Saastal Snowboarding Half Pipe (WC Qualification)
04.11.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v FR Gottéron – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
14-16.11.2011 Gstaad Mountain Rides Glacier 3000 Invitational freestyle happening Glacier 3000 
15-18.11.2011 Davos Klosters Slalom (FIS Race)
19.11.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v Lakers – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
19-20.11.2011 Saas-Fee/Saastal Freestyle – Ski Cross (Juniors)
22-25.11.2011 Zinal Giant Slalom (FIS Race/National Junior Ch.)
25-26.11.2011 Samnaun Santa Klaus Annual World Championships
25-27.11.2011 Engadine/St Moritz St. Moritz City Race in Dorfzentrum
27.11.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v HC Lugano – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
01-02.12.2011 Zinal Men’s Giant Slalom (National Junior Race)
03-04.12.2011 Davos Klosters 2nd Blick ski-testing event – Parsenn
03-04.12.2011 Samnaun Snowboarding – Parallel Slalom (FIS Race)
03-04.12.2011 Ulrichen (VS) Cross Country (Juniors/FIS)
04.12.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v HC Gottéron – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
06.12.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v Kloten Flyers – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
06-07.12.2011 Samnaun Men’s Slalom (National Junior Race)
07-09.12.2011 Zermatt Women’s Slalom/GS (FIS Race)
08-09.12.2011 Davos Klosters Men’s Slalom (FIS Race)
09-11.12.2011 Davos Klosters Nordic – FIS Cross-Country Skiing World Cup
10-11.12.2011 Davos Klosters Cross Country (World Cup)
10.12.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v EV Zug – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
10.12.2012 Flims Laax Falera Junior European Open Snowboard Tour – Crap Sogn Gion, Laax
10.12.2011 Leukerbad 2nd Night Race
10-13.12.2011 Splügen Giant Slalom (FIS Race)
15-16.12.2011 Flumserberg Slalom (Citizen)
16-18.12.2011 Engelberg Ski Jumping (WC Qualification)
17-18.12.2011 Engadine/St Moritz Women’s Giant Slalom (FIS Race)
17-18.12.2011 Gstaad Mountain Rides Slalom/GS (University Race) – Schönried
17.12.2011 Verbier Verbier Sport+ Trophäe (night race ski tours Carrefour–Les Attelas)
19-21.12.2011 Zinal Women’s Slalom/SuperG (FIS Race)
20-21.12.2011 Arosa men’s SuperG (FIS Race)
22.12.2011 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v EHC Biel – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
22-23.12.2011 Splügen Men’s Slalom (FIS Race)
26-31.12.2011 Davos Klosters Ice Hockey: 85th Spengler Cup 2011
27-28.12.2011 Engelberg Ski Jumping (Continental Cup)
27.12.2011 Leukerbad Snow Night Show
28-29.12.2011 Campra (TI) Cross Country (Juniors/FIS)
28-29.12.2011 Sörenberg Men’s Slalom (FIS Race)
01-07.01.2012 Davos Klosters O’Neill Evolution Davos (snowboard event)
05-06.01.2012 TBD Women’s Slalom (FIS Race)
06-07.01.2012 Jungfrau Region Men’s SuperG (FIS Race) – Wengen
07-08.01.2012 Adelboden-Lenk Audi FIS Ski World Cup, Men’s Slalom/GS – Adelboden
07.01.2012 Arosa 8th Swiss Snow, Walk & Run half-marathon
07-14.01.2012 Flims Laax Falera Burton European Open 2012
07-08.01.2012 Meiringen-Hasliberg Freestyle – Aerials (Europa Cup)
07.01.2012 Nendaz Full Moon skiing
08-15.01.2012 Arosa Ski Pride Festival
08.01.2012 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v Kloten Flyers – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
10-11.01.2012 Adelboden-Lenk Women’s Slalom (FIS Race)  – Adelboden
10-11.01.2012 TBD Mens’ Slalom (FIS Race)
11-15.01.2012 Jungfrau Region Downhill/Slalom (World Cup/Other) – Wengen
12-13.01.2012 Adelboden-Lenk Women’s Giant Slalom (FIS Race) – Lenk
12-14.01.2012 Engadine/St Moritz 9th Winter RAID – White Star of St. Moritz Vintage/Veteran Car Rally
13–15.01.2012 Jungfrau Region Audi FIS Ski World Cup – Lauberhorn, Wengen
14.01.2012 Belalp-Blatten 30th “Descent of the Witches” from Hohstock to Blatten,
14-15.01.2012 Brigels Men’s Slalom (National Junior Race)
14-21.01.2012 Engelberg Ladies Week – events, free ski pass for women
14-15.01.2012 Gotthard OberAlp Arena Snowboard Cross (FIS Race) – Sedrun
15.01.2012 Arosa Horse Racing on Snow – Obersee Lake
15.01.2012 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v ZSC Lions – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
15-22.01.2012 Engadine/St Moritz 54th Concours Hippique St. Moritz (Show Jumping)
16-22.01.2012 Engadine/St Moritz World Cup Bob and Skeleton – Olympia Bob Run
16-17.01.2012 Obersaxen Men’s Giant Slalom (National Junior Race)
18–21.01.2012 Jungfrau Region International Inferno race Mürren (Devil’s Descent)
18-19.01.2012 Lenzerheide Men’s Slalom/GS (Europa Cup)
19-22.01.2012 Davos Klosters 8th Klosters Snow-Polo Event 
19-22.01.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Women’s Downhill/Slalom (Training/Europa Cup)
19-22.01.2012 Verbier Snowboarding – (WC Qualification) – Veysonnaz
20-22.01.2012 Adelboden-Lenk Cross Country (Juniors/FIS Race) – Adelboden
21.01.2012 Davos Klosters The MTB Night (free-ride event)
21-29.01.2012 Gstaad Mountain Rides 34th International Hot Air Balloon festival – Château-d’Oex
21.-22.01.2012 Gstaad Mountain Rides Coop Skicross Tour – Zweisimmen 
21.01.2012 Gstaad Mountain Rides Freestyle – Ski Cross (Europa Cup) – Zweisimmen
22.01.2012 Arosa Horse Racing on Snow – Obersee Lake
22.01.2012 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v HC Genf – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
23-24.01.2012 Hoch-Ybrig Men’s Giant Slalom (FIS Race)
25–26.01.2012 Nendaz GiantX Tour
26.01.2012 Arosa Arosa IceSnowFootball competition – Obersee Lake
26-29.01.2012 Engadine/St Moritz 28th St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow – St Moritzersee
27.01-05.02.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Stimorol Engadin Freeride Competiton – Corvatsch
28-29.01.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Audi FIS Ski World Cup Corviglia
28-29.01.2012 Gstaad Mountain Rides 25hr Dominique Perret – Charity team race on skis Gstaad
31.01.2012 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v Lakers – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
03.02.2012 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v SC Bern – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
04.02.2012 Nendaz Full Moon skiing
04-05.02.2012 Verbier Coop Skicross Tour – Verbier
05-12.02.2012 Engadine/St Moritz White Turf St. Moritz – International Horse Races – St Moritzersee
10-11.02.2012 Davos Klosters 9th Ice Gala Davos
10-11.02.2012 Gstaad Mountain Rides 24-hr Race – Gsteigs 
14.02.2012 Leukerbad Snow Night Show
16-18.02.2012 Engadine/St Moritz 25th Cricket on Ice – St Moritzersee 
17.02.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Art on Ice St Moritzersee 
18-19.02.2012 Davos Klosters Coop Skicross Tour – Davos
18.02.2012 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v HC Ambri – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
19.02.2012 Adelboden-Lenk Rivella Family Contest, family ski racing – Lenk
19.02.2012 Engadine/St Moritz White Turf St. Moritz – International Horse Races – St Moritzersee
24.02.2012 Davos Klosters Ice-Hockey: Davos v SCL Tigers – Vaillant Arena, Davos Platz
25–26.02.2012 Crans-Montana Audi FIS Ski World Cup – Men’s Giant Slalom
25-26.02.2012 Obergoms Cross Country (Popular Cross-Country Races)
02-03.03.2012 Stoos Men’s SuperG (FIS Race/National Juniors)
03-04.03.2012 Gstaad Mountain Rides Cross Country (Juniors/FIS) – Feutersoey
03-04.03.2012 Hoch-Ybrig  Coop Skicross Tour – Hoch-Ybrig 
03.03.2012 TBD Freestyle – Ski Cross (FIS Race)
04.03.2012 Engadine/St Moritz 13th Women’s Cross-Country Ski Race
04.03.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Cross Country (Popular Cross-Country Races) – Samedan
04-05.03.2012 Flumserberg Men’s Giant Slalom (FIS Race)
08-09.03.2012 Beckenried Klewenalp Women’s Slalom (FIS Race)
09-11.03.2012 Davos Klosters Parsenn Derby
10-11.03.2012 Elm Women’s Giant Slalom (FIS Race)
10-11.03.2012 Jungfrau Region Freestyle – Ski Cross (World Cup) – Grindelwald
10.03.2012 Nendaz Full Moon skiing
11.03.2012 Engadine/St Moritz 44th Engadin Ski Marathon and 5th Half-Marathon
11.03.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Cross Country – (Marathon Cup) – Samedan
11-12.03.2012 Jungfrau Region Coop Skicross FIS World Cup – Grindelwald
15-18.03.2012 Crans-Montana Momentum Ski Festival (Brit Banker Bash)
16-17.03.2012 Adelboden-Lenk Snowboarding (Europa Cup) – Lenk
16-18.03.2012 Nendaz Nendaz freeride
18-25.03.2012 Flims Laax Falera BRITS Snow Festival in Laax
19-25.03.2012 Verbier Alpine (National Championships/FIS Race) – Veysonnaz
23–25.03.2012 Verbier Nissan Xtreme by Swatch
24-25.03.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Coop Skicross Tour – Silvaplana / Corvatsch
24.03.2012 Nendaz Migros Grand Prix
24.03.2012 Saas-Fee/Saastal Glacier Bike Downhill
24.03.2012 TBD Freestyle – Ski Cross (National Championships)
29-30.03.2012 Engelberg Men’s Slalom (FIS Race)
30.03-01.04.2012 Campra (TI) Cross Country (National & Junior Championships)
30.03.2012 Saas-Fee/Saastal Migros Grand Prix Finale
31.03-01.04.2012 Pizol Men’s Slalom (Disabled Events)
31.03-01.04.2012 TBD Men’s Giant Slalom (FIS Race)
31.03.2012 Verbier Carlsberg High Five
01-07.04.2012 Flims Laax Falera Snowfest 2012 – Dutch National Snowboard Championships
02-05.04.2012 Zinal Slalom (FIS Race/Juniors)
07.04.2012 Langis / Glaubenberg Cross Country (FIS Race/Juniors)
07.04.2012 Nendaz Full Moon skiing
10-11.04.2012 Engadine/St Moritz Women’s Slalom/GS (FIS Race)
13-14.04.2012 Saas-Fee/Saastal Allalin Race
14.04.2012 Gotthard OberAlp Arena King of the Mountain, Freeride – Gemsstock, Andermatt
14-21.04.2012 Verbier XSpeed Ski
16-19.04.2012 Verbier Speed Skiing (World Cup)
25–28.04.2012 Verbier Patrouille des Glaciers
28.04.2012 Verbier Ultimate Session


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Snow’n’Rail 2011-12

St-Bernard ExpressRailaway, from the Swiss National Railways( SBB/CFF/FFS), have published the Snow’n’Rail schedule for 2011-2012. No great surprises, prices are either the same or have risen by a franc or two – although with the strength of the Swiss Franc this now makes Zermatt the most expensive lift pass in the world, so thank goodness for Snow’n’Rail discounted prices! As usual the brochure is published online here, in English, covering most of the featured resorts, but here is a summary of typical prices from Basel and Zürich for an adult for a return train ticket and a one day ski/snowboard pass:

Resort Slopes (km) Basel 2011-2 Zürich 2011-2
Adelboden-Lenk 210 101.20 154.40
Airolo 30 84.80 67.20
Aletsch Arena 104 114.00 117.20
Alpes Vaudoises 225 113.80 120.20
Arosa 100 104.00 86.40
Belalp-Blatten 60 108.00 111.20
Braunwald 32 80.00 59.20
Crans-Montana 140 125.00 130.60
Davos Klosters 305 114.40 96.80
Engadine St. Moritz 350 134.40 119.20
Engelberg-Titlis 82 90.00 82.00
Flims Laax Falera 220 117.00 97.00
Flumserberg 65 97.40 75.80
Gotthard Oberalp Arena 125 89.60 72.80
Gstaad Mountain Rides 250 100.00 105.60
High-Ybrig 50 85.20 63.00
Klewenalp Stockhütte 40 70.40 64.00
Lauchernalp / Lötschental 33 98.60 104.20
Lenzerheide 155 110.40 90.40
Leukerbad 50 116.20 118.60
Meiringen-Hasliberg 60 81.60 74.40
Melchsee-Frutt 32 76.20 69.80
Motta Naluns, Scuol-Sent-Ftan 80 109.60 94.40
Nendaz 220 118.80 125.20
Obertoggenburg 60 95.60 74.00
Pizol 40 87.20 67.20
Portes du Soleil 650 112.20 118.60
Region Jungfrau 213 100.20 107.40
Saas-Fee/Saastal 150 133.80 137.00
Sierre-Anniviers 220 116.40 122.00
Sörenberg 53 79.40 73.80
Splügen 30 106.60 88.20
Stoos 35 78.60 59.40
Verbier 181 118.00 124.40
Visp 90 101.60 107.20
Zermatt & Cervinia 350 157.20 160.40

All the resorts provide a two day option, and some a six day option. Tickets are available from most stations, and can be dispensed (in English) from the ticket machines without the need to queue at the counter. Nara and San Bernadino have fallen out of the featured resorts from last year, whilst Grächen only provides a six day pass.

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Ski and Snowboard Show, London 2011

Euroairport stand at Ski and Snowboard Show, LondonThe annual Ski and Snowboard Show in London moved from Olympia to Earls Court this year, and it is hard to say whether it was a good move or not. Location-wise it is more convenient, but the recession and unseasonably excellent weather in London seemed to keep the crowds away and I found the whole affair rather muted.

For me it was interesting to see Euroairport take a stand at the exhibition. I ski out of Basel (see here) and do feel it is an excellent gateway to the skiing in Switzerland – you can get a full day on the slopes at nearly every major resort in Switzerland if you are prepared to get up early enough, and you can certainly get two full day’s skiing on a weekend break flying in to Basel from the UK. Interestingly enough, however, Easyjet (for which it is a major destination) do not promote Basel as one of their winter sports airports – maybe that means the shrewd skier or snowboarder can pick up cheaper tickets at busy periods or for late minute breaks.

I didn’t think much of the new gear around. Nothing that rocked my world, anyway. The range of resorts featured was broad with some excellent inforation available on Japanese, North American, French and Italian resorts plus some useful info on some of the lesser known destinations. Austria and Switzerland, however, were noticeable by how little was featured on their resorts. For the Swiss end, the Euroairport stand had some info on the Jungfrau, one stand featured Crans-Montana and there was stand promoting the Brits Snow Festival in Laax, 18th-25th March. Did I miss anything?
Ski Club of Great Britain at the Ski and Snowboard Show London
There were enough stalls and events going on to make the show worth a visit, but I can’t help but feel that the growth of the Internet is marginalising events like this – tellingly the advice you get after two minutes on many stands is to check out the website for more details.

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Early Season Skiing Autumn 2011

The good news is the ski season has already started in Switzerland. Diavolezza near St Moritz and Pontresina opens 22nd October (Corviglia on 26th November), followed by Saas-Fee on 1st November, Davos/Klosters on the 15th November and Zermatt on 26th November. For sure the entire resorts will not be open so early, but the temperatures in Switzerland have fallen recently and new snow is forecast above 2000m from 24th October. At St Moritz the lifts that are open are on Diavolezza, but they will be fitting new panoramic cabins on the Diavolezza cable car so it will close for re-fitting from 26 November until 11 February 2012 – not such a loss as chilly Diavolezza is best as an early or late season outing – but what a fabulous vertical!

In truth, for Zermatt and Saas-Fee, the season never really ends, with glacier skiing available throughout most of the year ahead of the official winter season start dates – both usually have about 20km open. From 29 October 2011 the Vorab Glacier in Laax will be open at weekends, with the resort opening up daily from 3rd December. The snowpark and Dôme skilift will be open at Glacier 3000 near Gstaad and Les Diablerets from 5th November. The glacier on Titlis in Engelberg opened on 1st October, but the lifts will be closed for maintenance from 7th to 25th November. Depending on snow conditions many resorts may open early or have limited opening after the official season start date, but here are those official opening dates for this autumn:

Resort Start
Engelberg-Titlis   1.10.2011
Engadine St. Moritz 22.10.2011
Saas-Fee/Saastal   1.11.2011
Alpes Vaudoises   5.11.2011
Gstaad Mountain Rides   5.11.2011
Gotthard Oberalp Arena 12.11.2011
Davos Klosters 18.11.2011
Crans-Montana 19.11.2011
Jungfrau Region 19.11.2011
Flumserberg 26.11.2011
Verbier 26.11.2011
Zermatt & Cervinia 26.11.2011
Hoch-Ybrig   1.12.2011
Aletsch Arena   3.12.2011
Arosa   3.12.2011
Flims Laax Falera   3.12.2011
Klewenalp Stockhütte   3.12.2011
Lenzerheide   3.12.2011
Nendaz   8.12.2011
Braunwald 10.12.2011
Motta Naluns, Scuol-Sent-Ftan 10.12.2011
Pizol 10.12.2011
Adelboden-Lenk 17.12.2011
Airolo 17.12.2011
Belalp-Blatten 17.12.2011
Lauchernalp / Lötschental 17.12.2011
Leukerbad 17.12.2011
Meiringen-Hasliberg 17.12.2011
Melchsee-Frutt 17.12.2011
Portes du Soleil 17.12.2011
Sierre-Anniviers 17.12.2011
Sörenberg 17.12.2011
Stoos 17.12.2011
Visp 17.12.2011

 Many of the smaller resorts will open around Christmas, weather conditions permitting. For details of what is open today, check out

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