A planned SFR140m development to provide 18 new ski lifts between Andermatt and Sedrun has been announced according to SwissInfo.
The Scandinavian ski resort developers SkiStar plan to create what will be one of the largest ski areas in Europe, backed by Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris who is already investing heavily in Andermatt.
There is likely to be some opposition. Few plans to link or extend ski resorts have been approved recently, with the Swiss Alpine Club and environmentalists prominent in expressing concerns at the impact. However there is little doubt that the area would benefit from upgraded infrastructure so a scaled back or phased approach is a likely outcome.
A small resort with stunning views over Lake Lucerne towards the Rigi and Mythen. Conveniently located for a day trip from Luzern or for a short family break, it is best visited when there is good snow cover as there are no snow cannons and limited piste preparation facilities.
Klewenalp, Stockhütte, Emmetten, Beckenried
Top run (m)
Klewenalp is a small, car-free resort, with beautiful views over Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne). When snow conditions are good it fully justifies an outing from Luzern, and makes a good alternative at busy weekends and half-terms to Engelberg. The resorts serving the ski area include the small communities of Klewenalp (1600m) and Stockhütte (1279m), served by cable cars from the larger villages of Emmetten (755m) and Beckenried (455m) . Emmetten or Beckenried are both served by Postbus, while Beckenried is also accessible by ferry. The runs to Emmetten and Beckenried are rated as yellow ski routes and can be avoided by taking the cable cars back down. A fun park is located on the ski lift Klewes Ergglen.
This area is best for intermediate skiers and snowboarders, families or mixed groups. There are plenty of other things to do on the mountain, with a good selection of mountain restaurants, a Nordic trail, “airboarding”, four toboggan runs (one of which is 9km long), several winter walking trails and boat trips to various places including Luzern.
A Central Switzerland season ski pass covers Klewenalp as well as another 14 ski areas, including Engelberg and Andermatt. A day pass costs around SFr 45 for adults, SFr 25 for children (free for children under 6), and there are creche facilities and a ski school.
The best way to access the winter sports facilities at Klewenalp is to take a train from Luzern to Stans, then take a bus from outside the station to Beckenried Post, opposite the ferry mooring. The train and the bus each take about 20 minutes and their timetables are co-ordinated with each other. The cable car is a short walk up from the bus stop. The bus goes on to Emmetten, and on your return journey you might prefer to finish your day there to pick up the return bus.
Best accessed by train from Luzern to Sarnen, and then by bus to Stöckalp since there is limited parking, this is a family-friendly resort which makes for a pleasant day trip with its well-priced passes and lovely sunny setting. Thee is something for all standards, but it is probably better for skiers than snowboarders as there are a few flattish bits, and the runs back down can be patchy for much of the season.
The views from the top of the Brienzer Rothorn cable car over the Jungfrau and the long black run back down to the car park (and bus stop) are the highlights of this resort. In a seperate area there are plenty of pleasant, mostly flattish blue runs down the valley, about an hour by train and bus, or car, south of Luzern.
The ski area in the village is pleasant enough, from 1166m to 1690m, with too many t-bars, but fortunately a gondola and pair of linked modern chairlifts can get you around most of the resort. The runs are all blue and red and below the tree line so the area makes for an enjoyable area for intermediates and beginners. The village itself follows the ski runs, so you are likely to find convenient eating, accommodation and public transport if you stick to the village.
The real treat of Sörenberg, however, is the Brienzer Rothorn. I didn’t find a direct bus service to the cable car, but the link to the bus from Schupfheim at Sörenberg Post is seamless. You can also use a trail (it only works one way) from the village ski area to ski and snowboard across – keep your speed up if you don’t want to walk too many sections. The cable car dumps you in a long, long tunnel but when you emerge at 2350m you have one of the best viewpoints in the Alps. Absolutely stunning, and it won’t go away – the view across the Jungfrau can be seen from many vantage points. The skiing off the Rothorn is strictly for experienced skiers – skinny reds and a long, sometimes steep, black valley run interspersed with some very pleasant skiing. Which is good, because there is only (in effect) one place for food and drink on the whole mountain and the valley station has no facilities at all. Aside from the cable car there is only one old chairlift and a t-bar, but it is still a must-visit ski and snowboard area. There are the views, the vertical drop (2350-1265m), a few great reds, some challenging mogul runs and limited but respectable off-piste.
Sörenberg is popular with locals for good reason. Not a perfect resort, but with plenty of positives.