Pizol

Pizol means “high peak” in Romansh and the resort has a huge vertical drop when the snow lies in the Rhine valley and has some fabulous off-piste and ski touring above the tree line. Day trippers can make Bad Ragaz, below the ski area, by train in 75 minutes from Zurich but the town is a well-established holiday destination with a wealth of diversions for longer stays.

Ski Area Pizol
Resorts Pizol, Bad Ragaz, Wangs
Ski Region Eastern Switzerland
Piste (km) 40
Top run (m) 2227
Bottom (m) 500
Max Drop 1727
Snow’n’Rail Y
Black (km) 2
Red (km) 17
Blue (km) 21
Lifts (#/hr) 12000
My Rating 4
Alpine 3
SnowPark 3
Nordic 1
Hiking 1
Family 5
Apres Ski 1
Free Ride Y
Snow making Y
Fun park Y
Snow park Y
Half pipes
Spa Y

In Brief

A complimentary bus service operates from Bad Ragaz station to the Pizolbahn gondola, and there is also a public bus from the station at Sargans to a gondola at Wangs. The two parts of the resort served by each of the gondolas are distinct, joined together by a pair of surface lifts from Pizolhütte and Laufböden (2227m). Personally I prefer the Bad Ragaz side, with the sumptious runs down from the Laufböden to Pardiel (and the open off-piste areas between). There are also two scenic black runs through the trees with good off-piste opportunities between them.  The area above Wangs is good value though – from the Pizolhütte (snow permitting) you can ski all the way down to Wangs at 509m, over an impressive mile of vertical descent with a background of the Rhine valley and Liechenstein below!

With only one chairlift up from Pardiel and two consecutive chairlifts from Furg, the queues can build up at a weekend, particularly if there are lots of lift stoppages. However there are a good range of  amenities – a funpark, childcare, a toboggan run, ski schools, a choice of places to eat and drink and a range of ski -in, ski-out accommodation options (as well as nearby Bad Ragaz with its spa).

Car parking at the bottom is not free.

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Elm

Elm has a feature known as the “Martinsloch”, a 15m round hole in the Tschingelhorn at 2600m through which the sun shines onto the village church steeple for only a few days a year, in March and September. Elm is located in Glarus at the head of the Sernf valley, seperated from Braunwald to the West by the Chärpf (2794m) and from Graubünden in the south by the Panix pass. Elm is not a bad little ski and snowboard destination, with a reasonable range of runs for all abilities and generally good snow on the upper slopes. Sadly it is not on the Swiss Railways Snow’n’Rail circuit.

Ski Area Elm
Resorts Elm
Ski Region Eastern Switzerland
Piste (km) 40
Top run (m) 2105
Bottom (m) 1000
Max Drop 1105
Snow’n’Rail
Black (km) 5
Red (km) 20
Blue (km) 15
Lifts (#/hr) 7400
My Rating 4
Alpine 2
SnowPark 1
Nordic 1
Hiking 1
Family 3
Apres Ski 2
Free Ride Y
Snow making Y
Fun park Y
Snow park
Half pipes
Spa

In Brief

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Obertoggenburg

Between the Säntis mountain and the peaks of the Churfirsten lies the picturesque Toggenburg valley, with the villages of Wildhaus, Unterwasser and Alt St. Johann sharing a reasonably-sized ski area. Unterwasser is probably the most convenient destination for day-trippers using public transport, but you can get here in around an hour from Zurich by car and there is ample car parking in all three villages at the base stations. The villages and slopes are very family-friendly. However the runs are graded mainly red, so the skiing and snowboarding is best for intermediates, and it is difficult to avoid using surface lifts to get around.
Johann.

Ski Area Obertoggenburg
Resorts Alt St. Johann, Ebnat, Kappel, Toggenburg, Krummenau , Wolzenalp, Obertoggenburg, Unterwasser, Wildhaus
Ski Region Eastern Switzerland
Piste (km) 60
Top run (m) 2262
Bottom (m) 900
Max Drop 1362
Snow’n’Rail Y
Black (km) 5
Red (km) 40
Blue (km) 15
Lifts (#/hr) 17750
My Rating 4
Alpine 3
SnowPark 3
Nordic 4
Hiking 1
Family 2
Apres Ski 2
Free Ride Y
Snow making Y
Fun park Y
Snow park
Half pipes
Spa

In Brief

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Flumserberg

It is barely an hour by train from Zurich (90km away) to Unterterzen, via Ziegelbrücke, and the fast gondola adjacent to the station takes you up to one of Switzerland’s best kept secrets, Flumserberg. At weekends this place does get busy, but during the rest of the week some of the most varied slopes in Switzerland are virtually deserted. With stunning views over the Walensee, flexible accommodation options and proximity to Zurich Airport, this resort really is a perfect destination for a mid-week break.

Ski Area Flumserberg
Resorts Flumserberg
Ski Region Eastern Switzerland
Piste (km) 65
Top run (m) 2222
Bottom (m) 1200
Max Drop 1022
Snow’n’Rail Y
Black (km) 7
Red (km) 39
Blue (km) 19
Lifts (#/hr) 23000
My Rating 5
Alpine 3
SnowPark 4
Nordic 1
Hiking 2
Family 3
Apres Ski 3
Free Ride Y
Snow making Y
Fun park Y
Snow park  
Half pipes  
Spa  

In Brief

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