Skiing in Davos
Davos Klosters offers 320km of pistes and good skiing for all abilities including abundant off-piste Davos alone offers a choice of five separate ski areas including the extensive Parsenn ski area which links by gondola to the Gotschna ski area at Klosters.
Davos Klosters Ski Area Overview
The skiing in Davos Klosters is divided into six areas: the extensive Parsenn, Jakobshorn, which is much favoured by boarders, the quieter Rinerhorn and Pischa and Schatzalp (the slow mountain), which reopened in 2010-11 with “nice and easy” slopes and two of the seven toboggan runs in the region. The Davos ski area is also lift-connected to the Klosters areas of Gotschna and Madrisa.
The Parsenn is the largest ski area in the Davos region. The Parsennbahn funicular connects to a train and chairlift to the major lift junction of Weissfluhjoch – gondolas from Klosters also reach here – from where you can carry on upwards via a cable car to Weissfluhgipfel at 2,844m. From here it’s a vertical descent of over 1,300m back to Davos or, if you aim for Küblis, you’ll get 2,000m vertical of continuous turns.
Two consecutive cable cars whisk you to the 2,590m summit of the Jakobshorn, a Mecca for snowboarders with its half-pipes and boarders’ hotel, the Bolgenschanze. Its central location, just behind the Davos Platz railway station, also makes it a popular choice with skiers.
The Rinerhorn ski area is at the most southerly extent of the Davos region and is reached by car (free parking), bus or train to Glaris. On first inspection it seems to be a limited one-cable-car-and-four-T-bar area, but in reality it has some great descents and because of the trees it can be a good option in bad weather. Often mid-week both Rinerhorn and Pischa are deserted.
Davos’ fourth ski area, Pischa, is a ten minute drive up the Flüelatal valley and is reached special ski bus leaving the Pischa Terminal at Davos Dorf or by car (free parking). It faces due south and is often a good bet in the morning.
After being closed for a few seasons, Schatzalp has been re-opened and the Strelapass Restaurant has been renovated to serve skiers who prefer their winter sport to be “nice and easy”. It takes just four minutes to reach Schatzalp via the funicular which runs from the centre of Davos Platz providing access to fairly easy pistes.
The Gotschnagrat, with links to the Parsenn, is the key to Klosters’ skiing. It is also the area where the Prince of Wales was involved in a fatal avalanche in 1988, when his friend and equerry Major Hugh Lindsay was killed near the Gotschnawang run. Another member of the royal party, Mrs Patti Palmer-Tomkinson sustained serious leg injuries. This avalanche-prone off-piste area is now technically off-limits but can still be skied. One equally challenging but perhaps safer alternative is the tough Drostobel run.
The Madrisa area across the valley from the Gotschna area is more of a family mountain. You reach it by taking a picturesque gondola ride from Klosters Dorf above the forest to a snowy and often sunny plateau at Albeina-Saaseralp. The Madrisahorn (2,826 metres), close to the Austrian border (which you can cross) commands spectacular views across the Prättigau Valley. The Kidsland near the summit station is well-equipped including a special adjustable chairlift allowing children and skiers with disability to reach the summit more easily: young children have access easy slopes on the Rubing Run or play in a bouncy castle.
Beginner Skiing in Davos-Klosters
Davos Klosters has various beginner areas: Bolgen on the Jakobshorn, Bünda near the base of the Parsenn, a children’s area on top of Madrisa, and a beginners’ area at Selfranga.
There are two small areas for beginners: Bolgen, at the base of the Jakobshorn (where it is claimed the world’s first drag lift was built in 1934), and Bünda, a ten minute hike from the base of the Parsenn. When you’re ready to move off the nursery slopes, there are some good wide blue runs on the Parsenn to tackle.
In Klosters, the best bet is to make for Madrisa and the beginners’ ski area at Selfranga.
Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Davos-Klosters
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Intermediate Skiing in Davos Klosters
Davos offers extensive terrain for intermediates, with the 12km long run to Küblis, which passes through pine forests and meadows and past Schwendi huts, a highlight, providing there is enough snow – although snowmaking has made this a more frequent possibility.
The Davos Klosters ski area offers many wide and confidence-boosting red and blue runs, some of which are over 10km long. The Parsenn has many wide pistes, perfect for big carving turns, although it can get busy. Their one marked ‘carving piste’ can be mayhem, but hit it when it’s quiet and it can be out of this world. Much of Klosters’ intermediate skiing can be found at Madrisa.
The Weissfluhgipfel is the starting point for the long run down to the village of Küblis – one of the longest and most dramatic on-piste runs in Europe. It is 12 km long and the vertical elevation is well over 2,000m. All but the very first part is skiable by good intermediates and those who don’t fancy the short, steep first section can start at Weissfluhjoch instead. From wide open runs at the start, the itinerary changes to narrow tracks through pine forests, Schwendi huts in clearings and on into meadows and past farm buildings.
When you finally reach Küblis, the café on the railway platform has indicators allowing you enough time to finish and pay for your meal before catching the train back to Klosters, and then the Gotschnabahn cable car back into the ski area. Variations on this run include descents to the other valley-floor villages of Saas and Serneus or even direct to Klosters.
Advanced & Expert Skiing in Davos Klosters
In addition to great off-piste, Davos and Klosters also have a number of challenging black runs and eleven unmarked, but mapped ski routes.
Two challenging black runs lead down to Wolfgang at the end of Davos Lake, via the Meierhofer Tälli and the Gruobenalp. If you’re searching for moguls try the run beneath the Schwarzeealp chair on Gotschnagrat or piste number one off the top of the Weissfluhgipel, which offers plenty of other challenges too: it has almost 360-degrees of off-piste skiing, but it’s steep stuff and involves some drop offs. On Rinerhorn a wide black run descends from Nüllisch Grat through woods and fields to the cable car station giving over 1,000m of vertical descent.
The only run back into Davos is a black piste, which has a tendency to be extremely icy (due to the high water content of the snow cannons). Unfortunately the run ends abruptly some 200m from the base of the Parsenn, necessitating a walk down a slippery section of road. Consequently, most people return via the funicular from the half-way station.
The piste map also indicates eleven off-piste routes, which are unmarked on the ground and unpatrolled. Sometimes these runs can be left untouched for days until people spot others using them, then the sheep mentality kicks in and they become well used. There’s a wonderfully long run from Madrisa down to Schlappin – red most of the way but rated black for the last section. Thanks to a new magic carpet at the end of the slope, it’s no longer necessary to catch the Zügenhüttli chair back towards Madrisa before you reach the black section.
Boarding & Freestyle in Davos Klosters
Davos (especially Jakobshorn) is a snowboarding Mecca, with various fun parks, freestyle and rider parks, a moster pipe and even a dedicated snowboard hotel.
By 1990 Davos had already gained a reputation as a snowboarding Mecca. Jakobshorn is THE place for boarders.
Offering two half-pipes, the one at the base of the mountain is floodlit till 9pm. Jakobshorn is where you’ll find the dedicated snowboard hotel, the Bolgenschanze. Also popular are the Bolgenhof and Snowboarders Palace.
Parsenn offers boardercross and skicross, and the Iglu village
Mountain Restaurants in Davos Klosters
Restaurants higher up in the Davos Klosters ski area are mostly self-service and unappealing, so you should stay low for your Rösti, for example at the famous ‘Schwendi’ huts on the way down to Klosters.
Although the main mountain restaurants high up are self-service and not very appealing, the one notable exception is the Bergrestaurant Weissfluhgipfel, which does wonderful salads, traditional and gourmet dishes and mouth-watering deserts – and the views are fantastic. Although it’s expensive, it fills up quickly and unless it’s early season or early in the day you’ll need to book.
Bruhlin’s apart, however, our advice is to stay low for lunch – try the Höhenweg bar / restaurant at Parsennbahn mid-station or find out for yourself why everyone raves about the Chesetta, Alte Conterser, Schifer and Serneuser ‘Schwendi’ huts on the way down to Klosters.
Restaurants on Madrisa are nothing special although Erica on the run down to Klosters offers cheese fondue as a house specialty. Further up on Pischa, the Mäderbeiz is a popular rustic hut. Over on Jakobshorn the Jazhütte is a cool place to hang out and good for rösti cooked in a giant frying pan, while Güggl on the same mountain is charming and serves good food, but rather slowly. When skiing on Rinerhorn Hübelhütte is the preferred choice. The Kulm restaurant at Davos Wolfgang makes a good stop before catching the bus or train back to town.
Alphütte Garfiun Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 13 69
Alte Conterser Schwendi Tel: +41 (0) 81 332 13 24
Berggasthaus Gotschnagrat Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 22 15
Berggasthaus Parsennhütte Tel: +41 (0) 81 416 36 52
Berghaus Alpenrösli Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 13 57
Berghaus Erika Schlappin Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 11 17
Berghaus Gemsli Schlappin Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 13 39
Berghaus Schifer Tel: +41 (0) 81 332 15 33
Berghaus Vereina Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 12 16
Berghaus-Restaurant Stafelalp Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 66 31
Berghütte Chesetta Tel: +41 (0) 81 330 56 88
Bergrestaurant Chalet Güggel Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 51 48
Bergrestaurant Clavadeler Alp Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 69 42
Bergrestaurant Fuxägufer Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 23 78
Bergrestaurant Hubelhütte Tel: +41 (0) 81 401 14 46
Bergrestaurant Höhenweg Tel: +41 (0) 81 417 67 44
Bergrestaurant Jatzhütte Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 73 61
Bergrestaurant Pischa Tel: +41 (0) 81 416 15 43
Bergrestaurant Rinerhorn Jatzmeder Tel: +41 (0) 81 401 12 55
Bergrestaurant Saaseralp Tel: +41 (0) 81 410 21 80
Bergrestaurant Strela Alp Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 56 83
Bergrestaurant Strelapass Tel: +41 (0) 81 415 52 67
Bergrestaurant Weissfluhgipfel Tel: +41 (0) 81 417 66 44
Bergrestaurant Weissfluhjoch Parsenn Tel: +41 (0) 81 417 66 11
Bär’s Hütte auf Selfranga Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 51 53
Clavadeler Alp Schaukäserei & Restaurant Tel: +41 (0) 79 484 17 04
Franzl’s Blockhütte Erezsäss Tel: +41 (0) 81 332 36 00
Gaudy’s Graströchni Tel: +41 (0) 79 620 35 13
Grialetsch Hütte SAC Tel: +41 (0) 81 416 34 36
Jschalp Bergrestaurant Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 64 01
Kesch-Hütte SAC Tel: +41 (0) 81 407 11 34
Mäderbeiz Tel: +41 (0) 81 416 17 27
Naturfreundehaus Clavadeler Alp Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 63 10
Nülli Schneebar Tel: +41 (0) 81 401 12 55
Panoramarestaurant Jakobshorn Gipfel Tel: +41 (0) 81 413 70 04
Rätscha Bar Bergrestaurant Saaseralp Tel: +41 (0) 81 410 21 80
Scharf Eck Tel: +41 (0) 81 401 12 52
Schatzalp Panorama Restaurant Tel: +41 (0)81 415 51 60
Schatzalp Snow Beach Terrassen-Restaurant Tel: +41 (0) 81 415 51 51
Schneebar Schwarzseealp Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 22 15
Schneebar Totalp Tel: +41 (0) 79 633 13 36
Silvrettahütte SAC Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 13 06
Ski- und Berghaus Schwendi Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 12 89
Skihütte Gruobenalp Tel: +41 (0) 81 422 62 30
Spina Bergestaurant Tel: +41 (0) 81 420 31 01
Stafel Bar Tel: +41 (0) 81 332 43 91
Sunnebeizli Hennagadä Tel: +41 (0) 81 420 26 78
Wunder-Bar Tel: +41 (0) 81 401 12 55
Zügenhüttli Bergrestaurant Saaseralp Tel: +41 (0) 81 410 21 80