Saturday, March 10, 2012

Discovering Engelberg, a great resort with a great terrain!

It was certainly quite a challenge to get to Sörenberg! First, the road we first intended to use was closed due to winter closing forcing us to do a 100km detour. To add to the pleasure, our GPS couldn't point down where was the town so we had to use some really small scale map on which most of the town weren't listed. Then, on the way, we got lost and ended up in the Swiss country side. 

We eventually got to Sörenberg at 9h30-10h00AM and we both wondered why it wasn't more obvious to go there since it was relatively big. It is certainly a great ski area for family since the amount of beginner-intermediate terrain in quite extensive. Even if most of the area is more family oriented, there was also some fairly serious terrain just under the tram.
Unfortunately, due to the wet-snow avalanche danger, these slopes were closed and we weren't able to ski them.

We made our way up and finally found some great snow even if it hadn't snow in a while. It was another great day under the sun, with cold powder and terrific view! 

From there, we drove towards Engelberg from which I've heard some great things. We made the drive towards Engelberg without any problems this time! As we got there, we were both stunned by the location. This mountain village is located at the end of a valley on a plateau with huge mountain everywhere around. 

The history of this location dates from the 13th century so we were certainly not the first one to like the view! We randomly picked up the Angels Lodge as our crashing place and it happened to be own and operated by a fellow Quebecer that pointed us all the best must run to do in Engelberg! It was certainly the best place we've stayed of our Swiss tour with the sauna, hot-tub and boot-drying place!!!

Even if the village is quite tourist oriented, it has been able to keep a cool lay-back feeling. We both went to bed figuring that if the resort was just half good of what we expected it to be, we would be sold!

It was, in fact, REALLY good. The orientation of the mountain preserves the snow much longer that in much of the resorts that we've skied on this trip. The terrain both inbound, the slackcountry or the backcountry was really good.

The powder was still dry even if the temperatures were way above 0 degree.

We unfortunately had to leave after only one day of skiing because we've been offered to fly around the Mt Blanc by Antoine, my Dad's friend. Engelberg was certainly my favourite resort I've visited in Europe. This is certainly a place I will put quite high on my list as a must-return destination for my next Alps trips.

We drove back from Engelberg straight to Geneva. Antoine as a pilot, has kindly offered us to fly near the Mt Blanc. The temperatures were summery-like with high around 20 degrees! We certainly couldn't had picked up a better day to fly! The plane was fairly small but it was great to have a view from above. We left from a small airport near Chambéry and head straight to the Mt Blanc.  This huge massif is certainly not any smaller from an airplane! We didn't flew around it but we went over some of the major french resorts which were packed due to the french spring break.

I was really impress to see how many avalanches has slid in the recent days with the warm temps. Good timing not to be touring around!

We left today to head back towards Frankfurt from where we are both flying tomorrow. On the way, an accident delayed our train and after running around in Basel, we eventually just catch our train to Frankfurt. My Dad will be flying to Montreal and I am leaving for Seattle. 

From Seattle, I will then be flying to Anchorage where I will be joined by Amelie. With more than 700 inches so far this year at Alyeska, it will certainly going to be quite good for skiing!

The end of a great European journey and the start of another great one!
Stay tuned, 

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