Despite the large number of thrilling pistes available, skiing in Engelberg is almost synonymous with going off-piste. During the winter months, this Alpine village welcomes plenty of freeriders and holidaymakers. With easy access to off-piste areas, Engelberg has become famous as a paradise for the sport.
From the alpine village you can easily get to fantastic off-piste slopes such as the Laub, big and bmall Sulz and Steinberg without using climbing skins or taking your snowboard off. The two ski areas near Engelberg are called Titlis and Brunni. The way up the north-facing mountainside of Titlis is an exciting experience, as the revolving gondola lift called Rotair rotates 360 degrees on the way to the top.
The ski season in Engelberg is long. It starts in October and rounds off at the end of May. In the beginning and end of the season you can hit the slopes in the morning and go hiking, cycling or mountain-climbing in the afternoon. Naturally the ski season is shorter on the south facing side of Brunni than on the north facing side of Mt. Titlis. Skiing in Engelberg might attract predominantly experienced skiers, but there are areas and slopes that fit young families as well as adult beginners. If cross-country skiing is more your speed, there are options for that as well.
Did we mention that snow is almost a sure thing in this part of the Alps? Engelberg is simply a winning choice for skiing. Particularly if you are after a holiday filled with challenging pistes in red and black, or going off-piste.
Why you should go skiing in Engelberg
The main ski areas in Engelberg are Titlis and Brunni, one facing north and one facing south. Generally, the areas attract different target groups. North-facing Titlis is covered in shade and has earned the light-hearted nickname “Mount Doom”, in reference to its challenging off-piste slopes. The mountain has a steep incline and offers thrilling experiences, which is why Titlis attracts the true experts.
On sunny Brunni facing the south, beginner-friendly pistes are available. Skiing in this part of Engelberg is a lot easier than on Titlis but has a unique charm with plenty of opportunities for magical woodland skiing. There is also a commercial area nearby, so finding a good place to stop for lunch and a well-deserved rest is a breeze. If you are bringing your children to Engelberg, Brunni is a great choice. The pistes offer just enough of a challenge, and the Alpine landscape makes the skiing an impressive experience.
The Engelberg Big Five - Experience Engelberg's off-piste
If you want to make things a little more extreme, you should try out the “Big Five” off-piste areas of Engelberg. This collection includes Laub, Steintäli, Sulz (small, middle and big), Steinberg and Galtiberg. Each of the Engelberg “Big Five” offer a unique skiing experience and can be found on the bucket lists of many freeriders. These slopes also play a huge part in why off-piste enthusiasts pilgrimage to peaceful Engelberg.
Keep safety in mind. Off-piste areas are never far away in Engelberg, and it can be tempting to give them a go with reckless abandon. If you are interested in going off-piste, we suggest booking a guide to help you make sure that you have the right gear and are equipped with the necessary knowledge to traverse the giant slopes of Engelberg.
Laub is the best-known off-piste slope in Engelberg. With a comfortable incline of 35-40 degrees, challenging skiing and spectacular views over Engelberg it is not hard to see why. For many Laub is a natural place to begin their discovery of Engelberg’s off-piste areas. And yet this slope is relatively untouched. Often the snow is mostly undisturbed, providing optimal conditions for off-piste skiing. If you are only able to try a single off-piste slope in Engelberg, Laub is an obvious choice in our opinion.
Steintal, or Steintäli, is an area where you can expect picturesque off-piste on beautiful snow. For various reasons this is not a very well-visited area of Engelberg. Most likely, you will be undisturbed while swishing along.
Small, middle and big Sulz offer playful skiing that is characterised by wide slopes with variations and steep incline. If you are going to tackle Sulz, or skiing in Engelberg in general, we recommend small Sulz as a warm-up.
Steinberg is an opportunity to try glacier skiing, on one of the most classic off-piste areas in Engelberg. This slope is as easy to find as it is thrilling to ski. Do not forget to appreciate the atmosphere while whirling down the mountainside, as glacier skiing on Steinberg offers gorgeous views. But before venturing out in this area, make sure to discuss it with an experienced mountain guide. Glacier skiing on Steinberg requires some security measures to be taken ahead of time.
Galtiberg is the Ferrari of Engelberg off-piste. From the top of Titlis down to the village via the Galtiberg glacier, you set out on the longest, most alpine and most difficult ride in the whole Engelberg area. In fact, this is one of the longest off-piste slopes in the Alps. So, it comes as no surprise that only the most experienced and knowledgeable freeriders can handle it. Generally, we recommend that you contact a mountain guide to get the most out of Galtiberg, the most extreme off-piste area in Engelberg.
Wendelücke can also be considered a part of the illustrious Engelberg Big Five, but its inaccessibility makes it into one of the most difficult slopes in Engelberg.
While you can access Wendelücke by taking the Jochspass lift to the very top and enjoy parts of the run from there, we strongly recommend you to go off the beaten path and hike up to the bigger field close by, giving you access to the whole run in one go. After around 15-20 minutes of hiking, you'll be able enjoy untouched powder and splendid views on the very top of Wendelücke, overseeing the majority of the Engelberg valley. If you want to experience a powder Nirvana with a big, wide slope with a nice view that has a vertical 1000 drop run, this is it. Just be warned, there will be a lot of hiking - make sure you have enough gas in the tank to last for about 60 minutes of hiking, especially if you decide to ski all the way down to the lake below, or to the bottom of the run - where it will take you around 10 minutes to get back to the ski lift.
In short, Wendelücke might not be all that special if you keep yourself to the lift area, but with a little hiking, grit and determination, a skiing adventure run awaits.
Snowboarding in Engelberg
Engelberg is a brilliant location to challenge yourself at snowboarding. Both Brunni and Titlis are welcoming with few flat surfaces overall on the upper slopes, both on and off-piste.
In Engelberg you will find some of the most spectacular cliffs for snowboarding jumps in the Alps, but only true daredevils venture out on the most extreme ones. Maybe you have seen videos of this kind of snowboarding in Engelberg floating around online.
A highlight for the average snowboarder is located at the bottom of the lift up Jochpass. Here you will find jumps, rails, and a half-pipe as well as a quarter-pipe. This park is constantly changing during the seasons, with new updates and improvements happening on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in getting better at snowboarding during your time in Engelberg, there are instructors and courses to book.
Do you have any questions about off-piste, glacier skiing or anything else to do with skiing and snowboarding in Engelberg? Do not hesitate to contact us at Hotel Hoheneck for recommendations on everything from pistes to mountain guides.
Ski map over Engelberg