Skiing in the Jungfrau Region
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Skiing with a view on the Eiger (3970m.), Mönch (4099m.) and the Jungfrau (4158m.) (©_Switzerland Tourism)
The Jungfrau Region is the heart of skiing in the Bernese Oberland, and its trio of resorts – Wengen (1274m), Mürren (1650m) and Grindelwald (1034m) – have long been a favourite of the British. They still offer some of the best skiing to be had in the Alps. The three areas are linked in the Jungfrau Top Ski Region, with a single pass covering the whole vast spread (2 days Fr.105, 7 days Fr.267), or individual passes valid for each area (1 day Fr.52, 2 days Fr.95). Various deals are offered for longer periods and for off-peak skiing – contact the Interlaken tourist office for more details. All the resorts have schools offering both daily classes and private lessons in skiing, snowboarding and other, wackier techniques for all proficiencies; class lessons tend to cost from around Fr.45 for three hours. All of them also lay on various diversions for skiers taking a break, including curling, ice-skating, sledging and adventure activities such as tandem paragliding.

Skiing and snowboarding pistes are open for all levels. Beginners are best served at Wengen and Grindelwald, both of which have nursery slopes and plenty of blue (easy) runs very close to the village centres. Red (intermediate) pistes run beneath the long Männlichen–Grindelwald gondola line, while there are long blue runs from Kleine Scheidegg down to Brandegg and Grindelwald-Grund. First (2168m), above Grindelwald, also has a host of leg-stretching blue and red runs. Mürren offers some of the most scenic skiing in the Alps, with a new chairlift accessing more than half-a-dozen routes down from the Schiltgrat (2145m), and the Allmendhubel funicular accessing lots more pistes-with-a-view.

There are thrilling red and black (advanced) runs from the Lauberhorn down to Wengen, following the course of the famous World Cup downhills and slaloms – at 4km, this is the world’s longest competition piste (the downhill record is currently held by Kristian Ghedina at an amazing 2min 24.23 seconds) and, aside from skiing it yourself, if you’re around in mid-January you should try and catch a glimpse of the professionals.

Black runs in the region are satisfyingly testing, most notably those down to Wengen from the Eigergletscher (2320m). The incredibly steep “Inferno” piste from the Schilthorn summit (2970m), through difficult mogul fields and the infamous “Gun Barrel” down to Mürren covers 11km.

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