|Winter sports in Davos and Klosters|
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The main reason to come to either Davos or Klosters is for the outstanding skiing. Although both resorts are quite far apart, they share the same ski area and lift pass – indeed, the prime attraction of skiing here is the sense of openness you get from swooshing down broad well-tended pistes which go on and on, for more than 10km in many cases from mountaintop to valley bottom.
The big focus of everyone’s attention is the Parsenn ski area on the north side of Davos and the west side of Klosters (www.parsenn.ch), with the Weissfluh summit as its centrepiece. However, there are just three methods of access from the valley floor, all of which suffer from queues aplenty in peak season. The Parsennbahn funicular starts from Davos-Dorf and rises to the Weissfluhjoch saddle just below the summit; the little Schatzalpbahn funicular from Davos-Platz takes you to a broad snow shelf, from where you must switch to chairlifts and gondolas for the journey further up; while the Gotschnagrat cable-car (www.gotschna.ch) rises from Klosters-Platz station to a ridge just east of the Weissfluh. Once you’ve arrived on the mountain, there are plenty of draglifts serving dozens of blue and red runs, including giant, weaving pistes from the top of the Weissfluh all the way down through the trees to hamlets such as Küblis, Saas and Serneus north of Klosters. For more testing runs, you could attempt the notorious Gotschnawang, scene of an avalanche in 1988 which killed Prince Charles’s equerry and which is now regularly off limits, or a handful of black runs on the lower, steep slopes above Davos-Dorf and Wolfgang.
Moving onto one of the four other ski sectors in the Davos/Klosters area can take you away from the crowds. From Davos-Platz station, cable-cars rises to Ischalp, and from there to the Jakobshorn summit (www.fun-mountain.ch), with a hatful of scenic blues and reds. Bus #1 from Davos-Dorf serves Dörfji, the base station of the cable-car up to Pischa (2483m), while a gondola from Davos-Glaris (bus #7 from Davos centre) rises to the Rinerhorn (2053m), which has lifts going higher to access blues, reds and a testing black run down to the valley. A gondola rises from Klosters-Dorf to the east side of its valley and the ski area of Madrisa, also with plenty of long, exciting reds on pistes which hug the Austrian border.
Passes, considering the range of skiing on offer, are excellent value. A comprehensive REGA pass costs Fr.160 for three days, Fr.268 for six days. A day pass for the Parsenn is Fr.54, for the Jakobshorn Fr.50; while a Parsenn-Plus gives you access to all the mountains around Davos for Fr.107 for two days. Week-long passes benefit from twenty percent discounts before mid-December, during most of January, and from mid-March until the end of the season.
Snowboarders should aim principally for the Parsenn, although the Jakobshorn is the favourite of many and there’s some limited scope for experimentation on the Madrisa as well. Both Davos and Klosters have plenty of other diversions, including indoor swimming, ice-skating, tobogganing (especially on Schatzalp) and paragliding: a number of operators in both resorts offer tandem flights for around Fr.160–180, including Paragliding Davos (079/236 39 49), Spina (081/401 14 14) and Hans Guler (081/413 60 43) in Davos, and Flugcenter Grischa (081/422 20 70) in Klosters.
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