International (Europe/Japan/NZ/Aus) One day on Titlis in Engelberg, Switzerland


Booting up
Jan 19, 2020
I was in Amsterdam for work this week so decided to tack a one day visit to Titlis onto the end. I picked Titlis because it was suggested as one of the best options near Zurich. My priority was to get to the resort from the Zurich airport coming off of an evening flight. I landed around 9:45pm and was in my rental car and headed south by 10:15. The drive was about 1.5 hours on mostly highways with the usual mix of tunnels. The last bit up from Lake Lucern up to the town of Engelberg had thankfully few switchbacks and steep curves at the last few miles up to the village. Stayed in a nice little hotel right near the base of the gondola which was $150 with a standard tasty Swiss buffet breakfast. Walked 5 minutes to the rental shop and then gondola.

Titlis is a two peak resort (on piste) - Titlis and Jochstock. There's an initial gondola which gets you 2/3 up the mountain with the option to disembark at the base of the ski area if you'd like. If you stay on the gondola, you get off 2/3 of the way up the mountain. From there, there are a few runs back down, either to the gondola or to a chair. To continue to the top of the mountain, you take the second, rotating gondola. This is also popular with tourists, but wasn't bad at all yesterday (thanks covid?). There is a chair serving one top run as well as a rope tow off to the other side. These runs are fun blue runs as well, although like the whole place, bump up as the day goes along. The only way (on skis) back down to the main part of the mountain was a super steep, mogul field called the Rotegg. The moguls were soft thanks to snow earlier this week however so it was pretty manageable.

From the base area, you can take a lateral gondola to the base of the Jochstock peak which is served by two lifts. There's also a pair of side blue runs down the side of the mountain which are served by a heated 7 seater. They are fun runs, but you have to be careful for slow skiers. The lift to get to midpoint of Jochstock was by far the longest lines I ran into on the whole mountain. There's a speed racing section over there as well as access to a lot of the most popular off piste stuff. I didn't have the gear or experience (or legs) for off piste but it's everywhere at the mountain.

If you're a (NE level) black diamond skier and going for more than one day, I think you should be ready to ski off-piste (and/or hire a guide). I skied all the on-piste trails and had a blast but did cover the place.

At the end of the day, you can (and I did) ski all the way from the base of the Jochstock lift down to the base station in the valley. This is fun, but crowded at spots. They make snow on this thankfully as there's basically no snow in the valley this winter.

Overall conditions were good. Very little ice but certainly lots of spots which were very hard snow where sharp edges are needed. I don't think I'd recommend this to a beginner skier or low intermediate. There aren't a ton of easy trails here, especially in the afternoon when the moguls form. There is a peak across the valley for beginners however, no idea how that is. There were no lines for lifts anywhere other than at the bottom of the Jochstock (5-8 min), the Rotair gondola (5+ min) to the top and maybe 5 at the base of the main gondola at 8:30 or so.

I stopped in Lucerne for a nice dinner on my way back to Zurich, then flew out at early morning the next day. Very efficient 36 hours in Switzerland without feeling hectic.

This photo is looking down the Rotegg trail towards the ski area base area.IMG_0034.jpg
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Getting on the lift
Jan 18, 2020
I've been to engelberg for 9 years, 1 with powder, and epicness skiiing Laub and misc., rest has been ice & piles of snow in unprepared hills, honest exception is the glacier run, and at times jochpass. No point of getting up first chair, seems at random which pistes they bother to prep.

Thoose piles of snow and people trying to get down, not trying to ski is way to representable for the slopes, most people go there to do offpiste it seems, but its insane how fast it gets tracked out. Engelberg was the place to kill my joy for ski touring years ago after repeatedly just going down again in my own tracks as we couldnt ski the other side.