Grindelwald First Ski Resort

http://www.powderhounds.com/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/images/Europe/Switzerland/GrindelwaldFirst/overview/01.JPG
First gondola makes its way up the mountain from Grindelwald
First gondola makes its way up the mountain from Grindelwald
Fresh powder & few tracks under the First gondola in Grindelwald
Fresh powder & few tracks under the First gondola in Grindelwald
Beginner ski area at Bodmi near Grindelwald
Beginner ski area at Bodmi near Grindelwald
First has fabulous non-ski activities including the Cliff Walk
First has fabulous non-ski activities including the Cliff Walk
Grindelwald is a wonderful Swiss Alps town in an amazing location
Grindelwald is a wonderful Swiss Alps town in an amazing location
The gondola up to First is a short walk or bus ride from the train station at Grindelwald
The gondola up to First is a short walk or bus ride from the train station at Grindelwald
Skiing the slopes of Wengen & the Schilthorn (as viewed from First) is a must when in the Jungfrau region
Skiing the slopes of Wengen & the Schilthorn (as viewed from First) is a must when in the Jungfrau region
Sidecountry freeride ski terrain on the flanks of the Rotihorn are easily accessed from Grindelwald First
Sidecountry freeride ski terrain on the flanks of the Rotihorn are easily accessed from Grindelwald First
Steep pistes lead to Bort (1570m) at First above Grindelwald
Steep pistes lead to Bort (1570m) at First above Grindelwald
Mountain restaurants like the Genepe Hutte are dotted across the First ski resort
Mountain restaurants like the Genepe Hutte are dotted across the First ski resort
Schreckfeld (1955m) is an important mid-mountain centre at First, and the start/finish point for the First Flyer ride
Schreckfeld (1955m) is an important mid-mountain centre at First, and the start/finish point for the First Flyer ride
Badmi at Grindelwald is just below First and is the region
Badmi at Grindelwald is just below First and is the region's best learn to ski area
Grindelwald First piste trail 5 & off-piste powder
Grindelwald First piste trail 5 & off-piste powder
Piste trail 5 at Frist starts with the most spectacular backdrop of glacier draped mountains
Piste trail 5 at Frist starts with the most spectacular backdrop of glacier draped mountains
Looking to Bort and its advanced pistes above at Grindelwald First
Looking to Bort and its advanced pistes above at Grindelwald First
Grindelwald First off-piste gets lashings of daytime sun & leads into piste trail 22
Grindelwald First off-piste gets lashings of daytime sun & leads into piste trail 22
Oberjoch chair lift at First takes skiers up to 2,500m, the highest point in the resort
Oberjoch chair lift at First takes skiers up to 2,500m, the highest point in the resort
Fantastic novice ski facilities just above Grindelwald
Fantastic novice ski facilities just above Grindelwald
The end of the Cliff Walk, one of many non-ski activities at Grindelwald First, Switzerland
The end of the Cliff Walk, one of many non-ski activities at Grindelwald First, Switzerland
Ski First at Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland
Ski First at Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland

Grindelwald First Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Grindelwald First

Grindelwald First4/51
Grindelwald First4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Didac Guide Arolla Evolene Instructor Guiding Guide Ski Switzerland Europe

Jungfrau Ski Region

Grindelwald Wengen
Interlaken
Jungfrau
Muerren Schilthorn

First Maps & Stats

     Grindelwald First Ski Trail Map
  • Grindelwald First Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    First-Grindelwald-Wengen only
    1,020m - 2,500m (1,480m)

    Jungfrau Ski Region
    796m - 2,970m (2,174m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5-12m
  • Lifts (10)
    First only
    3 Gondolas
    3 Chairlifts

    Jungfrau Ski Region - 72 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    First Only - Early Dec to late March
    Grindelwald Wengen - Late Nov to mid-April
    08:30am to 4:15pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 53km (First only, incl. routes)
    Longest run - 6km
    Advanced - 23%
    Intermediate - 21%
    Beginner - 56%

    First-Grindelwald-Wengen - 146km
    Jungfrau Ski Region - 206km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Jungfrau Sportpass
    (incl. Muerren, Schilthorn, Grindelwald, Wengen & First)
    Adult (20-61yr): CHF75
    Senior (from 62yr): CHF68
    Youth (16-19yr): CHF45
    Child (6-15yr): CHF38
    Child u/6yr: Free
    Jungfrau Trail Map
  • Jungfrau Ski Trail Map
    Jungfrau Railway Map
  • Jungfrau Railway Map

Grindelwald First Ski Resort Switzerland

One of three ski areas in the incredible Jungfrau Ski Region, First looms over the holiday honeypot town of Grindelwald and provides a huge range of winter activities for all visitors. Best accessed by train direct to the centre of town from Interlaken, Grindelwald First gives an impressive hint of what this area has to offer to the intrepid, or not so intrepid, skier & snowboarder. Plus, with the new integrated train/car/ski lift base at 'Terminal' across town, after skiing First, expanding the adventures up to the slopes of Kleine Scheidegg & Männlichen in Grindelwald Wengen is easier than it has ever been. To add to the allure, First has an amazing mix of non-ski activities including incredible sled trails and cliff walks.

Pros & Cons for Grindelwald First Ski Resort

Pros

  • Amongst the world’s most incredible mountain scenery.
  • Generally modern & efficient lift system with few (if any) lines.
  • Expansive on-piste ski terrain for all abilities, but particularly for beginners & intermediates.
  • Can receive loads of snow in the right weather conditions.
  • Long skiable vertical of over 1,480m.
  • Vast network of lifts & ski trails at First & beyond to Wengen & Mürren.
  • Quality on-piste trails for intermediate & advanced skiers & snowboarders.
  • Good value lift pass combined with the rest of the Jungfrau Ski Region and includes the train all the way Interlaken Ost station.
  • Multiple, valley runs of 6 to 13km to Grindelwald from both sides of the valley.
  • Delightful off-piste powder in the high alpine areas.
  • Numerous high-quality mountain restaurants & bars.
  • Incredible range & diversity of non-ski winter activities.
  • Public transport access by train is as good as it gets anywhere in the world.
  • A perfect family winter snow holiday location.

Cons

  • First gondola & chairlifts are amongst the oldest in the region, enjoy the scenery!
  • Limited ski-in ski-out accommodation.
  • Village can be busy.
  • Limited advanced on-piste terrain.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Slopes are some of the sunniest in the region (can be good or bad depending on temperatures.
  • Access to the world’s longest sledding run (15km long), but it does require a little bit of walking from the top of the gondola to get there.
  • Grindelwald town can be overrun with non-ski tourists at all times of winter & spends much of the day in shade during mid-winter (blame the Eiger!).
  • Accommodation in Grindelwald varies greatly in price & quality, and some of its hotels are less pleasing on the eye than one would hope (blame the 70s, we do for lots of things!).
  • You may be so distracted by the landscape of peaks, glaciers, man-made engineering feats & impossibly deep valleys that you’ll simply forget to leave!

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

First has Grindelwald's longest skiable vertical (1,500m) & highest lifted point (2,500m). Presumably named due to its position gaining the first rays of sun in the morning, First is a powder haven the morning after a winter storm. Appearing to be bereft of powder seekers, the off-piste at First is ripe to be plucked by an intuitive powder hound.

Whilst long valley trails for intermediates are a feature of the ski area, for novices the delightful ski are at Bodmi, just above the town, is a wonderful place to learn. Powder seekers will enjoy the zone between First & Bort (including the flanks of Rothorn) but need to mindful of the closed areas for local fauna. if you get bored, get across to Terminal and take the amazing new gondolas up to Kleine Sheidegg or Männlichen for even longer runs, because that's the beauty of First - it’s on the same lift pass as everything else on the other side of town!

Check out the ski trail map for First below.

Jungfrau Ski Trail Map
Grindelwald First Ski Trail Map

First's ski lifts start at the gondola base in Grindelwald, about 1km up the main road from the train station. The gondola bumps its way up to 2,168m via two mid-stations at Bort & Schreckfeld. The Oberjoch chair gets skiers & snowboarders to the 2,500m highest lifted point from the top of the gondola. The Schilt chair goes up 2,260m and provides the perfect start for many of the long valley descents. Three other chairs serve upper mountain pistes of little consequence.

Lift Passes & Jungfrau Ski Region

All lift passes are now valid in the full Jungfrau Ski Region, which includes masses of terrain across the valley and over to Wengen & Mürren (accessible by train via Lauterbrunnen). All lift passes in the area now include the train from Interlaken Ost railway station as well. See below for the full Jungfrau Ski Region resorts/trail map.

Jungfrau Ski Region Map
Jungfrau Ski Region Map

Where is Grindelwald Switzerland?

The Grindelwald First ski resort is within the expansive canton of Bern in central Switzerland. Looming above the village of the same name, Grindelwald, & with an incredible backdrop of precipitous peaks draped in glaciers, the nearest major town is Interlaken. From Interlaken, Grindelwald is 20km southwest by road. Interlaken is located between Lake Thun (Thunersee) & Lake Brienz (Brienzersee), on the Aare River which flows to the Rhine. The town is 55km (45min) by road south-east of the de-facto Swiss capital of Bern & only 120km (1½hr) south-west of Zurich.

The main international gateway airport is Zurich (ZRH) with secondary options including Geneva (GVA) (for all international flight origins) or Basel (BSL) (for UK & European flight origins).

The train is the recommended mode of travel to the resort. The resort, via Interlaken, has excellent rail connections to all the major Swiss cities, towns & ski resorts throughout the Alps. Interlaken has two railway stations, West & Ost (East). Access to the First ski resort by train is only available from Interlaken Ost station, making it the more important of the two. Trains to and from Zurich transit via Bern to Interlaken Ost Bahnhof in around 2hr, or via the more scenic route through lovely Lucerne in around 3hr. The journey via Lucerne is recommended if time is not of the essence! Who knows, you may even get a chance to stop and check the Meiringen Hasliberg ski resort on the way!

From Interlaken Ost station, onward trains depart every 30min to Grindelwald (journey time of 40min). All train travel from Interlaken Ost into the Jungfrau Ski Region via Grindelwald (or Lauterbrunnen) is included in the Jungfrau Ski Region lift pass, but not the Grindelwald lift pass. Trains also connect Grindelwald to the Lauterbrunnen valley via the eye-popping high pass at Kleine Scheidegg below the Eiger. See here for the Jungfrau rail network map.

Search & book here for train tickets to Interlaken & the Jungfrau ski region.

To ensure a decent level of visitor confusion, there are three railway stations at Grindelwald: Grindelwald, Grindelwald Grund & the new Grindelwald Terminal. All trains from Interlaken terminate at the main Grindelwald bahnhof in the centre of the village. Grindelwald Terminal is for skiers & snowboarders coming up from Interlaken that wish to ski the Grindelwald-Wengen ski sectors & is fully integrated into the new V-bahn gondola base, where the Eiger & Männlichen gondolas depart. For First though, from Grindelwald station one needs to walk along the main street for around 1km to the gondola base. Buses regularly make the journey from the main bus stop just a little way into town on the right.

If taking public transport offends one’s sensibilities or if you have post-covid concerns, we recommend a private transfer to reach Grindelwald. Private transfers can also be particularly cost effective & time efficient if in a group of 3 or more people.

Search & book all airport transfers to Grindelwald.

For day-trippers with a rental car that wish to drive up to the resort, the best bet is to head to Grindelwald Terminal & park in the major multi-level garage. The parking is integrated within the new gondola complex.

Grindelwald Accommodation

Grindelwald village is a well-developed tourist enclave beautifully situated in a valley below the region’s most impressive peaks. Grindelwald provides superb access to First via the gondola near the centre of town. Grindelwald has lodging options for every taste & budget. A plethora of fabulous hotels, chalets & apartments are clustered near the village centre & train station, and whilst some of them appear dated on the outside (indeed there are several architectural abominations amongst them) the location of the village is such that all cares & quibbles are quickly forgotten. A new (ish) shopping & supermarket complex, set discreetly underground in the centre of town, provides all the requisite services that were previously lacking in the town.

Search & book all Grindelwald ski accommodation.

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski rentals are available throughout Grindelwald via our local partners near the gondola base. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Grindelwald First Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

If seeking on or off-piste ski or snowboard lessons & guiding, search & book via our Grindelwald First Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

Non-Ski Activities

Whilst lift-accessed & cross-country skiing are a given here (there are 10km of cross-country trails at Grindelwald), a standard inclusion of all good Swiss ski resorts is to provide loads of non-ski activities for visitors. Grindelwald (& indeed, the entire Jungfrau Ski Region) goes well beyond all of them to lead the pack. That means there is probably more to see & do here than just about any other ski region in the world.

Trains buffs & sightseers alike will delight in the possibilities the various railway lines & cable cars provide including up to the Sphinx observatory at Jungfraujoch, or down to Interlaken and everywhere in between. Walkers will love the 100km of winter-walking trail diversity - a stroll up the peak at First or Männlichen, a wander under the frozen waterfalls of the Lauterbrunnen valley or more energetic undertakings in Grindelwald First. Perhaps a helicopter over the peaks of the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau? Feeling the need for speed or just the sensation of sliding, there are 50km of sledding trails throughout the region including the world’s longest - the 15km Big Pintenfritz into Grindelwald. Sledding into Muerren is also possible via the Fox run. There are well-priced sled (locally called sledging!) & hiking passes that include all trains & ski lifts needed to access all trails in the region, providing a great way to see the area. Ice skating, para-sailing, curling, flyers, gliders & just good old-fashioned eating & drinking whilst taking in a stupendous view from a mountain hut. There are plenty of ways to spend time here that don’t involve skiing or snow-boarding. If you can’t find something to do, you are not looking!

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Grindelwald First in February 2022 and truly enjoyed the diversity of terrain & activities it has to offer. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how First compares to the rest of the Swiss ski resorts on the Switzerland ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Instagram to see where we are currently skiing. Follow our main Powderhounds page on Facebook to stay in touch with up-to-date info, tours, and discussions.

Tours in or near Grindelwald First
No listings were found for Grindelwald First.
200