Lauchernalp (Lötschental)

Lauchernalp (Lötschental)

Overall Rating

Lauchernalp (Lötschental)

Lauchernalp (Lötschental) 3.5/53
Lauchernalp (Lötschental) 3.5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Lauchernalp Maps & Stats

    Lauchernalp Ski Trail Map
  • Lauchernalp Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,419m - 3,111m (1,692m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8m
  • Lifts (6)
    2 Gondolas / cable cars
    2 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Hours
    Mid December to mid-April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 55km
    Longest run - 10km +
    Advanced - 26%
    Intermediate - 36%
    Beginner - 38%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Dynamically priced online
    Adult - from CHF64
    Child - from CHF32
    Child u/6yr - Free
    Magic Pass is valid

Lauchernalp (Lötschental) - Reviews

Lauchernalp (Lötschental) - Reviews

Love It

02/02/2024

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Love It

02/02/2024

When you love a ski hill having only ever skied it for a few days in a near zero viz blizzard, imagine one’s feelings when you ski it on a bluebird powder day!

I love Lauchernalp. It ticks so many of the boxes we adore. Long descents, affordable, quiet (mostly!), high snowfall zone, great mix of terrain, easy to get to by public transport, spectacular scenery, cute villages…. Need I go on?

This mid-January visit was directly from the airport at Zurich. A few hours after landing, then 2 trains and a bus later, I was already in my hotel getting ready for a sneaky afternoon of skiing. This was Lauchernalp’s first year on Magic Pass and I intended to make full use of it… plus it was snowing! An afternoon of deep powder turns in no visibility seemed all too familiar to me. But it was the next day that I finally got to see the mountain properly.

Having seen a few images, the surrounding landscape dominated by 3,934m Bietschhorn & its long alpine ridge with steep avalanche slopes flowing into the Lötschental (Loetschen Valley) opposite the ski area wasn’t a surprise, but actually seeing it was welcome.

Quality powder turns were had with sunny skies, cold temperatures, glorious views and no else challenging me for fresh tracks one on the hill, with the exception of one or two very knowledgeable locals. Worth noting at this point that Monday to Thursday here are quiet, very quiet. Friday to Sunday, particularly if the sun is making an appearance and there is fresh snow, can be a little more hectic thanks to the ‘locals’ from Basel & Bern thinking the ski area is theirs. The temerity... Ski here Monday to Thursday for quiet, stress-free powder days like I experienced.

From the top of the cable car at Lauchernalp village the terrain is all post glacial and above tree line. There are plenty of lines to be had off-piste to suit all desires, just step of the groomers. The sidecountry from the top of the Stafel-Gandegg triple chair to far skiers’ right is sublime and includes a monstrous natural half pipe down the centre of a broad, safely pitched basin. Perfect for fresh turns in periods of high avalanche danger. A traverse to the left will get you back into the mountain village or you can continue down onto the ‘multi-use’ path to Kippel and skin back up a short distance.

Beyond, the backcountry is easily accessed via the ‘Panoramaweg’ from the top of the Gletscherbahn. Further on the Lötschenpasshutte can be visited too. Skinning up into the bowls to the ‘skiers left’ of the resort provides quieter turns in spectacular surrounds. Descents can link back onto the valley trail. The valley trail itself has several sectors where one can leave the trail & ski between crumbling hay barns to link up to the trial a few hairpin bends down the mountain. The trail ends a little abruptly at Wiler. A bus stop is just below on the main road and if you time it right (bus in only once in each direction every hour) you can jump on and ride back to the cabe car. Otherwise it’s a pleasant walk down a narrow village lane passing traditional houses, cow & sheep barns adorned with fabulously hideous Tschäggättä masks. The Tschäggättä lurk throughout the valley, so best behave!

Groomer skiing here will please most, particularly first thing in the morning. The groomers are empty for the first hour and massive vertical can be achieved for those that think that kinda thing is vital.

The are various accommodations throughout the valley that can be utilised when skiing Lauchernalp. The ski-in ski-out alpine village of Lauchernalp is the most obvious, but also the most expensive & comparatively difficult. The Berghaus provides a classic traditional mountain hut experience, but in style, plus the well situated Alpinhotel zur Wildi is perfect ski-in ski-out. The apartments below the cable car station/chairlift base should be avoided, simply due to their inconvenience. A stiff walk up hill on snow is required to get to the lifts which all but defeats the purpose of staying on the mountain.

Several hotels & apartments are around the cable car base in the village of Wiler and are certainly worth considering.

I stayed at Hotel Petersgrat in the valley village of Kippel, only 10min walk to the Lauchernalp cable car station in nearby Wiler. Affordable, comfortable and with incredibly accommodating & helpful owners, it was all I could have asked for. One can take the Postbus to the ski lift if you time it right. Only runs once every hour but is free with your Guest Card when staying in the valley. Kippel has a lovely old ‘old town’ sector near the church with numerous authentic homes & agricultural buildings accessed by meandering, pedestrian-only lanes. Gorgeous on falling snow.

Beyond Wiler is Ferdun which is just too far away to walk to the lifts, so reliance is on the bus or your own transport. Similarly up the valley at Ried & Blatten, several magnificent hotels can be used but transport to the ski lifts is limited to once an hour if one does not have a rental car. We don’t think anyone should have a rental car in Switzerland, the public transport is too good.

All the villages are linked through the valley below the road by a delightful series of winter-walking & cross-country ski trails. Take the bus to Blatten, wander the town upriver, then walk back down the valley to get a new perspective on the Lötschental.

Eating? If it is a sunny day with no wind, pack a picnic lunch and find a nice spot in the sun to eat lunch looking to the Bietschhorn. For on-mountain dining, there are a few snacky items and the usual overpriced drinks at each of two yurts (one up high at the base of the Gletscherbahn gondola, one mid-mountain at Stafel where the chairlifts meet). Yurts are never much of an option for me (unless it’s the proper one at Arolla serving home-cooked food…… I digress….. mind is wandering…..). I find them too noisy, smoky, often overfull, but each to their own. If a hot dog and a beer are your sort of lunch, the yurts will provide.

Away from the yurts, Lauchernalp village has the excellent Bergrestaurant & affordable self-serve restaurant in the main building near the cable car. Above that is Restaurant Bärgsunna which seems popular on a sunny day, but we didn’t sample it. Further above that is Alpenhotel zur Wildi, which has a consistently good food & beverage offering. Highest in the village is the Berghaus, which has a million-dollar view from its ski-in ski-out deck. Get some house-made apricot or apple tart or stay for lunch which mixes traditional dishes like rösti (potato based), kasseschnitte (fancy cheese bread) & grilled meats with pastas & pizzas. Prices are at the higher end of the scale, but so are the surroundings.

Evening dining has a few treats & a few challenges. On quiet mid-weeks, many of the valley restaurants are closed (particularly on Mondays & Tuesdays). Hopefully your hotel provides dinner for house guests (Hotel Petersgrat did – thanks Herbert), otherwise you may need to hunt around a bit. Hotel Sporting’s restaurant always seems to be open and is located just across from the cable car base in Wiler. Also in Wiler, Restaurant Lonza gets rave reviews.

For a treat, the Michelin rated restaurant at Hotel Nest & Bietschhorn at Ried, on the road to Blatten, is the place for you. Make sure you reserve a table.

Après ski in the villages is quiet mid-week. Après ski is best done on the hill (if that is your thing) or if skiing down, stop at the Tschäggättu Pub on the walk back through Wiler. Alternatives exist but if you have already descended the valley trail, this is the place to stop. Owner Yvonne will provide a fantastic array of libations, including a multitude of wonderful beers, both local & from around Europe. Prices are a good as you will get in Switzerland. The pub opens at 3, closes late, has good tunes playing and provides a welcome shelter in the storm or late at night if in need of lubrication!

Lauchernalp is the perfect introduction to the multitude of ‘small’ ski resorts dotted throughout Switzerland. The small resorts are the real reason to ski in the Swiss Alps, and if you score a powder day or two out of it, even better. We will see you there Monday morning ……


See our video here

Lauchernalp

Mat
18/04/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Lauchernalp

Mat
18/04/2018
Lauchernalp is an awesome ski area! Situated on the mountain ridge between canton Bern and canton Wallis (Valais) it provides tons of good powder. The terrain allows almost 2000m of free powder fall (if there is snow cover till in the valley). Make sure you are there super early on good days. The resort is well known to be a powder mecca! And the locals are early birds!
See our video here

Paradise Found at Lauchernalp

13/01/2018

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Paradise Found at Lauchernalp

13/01/2018
Lauchernalp in the Lötschental is Powderhounds paradise found. Why you ask?

Top elevation of 3111m, nearly 1700m of skiable vert (last run skied it top to bottom – 10km+), fresh snow, first tracks ‘crowd’ of at least 15 people, Tschäggättä everywhere, glorious powder skiing on and off piste, delicious lunch in the superb dining areas at the Zudili panorama bar and restaurant, chatted with suitably bemused land exceedingly friendly locals, experienced a 'zero crowd on the slopes' phenomenon after lunch. Strategically placed yurts near the lifts were perfect for liquid fuel and warmth. Wandered the laneways of the village of Wiler at the end of the valley run, looking into ancient hay barns with lots of cows and beautiful houses. Took the bus and train back to Brig (they were on time and perfectly coordinated, of course). Why don’t all trains have ski racks! Cracking visit.

Perhaps next time (and there will be a next time) we will actually see the mountain. It is supposed to be beautiful up there…….

Blizzard conditions and extreme avalanche danger were a blessing and a curse during our visit to Lauchernalp (and indeed the entire Valais). Photography was near impossible but we got a great sense of the ski resorts potential. Face shots on piste after lunch is always a good indication of a wonderful ski hill for Powderhounds!

Aside from the Powderhounds delight at skiing deep powder, facilities and trails for all levels of skier are available, making Lauchernalp accessible for everyone.
See our video here