The Valais valley of Lotschental hides in the region of Jangfrau-Aletsh, a vestige of real nature spared by the concrete takeover campaign. The 30 km (18.64 mi) long stretch is one of the larger valleys north of Rhone. River Lonza from the Lang glacier courses through it. The entire world acknowledges the beauty of the place- Jangfrau-Altesh has been deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
And present amongst all this majesty is the Lotschental ski resort, a medium sized resort that promises to be calmer than the calm resorts of the Alps.
Lotschental is as appealing to hardcore skiers as it is for children, families or novices. After all, every expert desires to claim the virginity of crisp powder snow. And there’s plenty at this resort.
The winter sports area lies between 1419 m (4665 ft) and 3111 m (10206 ft) (elevation range 1692 m (5551 ft )
The Lotschental ski area has a cumulative 55 km of the slope to offer. This comprises 20 km (12.4 mi) of the easy (Blue) slope, 17 km (10.5 mi) of intermediate (Red) slope and 18 km (11.1 mi) of expert (Black) slope. The longest run Hockenhorngrat-Schilthorn-National-valley run-Wiler, lets you hurtle downhill, 10 kilometers, unstoppable, over an elevation difference of 1692 m (5551.1 ft).
There’s also a valley run that starts at the Lauchernalp, leads over Fischbiel, and ends east of the village Wiler.
About 30% of the slope can be covered by the 28 snow cannons that are in service at the resort.
Cross Country Trails
If you relish the challenge of a cross-country trail, then you have reason to rejoice. 24 km (15 mi) of well-groomed cross-country trails, both classic and skating style, not only give you the challenge you seek but take you through the scenic villages in the valley.
The 1.5 km (about 1 mi) long Kippel night trail is illuminated from 1900 hrs to 2100 hrs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Training Facilities and Rentals
The Cool School is the only Swiss skiing school in the area, run by members of a family. They do everything to ensure you and family have a memorable stay. Besides offering to train you in various ski sorts, they can also accompany you to the slopes and be your guides in the valley. Novice, expert, young, old- all are welcome.
The Ski and snowboard service center, Lauchernailp has all the gear you need. Besides the gear, they provide a range of services to enhance your skiing experience, such as Hot waxing, providing micro and ceramic disk finish on special machines, repairs, etc
Feel Lotschental Statistics
Base Elevation: 1419 m
Summit Elevation: 3111 m
Vertical Drop: 1692 m
Overall, 6 Lifts are in service at the resort, covering a total length of 5.8 km (3.6 mi). Of these, 1 is an aerial tram, 1 is a gondola, 2 are chairlifts and T-bar lifts make up the remaining pair.
A couple of chairlifts comprise one detachable and one fixed grip type.
The chair and T-bars ferry you from Lauchernalp (1968 m/6450 ft) to Gandegg (2720 m/ 7447 ft).
The gondola takes you from Gandegg (2720 m / 892f ft) to Hockenhorngrat (3111 m / 10206 ft). Don’t misspend the gondola ride planning the cool maneuver that you will execute (you can do that later). Instead, you may look out the window, and you’ll know what we mean.
Note that the valley run ends east of Wiler, while the closest cable car, the Wiler-Lauchernalp aerial cable car, lies to its west. The lift ferries guests to the ski resort (Lauchernalp), every 20 minutes.
Tobogganing, snowshoeing, winter hikes, ski tours, free riding- you name it, they have it.
Ski touring is one of the best things to do here if you’re not in the ski arena. Check out the Lotschental outdoor sports region, that gradually melds with nature as you go on. Soak in the scenery as you ascend. You can take your time. On top, you’ll be able to see the taller peaks of the Alps, many in the so-called “4000 m+” club. Forget your daily concerns for a while, just imagine if you could be there daily, breathing the cool air, away from the (sometimes) eyesore of a ‘modern world’.
Before heading out, it’s a good practice to check if you have all the gear you might need in a contingency and plan your route beforehand. Going alone is risky; we recommend you head out with either a mountain guide or a group. Carry a map (and familiarize yourself with the basics of map-reading), if it is available.
And here comes the best part for those who like to break off and chart their own path. And what’s better than doing so on powder snow? The free riding area is at par with larger Swiss ski resorts, but it doesn’t have the crowd. Apparently, it remains an insider secret.
Free riding has an element of risk and you should only head our when you have the right equipment.
Did you like the serenity of a snow clad mountain the last time you were on one? Then we suggest your next step be a hike through the pine trees in the valley. Lotschental remains comparatively less conspicuous to tourists, offering you a walk through oblivion. Silent oblivion.
Marked winter trails sum up to about 50 km (31.6 mi). Some hikes would also occasionally offer a panorama of the nearly the entire “4000+ club”.
The resort has a “Tobogganing Fun" offer which lets you hire a Toboggan from Kily Sport or Sporthaus Lauchernalp. It also grants a 1 day pass for the Wiler – Lauchernalp cable car .
If you happen to be on the Lauchernalp to Wiler/ Kippel route, keep your guard up. It’s a mixed-use track, which means you’ll have company from skiers. Nothing serious, just is watchful of the occasional maniac and respectfully clear a path for them.
Prices for adults and youth (6 to 16 years of age) are 35 and 25 Euros respectively. It’s free for kids below 6, and there are some discount offers for families.
Food and Drink:
The local restaurants are always eager to provide you a wonderful gastronomic experience. Menu highlights include fresh seasonal cuisine with local products, Swiss cuisine, and regional specialties. Nightclubs will ensure the same for party animals and those looking to socialize.
Accommodation and pricing:
You can check into hotels, apartments, rent rooms or camp outside - All contingent on your taste and budget. There are even some houses for sale.
Like most regions in Europe, the resort offers accommodation deals and special packages, which include the all-inclusive winter package, group packages, and one for cable car rides as well. Ultimately it’s a good value for the money.
The Lotchental App
The ski resort has kept up with the times and for your convenience, created the ‘Lotschental App’. It can be your local guide and best of all, it’s Free!
Location and Access:
Bern, Switzerland (81 km/ 50 mi)
Geneva, Switzerland (204 km/ 126 mi)
The ski resort is located in the Loetschental valley.
If you’re coming from the north you can take the Loetschberg auto train (Kandersteg-Goppenstein). The resort is situated near Goppenstein (6 km) .It is also possible to access the resort from the West, South, and East via auto trains or mountain passes.
There is a parking lot for those coming by road located directly at the cable car lift. You will be charged for parking.
Mobility on site comprises ski buses and scheduled buses.
Nature at its finest
Lotschental has a plus point in the relative obscurity it has. If you want to get away from the crowd (and there are crowds in Ski resorts too), this is the place to be. Nature in this region hasn’t been affected by the human infestation.
What are you waiting for? Start planning your tour already.