Gotthard Oberlap Arena-Switzerland
Gotthard Oberlap Arena
For a true Skier, a visit to any other ski resort is a holiday, and a visit to the land of Gotthard Oberlap Arena is pilgrimage! Scores of resorts have come to dot the Alps, but very few can claim to have the stature that Gotthard Oberlap Arena has earned in the winter sports community.
Gotthard Oberlap Arena is now known as Skiarena Andermatt-Sedrun. It was rechristened in 2013.
The ski region’s vast expanse covers the neighboring regions of Andermatt (elevation 1440 m/ 4724 ft) and Sedrun (elevation 1450 m/4757 ft), as well as the Oberlap pass in Switzerland. The place also serves as the convergence point of the mountain passes of Gotthard, Furka, and Oberalp.
The virtually limitless labyrinth of ski routes, sled trails, and half tubes is actually a conglomeration of 4 ski resorts – Sedrun-Oberlap, Gemsstock-Andermatt, Natschen-Andermatt and Realp in Uri region.
The arena is one of the most “snow–sure” places in Europe. It’s mostly the work of nature, although snow cannons are employed to prop up the trails towards late spring.
The Ski arena
Obviously, the region boasts of an unmatched diversity of slopes and pistes and easily accommodates skiers and non-skiers of all hues.
Resort Wise Stats
The resort is located in Sedrun, Switzerland. It lies at elevations of 1500m to 2300 m (4921 ft to 7545 ft) and has 7 lifts in service. Two of these are T-bar lifts; the rest are chairlifts. The lifts cover a total distance of 8.8km (5.5 mi).
80 % of the slopes here have artificial snowmaking capability. The longest run spans 3.4 km (2.1 mi), over an elevation difference of 714 m (2342 ft).
With 10 km (6.2 mi) of easy(blue) slopes, 35 km (22 mi) of intermediate (Red) slopes , and 5km(5.5 mi) of a roller coaster of an expert (Black) slope, Sedrun Oberlap claims the greatest cumulative slope length, 50km (35 mi), in Skiarena Andermutt Sedrun. It’s heaven for intermediate level skiers out here.
The resort also offers a Snow park and half pipes, making it the perfect place for your kids and loads of family fun. The option of skiing, snowboarding, and sledding on illuminated slopes, under clear starlit skies is also available. You can have the experience every Thursday night. 5 km (3.1 mi) of cross-country trails also cut through the area.
Base Elevation: 1444 m
Summit Elevation: 2961 m
Vertical Drop: 1517 m
The second major resort, it’s based in the village of Andermatt, with an elevation range of 1444 m to 2961 m (4737 ft to 9714 ft). This resort has 4 lifts in operation, covering a total length of 6.1 km (3.7 mi).
The pinnacle of the Gemstock promises you a spectacular panorama of hundreds of peaks in the Alps. It’s an experience you definitely don’t want to miss (Hint: put the phone in your pocket).
Gemstock Andermatt has Ski rental services that can be found near cable car stations. Snow cannons can cover 40 % of the slope if needed.
The longest run is 10 km (6.2 mi) long, spanning over an elevation difference of 1520 m (4986 ft). The cumulative 31 km (19 mi) length of slope comprises 4 km (2.5mi) of easy (blue), 10 km (6.2 mi) of Moderate (Red), and a thrilling 17 km(10.5mi) of Expert (Black) level.
However, the resort doesn’t have a snow park or halfpipes. So, this one may not be the best one to take your little ones to.
It offers cross country trails about 14 km (8.7 mi) long.
Swiss Snow School Andermatt and Snowlimit Snowboard School are two excellent places to quickly pick up or practice your skiing prowess. You can avail of training courses in skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and a range of other activities.
The name of the resort gives away its location. With a total slope length of 21 km (13 mi), the resort balances its facilities for beginners and experts. Beginners can get started on the 8 km easy level (blue) track. Intermediate tracks (red), for older kids and adults, offer 5 km (3.1 mi) of fun. For the thrill seeker, there’s 8 km (5mi) of the difficult (black) slope.
Natschen-Andermatt doesn’t rely on artificial snow cannons. Unlike the Sedrun-Oberlap, it doesn’t have a snow park or a half pipe.
28 km of cross country trails meander through this. Head to the sledding runs (span 5.5 km/3.4 mi) or go on an amazing hike. The total length of winter hiking trails is 5.5 km (3.4 mi).
Located from 1550m to 1660m (5085 ft to 5446.2 ft) in Uri is the mini resort of Realp. It has a kilometer (0.6 mi) of blue slope meant for newbies and children too young for other trails. 1 T-bar and 1-rope lift offer to take the children upslope, covering a distance of 0.5 km (0.3 mi). With these, slide after slide after slide will not tire you and your children.
Skiarena Andermatt-Sedrun’s winter sports area reaches up to an altitude of about 2960 m (8826 ft). It stretches as far out as you can see, and much beyond. It can cater to all sorts of demographics, all sorts of interests, all levels of skiers, houses the biggest half pipe in Switzerland and yet, can give you solitude.
Ski passes in the entire arena can range from 27 Euros to 57 Euros, depending on the activity and the resort you’re in.
Free Rider’s Paradise
Gotthard pass and off-piste areas of Gemsstock are sure-fire ways to an adrenaline overdose with many an obstacle and cliffs in a blanket of fresh, crispy powder snow. Besides popular descents, you may create your own off piste-trail, if you are experienced.
Needless to say, it can be dangerous. Safety is paramount, so keep yourself updated about avalanche prone areas. Nature can’t be predicted, what is safe today might turn into a disaster-waiting-to-happen tomorrow. Avalanche bulletins can be of great help.
Never venture off the piste without proper safety gear.
Non Skiing Adventures
Snowboarding, Tobogganing with kids, Cross-country skiing, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Gentle sleigh rides with your loved ones and all sorts of snow experiences under the sky can be indulged in here.
About 10 amazing snowshoe routes and as many as 8 winter hiking trails, including one through the scenic Ursern valley, take you through the natural sun terrace of the region. Bars with recliners on top then offer perfect resting places, with all-encompassing views of the valley below.
There are 3 sled runs, and one near the lake of Arni.
The cross-country ski runs in Sedrun is 12 km (7.5 mi) long and runs from Dieni to Sedrun, below the villages.
In the Ursern Valley, cross-country skiers have to themselves a total of 28 km (17.4 mi) of cross-country skiing tracks - for classic cross-country skiing and for skating. Restaurant Zum Dörfli, in Realp at the Biathlon center and in Andermatt at the Bäzberg Underpass, offers facilities like cloakrooms, showers, and toilets.
Nightlife, Food, and Wine
The nightlife here is the pinnacle of merriment. Great music, great wine, fine fondue, authentic local cuisine, wood-fired pizza and some recipes dating back to a century, unchanged! Now that’s authentic.
A get-together, an anniversary, a birthday or just a usual outing – life is celebrated every day. And we haven’t even mentioned the drinks yet! Swiss cocktails, beer, fine wine with snacks, you name it. And if you’re not a fan of polluted air, you can head to a few bars meant exclusively for non-smokers. The rejuvenating spirit permeating the resort at night will prep you for your escapades in the day to come.
Accommodation and Pricing
In an area, this vast, accommodation is never a problem. Options include low-priced accommodation and hotels, holiday apartments and holiday homes. There are places designed for children, adults, families, solo travelers and any other sort of traveler under the sky. Whenever you go, they have a warm cozy place for you.
Inns, Hostels, Group accommodations, beautiful mountain huts, private rooms, and apartments- Take your pick. Or you can even let these go all together and camp outside instead.
Price range is also comprehensive. Awesome package deals at affordable prices are available. These include biking, hiking, “Christmas special packs” and skiing packages.
Location and Access
Zurich, Switzerland (109.4 km/ 68 mi)
The region is well connected by train. At Göschenen, hop onto the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn headed for Andermatt. The journey takes 10 minutes.
So, are you ready for your snowy, fun-filled vacation? Pack your bags, or don’t. The rentals will have it covered for you. Before long, winter recedes and another year has to pass by for the next snowy escapade. Are you willing to sit this one out before you face another scorching summer?