Our season opener 21/22 was in Engelberg with lots of snow, but little skiing . This was due to extreme weather conditions that forced the lifts to stay closed. We love Engelberg, so when there is a new snowstorm on the charts we decide to go in the rebound: Engelberg, here we come!
Engelberg has one of the most famous off-piste runs: The Laub. A long descent with an almost steady 38 degrees face. This is a bucket list run for every freerider. RP already did The Laub back in 2011 but Amy still has The Laub on her ‘to-do-list’
We jump in our Freerider, hit the road and spend the night in Germany near the Swiss border. We can actually see Basel from our camping spot.
After a good and quiet night between the vineyards, Amy gets breakfast in bed. This part of Germany is really beautiful with friendly hills, vineyards all around and lovely small villages.
We take the backroads as this area is so beautiful, and it is only 12 minutes longer than driving straight to the highway. We reach the border and cross it without delay.
The past two weeks the temperatures were really high and the snow at the lower elevations has disappeared. It looks like spring, although the real winter season still has to start. When we come closer to Engelberg, it is snowing, looks much better.
We park in front of the Ski Lodge, next to a very nice Volkswagen Transporter Pick-Up Syncro Sport, this is a cult vehicle!
We decide to take the skibus to Engelberg Brunni. This is the ‘family-mountain’ of Engelberg and we will use it as a warming-up before we ‘hit’ Titlis again tomorrow.
Brunni is the sunny side of Engelberg and you can tell. The high temperatures and sun have done their work over the past weeks and there is not much base left. Luckily we find a nice spot, on the lee side of a ridge, where there is some genuine powder to be found. Not epic, but hey, good enough for warming-up.
After Brunni we go for drinks at the bar of the Ski Lodge. We meet up with Dutch Jasper and his girlfriend Jolijn. They have been living in Engelberg for three years now. Jasper is starting the UIAGM-course to become a Mountain Guide. We have a nice dinner together and lots of fun!
It will still be cloudy tomorrow, so we ask Jasper to come with us, so he can show us the good freeride spots around Engelberg Titlis. He is more than happy to come.
Due to the bad visibility The Laub is out of the question but Jasper takes us to Jochpass and Sulz. And it is deep, way deep. We are dancing in the powder and face shots all around, it is epic!
Jasper knows his way around, ski’s like a devil and is basically a really nice and communicative guy! He has patience and explains very well what he is up to.
We cannot wait for him to become a certified Mountain Guide. Engelberg and Jasper gave us the best powder day of the season! Thanks Jasper!
We have drinks and dinner at the Ski Lodge again with big powder smiles on our faces, what a day! Tomorrow we will have better visibility so hopefully we can do The Laub! Jasper likes to come again so we meet up in the morning at the Titlis gondola. There still is a thick cloud around 2000 meters but hopefully it will disappear when the sun gets stronger.
Jasper decides that there will be enough visibility to do The Laub, so we look for the entrance and drop in. The powder is not fresh like yesterday and a bit wind pressed but still fantastic. The descend is really long and wide, so even with lots of freeriders it is still possible to find an unspoiled part to leave our traces.
Skiing into the clouds creates a ‘spooky’ atmosphere like you are skiing into an eclipse. Luckily we have Jasper to lead the way. Visibility is immediately gone and the flat light makes it difficult to see the terrain traps. Amy ski’s into a little ditch and has a yard sale. She get’s back on her feet and we continue down the fantastic Laub. When you reach the end of The Laub there is an old Toyota 4×4 hi-ace van waiting for you to take you back to the lift for 2 Swiss francs, great service!
At the end of The Laub our legs are burning, what a run! Jasper has to go to an appointment and we decide to go for coffee and a Nussgipfel. Now that we know the way we decide to do The Laub again, after all it does not get much better than this!
The clouds are gone and the sky is blue, Amy finally did The Laub, twice!
We have lunch and do some more runs on the Jochpass, but that is pretty much tracked by now. We decide to ski back to our Sprinter and travel to Flumserberg, our next stop, and another story.
This time Engelberg delivers, in spades! A big thanks to Jasper for showing us around and the fun we had with Jolijn as well.
When the snow comes from the North, North-West, Engelberg gets hit. It is a genuine ‘Schneeloch’. Skiing on the Titlis with bad visibility is not a good idea though, unless you know where to go, or have a guide.
When it is dumping, Brunni is a better choice. Much more visibility , thanks to the trees, but when it clears up the Sulz and especially The Laub should be on your shortlist!
Engelberg always has a special place in our hearts. Especially the Ski Lodge where we have most of our drinks and meals, there is just no better freeride atmosphere.