The Engadin has always had a special appeal to me. With its characteristic conifers and the Romansh language, it enchants me time and again. It’s like diving completely into another world – far away from everyday life. So I was really looking forward to this trip, which took me to the youth hostel in Scuol.
From bed to board
Our first day starts early. It snowed overnight. For us freeride enthusiasts, taking the first gondola was practically a must. But for all the thrills and adrenaline, there is one rule that is non-negotiable: Those who ride off-piste must have the appropriate avalanche equipment with them and come prepared. They should also have attended an avalanche course.
I always look into the avalanche situation a few days in advance and watch how it develops. However, a final check on the morning of the freeride day is essential. Weather and snow conditions can change constantly.
Checklist for freeriders:
1. Check the avalanche situation with the free “White Risk” app from the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) and get access to avalanche bulletins, snow maps and other information.
2. Pack your avalanche rucksack with the appropriate equipment. At minimum, you should carry an avalanche transceiver (LVS device), a probe and a shovel.
3. Find out about the wildlife protection areas from the lifts and follow the relevant signs.
4. Assess the slopes yourself on site.
Tip: An experienced mountain guide at your side provides extra safety and they can also tell you a lot about the local nature and the mountains.
After the obligatory checks, I gave our plan the green light. The snow conditions in the area around the Clünas lift were ideal for riding the powder. We took advantage until our legs trembled and it was time for lunch.
Even more action on the mountain
After fortifying ourselves at La Palma mountain restaurant, our afternoon programme continued. We tested the snow park just above the restaurant. The park offers something for every level of difficulty and is very versatile with various jumps and obstacles, such as rails and boxes. By the way, the “Dragon Line” was artfully designed and filled with obstacles made from upcycled materials by my snowboarding colleague Elena Könz.
After some creative and fun runs in the park, our next snow adventure on the mountain followed. We tackled the 3.5-kilometre sledging run – signposted with slope number 35. I don’t know whether the numbers are a coincidence. After about 30 minutes (or 35 minutes 😉) we reached the valley station of the Ftan chairlift.
By the way: Night-time sledging is also offered in the high season.
After our sledging fun, we rounded off the afternoon with après-ski at Mar-Motta Bar. Afterwards, we enjoyed another delicious dinner at Scuol Youth Hostel. For a change, I ignored the inviting and generous salad buffet to leave enough room for the vegan barley soup and the vegetable risotto – mmm!
Relaxing on the mountain
Day two got off to a wonderfully relaxed start: I enjoyed the morning on the terrace of the youth hostel, surrounded by the warm morning sun, drinking a cup of tea and biting into a nice, crisp apple. Cross-country skiing was on the agenda. A completely new experience for me.
Although I grew up in a ski resort, I had never thought about dedicating myself to cross-country skiing. The day before, I got the rental equipment from the experts at MANARÖL and asked Xaver, the managing director, for expert advice. MANARÖL also offers cross-country skiing courses. But I decided to take my first steps on my own.
I set off for the lifts in anticipation. I took the cable car to the Motta Naluns mountain station and after a leisurely five-minute walk, the 2.6-kilometre panoramic trail stretched out in front of me. It’s suitable for both classic technique and skating. I decided to skate and looked forward to exploring this flat route.
“Stand on the slats and try it out…”
…it can’t be that hard, I thought to myself and immediately tried out my first steps on the narrow skis. And in fact, I pushed off, slid forward and fell. Fortunately, Corsin, who accompanied me as a photographer, was engrossed in conversation with a walker and missed my fall.
My athletic ambition was activated, and I never give up anyway. My tenacity paid off: After a little practice, I was able to move better and faster, becoming more and more confident.
My cross-country skiing summary
Thumbs up for cross-country skiing. I enjoyed challenging my body and at the same time gliding through nature on my skis and enjoying the peace and quiet. The cross-country ski trail in Scuol also offers a magnificent view of the valley and Tarasp Castle. Right next to the cross-country ski trail, La Charpenna mountain restaurant also provides for food and drink in between.
After these two days jam-packed with snow, I set off on my journey home with lots of great impressions. One thing’s for sure– I’ll be back!
If you’re already looking forward to winter, you can get even more inspiration from Sina here:
Gravel instead of mountain bike
Are you as enthusiastic about bikes as Sina and want to discover the north of Switzerland? But don’t necessarily want to rush headlong down the trails? Sina has tested a gravel bike tour for you. The route took her and her friend Anja from Buchs SG to Kreuzlingen, on to Schaffhausen and ended in Basel.
Interlaken in a different way
Do you already know the Grisons like the back of your hand? There are also many cool bike trails waiting for you in Interlaken. Sina is not only a pro on the gravel bike, she is also passionate about the bike trails all over Switzerland.