Grindelwald in winter. - (c) Jungfrau Tourism
Grindelwald is one of the classic Swiss ski resorts that has a location opposite the north face of the Eiger that is the envy of mountain villages the world over. Nestling beautifully in the Bernese Oberland at a height of 1034m, it is famous not only for it's skiing but as the main starting point and base for ascents of the mountains that dominate over the village - the Wetterhorn and the Eiger. As with near neighbours Wengen and Murren, Grindelwald is not only a popular winter sports destination but also a favourite in the summer, mainly for it's wealth of fantastic hiking trails.
No live-streams are currently available for Grindelwald.
A list of webcams for Grindelwald and the surrounding area.
Families or couples looking for somewhere traditional and pleasant will love the charm of it all, and it seems many get seduced into returning year after year to Grindelwald and the surrounding area. The pace of the place, and the attitude and hospitality of the folk who live and work here mean that families will love it.
It's a tricky thing having to hand this resort second place to anyone else in the scenery stakes » and it was a close run thing with Zermatt. Grindelwald sits on the side of a valley at a height of 1034m with an alpine backdrop that is the envy of the world - the Eiger » Monch » Jungfrau and Wetterhorn. To be honest pictures don't do the location of Grindelwald justice » you have to go there to witness the sheer scale of the Eiger looming over you. Dont be too disappointed if there's a cloud » seeing the top of the North Face appearing high above you sometimes feels more dramatic than on a cloudless day when the whole wall is in view. Most of the skiing takes place on the slopes facing the Eiger » such as First » so the view from the pistes is as good as that down in the town.
Surprisingly, given the size of the mountains that are surrounding Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region, you can't actually ski anywhere in the summer. The Eiger has a glacier (the Eigergletscher) and from the visitor centre at the top of the Jungfraujoch you're right next to another one, actually the largest glacier in the Alps - the Great Aletsch Glacier (Grosser Aletschgletscher) but there are no lifts or skiing on these. Instead, Grindelwald, and the other resorts in Jungfrau region, turn their attention to a whole host of other outdoor activities during the summer months, such as hiking, climbing, paragliding and water-sports down on the lakes near Interlaken.
Consider travelling by train - it takes about 3 and a half hours from Geneva with changes required at Bern and Interlaken Ost. This may sound like a long time and a lot of hassle changing but it's worth it. It's a fantastic journey around Lake Geneva to start with and then the final legs as you hit the Bernese Oberland.
First is the main ski area for Grindelwald, details of how to get to the slopes from the village are below. For details on how to get to the Mannlichen and Schilthorn slopes, go to the Wengen and Murren sections.
First is Grindelwald's best known ski area and is situated at 2168m and with views straight over to the Eiger. You get access to the First ski area via the gondola from Grindelwald, with mid-stations at Bort and Schrekfeld. As with most ski areas that require a single main lift to get you to the main area, it can be a bit of a bottleneck in really busy times, but the lifts are quite fast and the situation is much improved from the slower lift system that was previously installed. First is home to Grindelwald's main nursery slopes and beginners area. There's a chairlift to take you up to the Oberjoch ski area and a series of lifts over at the Schrekfeld and Bargelegg areas to allow you to access the slopes over in these sub areas.
Grindelwald is part of the Jungfrau Region Ski Region:
Information on the Swiss ski area Jungfrau Region, including links to the surrounding resorts, webcams, slope information and lift details.
Grindelwald has access to two main ski areas - the First area, situated up above Grindelwald facing the Eiger, and the Mannlichen/Kleine Scheidegg ski area that is normally associated with Wengen. For this reason many people argue that Grindelwald is a better ski base than Wengen because you have similar access to both First and Mannlichen/Kleine Scheidegg, whereas Wengen only has easy access to the latter.
Details of the skiing in both areas is show below:
Below is a description of the various skiing areas at First:
We'll start with First, Grindelwald's best known area situated at 2168m and with views straight over to the Eiger. You get access to it via the gondola from Grindelwald, with mid-stations at Bort and Schrekfeld. First is home to Grindelwald's main nursery slopes and beginners area. There's a chairlift to take you up to the Oberjoch area. Slopes down from First consist of a blue (no 3) and a red (no 4) that lead down to Schrekfeld. For advanced skiers there's a black (no 5) that winds all the way down to Bort.
Access up to Oberjoch, the highest lift-served point on this side of Grindelwald, is via a chairlift from First. There are then two runs back down to the base of the chairlift, an easy blue and a slightly trickier red.
As well as the pistes down from the First area there is a chairlift (named Schilt) that you can get on and a few runs lead down from it - blue no. 8 and red no. 9 both end up back in the Schrekfeld area whilst another beginner-friendly blue takes you right down to the Bargelegg area. Advanced skiers can skip a long section of this blue by opting for a black (no 14) that runs in parallel to it. Going back to the main Schrekfeld area, there are 2 blacks and a red that run down from it - red 7 and black 16 take you down to the base of the Grindel chairlift at the Bargelegg area whilst black no 6 runs right down to Bort, its a long black that'll really get those thighs burning with a vertical drop of about 400m.
The Bargelegg area has three lifts - the Grindel chair and the Bargelegg drag start from a similar location and the Hohwald drag which is a bit further to the right. The Grindel lift connects the red 7 and black 16 to Schrekfeld whilst taking the 206m Bargelegg drag opens up either red 12 or blue 13. Taking red 12 brings you to the base of the Hohwald lift, take this drag to the top and you've then got two options - an easy blue will bring you straight back to the bottom of the drag again, or red 23, one of the longest in the area will sweep you right around the valley through Stepfi and Blumlisalp and right down to Rancher Bar
A list of piste-maps for Grindelwald and the surrounding ski areas.
Piste-map of the First ski area above Grindelwald.
Piste-map of the Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg ski areas above Wengen.
If you want some further information on Grindelwald, then you might find these links to other sites useful...
Grindelwald hotels and chalets.