Lauterbrunnen - (c) Jungfrau Region / Jost von Allmen
Sitting in the foot of the Lauterbrunnen valley below much vaunted Wengen and Murren, Lauterbrunnen often gets overlooked in favour of it's famous neighbours. However, anyone wanting a cheaper and even quieter alternative to Wengen and Murren should have a look into it. And if you plan to ski more than one of the Jungfrau Ski Regions areas you'll find Lauterbrunnen handily placed.
Like other resorts in the Jungfrau region it has a strong tradition of families returning to holiday here year after year, and with the sort of scenery that's on hand, along with the tranquillity, and the hospitality, you can see why.
The live images below of Lauterbrunnen : Jungfraujoch (3445m) are provided courtesy of Feratel Media Technologies AG
A list of webcams for Lauterbrunnen and the surrounding area.
Given it's location in the bottom of the valley, Lauterbrunnen's snow record isn't as good as Wengen or Murren, but assuming you're coming here to ski then it's the snow records of those two resorts that you're going to be interested in anyway.
Firstly, you need to be aware that this is an old-school bottom-of-valley resort. Don't get mixed up into thinking that this will be like one of the modern purpose built resorts in the French Alps, with an ultra-fast gondola zipping you up to higher resorts. Lauterbrunnen has a history and an identity of its own and getting up to Wengen and Murren involves using the traditional trains. Ok, so the train may be slower than a lift but just sit back and enjoy those stunning views. However, don't believe some of the stories you'll hear that you'll waste half your holiday travelling to Wengen or Murren - it's not that bad, and with a little bit of basic planning (e.g. looking at the train timetable and getting yourself out of your hotel at a decent time) you can be in either resort within 30 mins.
Where else could we start but Murren's most famous landmark - the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant perched on top of the Schilthorn mountain. What do you mean you've never heard of it ?!? You've most likely seen it though -it was Blofeld's mountain hideaway in the Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. There's a black run (no. 10) that starts right up here at just under 3000m. Just down this black run is where the legendary Inferno run starts, the longest downhill race in the world. The black isn't too difficult to be honest and has some great views over to the Jungfrau. It continues down to a position just above Both, from where there are a number of nice blue runs to take you down to Obere Hubel or down to the Riggli chairlift (black slope number 9 provides a trickier alternative). Obere Hubel sits at around 2400m so the snow up here is usually pretty good. However, to help ensure good conditions there are plenty of snow cannons covering the slopes down from here. There's something for everyone here with a blue, red and a couple of blacks all heading down to the bottom of the Muttleren and Kandahar chairlifts. From the bottom of the Kandahar chairlifts there's just run that connects you to the next skiing area below (Allmendhubel), but the bad news for nervy intermediates is that its a black (number 16) - a section of the Inferno run. Anyone not fancying this black needs to work there way back up to Birg using the chairlifts and then get the cable-car back down to the Schilthornbahn Station down in Murren
Annual Events in this and neighbouring resorts...
The word 'classic' is often over-used, but not in the case of this race.
Set on the slopes of the Lauberhorn above the Swiss resort of Wengen, this is a race that has the lot - history, drama and the best scenery on the World Cup calendar.
The 2016 year's event will be the 86th running of the races, making it the longest running of all the FIS World Cup races. It's traditionally run the weekend before the Hahnenkamm races at Kitzbuhel, making back-to-back classic downhill races.
This spectacular ski race was started back in 1928 by 5 Brits from Murren's Kandahar Club and now has an important place on the annual ski calendar as one of the biggest and most popular amateur ski races in the world. The course is just under 15km long, starting just under the Schilthorn (think James Bond On Her Majesty's Secret Service at 2790m and finishing right down in the valley at Lauterbrunnen 2000m vertically below. The winner hurtles down in about 15 minutes but there's plenty of competition - with up to 1800 skiers taking part. The event has become big business for the village of Murren, with other events in the lead up and a massive Swiss party afterwards.
The 2016 race will be the 73rd running of the event.
If you want some further information on Lauterbrunnen, then you might find these links to other sites useful...
Lauterbrunnen hotels and chalets.