White Paradise


This is a recipe for a perfect morning in my favorite winter resort, Laax (www.laax.com) located in the eastern part of Switzerland. If you want to try this, I promise you great fun.

I put my alarm clock on 7, and my wife and I enjoy a special coffee in bed while the first sun rays touch the 2700m peaks in the south. The weather is clear but cold, and a few inches of fresh snow have fallen during the night. The trees are still full of snow. It is indeed a perfect day for off-piste skiing !

I get dressed, and take the first cable car at 08.30 hrs from Laax to Crap Sogn Gion located at 2200m elevation, where I arrive only 25 minutes after I left the apartment.

One of my favorites is the offpiste run from Crap Sogn Gion down to Plaun. There are two routes; one is the yellow run marked No. 83 which is perfect for people who want to practice offpiste.

Alternatively, and even better, try the unmarked free ride run a bit further to the left of No. 83 when looking down. This one is hardy known to most skiers, and you may be completely on your own. It is a beautiful and challenging run, between rocks and fir trees which takes you down to Plaun, located 600 meters lower. This is my early morning favorite, and I always do this run a few times until my legs feel a bit jelly.

Thereafter I go from Plaun to La Siala via Mutta Rodunda, where the yellow run No. 76 is another fantastic offpiste route for some big fun. No trees, as too high, just beautiful and partly steep offpiste skiing in the best powder you can imagine. The run starts in La Siala (2810m) and it ends in Sogn Martin (1950m), i.e. the drop is a total of 860m. Be aware for possible avalanches though, these are extreme alpine conditions.

Then, after having done this a couple of times, I move to the highest spot in this great skiing resort, called Vorab Gletcher (glacier), located at 3018m. Skiing on the blue runs on the glacier itself is not the most exciting, so I go directly from here to the new run called Sattel, which is a nice and long black run down to Lavadinas (1904m), i.e. it has an elevation drop of more than 1100m. Good offpiste possibilities can be found parallel to the marked run, in particularly in the upper section.

To round off, when my legs had enough offpiste and black runs, I normally do the run from the very top of Vorab Gletscher (3018) via Nagens all the way down to the village of Flims (1100m). This is an easy but very long and relaxing route, and it takes you through beautiful and varying forest landscapes.

If you feel for it, you can visit some of the cottages for a coffee or some food. Restaurant Runcahöhe near Flims is a cosy place, and also Segneshütte and Curnius are among my favorite pit stops.

From Flims, I take the cable car back up to Plaun and the chair further to Crap Sogn Gion (2228m), and then do the final run No. 64 (red) and 65 (black) down to the village of Laax (1100m), just to enjoy the landscape and to make sure my legs really do ace when I arrive back for a late breakfast with my wife around noon time.

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