The well-known Swiss resort Grindelwald has been one of the most important freestyle centres in Switzerland for a long time now. And snowboarders don’t head there just because of the incredible backcountry that offers a bunch of nice powder runs and even more spots to build powder kickers. Grindelwald–First, the area of the resort that concentrates on young guests from all over the world, also builds and maintains one of Europe’s best superpipes every winter. No wonder that big names such as Fabien Rohrer, Reto Kestenholz and Pascal Imhof call themselves locals in Grindelwald–First. The pipe is located right next to the mid-station of the gondola in the centre of the resort. In addition to the pipe there’s a nice slopestyle park just a few hundred meters away, next to the Bärgelegg lift. Here you can find classic slopestyle elements, like a kicker line with different sized take-offs (everything from beginner size to really monster), a corner and a wide variety of different shaped rails and boxes, along with a nice wallride!
Park designer Simon Baumann, also known as ‘Simu’, and his crew are employed to maintain the superpipe and the park, and they do an amazing job. In particular the superpipe is of the variety that you just cannot stop riding!
Nearest Airport: Bern (1 hour by car) or Zurich (2 hours by car).
Nearest Big City: Interlaken (20 minutes by car from Grindelwald).
How to get there
Car: From Zurich, take the highway A3 to Luzern. Leave the highway at Horgen/Hirzel and go in the direction of Luzern. After a time and some villages, you join the highway again and pass Luzern. Go on in the direction of Interlaken and Sarnen and follow the signs to Grindelwald.
From Bern, take the A6 and the A8 in direction of Spiez, Thun and Interlaken, and go on to Interlaken. From there you follow the signs to Grindelwald.
Train: From anywhere to the train station of Grindelwald.
Plane: Bern and Zurich are the two closest airports to Grindelwald.
Season length: 9 December 2006 – 9 April 2007
Season: 840 CHF/ €560
Week: 291 CHF/ €194
Day: 57 CHF/ €38
Special Offers: Dayticket ‘youth’ (up to 19 years old) is 46 CHF/ €30.50. There are also discounts for kids and seniors.
Lifts: 1 gondola with 3 stations, 3 chairlifts, 4 t-bars.
Pipe: Yes. A superpipe!
If so, does it have a Pipe Dragon? Yes.
If so, what does it include?
– 10 kickers, from 4 to 22 metres: three easy (4-5 metres), four medium (6-15 metres), two big (18+ metres)
– 1 corner, 10 metres
– 1 wallride
– 3 boxes, 4-6 metres
– 6 rails, 4-10 metres
Off Piste: Many good and steep powder runs, as well as heaps of spots for backcountry hits.
Steep and deep: Yes.
Vertical Drop: Almost 1500 metres.
Jib City: Grindelwald is more a city than a village, there are some…
Local Heroes: Pascal Imhof, Reto Kestenholz, Stoneland Crew
Best Accommodation: Downtown Lodge (www.downtown-lodge.ch)
Best Food: Many restaurants with various offers.
Best Drink: Sports Bar, Espresso Bar, Gepsi Bar.
Best place to throw down dance moves: Mescalero (disco), Plazza (disco).