Parsenn Gotschna Snowboarding
The 12th most popular snowboarding destination in Switzerland.
Tuesday 19 January 2010 06:26 GMT
Southeast of Zurich and northeast of Davos Dorf, the sunny Parsenn Gotschna ski area is part of the Davos-Klosters ski region. The Parsenn Gotschna ski area has 25 pistes served by 15 lifts accessing a vertical descent of 1100m. It interconnects the towns of Davos and Klosters with lifts, and has pistes-only running down to the villages of Klubis and Serneus.
Located in the eastern Swiss canton of Graubünden (aka Grisons), the Davos Klosters ski region consists of six ski areas in the Rhaetian Alps spread along the Landwasser valley. Lining both sides of the Landwasser valley the six ski areas include: Parsenn Gotschna, Jakobshorn, Madrisa, Rinerhorn, Schatzalp-Strela and Pischa. Overall, there are 110 pistes totaling 318km that are served by 55 lifts (27 drag lifts) with a maximum vertical descent of 2,030m. The Parsenn Gotschna ski area is the largest and most accessible from both Davos and Klosters, Jacobshorn is popular for its freestyle options, and Rinerhorn is known for its off-piste freeriding. The Davos Klosters ski region is infamous for all of the off-piste freeriding opportunties. Many hardcore snowboarders feel that the Davos Klosters region would be ideal to spend an entire snow season.
Heading right out of Davos Dorf, the popular Parsenn Gotschna is the main ski area of the Davos region. This massive ski area spreads over the alps to interconnect with the village of Klosters. It’s known for big descents and also a 12km pistes running from the Weissfluhjoch all the way down to the remote village of Klubis on the train line back to the Kloster lift.
The Parsenn ski area may not have massive off-piste freeriding, but there are plenty of side-country freeride lines to explore off the various cat-tracks. There is one short designated ski route (#8) off Weissfluhgipfel. Also, look for the off-piste routes leading to Fideris or Jenaz. In addition to the off-piste lines, there are some interesting deadend runs that you should be aware of. For example, both the #13 and #16 black pistes descend from the bottom lift stations down to Wolfgang, where you need to take a bus back to either Davos or Klosters. In addition, on the Kosters side, there are pistes from Schifer to either Kublis (#56) or Serneus (#53) which require a bus to return to Klosters. Matter of fact, the 14km route from Weissfluhjoch down to Klubis descend 2000m. Lastly, there is a red piste (#49) from Schwarzeealp leading down to Seifranga on the edge of Klosters.
After a long morning of ripping it up, you can find good on-mountain dining at Bruhins Weissfluh-Gipfel, Berghaus Ericka Jatzhutte or Blockhaus Erezsass.
A big question when coming to the Davos-Klosters ski region is where to stay. While families on long holiday may choose to rent a house in the inexpensive outer villages, most snowboarders will probably want to stay close to the lifts. So, that leaves Davos Dorf, Davos Platz or Klosters. Combined, Davos Dorf and Davos Platz are a massive city with newer, block-style buildings and high-traffic. It is relatively new in European terms since it was only settled about 150 years ago. There are plenty of modern amenities, but there isn’t that quintessential authentic Swiss village feel nor the quaint restaurants you may be seeking out of a Swiss vacation. But, the two best ski areas are accessible from Davos (Parsenn and Jakobshorn). If you plan to stay in Davos, keep in mind the entire city is booked annually near the end of January for the World Economic Forum, so avoid coming then. Lastly, even with all its modern amenities, its still not really know for its party scene.
A better answer may be to stay in Klosters. Located further east, the smaller village of Klosters is much more of a typical quaint Swiss village that makes a great base for a longer snowboarding vacation. And, right from town you can access both Parsenn and Madrisa. From either town, there are free ski buses that interconnect to all six ski areas.
If you do stay in Davos and are looking for some apres ski action, then check out the Postli Club, the Cabanna Club, the Ex-bar or the Piano Bar.
To reach the snowboarding in Davos from Zurich, the best bet is by train. It’s a 2.5 hour ride with a single transfer in Landquart. This is the same train line that also services St Moritz, which is 30 minutes further along the line. If you are coming from the airport and don’t want to use the trains, you can always use the Davos Express transfer bus service.
To reach this area from Zurich by car, head southeast on Route A3 to Landquart, and then southeast on Route 28 into Davos.
Overall, Parsenn Gotschna is the 12th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 79 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Parsenn Gotschna including Jakobshorn, Madrisa, Rinerhorn, Pischa and Schatzalp-Strela.