The 51st most popular snowboarding destination in Switzerland.
Friday 18 January 2019 06:45 GMT
Northwest of Visp and Sierre, the Crans-Montana ski area has 50 pistes totaling 142km that are served by 24 lifts with a maximum vertical descent of 1,500m. Most of the pistes are above treeline offering scenic vistas of the high alps to the south. While Crans-Montana is known as a family-friendly intermediates paradise, keep in mind that a large percentage of the lifts are drag-lifts.
As it sounds, Crans-Montana is really a combination of two main interlinked villages of Crans-sur-Sierre and Montana. Overall, the ski resort is divided into four sectors including Crans, Montana, Barzettes-Violettes and Aminona. There is a free ski bus every 30 minutes between the base lifts in each of the aforementioned four sectors. The village of Crans-sur-Sierre is typically considered the main base village of the resort. None of the villages are well-known for that quaint Swiss village charm, and there is a surprisingly high percentage of second-homeowners who come up and don't even ski. With so many predominantly south facing slope, the snow quality on these sun-baked pistes can be variable to say the least.
One of the more popular routes is the 12km piste from Plaine Morte down to the Barzettes base. If you are looking for some challenging pistes, the steeper routes can be found in the Aminona sector. The best Crans-Montana off-piste snowboarding can be found at 1) La Toula, 2) Chesteron, 3) La Tza and 4) Col du Pochet to Les Violettes. Truly advanced or expert snowboarders may want to hire a guide to explore the steep off-piste terrain of Les Faverges, which is accessible from the southeast end of the glacier. If that’s not enough for you, there is heli-snowboarding available through Air Glacier from the base.
If you’re into freestyle snowboarding at Crans Montana, there is a 50000 sq.m. terrain park that is considered to be one of the best in the Alps. It has plenty of jumps, rails, boxes and rainbow rails. In addition, there is a halfpipe and a SBX course.
After a long morning of shredding, try grabbing an on-mountain lunch at Etape de Lourantse hut, the Cabane de la Tieche, or the Cabane des Violettes.
For some apres ski action, try checking out the Zero Dix at the Crans Base, the Punch Bar, the New Pub or the Number Two Bar. For nightlife, the best bets are Amadeus, Monk's, Xellent and Pacha.
To reach the snowboarding in Crans-Montana, take the train to Sierre, and walk 5 minutes to the funicular railway up to the base area. The nearest airport is Geneva.
Overall, Crans-Montana is the 51st most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 80 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Crans-Montana including Anzere and Leukerbad.