The 28th most popular snowboarding destination in Switzerland.
Saturday 24 November 2018 07:00 GMT
Southeast of Zurich and north of Klosters, the Madrisa ski area is part of the Davos-Klosters ski region. The Madrisa ski area has 12 pistes served by 4 lifts accessing a maximum vertical descent of 1480m. Even though the maximum descent is almost 1500m back down from the Ratschenjoch summit to Klosters, the finishing piste #10 along the Schlappintobel is quite long so you’d probably only do it at the end of the day - typical laps would only have a maximum descent of around 700m.
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.
The Madrisa ski area is located east of Davos and to the north of the quaint village of Klosters. It’s considered by many to be kind of off-the-beaten path and family friendly. But, it shouldn’t be quickly discounted with almost 1500m of vertical available and is certainly worth exploring a couple times as part of a week long trip to the greater Davos-Klosters ski region. From the Ratschenjoch summit, there are two ungroomed, marked ski routes leading to the #12 ski route through the Glatteggen area back towards the Madrissa mid-station with 700m of descent. And, also from the Ratschenjoch summit, you can combine the groomed intermediate and difficult pistes #8 and #9 leading through the scenic back valley village of Schlappin (for lunch) and on down #10 back into Klosters for a massive 1500m descent. Just make sure to brush up on your Romansch language skills (or at least your Swiss German) before stopping for lunch.
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.
After a long morning of snowboarding at Madrisa above Klosters, definitely grab lunch or apres ski at Bergrestaurant Saaseralp. While Klosters can be a little quiet, your best bet for some nightlife is at either Casa Antica or Alpina Bar.
To reach the snowboarding in Klosters 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 Klosters.
To reach this area from Zurich by car, head southeast on Route A3 to Landquart, and then southeast on Route 28 into Klosters.
Overall, Madrisa is the 28th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 79 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Madrisa including Parsenn Gotschna, Jakobshorn, Rinerhorn, Pischa and Schatzalp-Strela.