The 26th most popular snowboarding destination in Switzerland.
Thursday 7 March 2019 07:00 GMT
Southeast of Zurich and south of Davos Dorf, the Rinerhorn ski area has 13 pistes served by 4 lift systems accessing a vertical descent of 1050m. There is one gondola and 3 t-bar lifts. Rinerhorn is best known by snowboarders for mainly having beginner and intermediate pistes.
The Rinerhorn ski area is part of the Davos-Klosters ski region. 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.
Located southwest of Davos, the Rinerhorn ski area is the furthest along the free ski bus route. It is west of Davos Platz and there are no base lodging options. The distance tends to keep more of the tourists away who don’t really want to travel that far with the family. It tends to be quite popular with the locals seeking off-piste freeriding, especially on the off-the-backside uncontrolled backcountry lines. The extreme riders will want to try heading up to the Juonli summit and dropping off the back on the ungroomed, unmarked, uncontrolled line down east to the village of Sertig Dorfli, where there is a bus stop to get back to the base (guide recommended). For something a little more tame, at the end of the day there is a ski route #1 from the Juonli lift base station heading back down to the base of the main Rinerhornbahn gondola, but make sure there’s plenty of snow to finish or you’ll be walking. Overall, snowboarders at Rinerhorn will find plenty of t-bar lifts to keep you on your toes. You’ll be treated to plenty of above-the-treeline alpine pistes along with some sweet gladed lines through the northfacing forests. The best snow is typically found off the Nullisch t-bar lifts. From the Nullischgrat summit, Piste #10 is truly amazing when there is fresh snow, but hardpacked and icy otherwise.
A big question when coming to the Davos-Klosters ski region is where to stay: in Davos or Klosters. From either town, there are free ski buses that interconnect to all six ski areas in the Davos Klosters ski region. 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 Platz. Combined, Davos Dorf and Davos Platz are a massive city with newer, concrete 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. The number of restaurants is limited and many are very expensive. But, the two best ski areas are accessible from Davos (Parsenn and Jakobshorn). A ski bus is required to get between those two ski areas, though, since Davos Dorf and Davos Platz are actually a long ways apart and isn’t really walkable. 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.
Contrary to the usual recommendation, it is best to pick lodging based on a good halfboard plan (breakfast AND dinner). This will save a lot of money and convenience. It’s location won’t matter quite as much since ski buses and trains are needed anyways to access the spread out ski areas. Being near one of the three main train stations is a bonus.
After a long day of snowboarding at Rinerhorn, the apres ski action starts up at the Rinerhornbahn top station at the Wonderbar. Then, the action continues down at the Rinerhornbahn base station at the Blockhaus, before everyone heads to the bus or train station for the ride back to Davos.
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. Once in Davos, there is a ski bus or train to the Davos Glaris stop, which is adjacent to the Rinerhornbahn gondola base area.
To reach this area from Zurich by car, head southeast on Route A3 to Landquart, and then southeast on Route 28 into Davos.
Overall, Rinerhorn is the 26th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 81 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Rinerhorn including Parsenn Gotschna, Jakobshorn, Madrisa, Pischa and Schatzalp-Strela.