The 67th most popular snowboarding destination in Switzerland.
Thursday 7 March 2019 07:00 GMT
Southeast of Zurich and west of Davos Platz, the Schatzalp-Strela ski area has 1 piste served by 3 lifts accessing a vertical descent of 785m. But, most of the time you’ll be doing quick laps to the Schatzalp mid-station from the StrelaPass summit for 485m of descent. Keep in mind that the single main piste does not run down to the Davos Platz funicular base - it runs down to Davos Dorf!
The Schatzalp-Strela 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. Even though Schatzalp is considered part of the Davos-Klosters ski region, oddly it is NOT part of the ski pass system so you’ll need to purchase a separate lift pass.
Located just above Davos Platz, the Schatzalp-Strela ski area is a much smaller, gentle ski area for the valley. While considered a family-friendly place, it also happens to be the start of one of the major backcountry snowboarding adventures, the Mederger Flue. The Mederger Flue starts from the summit of Strelapass (2350m) and follows the route north towards Chörbshorn where you’ll encounter some of the most beautiful alpine terrain (guide recommended). The main reason for most snowboarders coming to Schatzalp-Strela ski area is either for a backcountry adventure starting point or to come up for a scenic lunch. If you are just spending the morning doing laps, don’t miss grabbing lunch up at Bergrestaurant Strela Alp - it’s worth it!
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. Apres ski is a very tame affair and can be kind of hit-or-miss. Of course, it’s best on the weekend evenings, but that’s still not saying much.
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.
And, now for the pro-tip. In light of the fact that there isn’t really an apres ski scene and little to see/do in the towns, Davos-Klosters is definitely the place to strongly consider staying up on the mountain at a gasthaus or hütte (not at a lift top station, but mid-mountain) where the food is amazing, there can be some apres ski and you’ll get first tracks.
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. The Schatzalp-Strela ski area base lift is located in Davos Platz.
To reach this area from Zurich by car, head southeast on Route A3 to Landquart, and then southeast on Route 28 into Davos.
Overall, Schatzalp-Strela is the 67th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 80 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Schatzalp-Strela including Parsenn Gotschna, Jakobshorn, Madrisa, Pischa and Rinerhorn.