Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

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Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby ChrisC » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:16 pm

The new infrastructure that has opened in primarily the Grindelwald area of the Jungfrau Region is truly impressive:

New V-3 Gondola
New 10 Passenger Gondola
New Trains
New Train Terminal

https://v-bahn.jungfrau.ch/en/v-bahn/eiger-express
https://newsroom.doppelmayr.com/en/dopp ... r-glacier/

g2.JPG



I have only skied Grindelwald-Wengen and was blown away by the scenery (possibly better than Chamonix, Zermatt, or Saas Fe?). However, the access point was such a chokehold - 30 min old school gondola ride. (Was not sure how to get to the train - nor did I know it was free with a lift ticket). Those days are gone.

I had visited years ago in the summer - went mountain biking on Grindelwald-First via gondola, and hiking with tram ride on Murren. During that visit, I was led to believe the skiing was horrible and there was never snow, but that is not the case. Assume no worse than Portes du Soliel, Eastern Austria or Dolomites.

Never done Jungfrau railway to the Eiger summit - it's just crazy expensive in my book ($150-200++) at least in summer.

What I also noticed at Zermatt regarding railways - they charge pedestrians a higher rate to take the train from Zermatt to Gornergrat - than an all-day ski ticket which includes unlimited train/lift rides. A pedestrian tourist in front of me at the ticket counter asked for a ski ticket versus a single train ticket - and the attendant simply said "You have no skis and are not skiing". Still continues...
https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/en/Bo ... ne-tickets
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:04 pm

ChrisC wrote:I have only skied Grindelwald-Wengen and was blown away by the scenery (possibly better than Chamonix, Zermatt, or Saas Fe?)

I think Rick Steves rates Chamonix, the Jungfrau region and Zermatt as top scenery in the Alps. Liz is partial to the unique rock formations of the Dolomites though.

ChrisC wrote:I was led to believe the skiing was horrible and there was never snow, but that is not the case. Assume no worse than Portes du Soliel, Eastern Austria or Dolomites.

The Jungfrau region gets less snow than Portes du Soleil but more than eastern Austria or the Dolomites. However, the latter two regions have the most comprehensive snowmaking coverage in the world. Is any of that new infrastructure going to raise the lift served altitude of the skiing out of Grindelwald?

James has reported favorably on the skiing there. Yes it's heavily intermediate but with many good long fall lines. We have enjoyed similar at Saalbach and the Dolomites, so the Jungfrau region is on our watch list if weather/conditions are favorable on one of our Euro trips. Twice I've taken a pass because we want clear weather for that scenery.
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby ChrisC » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:35 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I think Rick Steves rates Chamonix, the Jungfrau region and Zermatt as top scenery in the Alps. Liz is partial to the unique rock formations of the Dolomites though.


I find it interesting that Rick Steves never saw the Matterhorn until 2019 - yet could highly recommend it. The books and shows must be tightly scheduled :)

https://twitter.com/ricksteves/status/1 ... 12?lang=en

https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-l ... witzerland

Falling in Love with the Matterhorn
By Rick Steves

On my two previous trips to Switzerland's tiny-but-touristy Zermatt, I failed to catch a glimpse of the glorious Matterhorn mountain that draws so many to the burg at its base for a peek at the peak.

My third try was the charm, and now I have a confession: I'm in love with the Matterhorn. Now I get why this mountain town of 5,800 people is so popular.
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby ChrisC » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:50 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:James has reported favorably on the skiing there. Yes, it's heavily intermediate but with many good long fall lines. We have enjoyed similar at Saalbach and the Dolomites, so the Jungfrau region is on our watch list if weather/conditions are favorable on one of our Euro trips. Twice I've taken a pass because we want clear weather for that scenery.


The off-piste could be good after a snowfall, but a lot of it for both Grindelwald areas faces south.

Murren has better exposures and looks to preserve better.

There is even an off-piste guidebook - likely for Murren mostly. https://freerideguide.ch/schweiz/produk ... au-region/

And a lot of marked descents on FATMAPS https://fatmap.com/guidebooks/3668/free ... t-ski-town
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:36 am

My TRs from mid-March 2018 show how good the Jungfrau region can be with excellent weather/conditions and ski-on lifts/trams. Even though a thaw/refreeze made the offpiste crunchy, the long, consistent descents, scenery, and outdoor F&B options were world-class. The only disappointment was missing out on the First sector due to fog.

I may have mentioned it in a different thread, but check out this German movie when you get a chance -- the climbing sequences are stunning.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Face_(film)
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby ChrisC » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:43 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
ChrisC wrote:I was led to believe the skiing was horrible and there was never snow, but that is not the case. Assume no worse than Portes du Soliel, Eastern Austria or Dolomites.

The Jungfrau region gets less snow than Portes du Soleil but more than eastern Austria or the Dolomites. However, the latter two regions have the most comprehensive snowmaking coverage in the world. Is any of that new infrastructure going to raise the lift served altitude of the skiing out of Grindelwald?

James has reported favorably on the skiing there. Yes it's heavily intermediate but with many good long fall lines. We have enjoyed similar at Saalbach and the Dolomites, so the Jungfrau region is on our watch list if weather/conditions are favorable on one of our Euro trips. Twice I've taken a pass because we want clear weather for that scenery.


Most of the skiing starts at 1600m+ - similar to Avoriaz's base. I enjoyed it - and would like to find time to ski Murren one day.

Weirdly I have never had any interest in skiing the Portes du Soliel - even though Avoriaz/Morzine makes a lot of top French resort lists. Not sure why .... the piste maps do not really do the area justice....makes it look like a messy bunch of semi-linked small resorts without big signature terrain ....although I know likely not the case.

And there are just other European resorts I prioritize. Some for the skiing (La Grave, Val d'Isere, Vallees, Andermatt, Engelberg) or place in ski history (Zermatt, Chamonix, St. Anton, St. Moritz, Jungfrau...hopefully Cortina & Kitzbuhel).
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:12 pm

ChrisC wrote:Weirdly I have never had any interest in skiing the Portes du Soliel - even though Avoriaz/Morzine makes a lot of top French resort lists Not sure why .... the piste maps do not really do the area justice....makes it look like a messy bunch of semi-linked small resorts without big signature terrain ....although I know likely not the case..

The lift linkage is not great. We drove the car from Morzine 5-10 minutes to Prodains both days we went to Avoriaz per Fraser recommendation. Next time I'd drive 15 minutes to Ardent for faster access to Chatel and the Swiss side. Fraser's top P-du-S on-mountain lunch spot is just above Ardent too.

We liked the town of Morzine. Dining was to usual high French standards but more reasonably priced than many other places. I think we'll ski Portes du Soleil in bits and pieces 2-3 days at a time as it's so close to Geneva airport. In 2019 the best high alpine terrain was off limits due to wind and avalanche danger. The Morzine/Les Gets side is fairly low, barely gets above tree line, which is why it worked for us on a mediocre weather day.

Our next Euro trip will definitely include Trois Vallees because of my deferred but paid in full reservation at Club Med from last March.
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:33 am

I've been consciously avoiding Alpinforum this season to sidestep the inevitable FOMO from not being able to fly over there; however, I finally relented to check out this report from Grindelwald three weeks ago (I ran it through Google Translate, which is far from perfect but better than nothing) with discussion toward the bottom about the new Eiger Express 3S tram, which takes you 4,500 vertical feet uphill in one shot. As always, it's fascinating to see how, from a U.S. standpoint, spoiled and/or entitled Europeans (especially German-speaking ones!) are about ski-area infrastructure.

April has been cold and snowy across much of central/western Europe. Take a look at mid-winter conditions yesterday and today at Davos Klosters and Parsenn:
https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewto ... 53&t=65367
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby ChrisC » Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:13 pm

It looks like most regions of Europe had a very good winter snowfall-wise. Felt bad for Italy - hosted the World Championship in Cortina - but yet could never operate any resorts for the season.

Interesting to read the Alpinforum review: this new S3 installation is very jerky compared to Zermatt's new S3 :)
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:13 pm

The Alps' best spring in decades continues -- midwinter conditions into the fourth week of April. #-o
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Re: Jungfrau Region: Great New Lifts / Rail / Infrastructure

Postby EMSC » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:25 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:The Alps' best spring in decades continues -- midwinter conditions into the fourth week of April. #-o


Looks too crowded.

JK
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