St. Moritz - Corvatsch, Switzerland: March 11, 2020

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St. Moritz - Corvatsch, Switzerland: March 11, 2020

Postby ChrisC » Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:07 pm

The drive over the Juliar Pass was slow and treacherous from Laax-Flims. There were squalls on and off the entire way, but I did glimpses of the spectacular terrain in the moonlight. The only disappointment came as I descended into St. Moritz, the snow turned into more of a sleet. Guess the snow levels spiked a bit to probably 300 ft above town. This was surprising since St. Moritz at 6000 ft is very high and deep within the Alps. (Laax at 3500 ft got a lot of rain that night and sent the avalanche risk soaring).

The next morning - the debate was whether to go to Corvasch or Diavolezza. Checking reports it looked like Corvatsch received more snow - about 12" - so the choice was made for me. I stayed in St. Moritz Bad at the Laudinella ($130/night for single) - quite reasonable for St Moritz. They had an amazing breakfast spread. And with the discount lift ticket program for St. Moritz - it's some of the cheapest major resort skiing in the Alps. When I actually bought a 3-day pass for roughly $150 USD, I had to remark to the receptionist that you cannot even get a 1/2 day ticket at most US large resorts for that amount.

Ski Day
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I was blown away by the mountain and scenery - definitely one of Switzerland's best. Always considered St. Moritz was going to be a bit mediocre ski-wise due to its high end reputation, but that's not the case. Tony and James's reports convinced me of this.

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Top Tram Powder. I did not take photos until after a few runs. Competition was low.
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There were certain off piste areas I was interested in:

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West Face or Northwest Couloir
I waited at the entrance and luckily some Swiss skiers let me tag along for my first run. I then went back to ski again.

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Access from top tram:
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Rocky Entrance
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North Face
Did not ski. You need a guide and to rappel about 20 ft off the summit in order to reach it. I saw some skiers doing this, but I could not figure out what was going on until reading about the it later. Hard core. Home of the Freeride Competition.

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It was such a beautiful day I took a break at a the attractive but basic hut/refugio Fuorcla Surlej. Beer and strudel. Temps were quite nice by now.

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Time to ski back into St. Moritz:

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Last edited by ChrisC on Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:27 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Corvatsch, Switzerland: March 11, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:23 pm

I was a bit under the weather the day I skied Corvatsch. I was out there about 5 hours, got a good look at most of the scenery and skied some powder between the pistes. I looked at that long north face under the tram, assumed I would need a guide. Evidently not, from this TR.
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Re: Corvatsch, Switzerland: March 11, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:40 pm

ChrisC wrote:I was blown away by the mountain and scenery - definitely one of Switzerland's best. Always considered St. Moritz was going to be a bit mediocre ski-wise due to its high end reputation, but that's not the case.

That was a minor concern for me too; however, our London mate Fraser raved particularly about Corvatsch and it lived up to expectations. Good to see that you stopped at Fuorcla Surlej. I enjoyed the hut at the bottom of the Giand'Alva lift, just before the excellent valley run back into town.

You mention that lift tix were $50/day. When I was there the previous season, they were $37/day when purchased at your hotel. They raised the price, I guess? Still a deal.
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Re: Corvatsch, Switzerland: March 11, 2020

Postby ChrisC » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:19 pm

Tony Crocker wrote: I looked at that long north face under the tram, assumed I would need a guide. Evidently not, from this TR.


Sorry, I did not mean to imply I skied underneath the tram - the North Face. Let me modify report. That requires a guide for sure!!! And the confidence to rapel about 20 ft off the tram onto a ridge that leads to the North Face.

I only skied what the NW couloir or West Face. I hung out at the top studying it and eventually some Swiss skiers allowed me to tag along for run#1 and then I completed a run#2 by myself since I was now familiar with the terrain.

What was striking to me at Corvatsch was the freeride skiers rappelling off the top of the tram to access the large bowl underneath the tram or the north face sector.

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No
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Last edited by ChrisC on Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Corvatsch, Switzerland: March 11, 2020

Postby ChrisC » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:26 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:You mention that lift tix were $50/day. When I was there the previous season, they were $37/day when purchased at your hotel. They raised the price, I guess? Still a deal.


You are correct. The tickets in 19/20 were 40 Swiss Francs /day with an exchange rate of 1:1 - so $40 /day.

I checked the rate for this year - 45 Swiss Francs /day.

Still a great deal one would not expect to find at a place like St. Moritz. Imagine if Aspen,Telluride or Sun Valley did something like this? \:D/ :shock: :-P
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Re: St. Moritz - Corvatsch, Switzerland: March 11, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:09 am

We were staying at the Nira Alpina Hotel at the Corvatsch tram base in 2019 and got the $37 lift tickets too.

I think the West Face was what we were looking at when skiing those chairs below it.
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