Flims-Laax, Switzerland: March 10, 2020

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Flims-Laax, Switzerland: March 10, 2020

Postby ChrisC » Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:40 pm

After Arosa-Lenzerheide I decided to check out the other major resort in the region - Flims - before heading to St. Moritz. Being last minute midweek I was able to find a place in Flims about a 5 minute walk from the lifts with free parking. What is nice about Europe traveling solo - you can get Single rooms and only get charged a more reasonable rate vs. US. Also, I tend to gorge myself on breakfast buffets in the Alps so I can ski through lunch. Sometimes throw some buffet items into my pack to eat on the lift.

Upon arrival the storm clouds still lingered in Flims - so I never got a real sense of the area since the next day a significant storm moved in. Visual of Flims from my deck and walking around town:

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The next day I awoke to grey skies and light snow. Oh well - let's head on up. Snow intensity increased significantly throughout the day and surprisingly It turned into to a spectacular powder day! Likely 14-16" by end of day. It appears James was at Tschiertschen a few kilometers away and had a similar experience.

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As snow increased, the upper mountain lifts that Laax-Flims even attempted to open - quickly closed. I missed my window since I decided to explore the Flims / looker's right area of the map first. Here is what remained open for the rest of the day - underneath red line:

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This is still a massive amount of terrain! The major issue with Laax-Flims - noted universally - is that the majority of the resort faces south. The WePowder Guide estimates nearly 60%. This was less of an issue today due to snow the previous day and now dumping.

However, I could still feel a hard subsurface in some sectors - basically anything south of the Crap Masegn-Crap Sogn Gion ridge. But the north-facing areas on the opposite side were getting really good. East facing areas were excellent by 1pm. By the end of the day, the Plaun sector was phenomenal - great upper bowl and into the trees with pillows galore. (Highlighted areas in orange) I was really appreciating the bubble lifts with heated seats today! Also, Laax actually has decent tree skiing - which was great after mid-day.

No photos today because it was pointless and snowy. Results of ski day:

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Some thoughts on Flims-Laax:
1. Very modern resort - almost managed like a US resort. For example, you could purchase a lift ticket to include Express Line Access (Hint to Vail Resorts - there are still ways to maximize lift ticket revenue further :-P [-( ). Assume lift waits can be significant on the weekends. The bed base seemed quite large - and the resort is close to the city of Chur.
2. Huge Snowboard culture. Generally you do not see the massive snowboard parks in Europe. This was on par with the best of the US.
3. South Facing. Yes I was having a great day, but I assume there a serious melt/freeze issues and powder quickly becomes cement.
4. Not a lot of expert terrain.

Overall, another massive Swiss resort that was fun for a day, but I would not repeat it. I preferred Arosa-Lenzerheide a lot more.

Note to James: You might really like the WePowder Guide. It has your hidden resorts like Tschiertschen covered. As I read it more, I am liking it more.
Last edited by ChrisC on Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Laax-Flims, Switzerland: March 10, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:10 pm

ChrisC wrote:Snow intensity increased significantly throughout the day and surprisingly It turned into to a spectacular powder day! Likely 14-16" by end of day. It appears James was at Tschiertschen a few kilometers away and had a similar experience.

Great that you were able to take advantage of the storm and that I wasn't the only one who was clueless about it. I drove right past Laax/Flims and saw lots of people waiting for buses on the main road.

ChrisC wrote:Note to James: You might really like the WePowder Guide. It has your hidden resorts like Tschiertschen covered. As I read it more, I am liking it more.

Noted, will use it -- unfortunately not until the following season since it looks like the Alps are off the table to us this winter.
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Re: Flims-Laax, Switzerland: March 10, 2020

Postby ChrisC » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:10 pm

Off-piste Flims-Laax

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This site has a very good description of the Flims-Laax off-piste skiing. http://www.gnilk.com/offpiste_laax/
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