With the great lines we found in Mürren still in the back of our head, we wanted more. More vertical, more powder, more face shots. Like addicts needing their next fix we are heading off to one of the freeride classics of the Alps: Engelberg.
When you never heard of Engelberg, you probably ride more on groomers than in deep powder. Engelberg is a destination that attracts riders from all over the world. Many Scandinavians call the Ski Lodge in Engelberg home, it is the base of lots of professional photographers and pro skiers and long before riding powder was called 'freeriding', Engelberg was already known as one of the destinations in the Alps where you could ride great powder.
Scandi's and Asians
The reason is simple. Engelberg gets a lot of snow with a northern Stau, the mountains are high, the terrain is challenging and there is a good vibe. The latter also initiates Engelberg's biggest disadvantage. There are a lot of riders, so there can be a lot of powder panic. Anyway, it is mid-March now and most of the Scandi's are already back home. Too bad for them, because they are missing one of the best days of the season. The sun is shining (with poor visibility Engelberg is not recommended, because you can hardly ride between the trees), and the snow is fresh. We don't have to worry about the Asian tourists. They are no competition for first tracks, they are just enjoying the views and having fun in the gondolas.
A new gondola has recently been built in Engelberg, and this one gets you much faster to Trübsee and Stand. The famous revolving cable car to the Klein Titlis (3028 meters) has also been updated. On arrival at Trübsee we go straight to the Jochstock. What a snow! It's March, but the snow is dry and cold and the conditions are quite similar to a cold day in January. The Small Sulz is a great run with endless variations. After the first few turns, we know again why Engelberg is such a great destination.
Our next run is the Steinberg, a run that crosses the glacier of the Klein Titlis. Our guide leads us along the crevasses and we ride around 1200 vertical meters, back towards Trübsee. The wind is kicking in at high altitude, changing the snow conditions, so we decide not to go back to the top, but to go for the most famous run of Engelberg: the Laub.
The Laub is probably one of the most described and praised (and therefore one of the most popular) off-piste runs in Switzerland. The Laub starts at an altitude of 2450 meters, is very wide, very long (you ride around 800 vertical meters), but the most important one: it has a perfect angle. I already had the pleasure of riding an untracked Laub with around 40 cm of freshies in the past, but that's not going to happen today. It's the end of the day and the run is largely tracked. We still manage to have a lot of fun. The face is that wide that we can be creative with our line and leave our signatures on the amazing Laub.
That's it, that's all!
With a feeling of total satisfaction we ride back to the valley station. Engelberg lived up to his name again. It was deep and the vibe was great. After a beer at the Ski Lodge is our road trip has ended. Four days, three areas and lots of powder turns! It has been amazing!