A new 4-seater chairlift - Trubsee-Hopper - has been installed in readiness for the 2009-10 winter season. The lift will bring skiers to the Jochpass area and to slopes which will lead from the top directly down to the monastic resort of Engelberg. This increases capacity by at least 30 per cent transporting 1,500 every hour. This development follows last years opening of a nhew cable car which itself cost 8 million euros keeping Engelberg in the forefront of Swiss resorts with modern uphill transport.
Also new for the 2009-10 winter season at Engelberg will be the grand re-opening of the totally remodelled Hotel Trubsee which opens its doors on 11 December. There will be a self service restaurant, the Trubsee Bar and a large sun terrace overlooking the ski slopes. By staying at this hotel you can be the first out on the untouched pisted slopes each morning!
This coming December (2009) the elite of the ski jumping world will once again converge at Engelberg with two FIS World Cup ski jumping competitions taking place on 19th and 20th December and will be the first jumping competitions of the year in Central Europe, followed by the more traditional "Four-Hills Tournament". Engelberg will host further ski jumping competitions and thrills on 27th and 28th December from the Grosstitlisschanze.
Imagine staying at a resort with a 12-km-long run descending over 2000m difference in altitude with guaranteed snow over the whole length; imagine enjoying the mountains views from a revolving cable car as you head from the ski village to the mountain top. This is the world's longest downhill run by torchlight and the "Titlis" event takes place on 27th March, 2010.
Imagine no more! This is the delightful Swiss resort of Engelberg dominated by Mount Titlis at 3200m and yet largely un-discovered by British enthusiasts. Engelberg is but a "stone's throw" from Lucerne and is a charming, family-friendly ski village with winter sports terrain to suit all grades of enthusiasts.
Skiers looking for the "awesome" thrill can take the peak-to-valley 12km run from the top of Mount Titlis down to the town of Engelberg - but make sure you are fit enough to tackle this thrilling experience!
If you are a beginner, Engelberg's slopes are ideal, both leading to the village and on the Gerschnialp or the Brunni which enjoys lots of sunshine. The local ski school is excellent with instructors speaking English so no language problems!
Intermediate skiers usually head straight for the sunny south-facing Brunni after breakfast but by mid-morning most are usually aiming for the north facing slopes. Red runs on the glacier are great fun and offer high altitude challenging skiing with stunning views. If you are an advanced skier, Engelberg will seem like paradise with lots of off-piste opportunities as well as first class black run challenges. Earlier I mentioned the 12km-long descent over a 200m altitude difference but ensure you are fit. Most skiers usually wait until they have found their "skiing legs" on the third day before attempting this quite gruelling, but thrilling downhill run from the glacier and the famous Laub.
Over the past three years the Titlis Rotair Cableways have invested 5.3 million Euro in new artificial snow-making equipment, ensuring there is 41km of ski runs with guaranteed snow cover. So even if the winter proves - at times - to have indifferent snowfall, you will find guaranteed skiing at Engelberg.
If you are looking for an early skiing trip then Engelberg offers the "Early Birds Fall" skiing from 24 October and from 8 November to the 18 December. The offer includes two nights in a hotel with breakfast buffet; two days ski pass and a guerst pass with good local discounts. If you are a mid-week skier and like avoiding weekends then Engelberg has Sunday to Friday offers for three nights hotel with breakfast, three day ski pass and a guest card.
Taking time off from traditional skiing will allow you to enjoy the experience of gliding down a snowy slope on a snow-glider and provides an exciting outing from Gershnialp to Engelberg followed by a fondu get-together with friends in the Chalet at the valley station
There is the rustic ski hut at Stand, opened two years ago with seating for up to 150 people. This replaced the former Stern Bar, directly in front of the top station at Stand. The main aims of the restaurant is "friendly, cosy and an open log fire with superb, traditional food on offer." A selection of local wines will be on offer and I can see many skiers, like the Editor, deciding "inside might be best!"For something really different, Engelberg offers the opportunity of enjoying one or two nights in an Igloo village at Trubsee and sharing the centuries-old tradition of the Inuit people (eskimos). This is on offer from Christmas until Easter with 6-bed igloos but if an "overnight" is not to your liking, you can visit for a fondue, glass of wine and soak up the atmosphere.
Apres ski life in Engleberg is good with a range of bars, pubs and music. Activities include a 3.5km toboggan run from Gerschnialp or you can sit back, relax and enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride. If you want something more strenuous there is a large indoor swimming pool with sauna, solarium and steam baths or an excellent sports centre providing tennis, curling, ice skating and a gymnasium.
Many of the hotels are equipped to cater for families with children and the ski school also offers a kindergarten with "kid-friendly" instructors. There is a NEW children's day-care centre run by the Swiss Ski School of Engelberg at the Salomon Station next to the Titlis Valley station. Kinder-care is for children up two upwards. Engelberg's character is enhanced by the imposing monastery and collegiate church where 30 monks still live and work today. The village was called the "Mountain of Angels" by the Benedictine monks and encouraged p[eople from nearby Lucerne to travel there as far back as 1120 AD. Today, visitors can reach Engelberg either by road or by taking the delightful narrow-guage railway, a journey which lasts one hour.
The Titlis is the highest glacier excursion destination and biggest ski and snowboard paradise in Central Switzerland. www.titlis.ch