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Laax Resort Report Feedback Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is a feedback thread for Hairy Boy's resort report:

Laax (February 2009)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Nice report Hairy Boy! Glad you enjoyed. Just a couple of comments from me:

Firstly we don't find the resort particularly expensive - but then we are paid in CHF. So clearly the exchange rate is having an effect. Volg are a chain of local supermarkets and tend to be on the more expensive side, but the corrollary to that is that they tend to stock more local produce. A tip: the Coop petrol station at the Uletsch roundabout (where you turn right up past the Riders Palace) stock a range of Coop supermarket goods - limited by Coop standards, but very wide by petrol station standards and could be worth a trek down. If you want a larger Coop, there's one in Flims with its own car park. Prices in Volg ad Coop in Flims and Laax are pretty much the same as anywhere in Switzerland.

Secondly we too are looking forward to the completion of The Rocks. There will be more restaurants and shops available when it's finished and it looks like it's going to create a nice central area/front de neige. This season is likely to be the last one with building work so if anyone is considering booking for next year, don't let it put you off. It's all going to be a big improvement on the bare car park that used to be there.
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Could anyone comment on the Laax-Flims resort from point of view of a free-rider (all-mountain) snowboarder/skier ?

Time frame: end of March, start of April.
Skill: advanced.
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I skied Flims/Laax/Falera in Jan09 as part of the 3-week trip over Switzerland.

Swiss resorts like to retain the village charm but Flims and Laax are expanding with some large purposely built apartments among the villages.

I believe apart from Verbier Flims/Laax/Falera could be the 2nd or 3rd largest fully "linked" facilities. It has the modern lifts and unlike other Swiss resorts favouring the drag lifts and refusing to modernise/expand. Therefore Flim/Laax/Falera is one of the "modern and large" Alpine resorts as any of the French, Italian or Austrian. It is not easy to link Swiss smaller resorts together but Flims, Laax and Falera are well put together to form a major skiing paradise with great snow, scenery and facilities. It has been consistently voted the No. 1 of the top 10 Swiss resorts by Bergfex, with St Moritz and Zermatt occupying the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

If one drives 10 hours to ski Flims/Laax/Falera one might as well pockets Davos and St Moritz as they are only 44 and 55 miles from Flims respectively.
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Quote:

but the players still make effort on the WOW Gold and Lotro Gold and Kaufen WOW Gold.

Hi 4kgrabysky,
Could you move your WOW post to the correct forum ?
Thanks,
BR.
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saikee wrote:
I skied Flims/Laax/Falera in Jan09 as part of the 3-week trip over Switzerland.

Swiss resorts like to retain the village charm but Flims and Laax are expanding with some large purposely built apartments among the villages.

I believe apart from Verbier Flims/Laax/Falera could be the 2nd or 3rd largest fully "linked" facilities. It has the modern lifts and unlike other Swiss resorts favouring the drag lifts and refusing to modernise/expand. Therefore Flim/Laax/Falera is one of the "modern and large" Alpine resorts as any of the French, Italian or Austrian. It is not easy to link Swiss smaller resorts together but Flims, Laax and Falera are well put together to form a major skiing paradise with great snow, scenery and facilities. It has been consistently voted the No. 1 of the top 10 Swiss resorts by Bergfex, with St Moritz and Zermatt occupying the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

If one drives 10 hours to ski Flims/Laax/Falera one might as well pockets Davos and St Moritz as they are only 44 and 55 miles from Flims respectively.


Thanks saikee.
If Laax is better than Zermatt, then I guess I'm set Smile
Bye,
BR.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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boardrider,

Bergfex is an European web site mainly for the Austrian/Swiss/German. I also wonder why they would regard Flims/Laax/Falera higher than Zwematt. My theory is that Zermatt is great for a holiday resort for overseas visitors but we all know as a skiing resort there better ones around. May be if you live in Switzerland or Austria you might think your Euro is better spent in a place like Flims/Laax. I do find skiing wise Flims/Laax/Falera is a better "all-rounder" and the place is definitely better linked together than Zermatt, which isn't all that large without Cervinia.

High altitude resorts like Zermatt, Kaprun, Hintertux, Engelberg, Val D etc do suffer from the strong wind and tend to have above-avaerage drag lifts at the top so that the place is at least usable when the main godola/cable car is out of action. For wind shielded skiing a large well linked area sometime could be more enjoyable.

I would regard Bergfex is a European taste which can be different from the British. The majority of 159 Swiss resorts and 336 Austrian resorts are offered by the British TOs.
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saikee wrote:
boardrider,

...

High altitude resorts like Zermatt, Kaprun, Hintertux, Engelberg, Val D etc do suffer from the strong wind and tend to have above-avaerage drag lifts at the top so that the place is at least usable when the main godola/cable car is out of action. For wind shielded skiing a large well linked area sometime could be more enjoyable.



Hi saikee,
Would you regard Laax as a wind shielded ski site ?
Bye,
BR.
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boardrider wrote:

Hi saikee,
Would you regard Laax as a wind shielded ski site ?
Bye,
BR.

I skied Laax today. To answer your questions, no it is not wind shielded. It is primarily above tree line and exposed to high winds. But then what large resort in the alps is not?

I personally find the resort somewhat over-rated, too. Just my opinion, but they have put a lot of money in to real estate development at the base while a great many of the lifts are old and incredibly slow. Don't get me wrong, the skiing is very good (although it's claim to be the largest interconnected ski resort in the region is only acheived with a large number of cat tracks that require long stretches of skating and poling), but I do not feel that it lives up to the rather high prices (we skied Davos and Klosters last week, and paid less). You can also pay about a third (both lift tickets and especially food and drink on the slopes) at the smaller local areas nearby, and the skiing is nearly as good.

Again, just my opinion.
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ami in berlin wrote:

...
You can also pay about a third (both lift tickets and especially food and drink on the slopes) at the smaller local areas nearby, and the skiing is nearly as good.

Again, just my opinion.


That's interesting ami: could you list (some) of these smaller ski-sites you mention ?
(A few seasons back I snowboarded in Engelberg (Titlis) - which is what one might call a smaller resort, and enjoyed it immensely.)

Thanks,
BR.
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In Jan 09 I spent 3 weeks going round Engelberg, Malbun (Liechenstein), Flims/Laax/Falera, Davos/Kloster, Livigno (Italy) Lenzerheide, Savognin and St Moritz. I could only substantiate Flims/Laax/Falera is larger than the normal Swiss resorts as it is well linked. This is not typical for Switzerland which tends to keep their drag lifts and refrains from expanding its facilities. Take a look at Porte Du Soleil. Madrisa in Kloster has one gondola and one chairlift and the remaining is all drag lifts. Picscha and Rinerhorn in Davos are each accessed by a cable car and the rest are all drag lifts. Thus Flims/Laax/Falera is relatively surface-lift free.

When I mention wind I thought it was relative to Zermatt. Despite whatever being said the posts in this form has repeatedly confirmed the top cable car and the link to the Italian side Cervinia could be easily closed something like 1/4 to 1/2 the time a visitors is there.

Without doubt the Swiss resorts are expensive. Many of their resorts are not crowded and skiers are well behaved. So there will be skiers who may would like quiet, orderly and gentle skiing.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
saikee wrote:
When I mention wind I thought it was relative to Zermatt. Despite whatever being said the posts in this form has repeatedly confirmed the top cable car and the link to the Italian side Cervinia could be easily closed something like 1/4 to 1/2 the time a visitors is there.


Even when the cable car to the Klein Matterhorn is closed it's pretty straightforward getting back to Cervinia using the drag lifts...
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saikee wrote:
...
When I mention wind I thought it was relative to Zermatt. Despite whatever being said the posts in this form has repeatedly confirmed the top cable car and the link to the Italian side Cervinia could be easily closed something like 1/4 to 1/2 the time a visitors is there.


Hi saikee,

On 5-19 March I was in Zermatt, and winds caused closure of parts of the mountains on 3 days.
There was one occasion, when I started down from the Klein Matterhorn, that the wind was so strong that I had to stop on the side of the piste so as not be blown off.
It was an experience, but probably won't prevent me from returning -
if just to catch the off-piste down from Stockhorn after a major snowfall.

Bye,
BR.
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boardrider wrote:
ami in berlin wrote:

...
You can also pay about a third (both lift tickets and especially food and drink on the slopes) at the smaller local areas nearby, and the skiing is nearly as good.

Again, just my opinion.


That's interesting ami: could you list (some) of these smaller ski-sites you mention ?
(A few seasons back I snowboarded in Engelberg (Titlis) - which is what one might call a smaller resort, and enjoyed it immensely.)

Thanks,
BR.

I love Engelberg. Much more so than Laax.

I'm in the middle of a two week vacation staying in a small village (Castrisch) near Ilanz, just down the road from Laax along the Rhein. We have a beautiful apartment for about half the price of what looked like a dump in Laax. That means we miss out on the over-priced cocktails and sushi apres ski in Laax. Darn.

I've been getting up at 6:30-7:00 every morning to take the train/post bus to different ski areas. So far Vals is my favourite. It has one gondola followed with three t-bars in a row that take you up to about 3400 m. From there you have maybe two pistes (that just happen to be wider and steeper than anything I've seen at the bigger resorts), but the real attraction is the more or less limitless off-piste. And a day ticket costs CHF 51. Oh, and then there is the world-class spa (google it: Therme Vals).

Obersaxen is also a surprisingly good area. When skiing Laax, it's the resort you see across the valley. Less vertical, but again a lot of obvious off-piste. The grooming is awful, and the lift situation from Vella on the sunny side of the mountain needs improvement and results in long lines. But on the north-facing Obersaxen side, there is some great skiing. A ticket costs CHF 55, I think.

We also travelled to Davos/Klosters a few days because my father was with us for the first part of the vacation, and he enjoys long groomers and places he's heard of. But give me a day on the Parsenn or Jakobshorn ahead of a day in Laax, and at a slightly lower price.

Tomorrow I'm going to Disentis, and on Friday Brigels. We shall see how those are.

It's amazing, as a ski destination Ilanz blows Innsbruck, for example, away. But it doesn't have the name and therefore does not have the cache and the subsequent crowds. I hope it stays that way.

I usually eat a sandwich and a pear and apple out of my backpack for lunch, but the day my father treated us to lunch in Laax with the bill coming to exactly CHF 100 for modest meal for three really blew me away. That came after having spent most of the morning skating on cat tracks to get from one section of the mountaint to another. That left a bad taste in my mouth. I'd rather have a day skiing in Engelberg with a big, cheap rösti at the Untertruebsee hut followed by happy hour at the Yucatan and a cheap room upstairs in the Hotel Bellevue.
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ami in berlin, Brigels is nice, really pretty village. Skiing was good too but it is all south facing.
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ami in berlin wrote:
boardrider wrote:
ami in berlin wrote:

...
You can also pay about a third (both lift tickets and especially food and drink on the slopes) at the smaller local areas nearby, and the skiing is nearly as good.

Again, just my opinion.


That's interesting ami: could you list (some) of these smaller ski-sites you mention ?
(A few seasons back I snowboarded in Engelberg (Titlis) - which is what one might call a smaller resort, and enjoyed it immensely.)

Thanks,
BR.

I love Engelberg. Much more so than Laax.
...
another. That left a bad taste in my mouth. I'd rather have a day skiing in Engelberg with a big, cheap rösti at the Untertruebsee hut followed by happy hour at the Yucatan and a cheap room upstairs in the Hotel Bellevue.


Thanks ami for your excellent post.
I'll keep it on my files to consult with - for next seasons.
BR.
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Powder day at Disentis today. Incredible. Endless turns in knee-deep powder, didn't wait for a single chair all day (and that on New Year's Eve), and I got change back from a CHF 50 bill for the ticket. It really was excellent.
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i am new to this forum and glad to be a part of this. i hope that i can learn more and share my ideas and thoughts as well.







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Quote:

So far Vals is my favourite. It has one gondola followed with three t-bars in a row that take you up to about 3400 m. From there you have maybe two pistes (that just happen to be wider and steeper than anything I've seen at the bigger resorts), but the real attraction is the more or less limitless off-piste.

ami in berlin, can you elaborate a bit on the "limitless off-piste" bits? Is it easy to see and scout from the piste or lift? I would hate to end up at the edge of a dense forest or cliffs. Or worse, a dead end valley with no way out.

Of the few Swiss resorts I've skied, I found there're indeed much off-the-side-of-piste skiing to be done. On the other hand, I'm hesitant to drop into any snow field without being able to see where it lead to...

(that is, after taking out of consideration avalanche potentials)
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I would disagree that Flims/Laax is better than Zermatt. It is, on the other hand, a lot less hassle to get there - if you don't want to drive (was going to comment on the environment but I guess an hour's flight is a lot worse than driving all that way on that front.. rolling eyes ), fly to Zurich, train to Chur (some great scenery on the way) then bus to resort...
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