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Haldigrat

Route
Backcountry Skiing
Length
1.8 km
Travel time
0 ½ h
Haldigrat
Haldigrat overview
Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
Haldigrat
Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
Haldigrat
The north facing slope keeps the snow quite light
Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
Haldigrat
Playing on the run to the Valley
Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
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Haldigrat was a secret freeride spot for a number of years. Recently it's become relatively well known, but on the right day it can still be a great day out.
Haldigrat was a ski area which closed and had most of the infrastructure torn down. Before it was totally destroyed a local (Kurt Mathis) took over the lift and the Mountain Restaurant in an effort to keep the area alive. The lift is only licensed to carry 4-8 people at 4 points along the lift line. This means that in best case scenario the lift has a capacity of about 80 people. There are no pistes prepared at the Haldigrat and the lack of lift capacity does help in keeping the snow quality good (at least on the upper section of the slope).

Technical details

Tour type
Backcountry Skiing
Starting point
Haldigrat
Point of arrival
Alpboden
Difficulty
Medium
Condition
3 / 6
Ascent
0
Descent
690 m
Best Time of Year
January, February, March, December
Directions
Geting to the lift:

From the top of the Niederrickenbach Cable Car walk to the right through the town, past the convent and keep going on the road that traverses the hill into the back of the valley towards the bridge just below Alpboden. Cross the bridge and walk uphill a short distance before turning left and following the road (snow covered if it's a good day!) to the bottom of the lift.

On a busy day there will be a long que and expect to wait a long time for the lift. If it's quiet you may beed to use the telephone at the bottom of the lift to inform them that you want to get up. You pay once you get to the top. (The last time I was there it was 12CHF for the first run, 8CHF for the second and 5CHF for each run after that).

 

The Ride:

You can drop in on both sides of the Restaurant at the top of the lift. Skiers right leads to a big open powderfield that narrows up as you drop down to the tree line. Skiers left is a bit flatter to start with and then it gets slightly steeper but has more rocks and other small obstacles in the way. Both ways lead back together through the trees as you come to the bottom of the lift.

There is a wildlife protection zone about 500m to the west of the top of the lift. Do not drop into the little valley from Giri to Bockihüttli on the map. Rangers have been known to hide in the trees to fine freeriders using this line.

If you want to ski to the valley keep going west along the ridge past Giri and climb to point 1923. From here traverse Northwest between Gigi and Gigichrüz. From here you can ski Northwestwards past Oberist, Mittlist and Unterist Hüttis. At Bortlers Landfluh take the road the whole way down to the valley station if there is enough snow.

This video may show you what to expect:

vimeo.com/37010338

Safety information
While the area gets tracked out quite often and much of the area is below 30deg I have seen small avalanches (enough to bury someone) slide on some of the steeper terrain in the area.
Equipment
This area is not made safe or controlled. Avalanche Transceiver, Shovel and Probe are the minimum safety equipment required.
Author’s advice
The lift is open at the weekends. At any other time it's best to call to make sure it's open. The number is available on their website www.haldigrat.ch

 

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Good to know

Parking
There is parking available at the valley station of the Niederrickenbach lift.
Arrival / Return journey
Drive towards Engelberg and just after Dallenwil turn left into the car park for the Niederrickenbach lift.
Accessible by bus and train
No
Public transport
From Luzern take the Engleberg train as far as Niederrickenbach. From here it is a short walk to the valley station of the Niederrickenbach lift.
Further information & links
For more of our favourite tours remember to check out www.swissalpineadventure.com - tours.