7 (1 draglift)
Total lift vert:
15 (5 draglifts)
Total lift vert:
Northeast- and southeast-facing
Davos and Klosters are neighbouring villages in Graubünden in eastern Switzerland, famous for their joint ski area and also for their popularity with the British royal family. It has a developed infrastructure, with Davos being livelier than Klosters, and a selection of ski areas within easy reach of each other.
Note: Often during January (in 2013 from January 23rd to 27th) the World Economic Forum descends on Davos and brings with it politicians, celebrities, crowds and extra security measures. It may therefore be a good idea to check when the WEF takes place and avoid the area around this time.
For a zoomable, scrollable map of the areas, see this online map using Openstreetmap or Opencyclemap.
Both Davos and Klosters lie on a train route from Landquart, and there's also a line from Klosters Eastwards through the Vereina tunnel to the Lower Engadine. Although the ski areas of Davos and Klosters are connected on the Parsenn side, the towns are actually quite far apart, with the train taking around half an hour to get between them.
Which train station you need to get to will be determined by the ski areas you want: Madrisa is accessible from Klosters Dorf, Jakobshorn from Davos Platz, or the main Parsenn area can be reached by either Klosters or Davos Dorf. Check out the following diagram.
From Zurich you need to take the train to Landquart, and then a second train from there. Total time is about 2h to Klosters, or about 2h30 if you carry on to Davos (and similar times for the return journey). "Snow and Rail" tickets to Davos or Klosters cost CHF 82 with a halbtax card.
Unfortunately, the Davos and Klosters resorts have recently decided to follow Flims/Laax's lead and subject their customers to a ridiculous ticket scam. Instead of refunding the deposits on their (obligatory) ticket cards, they now just insist you buy one from them instead, effectively just refusing to refund your money. So to all their published prices you also need to add their additional "unfriendliness surcharge".
Coming from Landquart, you firstly pass the area of Madrisa on the left (small area, drag lifts only), and then the large Parsenn/Gotschna area on the right. Next you reach the Jakobshorn area on the left, with the small Schatzalp area opposite. If you change trains to go on to Davos Glaris, you'll eventually get to the Rinerhorn (drag lifts only) also on the left.
This is a huge, but very popular, area. Accessible from both Klosters and Davos Dorf, it gets the bulk of the traffic and lift queues can be large. However there is a large network of lifts and runs on a variety of ridges making for a full day of exploration. Don't limit yourself to the busy Weissfluhjoch area, explore round the back down to Schifer and also on the Gotschnagrat, away from the crowds.
There are a few drag lifts here, most (apart from the Furka) are avoidable but all are very friendly. There's a small terrain park, consisting of a few half-hearted waves and a couple of good jumps, under the Totalp chairlift.
More of a "large open areas" place than a "set of runs" place, but still provides a good day's worth of slopes. Plenty of natural terrain to explore, and a good interconnected system makes it trouble-free. Plenty of wide, easy slopes for beginners, and also a small amount of difficult black terrain for the more hardy.
The moguls at the top of the Brämabüel drag lift (yes, that is a 600m+ draglift!) are pretty steep and nasty, but the red down from the middle station is excellent. The runs around the Jatz lift can get exposed to the sun, but underneath the second cable car section the snow can last longer. Of the two homeward runs, the one from Ischalp is extremely narrow and quite bumpy, the other one from the bottom of Clavadeler is somewhat better.
If the middle runs of Parsenn are getting icy, check out the black from the very top of the Weissfluhgipfel down to Weissfluhjoch - the snow up high can be in better condition and turn the black into a not-too tricky red.
In Jakobshorn, there's a good halfpipe just by the top of the Jatz lifts, and couple of jumps and rails. Also check out the natural gulley that you can see to the left from the Clavadeler lift. There's also a second, bigger halfpipe right at the base between the lifts (the so-called 'Bolgen' area). The red across from Usser Isch to Ischalp is quite flat but good fun.
If you go to the Parsenn area from the base of Klosters, beware that from the top of the Gotschnagrat cable car, you're faced with a flat traverse followed by a drag lift before you can get the lifts up to the Weissfluhjoch. If the bottom section of the Schifer gondola is running, you can take the red from Gotschnagrat down to Schifer and take this gondola all the way up instead. This red starts off flat, but soon gets going.
10 March 2006 - great snow and great weather on the Jakobshorn, with plenty of recent snowfalls. Best stuff is on the top of Brämabüel, where the usual moguls have been (temporarily) replaced by piles of beautiful soft snow. Under the Clavadeler lift is also very good, but some of the off-piste is already crusty. Everything open, including the snow park near the top of Jatz.
3 March 2004 - lots of skiable snow on Parsenn, with a thin coating of fresh. Runs between Weissfluhjoch and Davos are hard, but there's lots of good stuff in Hauptertäli and coming down from the Gipfel. Waves and jumps are worth a look under the Totalp lift. Many lifts close at 4pm, others at 4:30. Runs down to Davos, Klosters and Küblis all open.
The Davos website is at davos.ch, with lift maps of both sides of the valley under "maps" - "ski maps". The "rechte Talseite" covers the right-hand side of the valley (coming from Landquart) including Parsenn and Madrisa; go to the "linke Talseite" for the other side including Jakobshorn. Maximise the popup window for a clearer view.
Klosters website is at klosters.ch, with a lift map of the Parsenn and Madrisa areas under "winter sports" - "snowboard" - "interactive ski maps". Snow'n'Rail details are at railaway.ch. Also see the weather conditions at snow-forecast.com.