Männlichen / Kleine Scheidegg
10 (1 draglift)
Total lift vert:
This Männlichen resort has several names, given that it stretches all the way from Grindelwald to Männlichen and Kleine Scheidegg and over the other side down to Wengen. It's most famous for the Lauberhorn run, the train up to the Jungfraujoch and the spectacular trio of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. This area, together with the Grindelwald First and Mürren Schilthorn areas form the so-called Jungfrau region with single or combined tickets.
For a zoomable, scrollable map of the areas, see this online map using Openstreetmap or Opencyclemap.
You can access this ski area either from Grindelwald or from Lauterbrunnen - both are reached easily by train from Interlaken Ost. The "Snow and Rail" tickets for more than one day cover multiple areas of the Jungfrau region so you can explore two or three areas with a single ticket.
To start from Grindelwald, you can either take the train up to Kleine Scheidegg or the gondola up to Männlichen. The home run to Grindelwald is open at the time of writing and reaches almost to the gondola base at Grindelwald Grund. From there it's a short train ride up to Grindelwald itself.
To start from Lauterbrunnen (a good base if you also want to visit the Schilthorn), you first need the train up to Wengen, and then either continue on the train up to Kleine Scheidegg or take the short walk to the cable car station in Wengen for the ride up to Männlichen. There are no runs back to Lauterbrunnen but you can ride down to Wengen and get the train down from there. Just make sure you get to either Kleine Scheidegg (for the run) or Männlichen (for the cable car) at the end of the day if you want to go home to that Wengen side - getting to Kleine Scheidegg probably requires the Gummi and Arven lifts.
From Zurich by train, you need to change in Bern and Interlaken, with a total time of around 2h50m for Grindelwald or around 3h15 for Lauterbrunnen. The "Snow and Rail" ticket from Zurich (with a halbtax card) is currently a hefty CHF 92 for a single day or CHF 141 for 2 days (not including accommodation, of course).
By car from Zurich, you can drive to Grindelwald in around 2 hours. You can't drive all the way up to Wengen but you can park at Lauterbrunnen and take the train up.
This resort gives some of the most spectacular scenery of the Berner Oberland, including unbeatable panoramas of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. This makes the place extremely popular, so you're much more likely to hear British English around Grindelwald, and Wengen. Most of the slopes are on the Grindelwald side of the Männlichen ridge, as the Wengen side is extremely steep. The runs from the ridgetop down to Grindelwald are surprisingly long but not at all steep, so the long gondola ride back up again takes quite a while.
The lifts here are a varied mix of cogtrains, chairlifts, drag lifts, a gondola and a cable car. They're generally in good condition but not particularly new or fast. The trains are efficient but it can be confusing when there are several trains at the station - which ones are going in which direction and when.
Most of the runs are easy reds and blues, not very steep. Several of them also have snow-making facilities for the dry winters like this one. There are just a few black runs marked on the map, most notably from the Lauberhorn. There is some off-piste around if you look for it, especially beneath Eigergletscher on the way to Kleine Scheidegg.
There's not much in the way of jumps here, there are a few by the "Bumps" lift but nothing spectacular.
The run from Kleine Scheidegg to the base of the Salzegg lift is desperately flat - better take the train to Eigergletscher instead. Also the long run number 21 to Grindelwald gets flat in a few places and requires scooting. Similarly the 36 run from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengernalp (shared with walkers and sledgers) is also too flat, although does get steeper past the "Bumps" lift.
The Salzegg draglift is not terribly friendly, being bumpy and fairly steep, but manageable.
8 March 2008 - Reasonable snow higher up but still not enough fresh. Home run to Grindelwald is open but snow cover is patchy.
For hiking in the Grindelwald area, see the Alpine Pass Route which comes over the Kleine Scheidegg. Or there are several ideal day hikes in the area, including the Faulhorn, around Wengen and under the Eiger.