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St. Moritz

St. Moritz Ski Resort Guide

St. Moritz, Switzerland

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length350km
Highest Lift3,300m
Resort Height1,850m
 Nearest AirportsSt. Gallen-Altenrhein and Lugano
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St. Moritz

The world's most famous ski resort and the pioneer of Alpine winter holidays in 1864. Home of the Winter Olympics of 1928 and 1948 and of the famous Cresta Run. Long association with the global jet set who are offered unrivalled facilities if they stay at the best hotels, however there is so much to see and do that there is something for everyone. Additional winter activities include horse racing, polo and cricket on the frozen lake and a mass cross country race.

Summary

The Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz is in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of 1,850m, with 350km of marked runs.

St. Moritz is one of the larger Ski Resorts in Switzerland and has direct access to 350km of downhill skiing, with 88 marked pistes, served by a total of 24 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 1,850m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 3,300m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in St. Moritz?

The next notable snow forecast is 80cm, expected on 26 October, with around 101cm forecast over the next 7 days.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for St. Moritz
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Ski Area Stats

St. Moritz Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 9 35km
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
61245km
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
1870km
Downhill
Total Length
350km
Cross Country
Total Length
180km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
24

Altitudes

St. Moritz Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,300m
Resort Altitude (St. Moritz)1,850m
Lowest Piste1,730m
Max Vertical1,570m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for St. Moritz
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

St. Moritz Overview

So which is the world's most famous ski resort? Opinions remain divided and a truly international poll of public opinion has not yet been carried out. North American candidates would possibly be lead by Aspen with Vail and Stowe in contention or even the modern number one, Whistler. In Europe there's St Anton, Kitzbühel, Chamonix, Val d'Isère and perhaps half a dozen more, but given a mix of the ski world and the general public, wouldn't St Moritz come out top?

Whether or not it is the best well known for the correct reasons is debatable, it's famous for being the playground of the rich and famous and for being a touch expensive, both of which remain largely true. On the other hand it's not well known for having great skiing, which it does. Some may also imagine it to be a quaint Alpine village, which it isn't, although the lakeside setting in the Engadin Valley is stunning. It is also not generally reported that, although a genuine traditional settlement, St Moritz is a high altitude resort with an excellent snow record and glacier skiing. Finally it should be mentioned that whilst many other famous names from skiing history have contented themselves to rest on their reputation, St Moritz and the Engadin Region have invested heavily in state of the art lifts and are now served by a host of high speed detachable quad and six seat chair lifts. Oh and the sun shines 322 days a year, Switzerland's sunniest spot.

St Moritz can claim to be the birth place of winter sports holidays. In 1864 the owner of the Kulm hotel bet some English tourists a free stay if they dared to spend the winter there. They took him up on this proposition and the rest is history. St Moritz was reported in The Times of London a few years later when a guest recorded with surprise the flowers in the hotel window boxes on Christmas Day. By 1910 around 2000 guests spent the winter in the resort, most from Britain.

Skating remained the most popular winter sport until the 1920s, with skiing dismissed as a serious sport by the locals, but then came the 1928 Winter Olympics and a new mountain funicular railway, followed soon after by Switzerland's second ski lift. The fifth Winter Olympics were staged in the resort once again in 1948. Later the rich and famous who flocked to St Moritz helped to develop the possibilities of glacier skiing on the Diavolezza glacier and later heli-skiing. In fact the resort can claim a long list of 'firsts' from opening Switzerland's first tourist board in 1864 and switching on the country's first electric light in 1878 to staging the first ice skating, curling and winter sports championships in the 1880s and even Europe's first golf tournament in 1890.

St Moritz was the first resort to register its name and logo, in 1987. Finally, it must be noted that St Moritz's fame as a health resort does pre-date winter sports by several millennia. The first settlements are known to have existed here 3,000 years ago and the resort was also one of the world's earliest spa centres, well known as such by the time the Romans rolled in in 15 BC.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in St. Moritz is 10km long and the most difficult run is the 'Morteratsch - Glacier', which is 10km in length.

Skiing

Although skiing seems only a small part of everything that's happening at St Moritz that can only be because St Moritz is such an unusual resort. At any other destination the first thing you would notice is the huge skiable terrain, one of the world's largest, great vertical drops, snow-sure altitudes (with a glacier and extensive snow making for added security) and a nice modern lift system.

The Engadin ski pass, which takes in St Moritz's ski areas and several others, covers 350km of terrain of which about 80km are local to St Moritz and its three separate ski areas of Corviglia, Corvatsch above neighbouring Silvaplana and the Diavolezza Glacier area.

The resort is not well known as a beginner's choice: the steep mountain sides above it mean that nursery slopes are limited and 'easy runs' make up only 10 per-cent of the total. One of the best options is to take the Corviglia funicular to the top of the easiest runs back down to the town. On the other hand this is a great choice for intermediates who in contrast have 70 per-cent of the area coloured in red for their enjoyment on mostly wide, immaculately groomed slopes. Highlights include the Piz Nair run down for 8km to Celerina.

Experts too will find plenty to entertain them, particularly if they venture off-piste with a guide. The remaining 20 per-cent of the runs are blacks, but they tend to be spread around the various ski areas rather than there being an 'experts mountain' such as there is at Aspen. Highlights on-piste include the Piz Lagalb slopes, the Corvatsch glacier, the Morteratsch run from Diavolezza and the Hahnensee black back down to St Moritz Bad.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding

It may come as a surprise to some that St Moritz is a top snowboarding destination, or that the first Snowboard World Championships in Europe for the sport took place here in the 'early days' of 1987. But, if you think about it, it must be important to the resort to excel in this winter sport as it does in all others, getting in there early with the first international competitions just as it did for skating, curling, skiing or bobsleigh.

Today there are several snow parks and a half pipe dotted around Engadin and an awful lot besides to entertain even the most hardened boarder.

Location and Map

Where is St. Moritz?

This ski resort is in the Swiss Alps in Saint Moritz, Maloja.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to St. Moritz is St. Gallen-Altenrhein, 135 minutes drive away.

Lugano, Innsbruck Airport, Friedrichshafen, Bolzano, Zurich, Bergamo, Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports are all within three hours drive.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 24 ski lifts are able to uplift 65,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 70km of ski runs, with 260 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is St. Moritz open?

 Closes : 1 May 2021.

Usual opening is mid October, and usual closing is Mid May.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in St. Moritz, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the St. Moritz Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about St. Moritz

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

St. Moritz Webcams

The Webcams in St. Moritz are not always up-to-date. Please check the date on the image to ensure you are seeing current snow conditions.

Aprés Ski

There is a rich diversity in après ski options in St Moritz, catering for the wide variety in ages and wealth of the resort's visitors. An early evening stop for everyone regardless however is Hanselmann's, the century old purveyor of fabulous cakes and ice cream.

Normally St Moritz is lively well in to the small hours. The best known night spot is the Kings, but with a jacket and tie required to hear the orchestra through to 4am, this is not the kind of joint that appeals to the rebellious. They are more likely to head for Bobby's Bar, Stübli, Cascade Hemingway, Diamond or Vivai.

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