St Moritz : winter sports
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With all the glamour of the place, it can be easy to forget that St Moritz is actually a ski resort. But then again, the skiing (www.skiengadin.ch) is really only a backdrop to the glitz, although in 2003 the slopes will take centre stage as St Moritz plays host to the Alpine Ski World Championships.

There are three main sectors. On the north side of the valley is the sunny, south-facing Corviglia, accessed by cable-car from St Moritz-Bad to Signal, a midway point below the Munt da San Murezzan (2659m), and by funicular from St Moritz-Dorf to Corviglia itself (2468m), below the soaring Piz Nair summit at 3057m. Red runs abound all over the mountain, including a long piste down through the trees into the valley. There’s a half-pipe for snowboarders on the Munt da San Murezzan. A gondola from nearby Celerina rises to Marguns (2278m), which gives access to more testing intermediate and difficult runs off Las Trais Fluors and Piz Glüna, as well as linking directly to Corviglia itself. On the opposite side of the valley is the Corvatsch area, accessed by cable-car from Surlej, a hamlet 3km south of St Moritz-Bad, and a chairlift from Alp Surlej, just above the hamlet. Both serve Murtèl below the peak of Piz Corvatsch (3451m) – again, long sweeping reds are plentiful, especially from the Corvatsch Bergstation, and the testing 8km Hahnensee black run drops through the trees down to St Moritz-Bad. A cable-car from the village of Sils Maria 4km south of Surlej serves Furtschellas, with its own welter of blues and scenic reds linked to Corvatsch. Some 12km south of St Moritz on the Bernina Pass road, just before the pass itself and with easy access from the nearby resort of Pontresina, is the Diavolezza area, with some long, steep difficult runs on the south side, and also off the face of Piz Lagalb (2959m) opposite.

St Moritz boasts legendary bob and toboggan courses, including an exhilarating 4.2km toboggan run from the viewpoint of Muottas Muragl – accessed by a funicular from the hamlet of Punt Muragl, 4km north of St Moritz – back down into the valley, a vertical drop of 700m (you can rent a sled at the top). The death-defying Cresta Run is for pros only, but the 1.6km Olympic bob-run (www.olympia-bobrun.ch) is open to amateurs, with advance registration required (contact the St Moritz tourist office). There’s also the famous five-kilometre Preda–Bergün toboggan run (www.berguen.ch): wooden sleds can be rented to make the winter run from Preda station, just over the Albula Pass, and the specially modified track run takes you down through the scenic Albula valley to Bergün, from where RhB trains will cart you back to the beginning (Fr.29 for a day ticket). Trains run late, so you can sled the illuminated route by night.

There’s a range of different passes. A one-day pass for Corvatsch and Furtschellas, or for Corviglia, Piz Nair and Marguns, is Fr.50, for Diavolezza Fr.44. Three consecutive days for all areas costs Fr.144, or Fr.150 for three days in any four. Similarly, six consecutive days comes to Fr.258, or Fr.232 for five days in any six. For the well heeled, there’s a season ticket which also covers the lifts in Gstaad for Fr.800, as well as a TOP-Skipass season ticket taking in the Upper Engadine, Davos/Klosters, Arosa, Flims/Laax and Gstaad – a snip at Fr.930. All these cover free transport on city buses between Dorf and Bad, RhB trains to the Bernina Pass and between Samedan and Pontresina, as well as postbuses from Silvaplana to Surlej, Sils Maria to the Furtschellas station, and St Moritz all the way through the Val Bregaglia to Castasegna and Soglio.

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