Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
    Belalp Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Belalp Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,322m – 3,112m (1,790m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    7m+
  • Lifts (11)
    2 Gondolas / cable cars
    3 Chairs
  • Ski Hours
    Mid December to early April
    8:45am to 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 45km+
    Longest run – 14 km
    Advanced - 20%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Beginner - 40%
  • Lift Pass Prices (Day Ticket 18/19)
    Adult - CHF56
    Child - CHF28
    Child u/6yr - Free

It would be easy to dismiss Belalp as just another small Swiss ski resort and not ski it. But on the premise that every ski resort is good on its day, after a 30ish cm snow fall, the Powderhounds did! Happy to report that the experience was thoroughly enjoyable with the skiing & snowboarding at Belalp providing a broad range of on & off piste action to appease everyone except the hardest core of extreme riders

Belalp Skiing & Snowboarding

Belalp ski and snowboard terrain is typical of many resorts on the 'alpine terraces' above the upper Rhone valley in the Valais. Just like its neighbour Aletsch Arena, plus nearby Crans Montana, Belalp ski terrain is all south facing & mostly above the tree line over 2000m elevation Access is via cable car & gondola. See the Belalp ski trail map here.

The Belalp alpine terrain provides over 1000m of skiable vertical, but it is largely gentle rolling piste suitable for beginners, intermediates & families. The exception is the Hohstock T-bar which has a little more 'oomph' to its piste. For freeride in the off-piste, any powder seeker will easily find fresh lines, albeit without long uninterrupted fall line. Again, the terrain off the Hohstock T-bar is the ‘go to’ area, and for longer runs, linking to the Sparrhorn chair.

Below the tree line, a combined ski and sled trail leads down to the base at Blatten. Rated a blue trail, be wary of taking beginners down it, other than perhaps early in the day when it is freshly groomed. The 8km run becomes increasingly testing as its tight bends get bumped and scoured by the traffic. In good snow, options to avoid the trail and ski off piste to the bottom provide the better way down for those determined not to download on the gondola.

It is possible to ski the entire 1790m vertical by linking several piste trails from top to bottom - a whopping 14km.

Belalp Skiing Highlights

Give the following highlights a try while at Belalp:
  • Lap the freeride terrain to the skiers right of the Hohstock T-bar all the way down to the Sparrhorn chair (a not too shabby 1000m vertical) & if it is open, do the same via the 'Tunnel of Love". Avalanche safety equipment required.
  • Take lunch ski expedition run down from Sparrhorngrat (2860m) to the historic lodge at Aletschbord (2100m). Not only is the traditional fare at Aletschbord's Hotel Belalp delicious, but the views over the snout of the Aletsch glacier and into the Rhone valley are sensational. Whilst in good snow it would be possible to ski off piste into Blatten from Aletschbord, the usual return to the ski area is via a winter walking trail (skating) and the Farrichlift. 
  • Ski to an après ski session in the afternoon at Chalet Sepp to then undertake the ultimate Belalp rite of passage. As the sun disappears and the gondola stops turning for the day, the only way down is via the 8km long sled run. The sledding trail is heavily utilised during the day by skiers and sledders alike. By the afternoon, even though rated ‘blue’, it more closely resembles a double black diamond run. With a 6 pint handicap in fading light, the run is super fun and a tad frightening. Bring a headlamp. You have been warned! Of course you could forgo the ski down (the coward's option) and stay the night at the Sepp or the nearby Hamilton Lodge.

Ski Lifts

From the base village of Blatten, a gondola & cable car carry passengers up to Belalp alpine terrain. Alighting at over 2000m elevation you get a sense of being in for a good day. An excellent learn to ski area which a witch theme (Hexenland), ski rental, repairs, ski school and a few bar/restaurants that double as ski n ski out accom are all located at the top of the gondola. Three chairlifts extend over rolling terrain to service the bulk of the piste trails which are mainly intermediate and in parts unnecessarily narrow. Whilst of little interest to Powderhounds, they are perfect for family groups and children.

The top of the long Sparrhorn 6seater fully displays the all the Belalp skiing possibilities. Long groomed pistes extend down, and for the more advanced, two T-bars extend up. Groomed trails off the T-bars include several marked ‘black’, but they are anything but. Advanced riders' main interest here is the off piste.

The Hohstock T-bar tops out at over 3100m elevation and opens up the chance to ski uninterrupted over 1700m vertical and 14km back down to the base in Blatten, albeit with a little bit of pushing along one long flat section.

Belalp Freeride & Off-Piste

On a powder day a worthwhile option is to lap the freeride terrain to the skiers right of the Hohstock T-bar all the way down to the Sparrhorn chair (a not too shabby 1000m vert). it would be easy to spend the day doing this, particularly if the ‘tunnel of love’ is open. The tunnel, at the top of Hohstock, opens up easy access to another huge bowl extending the freeride possibilities even further. Unfortunately, the tunnel was closed due to extreme avalanche hazard, so it remains ‘unsampled’ by Powderhounds. Navigating the off-piste in reasonable visibility at Belalp is relatively easy for the uninitiated.

The 'front side' terrain under the cable car & gondola back into town has some tasty tree & steepish alpine meadow terrain that is left unsullied by most of the Belalp crowd. Unless it is super cold, probably best skied early.



More information on Skiing & Snowboarding Belalp  Ski Resort is coming soon