Crans Montana Ski Resort

Crans Montana ski resort, Valais Switzerland
Powder skiing Crans Montana
Crans Montana ski resort
Montana village near the access gondola (hidden from view)
The funitel carries snow riders up to 2927m at Crans Montana
Crans Montana off-piste powder skiing
Crans Montana skiing - from glacier to forest
Look out for Crans Montana 'lift station art'
Relax at Crans Montana ski resort
Crans Montana ski resort sits high above the Rhone River valley
Freeride powder skiing Crans Montana
Mountain restaurant La Vache Noire at Crans Montana
Early birds catch the worm at Crans Montana ski resort
Crans Montana has a wide range of steep skiing terrain for experts
Crans Montana skiing
Modern lifts are a feature of Crans Montana, as its terrain park
Crans Montana ski terrain
The facilities at Cry d'Er will accommodate all tastes!
Long return trails are another feature of Crans Montana
Crans Montana ski resort, Switzerland

Crans Montana Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Crans Montana

Crans Montana4/51
Crans Montana4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Valais Ski Resorts

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Belalp
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Lauchernalp
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Saint Luc Chandolin
Zermatt

     Crans Montana Ski Trail Map
  • Crans Montana Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,510m – 2,927m (1,417m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8m
  • Lifts (19)
    4 Cable car/gondola
    6 Chairlifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Late Nov to mid-April
    8:45am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 140km
    Longest run – 12km
    Advanced -12%
    Intermediate - 50%
    Beginner - 38%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Dynamic Lift Pass Pricing
    Adult – CHF29 to 89
    Child – CHF23 to 50
    Child u/6yr – Free

Crans Montana Ski Resort Switzerland

Crans Montana ski resort is perched high on a snow filled, sun-soaked bench above the Rhone Valley in Switzerland. The resorts statistics don't lie; Crans Montana has everything for any prospective Powderhound looking for a perfect Swiss ski holiday.

During our most recent visit to the resort, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Crans Montana passed the ‘busy weekend high-season powder day test’ with flying colours. Its sunny slopes provide exceptional quality powder turns & terrain diversity all day long.

Pros & Cons for Crans Montana Ski Resort

Pros

  • High elevation ski area in one of the snowiest parts of Switzerland;
  • Long skiable vertical across expansive piste, ski routes & freeride terrain;
  • Minimal lift lines;
  • Excellent diversity of piste trails for all levels (but less for beginners) ;
  • Superb variety of off-piste terrain including tree skiing;
  • Second best terrain park in Switzerland (after Laax which is beyond amazing).
  • Several interesting ski-in ski-out accommodation options;
  • Good value lift pass price (if purchased online, see below);
  • Easy public transport access by train to Sierre, then funicular or bus to the resort villages.
  • Full-service resort villages with everything one requires for a lengthy stay.

Cons

  • The village return trails from ;
  • Access gondolas not easy for first time skiers on foot to locate;
  • .

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Sunny south facing terrain;
  • Quiet après ski scene in the village, but good on the mountain & at two of the three gondola bases;
  • Rightly or wrongly has a high-end reputation, but the budget conscious can easily ski here within a budget.
  • Villages are not of the traditional (more like the French ski resort kind – generally, not a good thing in our book!) are spread out along the base area – so lacks a single vibrant village feel;
  • Accommodation is relatively expensive & books out quickly in high season.

Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Ski terrain at Crans Montana includes a wide diversity on over 1400m of skiable vertical & a massive 140km of trails. From a high alpine glacier at around 3000m elevation down to gorgeous forest lined trails leading to the villages, it’s not hard to locate your own quiet piece of paradise, even on the busiest day. Long runs of over 12km are a feature of the resort as is the superb snow park, which is second only to that beast of a terrain park in Laax.

Check out the Crans Montana ski trail map here.

Lift infrastructure at Crans Montana is off a quality expected in a large Swiss Alps ski resort. There are the three main access gondolas from the villages, with two in locations difficult for pedestrians to easily access. The Montana gondola from street level is accessed via a discreet passageway, then a tunnel, escalator, stairs & a ramp (plus left, right, up & across). Those in the know will find it easy, those new to the resort may do well to follow the aforementioned people in the know!

Lift queues in the main were non-existent on this busiest of days. The longest wait is generally for the glacier on the Plaine Morte funitel where the seething horde wants to complete the ‘mega rite of passage Crans Montana black run’. The groomed run is OK, but the off-piste on either is fantastic.

The Toula chair & Plaine Morte funitel (up to the glacier) are the ‘go to’ propositions on a sunny powder day. Best access is via Barzettes-Violettes gondola. Early birds will reap a rich harvest here.

Ski Lift Tickets & Passes

Across much of Switzerland, dynamic lift pass pricing (based on demand) is being introduced to encourage skiers to visit the resort throughout the breadth of the season. Crans Montana has introduced the system from season 2019/20. In effect it means savings of up to 43% on the price of a lift pass purchased at the ticket window (cash desk), but the pass must be pre-purchased online. A further encouragement to buy online is that ticket window prices are set quite high, a trend following in the footsteps of the large North American based ski resort companies. Purchase Crans Montana lift passes online here.

Where is Crans Montana Switzerland?

Crans Montana is in the Rhone River valley in the French speaking part of the Valais, Switzerland. The ski resort is perched above the major valley town of Sierre (Siders). Sierre is 171km by road west of the closest major airport at Geneva (GVA). Milan Malpensa (MXP) or Zurich (ZCH) airports offer alternatives.

The railway station at Sierre can be reached by train in less than 2.5hr from Geneva airport or from Milan via Brig. A funicular running directly up to the ski resort village of Montana is a 300m walk from the railway station. Local buses make the journey from the train station regularly too. If taking the funicular, once in Montana, buses, taxis or walking gets one to the accommodation or ski lift.

Search & book train tickets to Sierre & Crans Montana here.

Crans Montana Accommodation

The Crans Montana ski resort comprises three main village areas, none of which are particularly alluring, each with its own gondola lift access to the ski slopes. Central Montana is the most accessible from the valley by funicular from Sierre / Siders. Montana is bookended by Crans to the west & the smaller Barzettes to the east. All are linked by bus & ski trail.

Search & book Crans Montana ski accommodation here.

If the resort village accommodation is booked out or too pricey, staying down in the Rhone valley at Sierre-Siders or any of the towns between Martigny & Brig allows for a convenient day trip to Crans Montana or any of the nearby Val d’Anniviers ski resorts like the fabulous Grimentz Zinal.

Whilst Sierre-Siders is a town of few redeeming features (other than its proximity to loads of ski resorts) if looking for a convenient day tripping base, it will certainly do the job. Try the newly refreshed Hotel de la Poste Sierre, located right near the train, bus & funicular stations in the heart of town.

Otherwise, search & book Sierre-Siders accommodation here.

Note that the valley towns like Sierre, Brig, Visp & Martigny, whilst providing convenience, are no substitute for staying high up in the mountains. Why come to Switzerland & just stay in the valleys?

Review

The Powderhounds had a fabulous time at Crans Montana in 2019. A delightful blizzard coincided with our stay providing stellar ski conditions despite being on a busy peak season February weekend. Click the review link on this page to read the review’s delectable details.

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