Lenzerheide Ski Runs
The Lenzerheide ski area is split on the eastern and western sides of the pass of the same name. With most of the lifts starting from an altitude of around 1500m a lot of the skiing is above the treeline and provides a sizeable area for those seeking long and snow-sure intermediate pistes.
The connections between the two sides are not as convenient as some other resorts and, for those who want to sample the whole of the Lenzerheide area in the same day, it makes sense to start on the western side of the valley to stay on skis as much as possible.
The Western Slopes
The circuit starts at the base of the Tgantieni chairlift at Val Sporz (reached by ski bus from Lenzerheide or Valbella). The next chair, the Scalottas chairlift, rises to the ridge and some spectacular views of the valley on the other side and the mountain ranges beyond. There is a long red with a short black alternative for a section to warm up the legs for the rest of the day.
The long and interesting red 31 run leads over to the next chairlift area on the western side, the Pedra Grossa. At the top there is the Gertrud draglift. Either of the lifts then accesses the busy Alp Lavoz chairlift, which thankfully is a six-seater. There are a number of short blue runs in this area and the chairlift is used as the link between the Lenzerheide lifts and the ski area above Parpan and Valbella at the other end of the Heidsee lake.
Those heading round the circuit as quickly as possible can bypass the Cumascheals chairlift and the Valbella drag below it. There are however some more pleasant blue runs in this area as well as direct access to the town of Valbella.
Eventually skiers will make their way across to the runs above Parpan. This is a lively area with a good choice of runs, restaurants and bars. Those doing the circuit should certainly take some time to enjoy the generally good snow on the tougher runs from the top of the Stätzerhorn chairlift.
This is also the area where the Alp Stätz link from Churwalden joins the main circuit. Those who are curious about the separate ski area above that village can take a blue trail down to Churwalden and then a chair and drag up to the Windegga area.
Skiers on the main circuit make the crossing from west to east here by taking the blue 58 run down into Parpan and under the main road before reaching the bottom of the Heimberg chairlift. (There are plans to link the eastern side to the western side at this point with a new lift.)
The Eastern Slopes
As well as being the main access point into the eastern side of the valley (at least at this end) the chairlift is where the finishing line is for the World Championship ski racing runs: on this side skiers can test themselves on the same runs where men's or women's downhill races are held.
The red run from the top station at 2865m takes skiers off the back of the Rothorn and through a separate valley before heading through a rock tunnel and into the main eastern side slopes again near the top of the men's downhill course. A short black run links up with the Schwarzhorn chairlift and this area is where the planned link between Lenzerheide and the neighbouring resort of Arosa will take place in the 2013/14 season.
The red run back down accesses both the Weisshorn drag and the lengthier and more comfortable Weisshorn Speed draglift and the network of intermediate runs in this area.
There are a number of ways back down to the valley floor.
The runs under the Heimberg lift lead back down to Parpan; a red run heads from the bottom of the Weisshorn Speed lift down to Valbella (but with a ski bus ride required for a connection to the link back up into the ski area); while there are a couple of blue runs which run from the midstation of the Rothorn cable car either to the base station with its big car park and ski bus stop or, in the case of the blue 13 run and with good snow conditions, back into Lenzerheide.
Lenzerheide Ski Photos
The Link from Lenzerheide to Arosa
The link to Arosa has been a very controversial project - some Lenzerheide residents believed that they did not need to have the connection and that it would benefit Arosa more than their resort. There were also strong voices protesting about the development on environmental grounds.
However in 2011 58% of the local community voted Yes to the development and the construction of the connecting lifts was completed in the summer of 2013. The subsequent ski area is now one of the top ski areas in size in Switzerland.