Beyond the Ropes in Engelberg - Ski Mag
Find endless adventure and intense beauty in Engelberg—Switzerland's Freeride Capital

If you’re lucky enough to call Engelberg, Switzerland, home, you might as well become a ski photographer. That’s just what Oskar Enander did when he moved here from his native Sweden in 2002. “We have the most amazing access to the backcountry,” he explains when asked why he enjoys living, skiing, and shooting in this central Switzerland town that dates back to the Middle Ages. “The ropes are pretty much there for show. You can duck under whenever you want.” 

Enander and his companions ducked many ropes last March, when the snowpack was “incredible” and the conditions were “excellent for shooting,” he says. Not that this is unusual for Engelberg, which enjoys one of the longest seasons in the Alps: The majority of the slopes are north-facing, so the snow stays cold even when the temperatures rise. Combine that with a respectable elevation as high as 10,000 feet and you get some of the best lift-accessed backcountry anywhere. 

In these images, Enander and his merry band of skiers, including Marcus Caston, Johan Jonsson, and Chad Sayers, canvassed the slopes for the season’s best pow, and found it everywhere from high alpine to the glades. Wherever they went, you can too. And you should.

Getting There: Engelberg is a two-hour train ride from Zurich, making it one of the most accessible resorts in the Alps. 

Stay: Hotel Terrace is perched above town, so expansive views come free of charge. Smaller and more intimate, Ski Lodge Engelberg is steps from the train station.

Eat: Make sure the fondue at the Alpenclub is on your itinerary. On the slopes, the Ritz is the classic Engelberg stop for a proper lunch. 

Drink: Yucatan, in town, rocks the Mexican beach-bar vibe, while the Sternbar, at Station Strand, pairs unbeatable views with your après cocktail. 

Visit: Stop by the Engelberg Abbey, founded in 1120 and home to Benedictine Monks. Take the tour and visit the cheese shop, where several varieties are handmade daily.

See more photos from Enander on his website.

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