Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Adventure

Beyond the Ropes

Find endless adventure and intense beauty in Engelberg—Switzerland's Freeride Capital

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

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.

None
Oskar Enander

Reflection and mountain scenery combine during a ride on the Titlis Rotair tram to the summit.

Photo credit: Oskar Enander.

None
Oskar Enander

Athletes enjoy the view after an early-morning warm up on a 5,000-vertical-foot glacier run.

Photo credit: Oskar Enander.

None
Oskar Enander

Fog rolled in and stuck around long enough to capture this image of Johan Jonsson airing it out in the trees.

Photo credit: Oskar Enander.

None
Oskar Enander

From a distance, the gondolas hang like dainty charms.

Photo credit: Oskar Enander.

None

Chad Sayers goes deep in the Jochpass, one of the resort’s less-crowded areas.

Photo credit: Oskar Enander.

None
Oskar Enander

Marcus Caston demonstrates his signature airplane turn with lovely Lake Eugenisee, on the resort’s Western boundary, just out of view.

Photo credit: Oskar Enander.

None
Oskar Enander

Photographer Oskar Enander and skier Johan Jonsson lingered after the lifts closed to capture this shot of the sun setting over the jagged peaks.

Photo credit: Oskar Enander.

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.