St Moritz is a legendary ski region, among the top Swiss ski resorts, with four ski areas – all on one ticket. The biggest area – Corviglia is reached from the village of St Moritz. The three other ski areas of St Moritz are Corvatsch – in neighboring Silvaplana, and Diavolezza and Lagalb nearby reached by car, bus or train.
Diavolezza is perhaps the wildest, best pitched of St Moritz ski areas. It’s not very big, just one tram – base to summit, and an upper mountain chairlift serving three ski runs. The views are stunning – with brilliant blue glaciers surrounding you. Lagalb is the sister ski area across the valley from Diavollezza and both can be skied in one day, spending a morning at one and afternoon at the other as we did. It’s a bus or train from St Moritz or you can drive and park for free at either.
In translation, Diavolezza means” she devil”, great name for a ski area with angry, ok just steep, trails, and wild off piste routes. Its fun to try and beat your tram. Mornings at Diavolezza the trails are a bit shaded given its northern exposure, but the snow holds up well. It also doesn’t get as busy as Corvatsch or Corvigila given its distance from downtown St Moritz, and the limited ski terrain
Ski Diavolezza’s longest off-piste glacier run in Switzerland – its on the trail map dropping off the backside – but not patrolled or groomed for the entire 5.2 mile descent, sometimes more difficult terrain amid rocks and ice. Known to free-skiers and hikers as Langste Gletscherabfahrt on the Morteratsch Glacier, it’s a bucket list item for glacier lovers and adventurers alike. This epic run is also part of the Diavolezza Challenge, uphill ski to the top at 2978 meters and ski down the entire glacier run to the end at 1897-meters.
We rode the Diavollezza tram to ski the glacier instead of hiking, but definitely found our game on the long exciting adventure. Spectacular iridescent ice flows, frozen in time waterfalls, and glaciers clinging to towering rock peaks. The entire run took us 40 minutes, plan an hour including the rather flat Nordic trail run out back to Morteratsch train station. So snowboarders be advised – it’s a haul . Ask the Diavolezza cable car driver for a train schedule on your ascent for the Morteratsch to Diavolezza return train times with your skis – valid on ski ticket for the one-way trip. If you arrive before the train, have a coffee or a beer and cheers to your successful ski descent at the cute café by the train tracks. You’ll be amid more Nordic skiers than alpinists.
This Morteratsch Glacier off-piste run is not recommended for anyone but expert experienced skiers, there are crevasses and unmarked dangers. Other “cool” ski-able glaciers in the Alps include Gstaad Glacier 300, Zermatt, Aletsch Arena and Saas Fe in Switzerland, and Chamonix Mont Blanc in France.
Lunch at Diavollezza at the Tram summit at Berghaus Diavolezza – appropriately called Bellavista for the amazing views of the glaciers. Enjoy the sparkling ice while enjoying warm, filling traditional Swiss fare.
Lagalb ski area is right across the valley from Diazolezza, and worth skiing the same day. In fact its just across the road (and train tracks) from Diavolezza, so you can ski to it, and take the frequent bus back.
The name Lagalb means” white lake” and this small St Moritz ski area offers skiers steep adventures on its limited but exciting terrain, about 4 top to bottom trails. The one tram climbs from the humble base and parking area to 2983 meters, over 9,700’. The views of the Swiss Alps and the towering peaks of Italy are extraordinary, including Bernadina Peak at 4009 meters, over 10,000’.
Lagalb’s trails – a handful of prepared marked ski runs – are good for advanced skiers making laps, read: not a place for beginners. Several of Lagalb’s groomed marked pistes swerve and dip and roll down the mountain face. The trails are more narrow, giving it a racy feel. Of course racing your tram, or the others on the slope, seems to be a pastime with Lagalb locals.
Berghaus Lagalb just off the Tram at the summit is THE place to dine for its splendid views toward Italy and back at Diavolezza and the glaciers. Delicious cuisine and prompt polite service complement the views. Waiters are in Swiss attire as a nice novelty. The specialty Alpermagroni- the cheesey local pasta dish melds Swiss Italian – just like the panorama -with pasta, potatoes, bacon- pancetta, cheese, onions and fresh cream. Even the salad bar with roasted veggies, meats, cheeses, and quiche is over the top at 2900 meters!
Lagalb and Diavolezza are good ski areas to visit to escape the busier hubs of Corviglia and Corvatsch at St Moritz, best for more advanced skiers and riders.
During your family ski holiday at St Moritz, Corviglia will likely be your most visited, as it has the most terrain, and is most convenient to hotels in the city of St Moritz, but you should visit Corvatsch at Silvaplana, Diavolezza and Lagalb as well, all on one ski pass.
St Moritz is a must ski Swiss ski resort with four ski areas, and a fantastically historic fun village with its centerpiece Lake St Moritz. Other nearby ski resorts are Davos Klosters, Arosa Lenzerheide, and smaller resorts of Bivio and Savognin.