Jungfrau - FURTHER INFORMATION
Jungfrau - Jungfrau visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Jungfrau' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Bernese Oberland.
Jungfrau Ski region:
Another version of this tour shows the Panoramic Images linked to a Piste Map of the Jungfrau area. There you will also find some further resort information.
The Lauterbrunnen valley is a huge U-shaped valley caused by glaciation. A number of hanging valleys and waterfalls join it at the top of the vertical valley walls. The area, dominated by the Eiger, Jungfrau and Schilthorn peaks provide a stunning result of the action of water and ice over time. The earliest records suggest that the Lauterbrunnen Valley was first settled in the 13th Century. The first villages to be established were in Mürren, Gimmelwald, Trachsellauenen and Sichellauenen. The area came under the influence of monks from Interlaken around C1350, and the bell from the original church built in Lauterbrunnen in 1487 still stands in front of the new church there today.
Mountaineering came to the area in 1811 when the Jungfrau Mountain was first climbed. In 1892, after overcoming huge difficulties in construction, the first railway from Lauterbrunnen through Wengen and up to Kleine Scheidegg opened for the first time. Thereafter further projects extended the system all the way up to Jungfraujoch which, at 3454m, makes it the highest station in Europe. This project was started by Adolf Guyer in 1896 and completed in 1912.
It was becoming clear that tourism would play an increasing role in the economy of the area and in 1965 the first sections of the Schilthorn cableway were opened linking Stechelberg, via Gimmelwald, to Mürren. The final cables accessing the peak of the Schilthorn at 2970m was completed in 1967.
Skiing in the Jungfrau region:
The skiing is split into 3 main areas of First, Kleine Scheidegg - Männlichen and Mürren-Schilthorn. In total this provides around 210km of piste to choose from. Each of the villages offers various benefits depending on desire for variety, access to the various areas and cost. The whole area is linked by a series of trains and / or busses. The peaks of the Eiger and Jungfrau dominate the area and are visible from almost everywhere.
Most ski maps of the area give the impression that the Eiger is to the North, with the Mürren - Schilthorn area to the East and First to the West. This whole image is in fact rotated 180° to the real geography of the area. One enters the Lauterbrunnen valley from the North end from Interlaken.
Mürren - Schilthorn area:
The Mürren - Schilthorn area is found ascending the far end west side of the Lauterbrunnen valley, shown as the far right area on piste maps. It is principally accessed by cable cars from the valley floor which ascend in three statges. There is no skiing at Stechelberg, located at 867m on the valley floor. From Mürren, situated at 1650, the skiing begins with a number of lifts providing good access to a series of blue and red runs. The Mürren-Schilthorn cable car from here ascends to Birg (2676m), and then further up to the top of the Shitlhorn at 2970m. The longest run in the area descends from the Schilthorn all the way back down to Lauterbrunnen over 15km. This is the focus of the annual Inferno Ski Race, which starts just below the Piz Gloria restaurant at the top of the Schilthorn. The Piz Gloria is a famous revolving restaurant, used at one time in a James Bond film as a set. Simply sit here drinking spiced wine and watch the top of the world go by.
Inferno Ski Race:
The Inferno Race was conceived in 1928, and is the oldest ski race in the world. It was created by an English skier, Sir Arnold Lunn, who is sometimes referred to as the father of Alpine ski racing. The course starts just below the Schilthorn peak and ends in Lauterbrunnen. Partially unpiested, it employs every aspect of skiing in the various stages, from The first race was won by Harold Mitchell in 1 hour and 12 minutes. Fourth place was won by Doreen Elliot, the only female competitor, in spite of losing 10 minutes helping another skier in difficulty. The race has run every year since the end of the Second World War. Today around 1800 people take part and it is still considered to be one of the best challenges for overall skiing ability and stamina.
While there is no skiing at Lauterbrunnen, this town makes a good hub, with access to Wengen and Murren in about 30 minutes. It is the most central town for access to the whole area. Transit to the Kleine Scheidegg area takes about 45 minutes. As a result of the location, accommodation can be cheaper in Lauterbrunnen than elsewhere in the area. There is the potential to ski back from the Mürren-Schilthorn area down into Lauterbrunnen.
Probably the most popular town in the area, situated on a plateau at 1274m between Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg. Skiing around the town itself is limited, but a train takes skiers to Kleine Scheidegg and a Cable car takes people up to Männlichen. Both the Kleine Scheidegg and Männlichen areas link together via a series of lifts. The skiing at Männlichen is very open, with a large number of both blue and red runs. The Männlichen area descends to Grindelwald, which links over to First.
Kleine Scheidegg is the main station for the trains that ascend up the mountain. From here trains travel either down to Grindelwald or Wengen on opposite sides of the mountain. From here trains also ascend further up, and through, the Eiger to the Jungfraujoch station at 3454m. From Kleine Scheidegg the Lauberhorn lift ascends to the top of the Lauberhorn and the beginning of the World Cup run, called the Lauberhorn-Weltcup Abfahrt, which finishes at the bottom of the Innerwengen lift. It is possible to ski all the way back to Wengen from the top of the Lauberhorn at the end of the day.
Grindelwald offers acces to both the Männlichen area via a bubble car that takes about an hour, and Kleine Scheidegg via train taking about the same time. These areas are described above, and again it is possible to ski back to Grindelwald at the end of the day descending into the tree line from the top of the mountains and then through the forests to the town at the bottom.
Grindelwald also give easy access to the area of First via Cable car through Schreckfeld. The highest point here for skiing is Oberjoch at 2501m, though in summer walkers take a 2 hour trek from First to the hut at the top of the Faulhorn at 2681m. Frist constitutes a vast open bowel, and likewise the pistes are expansive and open.
Snowboarding and other:
The area contains 2 half pipes and a jumpers corner in Wengen. Each of the areas contain a fair number of open runs making for easy carving. The area is also laced throughout with toboggan runs, and it is not uncommon for skiers, snow boarders and those on sledges to cross path at some point. The area has about 30km of marked cross country skiing.