Churwalden is a small village which is lift linked to the excellent resort of Lenzerheide. It has a few of its own slopes, but its real appeal is that you can access this great area for a bit less money.
Tearing the Churwalden slopes away from Lenzerheide, what have we got left? A fast chair takes you up to the mid station, a t-bar to the top, and at the base a t-bar serves a wide and pretty flat beginner area. This is why most people stay on the bus to Lenzerheide, and why most people who get to the top of the t-bar can enjoy some good fresh lines, long after most resorts get tracked out.
Conditions on the red-run under the chairlift can get a bit sketchy at the bottom and for an intermediate run it is pretty steep in places. The off-piste is hemmed in on one side by thick impenetrable trees dropping into a valley, and on the other side is the world’s longest toboggan run. This 3.1km metal rail beast makes precision powder shredding a necessity as you try and get that last spray in without impaling yourself on it.
Churwalden slopes Photo: Steve, WSG
Take the t-bar up to the peak and there are a number of possible ways down. The easy blue runs round the back of the mountain, and you can find plenty of off-piste routes off this ending up towards the other end of the village. Take the black and you can push as far towards the valley as you want, but heading into the valley isn’t a particularly good idea if you value your base.
The beginner area is a pretty good option for complete beginners or someone who just wants to give it a go for a few hours. You can buy a cheap lift pass just for this beginner lift, but it’s no big deal just to hike up.
The Alp Statz is the chairway to heaven and leads directly into the Lenzerheide area. It’s a slow old chair and gives you plenty of time to survey some impressive gladed terrain, shame that it is all officially out of bounds, being a protected forest and all. You can board back into Churwalden easily enough from Lenzerheide. Take a good look at our Lenzerheide review for the full information on this whole area.
Very little goes on in Churwalden. There’s a bakery, a co-op, a splattering of hotels, two restaurants, a cash machine, and that’s pretty much it. The Lenzerheide ski bus doesn’t go as far as here, so if you miss the run back into the resort or for some reason the Alp Statz lift is closed, you’ll need to pick up the regular postbus to get around. Accommodation wise the best place to stay is at the Lodge, owned by Snowmotions (www.snowmotions.com) . Run by Brits, not only do they offer some good value accommodation but they know this area like the back of their hands and can show you some of the best spots.