Crans Montana Ski Breaks - Overview
Crans-Montana is a picturesque ski resort located in the Valais region of Switzerland. Positioned on a sun-soaked plateau above the Rhone Valley, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the towering peaks of the Swiss Valais. The resort's south-facing orientation provides plenty of sunlight and as most of the skiing in Crans-Montana takes place at altitudes above 2000 meters, this higher elevation helps mitigate some of the challenges posed by the sun's impact on snow conditions. Additionally, the resort has made significant investments in advanced snow-making technology, ensuring a more reliable skiing experience even when natural snowfall is limited.
Crans-Montana consists of two towns: Crans and Montana, which are conveniently connected by a funicular railway originating from the valley town of Sierre. Over time, these two towns have expanded and essentially merged, forming a cohesive resort experience on either side of the small Etang Grenon lake. While additional accommodation options are available near the Barzettes lift base, the primary access point for skiing is from the main towns of Crans and Montana.
Overall, Crans-Montana offers not only excellent skiing opportunities but also a charming alpine atmosphere, making it a popular destination for both winter sports enthusiasts and those seeking a relaxing mountain getaway.
Crans Montana Skiing
For beginners, the starting point is the Cry d'Er area, which features gentle blue slopes, making it an ideal location for those new to skiing. Intermediates typically start their ski days here as well, then proceed eastwards towards Petit Mont Bonvin.
For skiers seeking quieter runs, there's the option to ski the winding routes down to Aminona. Afterward, a quick and free bus ride back to Barzettes is available. It's worth noting that these quiet runs will be even more accesable in the future due to the installation of a new gondola that is designed to carry up to 2000 people per hour.
Advanced skiers and riders have their own set of options. They can head to the Toula chairlift or take the Funitel to Plaine Morte. The long Kandahar black run then drops down to the base of the Toula chairlift. These options provide more challenging terrain and are suitable for experienced skiers who are looking for a more thrilling and demanding skiing experience.
Overall, Crans-Montana offers a range of slopes catering to different skill levels, ensuring that both beginners and advanced skiers can enjoy their time on the mountain while taking in the stunning alpine scenery.
Crans-Montana offers an impressive array of 15 ski touring routes, collectively known as the Rando Parc, encompassing over 89 kilometers of meticulously marked and secure paths. These routes within this expansive park provide a staggering total of over 8,000 meters of elevation gain, catering to skiers of all levels.
For those new to ski touring, there are three introductory-level routes to get you started on this exhilarating adventure. And for the more experienced and daring enthusiasts, there's "La X’trême," a route featuring a challenging 3,000 meters of elevation gain, along with four additional uphill routes to test your skills.
These ski mountaineering routes have been meticulously crafted in collaboration with Séverine Pont-Combe, a ski-mountaineering champion, ensuring both safety and excitement for all participants.
It's important to note that the ski lift company oversees this activity during the ski resort's opening hours. However, please be aware that these trails are not guarded against potential hazards and are therefore closed outside of the lift operating hours. Prior to embarking on your ski touring adventure, it is essential for all users to check trail opening times to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Crans Montana Apres Ski
Crans-Montana offers a sophisticated après-ski scene that caters to its upscale clientele. Unlike more energetic and lively après-ski scenes in some resorts, Crans-Montana's atmosphere leans towards the refined and relaxed. Visitors often prefer to unwind in the resort's charming cafés, tea rooms, and stylish bars. The resort's casino also provides entertainment, with options like roulette and card tables for those seeking a bit of excitement.
For those who enjoy a more spirited après-ski experience, there are a few livelier venues available including Zerodix with its umbrella bar atmosphere and resident DJs and Cry d'er Club d'Altitude situated at 2,220m with its huge terrace offering panoramic views and party atmosphere.
Getting to Crans Montana
Access to Crans-Montana is convenient, especially for those travelling from Geneva. If you're driving from Geneva, you can follow a route around the lake and up the Rhone Valley, which will take approximately two hours to reach the resort. Alternatively, train access is also straightforward. You can take a train to Sierre and then use the funicular railway to ascend to the resort.
- Driving: Around 2 hours
- Train: Approximately 2.5 to 3 hours