If you’re going to visit Switzerland, you may as well go all out and aim for as extreme as you can – the best views, the most sky-high mountains and the most unique activities.
Adrenaline lovers can’t go past Mürren-Schilthorn, commonly known as just ‘Schilthorn’, the highest-altitude skiing area in the Bernese Oberland.
With steep slopes, long runs, cosy apres spots and the most jaw-dropping views of surrounding areas Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau – here’s everything you need to know about this gem that few Aussies are aware of (shhhh, don’t tell anyone).
Switzerland is known for consistent snowfall, making for long, steep and smooth groomers. Schilthorn doesn’t disappoint; expect the resort to be open from mid-November through to April, which 51km of slopes covered off by 16 lifts.
With the ski area being 2970m up, you’ll head into the car-free village of Mürren and into the resort by cable car. Along with the long runs, expect insane views of UNESCO-listed sites, a kids ski area and a Skyline Snowpark for the freestylers.
Rest assured there’s even something for those who aren’t such adrenaline junkies – toboggan runs, an igloo village and a huge network of winter hiking paths between Mürren and Lauterbrunnen, all in front of that famous Swiss mountain backdrop.
The Schilthorn summit is so steep that for many years, only mountaineers were able to access it; eventually, in the 1960s, cableway technology advanced enough to open the mountain to the general public. As a result, your heart may be creeping into your throat as you approach.
For those who are keen to test their legs on the steepest run, you’re in luck. It doesn’t get much steeper than the ‘Direttissima’, also known as ‘Run No. 9’, which happens to be the steepest in the entire Jungfrau region at an 88% incline.
Keen to give it a whirl? Make sure the edges on your skis/boards are sharp and head to the Birg station; from there, the run will take you all the way down to Engetal.
The James Bond
With the Schilthorn opening up in 1967, the Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, was filmed there in 1969. Movie producers were looking for a shooting location higher than 3000 metres and something only accessible by cable car and, you guessed it, this was the perfect spot.
Movie buffs will love seeing the nods to 007 himself, and it’s hard not to feel like a villain as you sit sky-high above the world.
Head to the revolving restaurant, the world’s first revolving restaurant, styled by producers specifically for the movie – most features have remained exactly the same ever since. Go for the ‘007 burger’, or the James Bond brunch, an all-you-can-eat served up all the way through until 2pm.
There’s also Bond World, an interactive adventure exhibit; the 007 Walk of Fame; or even the Thrill Walk which takes on a 200m cliff walk along a suspension bridge… maybe do that one before you have the long brunch.
Now this is cool. With those in Schilthorn being longtime movie lovers (see the above point about our old friend Bond), you can film your very own ski movie here at the ‘ski movie’ course.
Just touch your ski pass to the sensor at the Maulerhubel chairlift and you’re off; your journey down the mountain will be recorded by a camera and displayed in your Jungfrau account, ready to show off to your friends.
Find some ski movie examples here.