Crans-Montana ski resort in southwestern Switzerland is considered one of top Swiss resort together with Davos, St. Moritz, Verbier and Zermatt.
Crans-Montana ski resort
Crans Montana sits on a sunny plateau, dotted with larches and lakes, and the view across the Rhone Valley is the most spectacular of all Alpine panoramas. However, it is sometimes hard to believe that the three towns (Amonina is the third) owe their existence to the once-pure mountain air.
A funicular carries skiers up to Crans Montana from the valley town of Sierre. From Les Violettes, a gondola gives direct access to the top of the ski area at Plaine-Morte. Alternative mountain access is by a gondola from the Crans end of town, a gondola from Montana, one from Barzettes-Violettes, and another from the neighbouring resort of Aminona. Once up the mountain, intermediates will enjoy the long, flattering runs.
Crans Montana is an intermediate’s resort with good beginner terrain. Starting at the top, beginners have three short but easy runs on the Plaine-Morte Glacier, where good snow is guaranteed. The nursery slopes down by the golf course in Crans are even easier, but can quickly become worn. The largest conflux of intermediate pistes is in the Violettes sector, with winding trails through the woods. The Toula chair leads to steeper reds. From Bella-Lui, head down the Nationale ski slope, which was home to the men’s downhill in the 1987 World Championships, or Chetseron, another World Cup run. The only official black run in the resort is a bumpy fall-line pitch on the ridge under the Toula chair, although by the standards of many resorts it’s no more than a red. On the whole, this is a resort of long, open cruising runs.
Crans Montana is an active snowboarding centre and the Adrenaline snowpark, at top of the Crans gondola, is one of the biggest in the country. It has a half-pipe, several rails, an area for beginner freestylers, a skicross/boardercross course and a brand new snowpark for teenagers.