Jan 2020 – Flumserberg, Switzerland was neither a place we had ever heard of nor had we really planned to visit it. We stumbled upon Flumserberg, via the wonderful internet, while we were enjoying our weekend in Malbun, Liechtenstein. The next day was going to be day to drive back home, but my lovely lady and I wanted to see some more snowtime and we had already covered all of Malbun. So we pulled up Googlemaps and looked for anything in Switzerland or Austria we could visit on the way back, without taking too much of a detour home.
This is when we found Flumserberg: a large slope area nestled in the altitude next to the Walensee, about an hour east of Zürich. The area it belongs to is called the Sarganserland.
The drive to the upper lift area from our hotel in Liechtenstein didn’t even take an hour so we left nice and early to arrive in time for parking, ski school registration, etc. Luckily, since we had spent some time in Liechtenstein, we already had those beautifully colored Swiss Francs. The money is so pretty I feel guilty spending it. My best recommendation is to park near the Tannenboden Lift. It’s very central, the parking lot is big, and ski school registration is just across the street from the lift ticket office. Pretty much everything you need to get going is right there. Plus the ski school meeting point is directly next to the lift. There may be other meeting points but we only knew of the one near Tannenboden.
Again, since this is Switzerland, everything you do you’re likely to run into staff members who speak German, French, Italian, and English, or any combination of the four. If your German sucks, fear not: the Swiss are pretty friendly and open about trying to communicate in your language. Even if your German is okay, you’ll likely struggle a little. Their German definitely has it’s own song-like dialect to it. It also sounds much much softer than what I’m used to:(Schwäbisch).
First things first: ski school for the kids. The first point being that it’s in Switzerland so it’s likely going to be pretty good. The second point is that the cost for a single day is about what you should expect in Switzerland. Your cost for two kids in school for two morning hours and two afternoon hours is going to run you around 140 Swiss Francs. The typical lunch break is part of the program so the kiddos attend class from 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00.
Usually this is totally fine; however, the lifts in this area take at least 10 minutes to drop you off and the runs are actually pretty long. By the time you’ve taken about 4 or 5 runs, it’s time to pick your kids up.
The actual ski school is pretty well equipped. There are several magic carpets available for the school and there are different teaching areas for differently-skilled kids. Another nice touch is that there are two large magic carpets that can be used at no cost and with no ski school registration. If you’re willing to suffer and hang out with your kids for a while, this is a good spot to try and teach them the basics. The free use will ease the pain of your kids’ behavior. There’s even a mascot that comes out and helps the kids learn.
While my wife and I eagerly dumped our kids off and said our “Bis Später”, we jumped right onto the Tannenboden lift and went off for our first two-hour time block of freedom from whining. To be honest, that first lift ride up without the kids is like a small vacation everytime. Our views were beautiful and went for miles. We could plainly see the Walensee, and the ridgeline on the northern side of the lake is very very intimidating and rugged in appearance.
Flumserberg is large enough to spend a few days on, but we had an awesome day on the western side of the slopes. Tip: as with all things Swiss, the slope food will cost you a lot if you’re not expecting it. Make it easier on yourself by bringing your own drinks to the slopes. I made creatively timed trips to the car for beer.
Fun note: Flumserberg offers up night slopes. Anything on the slopes at night, in Europe, is pretty surprising.
My thoughts of Swiss Ski School (as far as we’ve experienced): the Swiss take a lot of time to ensure your kids have a thorough understanding of everything basic. The staff kept our 6-year old in the school area to learn more basics; contrarily, only a few weeks after this trip, our daughter was in an Austrian course and they immediately said she was ready to tackle the entire mountain. Neither is better than the other, honestly. When it comes to teaching, I would trust just about anything the Swiss have to say.
I thought Flumserberg was fantastic. I was shocked the place didn’t have more likes on Instagram and Facebook, but honestly maybe they prefer to stay off the mainstream path that places like Zermatt and Grindelwald are on. Flumserberg was an easy drive for us, and it boasts difficult slopes and even some tree runs that I found to be pretty fun. It wasn’t overly expensive, for Switzerland, and the ski school was great. The school gets extra points from me considering there were additional magic carpets that our daughter stayed on for an hour, after class.
We’ll return and I recommend it.
If there’s anything you feel is missing or if you’ve got any questions, drop a comment below! I’ll get back to you!
Bis zum näschtes mal!the snowboard dad in europe