Ski & Backcountry Tours in Davos – Western Peaks
The peaks of the Davos valley offer many ski tours, some of which are off the Parsenn ski area and some of which have to be climbed from the bottom of the valley. I start with the peaks from South to North. I also provide links to the tour details (where available). There are more peaks to be climbed towards the Southwest and especially the Northwest, where the Fideriser Heuberge offer many easy and safe “beginners” tours (not covered in this guide). An “epic” tour in that region – if there is snow to lower elevations – is the tour from Weissfluh Peak over Fideriser Heuberge and Glattwang to Jenaz with about 2500m (!) downhill. See tour report here.
The tour numbers mentioned in my tour descriptions correspond to the tour numbers on www.map.geo.admin.ch, the site of the official Swiss maps, which now also include the ski touring routes. Type “ski” in the search bar and select “ski routes”. Please also note that altitude numbers on the official Swiss maps might deviate slightly depending on the map scale (the new 1:25’000 maps show most peaks 1 m lower).
Mederger Flue 2705m: “M” on my map (actually the peak is a bit further North than shown on the map, sorry), Route 179b (at GeoAdmin Site), Frauenkirch 1512m – Stafelalp 1894m – Stafleralp – Mederger Flue 2705m, pretty long intermediate tour
Pretty long ski tour (4 h ascent), but generally safe. We also skied down the steep 40-degrees South face (in very safe conditions recommended only!). Mederger Flue is much less travelled than the very popular Chörbschhorn, just East of it. While I have skied this mountain, I have no tour report here.
(Gross) Schiahorn 2709m: “S!” on my map, Route 177a, Davos Horlauben 1600m – Strela Alp 1915m – Strela Pass 2342m – Schiahorn 2709m, advanced/steep tour (towards the peak)
The Schiahorn is a steep peak directly Northwest of Davos Dorf. This tour can be done directly from Davos city! The South face of Schiahorn is quite steep (up to 40 degrees) and ski crampons are needed most of the times. Also, this tour is best done when the snow is settled well (such as in spring). The tour starts above the Migros Horlauben where the forest road to Schatzalp starts (the road is also used to ski down from Schatzalp). On can cut through the forest up to points 1671 and 1774m and then to the treeline East of Schatzalp. There are almost always tracks through the forest as this route is used by skimo racers. With fresh snow it is quite picturesque here.
From the treeline, it is a gentle slope to Strela Pass, where one might warm up with a great soup in the hut and then head up Schiahorn which looks impressive steep from below. (Note: Taking Schatzalp Bahn plus chair/ski lifts will shorten this tour dramatically and the Schiahorn would then be a first peak on the way to Chörbschhorn on route 179a).
From Strela Pass best follow the Summer hiking trail which passes above a prominent rock on the East side of the slope. The trail then reaches the “safer” East ridge. From the peak one can look down into the vertikal North wall and has a good view of the Parsenn ski area and all peaks in the region. And, the great views you can enjoy alone usually (as only few people head up to Schiahorn).
You can ski down on the ascent route and then from Strela on the groomed slopes or off-piste. Further down, howewer, it is preferred to take the “ski road” from Schatzalp down to Davos as skiing through the forest is only fun when there lot’s of snow. A great alternative is to head West from Strela and ski down the Guggerbach to point 1940m (don’t miss it). There is almost always nice powder there (see below, tracks from October 2016). From point 1940 take the trail to Schatzalp and ski down on the forest road heading Northeast.
Chörbschhorn 2575m: “C “on my map, Route 178b, Frauenkirch 1512m – Stafelalp 1894m – Strela Stafleralp – Chörbschhorn 2575m, easy/but pretty long tour, safe in most conditions. Tour details can be found here.
This is one of the most popular longer ski tours in Davos. Very safe in most conditions. Note: I saw once a smaller slide on the route just below 2200m (where there are few rocks on the slope and the slope gets a bit steeper). Skiing down the ascent route is “lousy” most of the time. Much preferred is the descent over Erber Berg (route 178c). Be careful on this route when skiing into the steeper slopes right at the top. Head towards point 2431m from the Chörbschhorn and the cross Eastward (horizontal or slighty upwards, some pushing needed).
The last part of this descent route from point 1993m through the forest is quite steep and it is not always easy to find the best way down, but usually there are already some tracks to guide you.
Zenjiflue 2685m and Kistenstein 2487m: Z and K on map, no useful routes on Geo Admin, Weissfluh Peak 2830m (Parsenn ski area) – “Diretissima” descent – Zenjiflue 2685m – Barga 1992m – Kistenstein 2478m – Schifer 1554m (Parsenn ski area), pretty easy tour except for the first steep meters down from Zenjiflue and the light climbing to Kistenstein. Tour details (which also shows alternative ascent) Zenjiflue here and K(Ch)istenstein (in German) here.
Please note that for this tour you need a full day ski pass of Parsenn. If you do not use the lifts going back to Davos you will need a one-way tour ticket (which they usually only give out if you have or are a guide).
One of my favourite short ski tours off the Parsenn ski area. Both peaks can be climbed individually, but combining them makes this a great tour. You will need a day pass for the Parsenn ski area, unfortunately.
The route to Zenjiflue over the popular freeride descent “Diretissima” (entrance North East on ski slope, hard to find) is the shortest way to get to that peak. Diretisssima is quite steep (35 degrees!).
A safer, but longer route is from Weissfluhjoch through the Hauptner Valley and then towards Haupt Huts (2027m) and on route 175a to the peak.
Zenjiflue’s downhill entry is very steep for the first few meters, but as it is well skied, avalanche danger is usually low. One can also ski over the West ridge to point 2530m from where the descent is not steep.
Climbing Kistenstein (or Chistenstein) over the West Ridge requires very easy climbing. If you do not like rocks, head East and then turn around to climb the mountain on the easier North route (this alternative is about 1 hours longer). The descent from Chistenstein over the steep North East face (South of the normal route 174c) is great, but requires very safe avalanche conditions. I saw a huge avalanche there in 2016. When heading down toward Schifer ski station, make sure to head East mostly, until you see the groomed slopes.