The (Ultimate) Davos Ski & Backcountry Tour Guide – Part 2 (Peaks Around Monstein)

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).

Monstein (1636m) is a pittoresque Walser village located about 10 km Southwest of Davos. In the village the famous “Monstein Beer” is produced. There are also two fine restaurants. Parking (at the end of the road) is sometimes hard to find ro can be full. In summary, Monstein is popular ski touring base, mainly in spring.

Monstein (source: www.michael-straub.ch, Michael Straub, Davos/Wiesen). Erezberg can be seen above the church, left of Erezberg Peak is the great offpiste run to Monstein

The regions offers peaks for about 2-3 days. The best-known peak is the Büelenhorn (2808m). While the peak looks pretty easy, the North slope at the end is tricky and there were two deadly avalanche accidents recently (2013 and 2016)! See report here. So be aware! I will start with the least travelled peak in the region. 


Chrachenhorn: “Ch” on my map, Route 517a on GeoAdmin, Davos Monstein 1636m –  Gallimeder 2259m – Chrachenhorn ridge 1527m – Chrachenhorn 2891m

The Chrachenhorn is a seldom climbed peak South of Monstein and a good alternative to the popular Büelenhorn and Aelplihorn, especially in not so safe avalanche conditions (if one follows my route described here).

View of Chrachenhorn (in the back) from Oberalp

The climb from Monstein Oberalp huts and then to Fanezmeder Alp is quite easy with always lots of tracks. Before you get to Fanezmeder Alp (2222m) head Southeast and skin up to point 2517m staying well Northwest of the “official” route 517a in order to avoid any steep terrain. Once on the ridge it get steeper quickly and to reach the Chrachenhorn peak one needs to take off the skis usually, depending on snow conditions. Many ski tourers also stop before it gets “rocky”. Skiing the windblown ridge is not much fun, but further down the slopes are great with no tracks normally. Even further below, one can also try a route on the West side of Oberalp Creek or climb up to Erzeberg (2616m) and ski down to Monstein on one of the best downhill runs in the whole Davos region!!

Freeriding down from Erezberg to Monstein – Awesome!

The skiing down the steep South East route 517b from Chrachenhorn is also great (I heard from friends), but very steep (safe avalanche conditions needed). If want it steeper still, ski down one of the Chrachenhorn North East couloirs.


View of Büelenhorn from Chrachenhorn – The most dangerous part of the route is just below the ridge (sun/shadow line in the picture above). If things look dangerous, you might want to head up a bit more to the right!

Büelenhorn 2802m: “BH!” on my map, Route 516b, Monstein 1636m – Inneralp 1993m – Büelen 2241m – Büelenhorn 2808m, relatively easy tour [Note there is also a “Büelenhorn” just East of Davos!]

The Büelenhorn is the most popular tour in the region, but (as mentioned) probably also the most underestimated in terms of potential avalanche danger. Watch out when skinning up the last part of the Northeast facing slope (above 2500m) which is about 35 degrees steep. Maybe chose a different route (more to the right) here depending on conditions. There is a little bit of light “climbing” for  the last few meters to reach the peak, which – by the way – offers great views.

Skiing down the wide Büelen Valley usually offers good powder and there is plenty of room to lay new tracks here.

Büelen Valley, Chrachenhorn in the background (with the steep South East descent)

Gletscher Ducan 3016m: G! on my map, Route 521a, Monstein 1636m – Fanezfurgga 2578m – Ducan Furgga 2664m – point 2904m – Gletscher Ducan 3016m, pretty long intermediate tour

The Gletscher Ducan is one of the longer and higher tours around Davos. Depending on snow conditions the peak can be reached faster from Sertig valley (route 521b), but I recommend the ascent from Monstein even though it is a bit longer. There is a small glacier (“Gletscher”) on the uppermost North face of Gletscher Ducan, but this can only be guessed in winter.

Gletscher Ducan in the middle – Ducan Furgga on the right – Our powder tracks into the Ducan Valley, from where it is a short uphill back to Fanezfurgga

The 1000m climb to Fanezfurgga is easy and alway well tracked. From that little pass one can either cut across to Ducan Furgga or (if snow conditions are good and safe) ski down into the Ducan Valley and head up the Ducan from below. This route is mostly recommended on the way back as there is usually good powder all the way down to Ducan Valley. From Ducan Furgga the slopes get steeper and steeper until one reaches to ridge (point 2904) Northeast of the peak. Ski are usually left somewhere on the ridge as the last meters require some easy climbing. There are great views and, if at all, there will be very few people on the peak.

On Gletscher Ducan – View towards North East, Hoch Ducan at end of Ducan Range.

Skiing down is straight forward. As mentioned, you might want to ski down below Ducan Furgga to put a few virgin tracks into the powder. This is certainly worth the additional short uphill.

When heading towards Monstein you can – if you still have energy left – again climb up to Erezberg (2616m) and ski down one of the best (and least skied) off-piste slopes in the whole region.


Älplihorn 3006m: Ä on my map, Route 518a, Monstein 1636m – Fanezmeder 2222m – Bärentälli -Älplihon 3006m, pretty easy tour with one or two steep parts

Dominik on top of Älplihorn

The Älplihorn is probably the easiest to ski 3000m peak in the region. The steepest part is the climb from Bärentällti to the ridge leading to Älplihorn (see below). As this steep slope is Southeast facing, the sun has usually settled the snow a bit. Nevertheless, take care.

Heading up to the ridge below Älplihorn (at around 2700m)

If avalanche conditions are safe, one can ski down just South from the peak towards East (route 518b). The slope is quite steep. From the wide Mittel Tälli below, it is only about a half hour climb to Erezberg (2616m) and then the best run might be ahead of you.

On the way down to Monstein from Erezberg

Leidbachhorn 2908m: L!! on my map, Route 520, pretty exposed ridge to climb, very steep descent towards East  (also see tour report in German here: http://www.gipfelbuch.ch/gipfelbuch/detail/id/58864/Skitour_Snowboardtour/Leidbachhorn

The Leidbachhorn is one of the few peaks in the region that I have not climbed yet.  The peak can “easily” be reached from Rinerhorn ski area. There is a pretty long climb on the ridge, which is technically not difficult, but exposed (shoe crampons and ice axe are recommended, even if they might not be needed). Also, there are one or two quite steep slopes on the way up to Leidbachfurgga (see below).

My doughters on the way up to Leidbachfurgga – Not quite as steep as it looks
Downhill to Sertig

There is a steep couloir down to the Sertig Valley (which I have also not skied yet).

Please note that skiing down the fantastic slopes to Sertig from Leidbachfurgga is not allowed anymore (wildlife protection zone)!

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