Skiing, skiing, skiing! Switzerland tourism does boast its position as one of the world’s premium skiing locations. But when you’re done with skiing, what then? Or perhaps skiing simply caught your fancy. No worries! There are many more exciting and adventurous winter sports up on offer, that you might not find on a regular Switzerland holiday package. Here is a comprehensive list of adventurous things to do in Switzerland.
Why ski down a mountain when you can take it by sled? And assuming you’re in Switzerland, go for the Big Daddy, take on Europe’s longest sledge run. An impressive 15kms from the top with a vertical drop of 1,600 meters, it is called the Big Pintenfritz in Bussalp, Grindelwald. It is a challenging hike to the top and you’ll have to carry your tobbogan, but the staggering beauty will take away most, if not all, of your attention.
Take some time to relish the view before you jump on your toboggan! The track is wide and fast, sometimes carved into sunken track with big walls of snow on either side. It winds its way down the mountain, passing several villages on the way. Each one has a restaurant to stop for a glass of hot mulled wine and a snack.
There are smaller runs available and even moonlight runs for the more adventurous.
The feeling of flying just above the surface of the snow…WOW! Airboarding is a Swiss invention. The airboard is a high-tech, inflatable body-board used on snow. You lie on top of it and steer it down the slope by shifting your own weight. Airboards can be used on many toboggan runs, on deep powder snow, and especially on dedicated airboard slopes. Airboarding is not allowed on ski slopes.
Airboard races are a popular sport. It is fairly easy to learn and airboards are available for rent near all airboard slopes. In addition to the airboard, you will require good winter clothing, a helmet, gloves, knee protection, and strong footwear.
Filzbach in Glaris, near Lake Walenstadt (Walensee) has good airboarding facilities.
A little like kitesurfing, grab hold of a kite and fly over ice and snow on your skis or on your snowboard. Sounds simple enough, deceptively simple though! You will see them skim over the frozen lake on skis and snowboards, perform daredevil jumps, swinging their colourful kites around – and shoot off again. Snowkiting was pretty much invented on Lake Silvaplana. It boasts the best snowkiting school, Swiss Kitesurf, which has been shaping the development of this fashionable pursuit since 1994.
Snowkiting requires a bit of training. If you’d prefer to watch before you try, the Swiss Snowkite Championship is held at Lake Silvaplana showcases some of the best in the world. To keep the risk of injury to a minimum, it is strongly recommended that novices take a beginners’ course.
One of the best places for snowkiting in Switzerland is said to be the Berninapass in Graubünden, where you can hire equipment and also take lessons.
This one is not for amateurs, experience required. And not just any experience, certified experience. Switzerland’s only ice diving spot is at Lake Lioson in Les Mosses. Three access holes are laid out in a triangle formation and are well-maintained, even through the winter season. It is open for experienced divers in the winter months from December to April.
Because the diver is in an overhead environment typically with only a single entry/exit point, it is considered an advanced type of diving requiring special training. Ice divers are generally tethered for safety.
You must have a diving certificate and assume complete responsibility for your own safety.
Run down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled in teams of two or four. Whoosh down in a Horse-shoe rocket. The sport gets its name from when competitors adopted the technique of bobbing back and forth inside the sled to increase its speed.
Switzerland is home to the world’s only natural ice bobsleigh run. Opened in 1890, the Olympia Bob Run from St. Moritz to Celerina is for speedsters and thrill seekers. You’ll get into a bobsleigh together with two professional drivers and cover a distance of around 1600 metres in about one minute. The minimum age for participants is 18. The starting point for the bob run is behind Hotel Bären in St. Moritz.
Over the years, bobsleigh tracks evolved from straight runs to twisting and turning tracks. The original wooden sleds have been replaced by streamlined fiberglass and metal ones.
So long then, you adventure loving monkeys!