Mürren’s status as the birthplace of Alpine ski racing in the years following the first world war is reflected in a succession of centenary celebrations in the car-free village at the heart of Switzerland’s beautiful Jungfrau Region.
After last winter’s commemoration of 100 years of the Slalom, Mürren is bracing itself for the big birthday bash of the UK-based Ladies’ Ski Club, (LSC) which was founded in the Palace Hotel in January 1923.
The LSC will mark the occasion on 23 January with a costumed Slalom race – all ladies welcome – and a reception at the Mürren Tourist Office. The following days will see a celebration dinner at the Hotel Eiger and a brunch in the revolving Piz Gloria restaurant at the top of the Schilthorn (2970m).
In the best tradition of intrepid lady explorers and mountaineers of the Victorian era, British women blazed a ski trail for their European sisters to follow. The LSC was the world’s first ski club for women, and the first Ladies’ World Champion in Alpine skiing was an LSC member, Esmé Mackinnon, who won all three races at Mürren in February 1931.
Current LSC members include Beijing Olympian Charlie Guest and Jasmin Taylor, winner of seven World Cup races and 40 podium placings in a stellar telemark racing career.
The LSC anniversary celebrations will follow Mürren’s annual festival of amateur races (18-21 January 2023), which climax with the mass-participation Inferno downhill and its famously wild after-party, returning after last winter’s covid-restricted event.
A peaceful bolthole for the rest of the season, the small village has lost none of its family-friendly charm. The beauty of its setting opposite the three giants of the Bernese Oberland – Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau – draws visitors from across the globe, including a growing following of instagrammers who queue up to pose on a tree stump in the village centre, one of the most instagrammed spots in the world.
At 1650m Mürren is the highest ski resort in the Bernese Oberland with a long winter season that extends into May. Certain slopes are already open at weekends, thanks to the innovative snow-farming resource. Crowning its 51km of uncrowded pistes, a thrilling black run from the Schilthorn summit is a box for every keen skier to tick.
In addition to the revolving Piz Gloria restaurant, which played a starring role in the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the slopes are well supplied with cosy huts for good food and sensational views. On-slope attractions include a snowpark, a ski-cross track and a timed slalom course.
With big off-piste runs for the adventurous, Mürren connects via lift and piste with the Wengen and Grindelwald ski areas, offering a combined total of 213km of piste across the Jungfrau region under one lift pass.
If the village has retained its old-world character, Mürren’s facilities have kept pace with the advance of technology. Work has begun on the Schilthornbahn’s ambitious 20XX project whereby the world’s steepest cable-car will cut the ascent from Stechelberg (900m) to the Schilthorn (2970m) via Mürren from four stages to three, reducing travel time from valley floor to summit from 32 minutes to 22 and doubling capacity from 400 to 800 passengers/hour. For more information on this project CLICK HERE .
The Alpine Sports Centre is an invaluable resource, with an Olympic-size pool and outdoor Jacuzzi, a large sports hall, Alpine spa and fitness suite, outdoor ice rink, covered curling rink, and organic café. A new addition this year is Mürren’s virtual reality snowball fighting game for teams of up to four players (suitable for everyone over the age of six years): a 15-minute battle in a virtual winter wonderland, playable every day in the Sports Centre (www.muerren.swiss/vr).
For details about activities around the Schilthorn, visit: schilthorn.ch
Accommodation can be booked through one of the Skier & Snowboarder partners such SNO Holidays or for more info go to:
Categories: Racing, Switzerland