Travelling to Mount Titlis is a joy in itself. The journey from Zurich unrolls picture postcard perfect scenery in the way that only Switzerland produces.
The mountain is located in the heart of the Urner Alps in Central Switzerland. At 3,238 metres it is the highest mountain in this region. It has three main faces. The Titlis Glacier occupies the north face. The steeper and rockier southern face houses the Wenden Glacier. The east side is also covered by the Firnalpeligletscher.
What gives the mountain its greatest attraction is the fact that a large part of the mountain is above the snow line. This means that its slopes are clad in snow for all 12 months of the year. It is subject to freezing temperatures, even in summer, and that brings in the visitors and snow enthusiasts. The Engelberg-Titlis combination has over 82 kilometres of slopes and five cross-country ski runs.
The mountain dominates the surrounding region – the Engelberg valley – in the Obwalden Canton. The slopes offer absolutely clear and stunning panoramic views of the area around. Titlis and Engelberg provide much more than scenic photo opportunities for visitors. The facilities are excellent and typical – if rather expensive – Swiss high quality.
Skiing is the biggest and most obvious activity taking place here. However, you cannot ski all the way down from the top. Despite that there are several great runs down the mountain, one of which is via Jochpass, that takes you right to the village. The FSI organises an annual world ski jumping event in Engelberg. You can indulge in free-style or cross-country skiing.
The many slopes can be used for sledding, tobogganing and other snow-related activities. There is long sledging slope of almost 4 kilometres. You can also go winter hiking or don a pair of snow shoes and take one of several trails.
What also makes Titlis famous the world over is its cable car system. The cable car was inaugurated in March 1967. The system incorporates a rotating gondola. Known as the Rotair this revolving car is the first of its kind in the world. A ride in it is a must and your breath catches several times on the way up because of the sheer beauty of the place and the novelty of the ride.
The system comprises of three stages that takes you all the way – from Engelberg to Klien Titlis (the summit). The first stage takes you up 1,262 metres to Gerschnialp; the second to Trübsee (1,796 metres) and finally the Stand (2,428 metres). There are shops and restaurants around the cable car station at every stage.
The last part rises above the glacier and from the station you can visit a glacier cave. The cave is brightly lit, which is a bit cheesy. It would have been more fun and exciting if you had to walk in with only a torch!
If skiing is not your style or you don’t know how or if you don’t have the time you could take a guided coach tour out of Zürich and spend the whole day at Engelberg-Titlis. That way you can enjoy the scenery and snow without the pressure (or expense) of staying and skiing.