Family Friendly Skiing: Handgruobi, Schwyz
Are you looking for somewhere to ski in Switzerland? Look no further than the weekly series during winter here on Simple Family Travel.
Each Monday during the winter we will discover where people who actually live in Switzerland like to spend their winter days with their families. You’ll discover the best way to get there, which skiing abilities the area caters to, where to rent skis and which restaurants to try. And as the weeks go on, we won't forget the non-skiers either!
Today we head to a more local ski resort which is great for a day trip with mum of 3, Gay.
1. Where is your favourite place to ski?
We have two favourite places—the first one which I’ll talk about in this post (look out for her other favourite place in a couple of weeks!).
For weekend skiing we favour Handgrüobi in the Mythen region, which is a small lift halfway up the Ibergeregg pass. We like Handgruobi because it’s close enough for an easy half-day of skiing, it’s reasonably priced, and it has something for everyone.
2. What’s the best way to get there? What’s the parking like? Train Station/Bus Stop close by?
Handgruobi is a 35 minute drive from Zug via the Autobahn to Schwyz and then 10 minutes driving up the pass. There is usually sufficient parking, but getting there early or around the lunchtime changeover is advisable. Handgruobi is also accessible by public transport (bus from Schwyz).
Take the number 5 bus from Schwyz SBB train station and get off at Handgruobi.
3. What ability does the area cater to?
Handgruobi is fantastic for beginners on ski or board, and for families with skiers of different abilities. The area is served by drag-lifts only, but the lift serving the slope at the bottom is an ideal beginner’s lift. The long gentle blue slope back down to the bottom is ideal for beginners of all ages.
4. Is there a ski school? What facilities are there for beginners?
Handgruobi does not have a ski school as such, although lessons with a private instructor can be booked in advance at a very competitive rate (scroll down to Privatunterricht and choose your instructor). The area primarily has drag lifts, but these are typically fairly tame enough for a confident 5-6 year old to handle alone (with mum/dad coming up behind!). The lifts are manned at the top and bottom.
5. Best place to rent skis nearby?
No idea, since we have our own equipment.
6. Anything for non skiers to do? Sledding/Snow shoeing/Winter Trails?
The Mythen area offers a range of snowshoeing and hiking trails. These cross the pistes at times, so you can feel part of the action and easily arrange meeting points with your skiers if you so desire.
7. Best place to warm up? Anything yummy we should try on the menu?
Just below the Handgruobi lift, the restaurant Berggasthaus Hand is to be recommended for its goulash soup and homemade “Käsekuchen” (cheese quiche, usually served with a garnishing of caraway seeds).
8. What sets your ski area apart from the rest?
“Resort” is way too big a word for Handgruobi, which is exactly why we like it. It’s a no-frills, no-fuss, park-and-you’re-on-the-slopes skiing spot, which allows us to minimize our transport time and maximize our skiing time. This makes the option of half-day skiing viable for us, which fits in well with our busy weekend schedule.
9. What’s one thing you never hit the slopes without?
The phone number for the emergency services for the ski resort programmed in to my phone. This is usually printed on the piste map and is NOT the Rega number!
10. Tell us a little about you and your family
We are a family of five (kids currently aged 11, 10 and 7), and enjoy being active. We got the kids into skiing as soon as we could, and it’s fair to say that I (mum) am now the official tortoise of the family when we’re on skis! Two out of three children are also keen snowboarders. Although I’m probably the least enthusiastic skier, I love to be out in the mountains and enjoy hiking, snowshoeing or trying to keep my balance on a langlauf loipe while the others try to break the sound barrier on the slopes.
Thanks Gay for sharing with us such a great area for a wide range of abilities. It sounds like just the slope for those with beginners in their families. And I look forward to sharing with you Gay’s second favourite resort later on in the series.
Do you have a ski area you return to time after time that you would like to share with the Simple Family Travel community? It doesn't have to just be to ski - do you enjoy sledding? Snowshoeing? A spa?! We would love to hear your stories. Get in contact!