Swiss Family Skiing: Brunni Alpthal
I won’t lie. Those first years when your kid is learning to ski isn't a walk in the park.
We parents become pack-horses; carrying skis, poles, backpacks and often tired kids who are complaining about how cold it is. But I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually the day will come when they can master their turns, carry their own skis and not have to run to the bathroom what feels like every 5 minutes.
But if today isn’t that day, and that tunnel still feels long, it’s time to find a ski area that will help make life as easy as possible. Today it’s time to add another one to the list.
Brunni Alpthal has a lot of the features of an extremely family friendly destination to learn to ski and is a great addition to the Swiss Family Skiing series: parking at the lifts, ski school and family friendly facilities and it’s Mum of 4, Jessica’s go to place while her kids are learning to ski.
Haven’t heard about the winter series Swiss Family Skiing before? It is a series all about tried and tested family ski destinations all through Switzerland. Not only will you find somewhere to ski, but also how to get there, where to park, ski rental and where to eat. You can find other destinations in the series here.
1. Where is your favourite place to ski?
Last year, all 6 of us were complete beginners, and we found Brunni Alpthal to be the perfect place for us all to learn in a very relaxed environment while still having access to ski lessons.
2. What’s the best way to get there?
We had a car last season and found the parking to be easy and very convenient. Its such a small area so you are never too far away from your car which is perfect for a family of beginners. It was nice to know I could pop back to the car if I forgot something or if we did, in fact, need those poles or that extra pair of gloves.
We no longer have a car so this season we’ve been taking the train. Take the train to Einsiedeln and then Bus 554 heading toward Brunni Talstation. This will drop you off right at the mountain.
3. What ability does the area cater for?
The area caters to beginners and intermediate skiers.
4. Is there a ski school? What facilities are there for beginners?
There is a ski school that is operated on a drop-in basis. Just show up at the counter, buy your ski lesson tickets and have the instructors help place your child in the appropriate class.
They have a small snow garden for the very beginners. My kids took their first lessons here and really enjoyed it. Lessons are a reasonable price and you will receive a discount when you buy 3 or more lesson tickets at a time. These can all be used at the same time for 3 different people, or save for a later date. I even negotiated a steeper discount once when I purchased 6 lessons at once.
5. Best place to rent skis nearby?
There is ski and snow shoe equipment rental available on-site.
6. Anything for non skiers to do? Sledding/Snow shoeing/Winter Trails?
There is a 250m designated sledding area adjacent to the magic carpet.
Located next to the family hill is a small snow-mobile track where kids can drive their own snow mobile for a fee.
7. Best place to warm up? Anything yummy we should try on the menu?
We are budget-adventurers, so we always bring a picnic lunch, but there are a few restaurants at the base of the lifts as well as a few small mountain restaurants on Haggenegg and Holzegg. I have been tempted by the grill at the family hill which sells the typical wursts and pommes.
8. What sets your ski area apart from the rest?
The thing that makes Brunni Alpthal unique is the family ski hill. The best part, in my opinion, is that it has several picnic tables and a box filled with toys to play with in the snow. While my older three kids (aged 6,8 and 10) happily ski the day away, my 3 year old skis for 10 minutes and then spends hours rotating between the sledding hill and playing in the snow with the toy cars and trucks. I hang out at the picnic tables where I can see all the kids and provide food and drinks as needed.
We normally go skiing as a family, but on the occasion that my husband cannot make it, this is our mountain of choice because I can keep all my beginner skiers safe and happy.
9. What’s one thing you never hit the slopes without?
We always bring along a bag full of “moral”. This “moral” is often in the form of gummy bears or chocolate chip cookies. Paprika chips are also a family favorite. I find food such an important part of making or breaking a family outing that involves strenuous activity for the kids. A grumpy child can really spoil the day for everyone else, and a strategic little treat here or there can help a lot.
10. Please share a little bit about you and your family.
I grew up in California and moved to Zurich almost two years ago with my husband and four children, who are between 10 and 3 years old. We love immersing ourselves in our local community, language and culture.
I am the creator of Swiss Expat Family where I document what it's like to be an expat family in Switzerland and discuss common themes, challenges, and questions that face expat families here. My goal is to empower my audience to make the most of their time here whether it's for a few months or forever. Follow us on YouTube and Instagram.
A big thanks to Jessica for sharing her favourite place to ski with beginners. Make sure you check out Jessica’s You Tube channel to follow on more of her adventures. Here is the video she made to Brunni Alpthal
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 stories of families who also don't ski. Get in contact!