St. Moritz/Diavolezza, CH: 03/13/19

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St. Moritz/Diavolezza, CH: 03/13/19

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:37 am

For the sixth and what ended up being my final ski day of this trip, I went to the third of four mountains that are part of the St. Moritz/Engadin region ski pass. As mentioned in Tony's TR, while on a trip to Quebec a dozen years ago, I saw this poster in a mid-mountain restaurant and assumed that it was in the Italian Alps; however, St. Moritz has a strong paesano influence both in street/place names and lots of native speakers working in the town.

Whereas Corviglia and Corvatsch are directly above St. Moritz, Diavolezza and the connected mountain Lagalb are located in a sparsely inhabited valley. You can drive there (free parking) or take the train that's included in the local transport system. I wanted to take the train but figured that it'd take triple the 15-20 minutes in a car. There are no base villages or lodging at the bottom of either ski area; each has a tram building with modest cafeterias. There is a hotel at the summit at the Diavolezza tram area.

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The train was just pulling in as I parked:
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The tram is the only way up Diavolezza's 2,900 vertical feet:
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From this point on, my TR echoes Tony's; however, it appears that he and Liz scored a better day, especially on the Lagalb side. Diavolezza seemed to have a bit of a Snowbird demographic in the fellow tram riders I saw, who were there to ski its chutes along the ridge (as opposed to the predominantly retired demographic you see at the two in-town ski areas). On the way up:
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As you leave the tram, the Morteratsch Glacier is on your right side with one of the Alps most well-known peaks, the Piz Palü, towering above. The signature Glacier Route noted on the sign wraps around the back of the mountain and ends at a train station about two miles down from the base area. Reportedly, the bottom of the glacier is receding; however, the top appeared to be buried this season.
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The glacier route reportedly had been open the previous day but the morning's poor visibility caused them to put a rope across the entrance:
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Heading down from the summit.
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And down the skier's left to the Schwarzer Hang (the Black Slope).
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This piste deserved its rating with a nice steep pitch. Conditions across the entire mountain were really smooth and the offpiste was bootcuff-deep. Similar to Corvatsch, you had to keep an eye out for boulders and rock gardens; however, there was a fair amount of low-hanging fruit right alongside the groomed trails.
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Below treeline at the very bottom:
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Here's the connecting trail to Lagalb; you can see the tram building in the lower right. Unfortunately, when I made it across the road, a big fog bank moved in and the light went flat for an hour = no pix.
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I skied right through 4 pm and left as the sun was going behind the mountain. A nice bit of low-glam variety to the St. Moritz experience:
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jamesdeluxe
 
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Re: St. Moritz/Diavolezza, CH: 03/13/19

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:59 am

While neither Tony nor I managed to ski the Glacier Route mentioned above, it opened the day before my arrival, while I was at Corvatsch. This guy from Alpinforum took some nice pix, almost like being there -- scroll halfway down, they start at the "Achtung" sign. You can see one sign warning people not to leave the piste due to crevasses and in a photo at the bottom, the thinning glacier with lots of rocks.
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