St Moritz's tag line is 'top of the world', which pretty much sums up things for a resort that still able to maintain being ahead of the rest of the ski world. A stroll around the center of St Moritz Dorf may give the impression that the place is totally about money, elitism and little else, and appears to be no place for those on a budget.
But when you scratch the surface of princely hotels and gourmet restaurants, another St Moritz starts to appear - of tapas bars and boutique hotels, snowboard parks and Friday night ski parties on Corvatsch.St Moritz claims to be the cradle of winter tourism in the Alps, with a visit from four English visitors in 1864. Now, nearly a century and a half later, a fresh, more appealing St Moritz is ascending from their shadows, a place that receives billionaires and boracic snowboarders alike.
In St Moritz, the sun allegedly shines an average of 322 days per year. There are three separate ski areas up to 3,000m and, thanks to the World Championships in 2003, a state-of-the-art lift system was built for those who prefer skiing to cricket. All in all, if you could handle the glitz, St Moritz truly is among the best all-rounders.
With an impressive 350km of piste and 56lifts, St Moritz's skiing area is a strong recommendation for cruising intermediates who can spend an excellent week roaming the well-groomed blues and reds. More challenging terrain is harder to come by, but it does exist - and the off-piste is tough enough for anyone. There are three main ski areas - Corviglia, Diavolezza/Lagalb and Corvatsch.
The sunny home ski region of Corviglia starts directly above the town and could be reached by funicular, gondola, cable-car or chair, depending on which part of St Moritz's sprawl you're in. If you're up the mountain, the lifts keep going up to a snowsure 3,057m at Piz Nair, reached through a 100-person cable-car with a ghost-like mid-station that created the steepest ever start to a men's World Cup downhill -0-130kmh in only seven seconds.
© 2012 Athena Goodlight
Your ideas are valuable. Share what you know and get paid in return. Submit them here on Expertscolumn and earn by writing articles.