Winter snowsports and adventures in St. Moritz © Swiss Image/Christian Perret

Winter snowsports and adventures in St. Moritz

The Engadin region offers a colourful and varied range of events in the winter season.

In St. Moritz the most thrilling action isn’t to be found on the ski slopes but in the valley below. The lake of St. Moritz turns to ice each winter and its surface provides the setting for winter sports events. The town’s plethora of bright sunny days in the wintertime mean that you don’t have to ski if you don’t want to. There are plenty of other snow sports events and tournaments this season to keep both spectators and adrenaline junkies alike more than happy. Here’s our rundown of the best this season:

Snow Night at Corvatsch

Snow-Night-CorvatschSnow Night at Corvatsch © My Switzerland

Skiers and snowboarders are in for a special treat when Switzerland’s longest illuminated piste becomes the focus of a giant party that marks the opening of the snow sports season. Snow bars line the run, the scent of mulled wine fills the air, chilled sounds create a relaxed mood, and the only thing topping the atmosphere is the glittering magic of the clear star-filled sky of the Engadin. Every Friday evening throughout the season starting 4 December, www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/winter/snow-night-on-the-corvatsch 

St. Moritz City Race

Swiss Image esm1519 1-Giancarlo-CattaneoSt Moritz City Race © SwissImage.ch/Giancarlo Cattaneo

Held in the town centre, on 5 December, The City Race also kicks off the season in style. Teams of skiers, including local ski schools and clubs, race through the streets competing in a series of qualifying races and rounds that culminate in a fast paced final. The night is accompanied by various shows including a concert by cult Swiss group Gotthard. 5 December, www.stmoritz-cityrace.ch

Other events to mark the opening of the season

Ski-and-Snow-TestSki and snowboard test

Keen snowsports fans head to Corviglia on the morning of 5 December for the traditional ski and snowboard test, held at the beginning of each season, to try out new boards, skis, equipment and clothes for the season ahead. If you’re up for a brisk re-introduction to the slopes the Audi Skirun Cup is open to anyone, without prior registration. Afterwards it’s also possible to visit the ‘Free Fall’, the steepest World Champion Start in the world. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/winter/ski-run

Cresta Run opening

Roger-Schaffner-Swiss Image esm1510 1Cresta Run © SwissImage.ch/Roger Schaffner

Since its first opening in 1885 the Cresta Run has been a symbol of winter life in St. Moritz. Built from scratch every year with snow which is then iced, the Cresta Run starts in St. Moritz and winds its way down a narrow valley to what was the village of Cresta, but which now forms part of Celerina. It remains one of the last truly amateur sports. For the 2015/16 season there are over thirty highly competitive races and riding takes place every day of the season, except Christmas Day. Watch out especially for the children’s run on the 28 December. Opens 18 December (weather permitting), www.cresta-run.com

Olympia bobrun opening

Roger-SchaffnerSwiss Image esm1511 1Olympia Bob Run © SwissImage.ch/Roger Schaffner

The Olympic bob run St. Moritz-Celerina is the world's only natural ice bob run and also the oldest bob run still in operation. Apart from the annual national and international bob championships, the run also hosts skeleton and toboggan championships at national and occasionally even at international level. In addition the "Hornschlitten" (traditioanl toboggan) race on the bob run and the Bobrun Skating event at which approximately 100 ice hockey players race down the bob run first individually and later in groups of three, constitute an integral part of the seasons program. Opens 20 December (weather permitting), www.olympia-bobrun.ch

WinterRAID

 Giorgio-MontanaroSwiss Image esm1520 2Winterraid © SwissImage.ch Giorgio Montanaro

Jagged mountains, steep passes, glorious morning and evening light as well as snow storms, ice, and bone chilling cold. The beam of the headlights in darkest night, illuminating the snow walls hemming in the wintery roads. WinterRAID is a vintage car rally that sees drivers compete for the award ‘White Star of St. Moritz’ . Lasting three days, there is evening entertainment, five star hotels to stay in as well as maintenance of each car at the end of the day. 13 - 16 January, www.raid.ch

La Diagonela – Ski Classics

Swiss Image esm1513 2La Diagonela © SwissImage.ch

On Saturday, 23rd January 2016, La Diagonela will bring cross-country action to the Engadin. The 65km long course offers all that a cross-country lover's heart desires, and will meet the needs of top-athletes as well as general sport enthusiasts. An unforgettable winter experience in the natural and unparalleled scenery is guaranteed. Free participation. 23 January, www.ladiagonela.ch

Winter sleigh ride

Christof-Sonderegger-Engadin-St.-Moritz -Schlitteda-St.-Moritz-Engadine-custom-and-tradition-Swiss Image esm8357Schlitteda © SwissImage.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Locally known as Schlitteda, this is an old Upper Engadin winter tradition: a winter sleigh ride with Engadin sleighs and couples in traditional Engadin costume. 23 January

White Turf

Andy-Mettler-Swiss Image esm1501 1White Turf © SwissImage.ch © Andy Mettler

The most daring of the town’s events is the White Turf races each February. Jockeys and horses dart along the track at dizzying speed. The race is a yearly spectacular: the shower of crushed ice slicing the air as the horses gallop past add a jolt of excitement to this unconventional day at the races. 7, 14 & 21 February, www.whiteturf.ch

Van Cleef & Arpels pop-up at The Carlton Hotel

08Van Cleef & Arpels

The Van Cleef & Arpels Winter Salon will take place from 21 December to 7 January, just as snow descends upon enchanting St. Moritz. Over an après-ski tea or tipple, in the hotel's Empire Ballroom, guests can discover a selection of the renowned jewellery brand's sparkling creations. www.carlton-stmoritz.ch/van-cleef-arpels-exhibition