Luzern & Mount Pilatus

Posted: Wednesday, 14 September 2011 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: ,

Lucerne / Luzern has been on my list of places to visit, because not only is it a very charming Swiss town but Pilatus, the local mountain, purports to be skibike friendly.
By happy co-incidence a work opportunity allowed me to escape from the gloom of Broken Britain and head for the sunnier skies of Switzerland for a few days.

Switzerland by Easy Jet - Gatwick to Zurich in just over an hour
Access to Lucerne was from Zurich airport, a short EasyJet flight from Gatwick; then a straightforward 1 hour train journey to the centre of town, courtesy of the high precision machine that is the Swiss Railway system. Lucerne itself has an idyllic lakeside location surrounded by panoramic mountain views, in so many ways not dissimilar to my own home from home, Geneva; only smaller, prettier and even more quaint.

Needless to say it is horrendously expensive, but at current exchange rates where in Switzerland isn't? I had the unexpected pleasure of residing at the very pleasant Schweizerhof hotel elegant, luxurious, but not too formal, was the opinion of my colleague Buzz.

There is plenty to see; a well preserved old town, the modernist Culture and Congress Centre, a transport museum big enough to house whole aircraft and trains and best of all a brewery that serves the best Weissbier I have tasted outside of Germany.

Pilatus is a short journey by bus from the central train station to Krienz. Ascent can be by cable car or the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. Uniquely the pistes are specifically marked up for atypical snow sports, such as; sledges, minibobs, airboards and of course SkiBikes horah!

Mount Pilatus - a piste map with SkiBike symbols!

According to this page from the Pilatus tourist office website SkiBikes are authorised for pistes 2, 3 and 5, this may not sound much, but note that these pistes are up to 3km long.
 BullSkate freestyle skibikes are available to hire at the snow park on the mountain, by the hour or half day.

Furthermore not too far away lies mount Titlis with its unusual revolving giant cable car. With a top station located at over 3000 metres, glacier skiing and possibly skibiking too, could be on offer the whole year round!

With typical tourist luck, after a week of perfect early Autumn weather whilst stuck indoors, on my free day the sky closed in and the heavens opened. This rendered a reconnaissance trip / pilgrimage to Pilatus itself utterly pointless.

SkiBiker stuck indoors whilst the sun is shining