The Parsenn is the largest and the most famous – but not the only – ski area of Davos. Jakobshorn, reached from Davos Platz, is popular with snowboarders. The outlying areas of Pischa and Rinerhorn are both worth visiting when the Parsenn is crowded during peak weeks of the season.
However, the Parsenn – connected with Klosters – is the main course. Take the first stage of the Parsennbahn funicular from Davos Dorf, followed by the six-person chair to the Weissfluhjoch, for the start of the first run of the day. The alternative slow second stage of the train has yet to be refurbished and should be avoided. From Weissfluhjoch a short cable-car also takes you up a further 180m vertical to the 2844m Weissfluhgipfel, the highest point in the area. A network of lifts and mainly intermediate runs stretches across the mountainside to Klosters. All the different lift companies in the area are now amalgamated, and one pass serves the whole region.
Skiing to farming hamlets further afield
From the Weissfluhgipfel you can ski 12km with a 2000m vertical drop down to the farming hamlets of Kublis and Serneus, from where you can return to Klosters and then to Davos by train. Anyone who can ski parallel can do it, and in mid-season, when the snow is at its best, it’s a great way to end the day. This is not an ideal resort for complete beginners. Madrisa is too far away (suitable only for Klosters-based skiers). The Bolgen beginner slopes at the bottom of the Jakobshorn are the best bet. Buenda in Davos Dorf is steeper. At the other end of the scale of expertise, the best black run starts from the top of the Parsenn and descends through the Meierhofer Taeli to the hamlet of Wolfgang between Klosters and Davos. Still more demanding itinerary routes on the other side of the Parsenn take you down to Klosters.
In the right snow conditions, off-piste opportunities abound, and this is a great area for ski touring. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle crossed the Maienfeld Furka Pass to Arosa, and you can follow in his tracks if you are prepared for a four-hour climb and a three-hour train journey home again. Freeskiers have a snowcross course at Jakobshorn. Davos is also big on cross-country skiing, with 75km of trails at Jakobshorn as well as in the Dischma and Sertig valleys.
One of the top snowboarding destinations in the Alps
Davos-Klosters has joined the Top Snowboard Resorts together with Ischgl, Madonna di Campiglio and Val d’Isere, with all four resorts working towards providing first-rate snowboarding facilities and generally advancing the sport. Jakobshorn, reached from Davos Platz, is the prime area for snowboarders. The snowpark, Jatz Junior, has kickers, rails and a monster-pipe, and there’s night-riding every Friday.
The snowpark on Bolgen has another monster-pipe, floodlit until 9.30pm four days per week. There are also boardercross runs on the Parsenn (at the Totalp lift), Pischa (Mitteltaeli lift) and Madrisa (near the top station of the Schaffuerggli lift). The Rinerhorn area has a small fun park near the beginner lift.