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· 1 review · Backcountry Skiing · Switzerland
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  • Haldigrat overview
    / Haldigrat overview
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • /
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / The north facing slope keeps the snow quite light
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / Playing on the run to the Valley
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
m 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 km Niederrickenbach Dorf
Haldigrat was a secret freeride spot for a number of years. Recently it's become relatively well known, but on the right day it can still be a great day out.
Distance 1.8 km
0:12 h
0 m
690 m
1,932 m
1,242 m
Haldigrat was a ski area which closed and had most of the infrastructure torn down. Before it was totally destroyed a local (Kurt Mathis) took over the lift and the Mountain Restaurant in an effort to keep the area alive. The lift is only licensed to carry 4-8 people at 4 points along the lift line. This means that in best case scenario the lift has a capacity of about 80 people. There are no pistes prepared at the Haldigrat and the lack of lift capacity does help in keeping the snow quality good (at least on the upper section of the slope).

Author’s recommendation

The lift is open at the weekends. At any other time it's best to call to make sure it's open. The number is available on their website


Risk potential
Highest point
1,932 m
Lowest point
1,242 m
Best time of year
Cardinal direction

Safety information

While the area gets tracked out quite often and much of the area is below 30deg I have seen small avalanches (enough to bury someone) slide on some of the steeper terrain in the area.

Tips and hints

For more of our favourite tours remember to check out - tours. 


Haldigrat (1,932 m)
2'676'335E 1'195'088N
46.902519, 8.440500
46°54'09.1"N 8°26'25.8"E
32T 457386 5194483



Turn-by-turn directions

Geting to the lift:

From the top of the Niederrickenbach Cable Car walk to the right through the town, past the convent and keep going on the road that traverses the hill into the back of the valley towards the bridge just below Alpboden. Cross the bridge and walk uphill a short distance before turning left and following the road (snow covered if it's a good day!) to the bottom of the lift.

On a busy day there will be a long que and expect to wait a long time for the lift. If it's quiet you may beed to use the telephone at the bottom of the lift to inform them that you want to get up. You pay once you get to the top. (The last time I was there it was 12CHF for the first run, 8CHF for the second and 5CHF for each run after that).


The Ride:

You can drop in on both sides of the Restaurant at the top of the lift. Skiers right leads to a big open powderfield that narrows up as you drop down to the tree line. Skiers left is a bit flatter to start with and then it gets slightly steeper but has more rocks and other small obstacles in the way. Both ways lead back together through the trees as you come to the bottom of the lift.

There is a wildlife protection zone about 500m to the west of the top of the lift. Do not drop into the little valley from Giri to Bockihüttli on the map. Rangers have been known to hide in the trees to fine freeriders using this line.

If you want to ski to the valley keep going west along the ridge past Giri and climb to point 1923. From here traverse Northwest between Gigi and Gigichrüz. From here you can ski Northwestwards past Oberist, Mittlist and Unterist Hüttis. At Bortlers Landfluh take the road the whole way down to the valley station if there is enough snow.

This video may show you what to expect:


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

From Luzern take the Engleberg train as far as Niederrickenbach. From here it is a short walk to the valley station of the Niederrickenbach lift.

Getting there

Drive towards Engelberg and just after Dallenwil turn left into the car park for the Niederrickenbach lift.


There is parking available at the valley station of the Niederrickenbach lift.


2'676'335E 1'195'088N
46.902519, 8.440500
46°54'09.1"N 8°26'25.8"E
32T 457386 5194483
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


This area is not made safe or controlled. Avalanche Transceiver, Shovel and Probe are the minimum safety equipment required.

Basic Equipment for Backcountry Skiing

  • Ski Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Sunglasses
  • 2 pairs of Gloves: lightweight, breathable and windproof for going uphill, regular ski gloves for downhill
  • Neckwear
  • moisture wicking skull / knit cap
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Lightweight rain and windproof ski jacket
  • Additional warm jacket
  • Long, warm technical socks plus liners and spares
  • Lightweight wind- and waterproof ski pants
  • 20 to 28 liter rucksack, preferably backcountry type
  • Lip protection (SPF 30+)
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Technical Equipment for Backcountry Skiing

  • Ski touring boots
  • Ski touring bindings to fit boots
  • Ski touring skins to fit skis
  • Skis
  • Ski poles, preferably telescopic type
  • Avalanche safety equipment to consider: beacon, avalanche probe, avalanche shovel
  • Ski touring crampons
  • Crevasse rescue kit
  • Ski touring harness
  • Light ice axe
  • Ski touring ropes
  • Avalanche airbag backpack
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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1.8 km
0:12 h
690 m
Highest point
1,932 m
Lowest point
1,242 m
Cableway ascent/descent Insider tip suitable for snowboards Clear area


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