There are few things that spreads as much happiness and joy as skiing. And few people embody this joy as beautifully and idiosyncratically as the Engelberg legend ‘Snowflake’. He’s what we call ‘a character’ and among locals he’s become something of an Engelberg icon to rival even the great local Olympian Marco Odermatt. Skiing is Snowflake’s superpower, his passion and enthusiasm for winter sports are contagious and will rub off on all who are lucky enough to enjoy his company.
Thanks to the impressive 2,000 metres of altitude to be found in this beautiful Swiss resort, sweeping down from the glacier to the valley floor, coupled with the longest winter season in the Swiss Alps, ‘Snowflake’ has achieved the status of Höhenmeter Millinär - an ‘altitude-metre and happiness millionaire’.
And this winter season, Engelberg-Titlis invites you to join the altitude millionaire on his journey through the winter - from the first ski days in autumn to the springtime descents. A special competition, organised by the resort, offers anyone the chance to win an unforgettable ski holiday in Engelberg-Titlis, where you have the chance to meet the altitude millionaire in person and experience the joys of winter sports.
Who is Snowflake?
His real name is Henry. ‘But everyone from the little child to the old grandmother calls me Snowflake,’ he says, admitting to being ‘a little crazy one, but that’s okay. I like to be a mad person!’
At the grand old age of 77, he has more skiing days in Engelberg to his name than anyone else. He never misses an opportunity to pursue his passion and aims to hit the slopes every day, clocking up more than 150 ski days per season. And he doesn’t just ski the pistes - with a big grin on his face, and dressed from head to toe in white, he also sweeps through the deep snow on Engelberg's world-famous freeride slopes.
Snowflake’s trademark white suit was born, he says, 50 years ago, out of a desire to remain invisible to the ski patrollers who might otherwise tell him to get off the mountain, when he wanted to keep skiing!
The feeling of happiness that Henry experiences when doing so is simply contagious, and he really does have every reason to smile. Engelberg, the freeride El Dorado, offers everything an altitude millionaire could wish for: the longest uninterrupted winter season in the Alps, one of the longest valley runs with over 2,000 meters of altitude, and thanks to the Titlis glacier and the resort's unique microclimate, the ski area is very snow sure.
To honour the legend they call Snowflake, Engelberg resort is sharing a series of five short videos about their altitude millionaire. Each episode will showcase a different moment of happiness during the season, giving you the opportunity to share Snowflake’s unique joy of skiing. Watch the first two above now!
So, the motto of Snowflake is: Worry less, ski more. Go to engelberg.ch/en/way-to-happiness to find out more!
For the love of Engelberg
Although very much a village, with a population of around 4,000, Engelberg has a long-standing status as a cutting-edge holiday resort. The first chairlift in Switzerland was installed here, and it pioneered the already legendary revolving cable car, the 'Rotair', which ascends to 3,020 metres to offer access to the Titlis glacier, where there’s an ice grotto to explore and the Titlis Cliff Walk. Engelberg also has the highest suspension bridge in Europe, which is a must for any holiday photo! The resort itself is very accessible, with its own train station, and is just a two-hour train ride and one-hour drive from Zurich Airport, making it ideal for shorter breaks.
Engelberg's ski area is large, if not enormous, but its 82km (51 miles) of trails span a massive, 2,000 metre vertical drop. The ski area is served by a network of rapid, modern ski lifts (of which the Rotair is just the most famous example). The longest of the pistes from the Titlis glacier back down to the resort is a thrilling 12km (8 miles) long.
Most of the runs that make up Engelberg's resort area are designed for intermediate skiers, but the resort also has a well-deserved Engelberg's reputation as a freeride paradise. The 2,000m vertical drop makes the Engelberg ski area particularly well suited to all manner of off-piste play. There is a huge amount of variety to the terrain, from high-alpine couloirs and cliffs, to tree runs that are perfect when there's fresh snow falling. All round, this is a great place for expert skiers.
Chief among the off-piste lines are the so-called 'Big 5,' all of which can be accessed from the lifts with no ski touring or boot packing required. From the infamous Laub and the challenging Sulz, to the mighty Steinberg, the hidden Steintäli and the challenging descent from the Galtiberg - the Big 5 belong on everyone’s freeride bucket list!
Engelberg also offers plenty of off-slope activities, and a range of alternative winter sports - including an excellent network of winter walking trails which are perfect for snowshoeing, and tobogganning.
The resort has a range of hotel options to suit a wide variety of budgets including luxury hotels, ski in ski out accommodation near various of the lifts. And with more than 50 restaurants and a wide range of bars and cafes it has more than enough to keep the most voracious appetite fed and watered.
WIN a ski holiday in Engelberg-Titlis
For a chance to win a ski weekend in Engelberg, and maybe even spot Snowflake whizzing down the slopes, go to engelberg.ch/way-to-happiness