5 (1 draglift)
Total lift vert:
For a zoomable, scrollable map of the areas, see this online map using Openstreetmap or Opencyclemap.
Braunwald lies at the end of one of the forks of the Glarus valley, South of the town of Glarus and not far (as the crow flies) from Elm. It's a car-free town, perched up on the side of the valley above the town of Linthal, and reached by a cable train. Car drivers can park at the base station (Linthal Braunwaldbahn), while train passengers can get here using the regular service from Ziegelbrücke.
From Zürich, you need to change at Ziegelbrücke to get to Linthal Braunwaldbahn, but the connection is good, arriving after around 1h30. Then you just need to take the cable train up to Braunwald and walk a few minutes to the gondola base. A "Snow and Rail" ticket from Zürich currently costs CHF 53, or a day lift ticket on its own costs CHF 42.
Finally, a resort that has managed to find a quick and easy way to redeem the Snow and Rail vouchers. As well as the cashiers selling tickets at the desks, they have an extra staff member available with a tray of tickets, who can exchange vouchers for the appropriate passes. It takes seconds. Why can't all resorts do it this way?
And so, up to Braunwald and a few minutes' walk to the gondola base. This two-stage gondola is one of just five lifts in this resort, also including 3 chairlifts and one draglift. It's by no means a huge resort, but there's plenty here to keep you busy for a day. Many of the pistes are wide and smooth, making it a good place for beginners. In particular the blue runs down to the base of the Gumen lift and around the Mattwald drag lift are good for learning.
Elsewhere, there's plenty of piste-side soft to keep you entertained, especially down to Bächital, and some steeper runs between Seblengrat and Grotzenbüel. The lift system isn't state-of-the-art, but it's all connected together well and clearly signposted. Note that a lot of the slopes are South-facing, so they get a fair bit of sun.
The runs from Gumen flatten out a bit as they cut back to the left towards Grotzenbüel, but nothing disastrous. Grotzenbüel itself is in a bit of a flat spot, if you want to continue further down, but with care you can carry your speed through.
24 January 2004 - plenty of fresh snow, and unbelievable sunshine. Acres of untracked soft down to Bächital, at least in the morning! Lift queues were also surprisingly painless, as the boarder weekend competitions were driving everyone onto the Grotzenbüel-Seblengrat chairlift.