8 (2 draglifts)
Total lift vert:
Scuol has to have some of the best scenery of the Swiss ski resorts - the views out over the lower Engadine valley are massive, constant, and stunning. This resort also lies on the south-facing slopes of the valley, meaning it gets lots of sunshine. The vertical difference of over 1500m is also extremely good. However it is quite a long way from Zürich (even with the Vereina tunnel) and is probably better suited to a weekend trip rather than a lengthy day trip. Scuol also has thermal baths ideal for soaking in after a hard day on the pistes.
For a zoomable, scrollable map of the areas, see this online map using Openstreetmap or Opencyclemap.
Scuol is tucked away in the far eastern corner of Graubünden, in the lower Engadine valley. The main connection to northern Switzerland is provided by the long Vereina tunnel, for trains only, linking the lower Engadine with Klosters and Landquart. Cars have to be loaded onto the train for this tunnel. Scuol also has connections south to the upper Engadine, and eastwards to Austria.
From Zürich it's quite a long trip, taking 2h40 with a change in Landquart. A Snow and Rail ticket costs CHF 81 and doesn't require a card deposit or other such trickery.
Coming by car will also take around 2h40 from Zürich according to Google Maps (with the Vereina tunnel train), and a day ticket on its own costs CHF 50.
showing the runs and lifts
Scuol has two bases, the main gondola base right next to Scuol train station, and a chairlift base at Ftan along the valley to the west. It's also got the unusual feature of the so-called "Traumpiste" (dream run), a long descent away from the resort down to the village of Sent. There are no lifts here, but instead an hourly bus back to Scuol train station.
Most of the action is around the Motta Naluns and Jonvrai lifts, with a good mix of relatively easy blues and reds. There are some blacks mixed in there by Mot da Ri though, and some of these can be fairly hairy. If you want wide, easy blues for beginners though, there are plenty here, especially under the Champatsch drag lift and from Mot da Ri down to Jonvrai.
Almost everywhere you go, the scenery is spectacular, the views out over the valley are vast and stunning. The mountains on the other side look more like Dolomites than Alps. In particular the so-called "Traumpiste" down to Sent has breathtaking open views and the villages of Sent, Scuol and Ftan are immaculate and postcard-perfect.
If you're looking for jumps, there is a surprisingly impressive set of ramps just under the Motta Naluns - Schlivera chairlift, some of which are terrifyingly big and some fit for mere mortals.
As for off-piste, there is a huge area here and lots of it is accessible and avalanche-safe between the pistes. At the time of writing the snow isn't ideal for exploring but there are still some good soft areas if you look for them.
Tobogganing (sledding) and airboarding (head-first on an inflatable chest-bag) are both very popular here, with good twisty runs under the Ftan chairlift. Rental of sledges and airboards is available at the Prui station.
Both the drag lifts here (up to Silaniva and from Prui up to Schlivera) are relatively friendly - the Champatsch is avoidable but the Prui one is the only connection over from the Ftan side to the main area.
The only two flat spots worth mentioning. Firstly the red under the Silaniva chairlift - after an extremely sheer drop it flattens out to traverse back underneath the chair, and requires a bit of walking. And secondly from the top of the Ftan - Prui chairlift, there's a walk required to get over to the drag lift.
The connection back from Sent can be awkward - there is a bus running from Sent village back to Scuol train station and this is included in the ticket price. The timetable is given in the piste map leaflet, but the times are infrequent (only once or twice an hour). Plus you need to walk from the end of the piste around 500m down the road to the main square of Sent (just follow the road down to the village, and turn left at the tourist information). Therefore taxis hang around at the end of the run offering rides back to Scuol for CHF 5 per person - if you've just missed the free bus or you have uncomfortable boots then that may be an option.
16 February 2008 - the snow is getting a little old now and suffering a bit from the sunshine, but it's still in relatively good condition. School holidays are still ongoing in some areas so queues are longer than expected. Weather is unbelievable though, blue skies and sunshine all the way, not a cloud in the sky.
Wikipedia has a good photo of the Traumpiste towards Sent.