Mürren is one of Europe’s best kept secrets, this car-free village—population 400—is loaded with alpine charm, one resort boasting 33 miles of trails, and some of the best off-piste skiing in Switzerland. Cowbells hang from the eaves of 19th century farmhouses and locals gather at the Stagerstübli on Main Street to drink coffee, take in stunning views of the Eiger across the valley, and swap beta on that day’s skiing bounty. If you’re looking for glitzy eateries, a raging party scene, or five-star amenities, go elsewhere. But if it’s a low-key vibe, big lines, and one of the most beautiful resorts in the world you’re after, head to Mürren.
Bond, James Bond
Take the 007 Schilthorn tram from Mürren to to the top of the Schilthorn. Grab breakfast at the Piz Gloria, the rotating restaurant featured in the 1969 James Bond Flick, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Fuel up on Muesli, eggs, and waffles from the massive breakfast buffet, and enjoy 360-degree views of some of Europe’s most famous peaks, including the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Monch. After breakfast, jump over the fence on the deck off the backside of the restaurant and make laps down the Schilthorn face under the tram. Make sure there’s enough coverage (which, right now, there is), watch out for rocks on skier’s far right, and then have at it.
Hit the Backcountry
The freeride-loving, ridiculously kitted-out Scandies haven’t discovered Mürren’s insane backcountry. In fact, unlike La Grave, Chamonix, or Andermatt, international powder-fiends haven’t yet caught on to Murren’s goods. The locals would like to keep it that way (sorry). The OB here is dangerous, huge, and easy to get lost in—hell, you could ski to another country and never know it. Hire a guide from Swiss Snow Sports (www.muerren.ch/skischule).
The Inferno Race
Founded in 1928 by Sir Arnold Lunn, one of the fathers of alpine racing, the Inferno is one of the oldest, most storied, and largest amateur ski races in the world. Hosted each January, 1,800 participants charge from the Kleines Schilthorn eight miles down—and in some sections up—to Mürren. The weekend is one big party. There’s still time to register for this year’s race, January 18th through 21st. (http://www.inferno-muerren.ch/frame_e.html)