Views of the Alps while sledding in Switzerland, Two Small Potatoes

Sledding at Moleson sur Gruyeres

When howling winds and blustery snow flurries signal the arrival of winter, outdoor enthusiasts in Switzerland flock to the slopes. Locals and tourists alike seem immune to the tooth-numbing cold that drives the more faint of heart indoors at this time of year. We recently discovered first-hand that the Swiss definitely can deliver on their promise of some pretty spectacular winter activities, not the least of which is sledding – or as it’s more commonly called here, sledging. For some wild hair-raising fun, head to Le Moléson for some of the best sledding in Switzerland!

But sledding is for kids, you say.

Pshaw!

Perhaps if they’re daredeviling Whovenile delinquents. Or maybe you just have one too many, because sledding in Switzerland is elevated to an extreme sport, one clearly intended for adults and not just children.

Moleson peak from the parking lot below
The 2,002 meter Moléson peak is part of the Fribourg Prealps and towers over the surrounding Gruyères region.

Sledding in Switzerland at Moleson sur Gruyeres

The day that Travis and I went sledding at Moleson, we had already spent the morning touring La Maison du Gruyere cheese factory, which is nearby. We were so excited about an afternoon on one of the best and longest toboggan runs in Switzerland that we arrived an hour and a half early at our sledding destination – Moléson-sur-Gruyères.  

While waiting for our friends to show up, we investigated a promising snowshoe trail near the parking area, built a snow fort and our own sledding track, and Travis briefly took a nap in a snow bank.

The man can sleep anywhere.

Carrie at a frozen waterfall at Moleson-sur-Gruyeres

Trav and I play in the snow near a frozen waterfall while waiting for our friends to arrive.

Location and parking

Driving is the easiest way to get to the sledding runs at Moleson.

Make sure to navigate to the Moleson sur Gruyeres inclined railway station or to the Parkplatz there and not to the village or the peak itself. Many things in the nearby area are named “Moleson.”

Parking is free at the Parkplatz.

Sled rentals at Moleson sur Gruyeres

Once all seven of our friends (+1 non-Whovenile delinquent) arrived, we bought tickets and piled inside the main office to choose the best (ie, fastest) sled. Wait ’til you try to cart them awkwardly through the electronic turnstyle.

Good times!

The cost to rent a single sled/toboggan at Moleson is 10 CHF.

Budget Travel Tip: Bring your own sled to save the 10 CHF sled rental fee.

Sleds at Moleson-sur-Gruyeres
Note the metal runners, which make for a wicked fast sled.

Riding the funicular to Plan Francey

Because the sledding runs at Moleson are located high up on the slopes of the mountain, you’ll need a way to get there from the Parkplatz. The clever folks in Switzerland have gotcha covered.

Your sledding ticket includes a ride on their funicular, an inclined train that slowly transports you up through the clouds to the top of the sledding route at a midpoint called Plan Francey. From here, you’ll hop off to start your death-defying sledding adventure.

Other riders will likely get off the funicular and file into a line for the cable car to the top of the peak for skiing.

Funicular to Plan Francey in the Swiss Alps
The funicular ride to Plan Francey is an event in itself.

The funicular is so small, our group of 10 was just barely able to squeeze into the few remaining air pockets in the tram before the doors closed and we were whisked uphill.

A few minutes later, we spilled out into the brilliant sunshine and stared up at the giant hulk of Le Moléson peak in awe.

Travis and Carrie, Two Small Potatoes sledding at Moleson

We’re terrible about getting selfies.

Many thanks to our friend Ivan, who took this photo of us at Plan Francey below the peak.

The sledding run at Moleson

After snapping a few photos, we all gathered at the start of the sledding run and figured out how to sit on and steer our sleds. Then, laughing and excited, we shoved off.  

The first few hundred feet of the trail brought a smile to my face as our sleds gently swished along.

This is great, I thought.

Just like when we were kids!

Sledging with friends at Moleson in Switzerland
Oriane, our friend who suggested and organized the day of sledding

Coasting to a stop, those in the lead waited until our party regrouped for the next stretch.

Emboldened by excitement and the gentle pitch of the first section, I catapulted onto my sled headfirst and launched down the hill.  

Headfirst? What in Heaven’s name was I thinking?!

Just because the others were doing it…

Moleson sledding run in the Swiss Alps
Our group of adventurous friends comes rippin’ down the sled track.

*T.E.R.R.I.F.Y.I.N.G*

Art Prints

But so much FUN!

Sledding with friends in Fribourg canton
Pauline zips by where I’ve crashed.

Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow in a high mountain gully and feel the same urge to climb towards it.”

Edmund Hillary, first climber to summit Everest in 1953
Travis zooming down the slope at Moleson
Travis coolly glides by. NBD. Nothin’ to see here, folks.

It took us nearly an hour and a half to work our way down the entire sledding route, which drops 500 meters (1640 feet is a lot) over the course of the 4 kilometer run.  

Once at the bottom, we all piled back into the funicular for a second go-round of heart-pounding, kidney-bruising, tailbone-busting fun.

Gorgeous Moleson peak in the Swiss Alps
By the time we arrive at Plan Francey for our second run, the sun is quickly sinking into bed for the day.
Winter run for sleds beneath Moleson peak
Sun glints off our snowy sled track.
Friend on his sled at Moleson

Paolo shows no fear as he flies past.

Friend crashing on his sled at Moleson

Mountain -1

Ivan – 0

Despite the frequent and complete inability to stop, hairpin corners, steep drop-offs, the occasional barbed wire fence along the route, and a single spectacular crash when I plowed over Ivan, none of our friends died.  

Hallelujah!

Our group of friends at the base of Moleson Peak in Switzerland
Gorgeous Moleson peak in the Swiss Alps

I can’t remember the last time I had so much pure fun or laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.

After all, if you’re not crying a little, you’re not really having fun.

Interested in other things to do in winter besides sledding in Switzerland?

Know Before You Go

Rates – Current as of 2020-2021 Winter Season

1 Sledding RunFull Day Tobogganing
Adults 25-63 years old14 CHF26 CHF
Youth 16-24 years old10.40 CHF18.20 CHF
Child 6-15 years old7.80 CHF14.60 CHF
“Seedlings” under age 6FREEFREE
Senior age 64+ years12 CHF20.80 CHF
  • 10 CHF per sled/toboggan rental
  • Parking is free

Hours

  • Open mid-December to mid-March daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm
  • Final funicular for the last sledding run of the day leaves at 3:30 pm
  • Sleds must be returned at the base of the funicular by 5:30 pm
  • Night sledding is typically available on Fridays and Saturdays. Check their official site for hours or if you’re planning a visit on a holiday.

Discounts

  • Adult tickets for the funicular get a 50% discount if you have a Swiss Half-Fare travelcard or GA travelcard.
  • Groups of 10 or more receive a 2 CHF discount per adult ticket
  • Families of three or more in the same household receive a 2 CHF discount per parent
  • If you bring your own sled, you only have to buy the lift ticket!

Additional Info

  • No minimum age requirements; sled at your own risk
  • Average time to complete the run once is 1 1/2 hours
  • Length of the run is 4000 m (4 km) with a 500 m drop
  • This info is just for the sledding run and doesn’t include cable car lift prices to the top of Moléson for skiing.
  • For more information about the winter sledding at Moleson, visit their official site.
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