Zermatt: Freeriding for fun seekers
Even higher, even steeper, even faster – freeriders love extremes ... Motto: No slope’s impossible.
The feeling of freedom can only be imagined by those who have hurtled down a virgin powder slope.
Don’t worry! In Zermatt you’ll also find ideal conditions for beginners to try out the freeride feeling ...
The freeride area in Zermatt
Matterhorn ski paradise has 36 km of freeride slopes waiting to be explored. These are off-piste slopes with yellow markings. Markings that also tell you you’re safe from all the mountain dangers. The yellow pistes are located on Rothorn (3'103 m a.s.l.), Stockhorn (3'532 m a.s.l.) and Schwarzsee (2'583 m a.s.l.).
FREERIDING IN ZERMATT: BETWEEN FREEDOM AND REASON
Freeriding in Zermatt. That means, gliding down virgin slopes, leaving your tracks in the finest powder snow and forgetting everything for a few seconds away from the pistes – which has nothing to do with a daredevil plunge through the deep powder snow. There is almost always a spectator: the Matterhorn, seemingly keeping a watchful eye on the off-piste adventurers from a distance.
Safety first! Those who like their winter thrills off-piste are naturally exposed to alpine dangers. The bigger the risk, the greater the thrill? Not here! In Zermatt fun and safety are not mutually exclusive – on the contrary! Secure freeride slopes are taken for granted in the Matterhorn ski paradise.
The nine commandments for freriders
Freeriding in Zermatt. That also means being guided by common sense. Especially when you’re riding off the marked pistes. Always keep one eye on your own safety, the other on the environment. We recommend taking the following commandments on board.
- Always check the weather and avalanche situation – either online or on one of the panorama displays in the ski area. These can be found at the valley stations in Zermatt or the mountain stations on Blauherd, Riffelberg, Riffelalp, Gornergrat or Trockener Steg. There are also freeride checkpoints at the Rothorn mountain station and Hohtälli.
- Never set out into open terrain alone or without a guide and always stay within sight of your companions.
- Never ride in a signposted forest and wildlife conservation area. Any infringement of the prohibition can result in withdrawal of your ski pass and a fine.
- Always carry an avalanche rescue beacon (ARB) in your gear and set it to “transmit”. Also pack a shovel and an avalanche probe.
- Constantly update your assessments of the weather and avalanche situation, the terrain and your own requirements.
- Always ride over critical points and extremely steep slopes one at a time.
- Take account of the warming effect during the day.
- Keep these emergency contact numbers at hand: KWRO/Air Zermatt: 144, Piste rescue service: +41 27 966 01 01
- Keep up to date with news on the website of the Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF): www.slf.ch
Guided freeride tours with Zermatt locals
Anyone going out with a Zermatt-based freeride guide is not only safe and well equipped. He or she will also find out about the best fresh-snow slopes and other insider off-piste tips.
Zermatt Snow park
The Zermatt Snow Park is a hot tip for free skiers and snowboarders. If you’re already on a visit to Zermatt, it’s worth your while to make a detour to the Theodul Glacier. There, at 3'250 metres, you’ll find one of the highest fun parks in the Alps. From October to mid-May, you can go slush shredding in the Zermatt Snow Park for as long as you like over a 1'200-metre course. Everyone from beginner to pro will find a line that is just right for them. Natural snow and sunshine included.
Tip: Check out the summer snow park on Plateau Rosa (3'480 m).
Three, two, one – take a deep breath and onto the next steep slope! Get your ski pass online now and then plunge headlong into your next freeride adventure. In the Matterhorn ski paradise in Zermatt.