Snowboarding in Switzerland

Snowboarding in der Schweiz

Snowboarding in Switzerland

It is full of perfect villages and mountain landscapes to enjoy. Other landscapes pale in comparison to what Switzerland has to offer. Plus, Swiss hospitality is the best it can be. The terrain is first class and the mountain cuisine is second to none - your taste buds will thank you.

But before you set off for the snowy Swiss mountains, you should know all the facts. To plan your trip, you need to know how to get there, where to stay, which ski resorts to visit to have the best experience, and how much the whole trip will cost. If you know all of this in advance, you will have a great time.

Unfortunately, doing all of this research on your own can be hectic and sometimes even impossible. That's why we've put together a list of 10 routes to help you make the most of everything and create great memories.

1. Verbier

Verbier is a world-famous resort that attracts skiers from all over the world - at least everyone who can afford it. Verbier is undoubtedly the Swiss version of Chamonix, attracting snowboarders and extreme skiers alike, but unlike Chamonix, it is a full-fledged ski resort with a huge, modern system of interconnected lifts and perfectly groomed slopes. In Switzerland people are educated to the max and managed in the most conscientious and considerate manner, but in Verbier you put them on skis, add some powder and it's all downhill from there. Maybe it's not the Swiss' fault, but if you want fresh slopes, you should sharpen your elbows and not wait for another boarder to clear the slope, because if you hesitate for even a moment, a crazy person will jump out over your head a rock high up and steals your line. The cable cars in Verbier are among the best in Europe. After a short descent from one of the many lifts, a wide and very long powder field or steep slope opens up. Once you've located the nearby areas, which is quick, you can take a guide and explore the vast mountain slopes.

Verbier is a huge area that combines Nendaz, Veysonnaz, La Tzoumaz and Val de Bagnas into 4 valleys with 94 lifts and over 400 km of pistes, all accessible with one ski pass. There really is something for everyone, even non-skiers, and for serious snowboarders it's a must, but none of it comes cheap. Take a look at Nendez's report to see some of the off-piste routes in 4 Valleys.

If you are looking for freeride lessons, we recommend Vivid Snowboarding, a specialized snowboard school in Verbier that offers private lessons for all levels and tastes and also organizes dedicated backcountry and freestyle camps. You can find the school in the snowboard school office, which is located in the Surefoot shop next to the main Medran lift station in Verbier. Vivid also organizes snowboard camps that last five full days of training. These can be carried out with a maximum of 6 people per group and a minimum of 4 people per group.

2. Davos

Davos is not only an important snowboarding destination, but also a huge city that offers everything you need to have fun. This vibrant destination has it all: tons of deep snow, lots of trees, big natural hits, halfpipe, fun parks, boardercross and night riding. And all of this on 200 miles (320 km) of fantastic snowboarding terrain on snow-sure slopes.

The area consists of 5 different mountains and you will have to use bus or train to get around, but each area has enough to do to keep your attention for at least a whole day. Jakobshorn and Parsenn are the largest and most popular areas with connected lifts on both sides of Davos. The Jakobshorn has two halfpipes and a large terrain park, which are kept in excellent condition; the base halfpipe is used at the end of each year for the O'Neil Evolution 6*TTR competition. Parsenn is the backbone of Davos, connects Davos Dorf with Klosters and offers many good long runs and freeride opportunities. From Klosters you can reach Madrisa, which is a little quieter, and Pischa, which offers good freeride opportunities. The Rinerhorn is the last area and is hidden at the end of the valley. Luckily, its location and the many drag lifts keep most people away and give you the opportunity to ride through the front lines in open, wooded areas.

At the end of January, the World Economic Forum will take place here, which will host Mr.-Smith-like world leaders from the Matrix. It's almost impossible to find accommodation, but it's the perfect time to hit the slopes, and everyone in town is trying to pretend to the media that they care.

The ski area is one of the first in Graubünden to open at the end of November and the snow conditions are usually very good until it closes in mid-April.

The place has 10.000 inhabitants and offers all the services you need. Davos is not a party center - few places in Switzerland are - but there are plenty of good bars, and on the weekends the city fills with Zurichers looking to have fun. Getting to Davos and the surrounding area couldn't be easier. There are direct train connections to Davos Dorf, Platz and Klosters, and the train journey from Zurich Airport takes around 2½ hours. Buses connect the central Graubünden town of Chur via the excellent Lenzerheide train station in 90 minutes, and there is a good regular free ski bus connecting all mountain areas.

3. St Moritz

St. Moritz (1800m) has two classic special features: On the one hand, it is one of the most beautiful natural freeride spots in Switzerland.On the other hand, St. Moritz attracts a very exclusive clientele, especially at the beginning of winter, including film stars and aristocrats, which is also reflected in the prices.The prices reflect this. They come to enjoy the beautiful peaks and villages, visit the fine designer shops and generally to stand out.In fact, many of the furry brigade don't even go to the mountains!

St. Moritz is located in the Engadine, near the Italian border, and together with the Pontresina and Diavolezza areas forms the Upper Engadine region. The Diavolezza is a glacier mountain open from November to May and is so remote that only the most experienced skiers can use it. St Moritz, which offers access to the slopes of Corviglia and Marguns, is an area largely made up of intermediate slopes that are crowded most days and unfortunately there are not many runs for experts to escape the hordes of training skiers. However, there are plenty of off-piste runs that can only be explored with the help of a local guide. Corvatsch is the last area a short bus ride from St. Moritz is away, but you can snowboard right in town. This area is the best of all, offering amazing scenery to freeriders and freestylers seeking natural success.

4. Laax

Laax and its little brother Flims are a Swiss national sanctuary and a true paradise for snowboarders. Popular with snowboarders, the resort is a full-fledged snowboarding center that connects to the quieter Flims. Together they form an area that is considered one of the most snowboard-friendly places in Switzerland. The Burton European Open has been taking place here for 4 years, and the final of the BRITS series is also held here in mid-March. Not only the best riders, but also big pop stars and DJs come here to party.

Vorab Glacier opens in October with an easy terrain park, but access from the base can take up to an hour. When the season fully opens in December, the park will move to its main location below Crap Sogn Gion and the Vorab area will become the gateway to some of the best freeride slopes the ski area has to offer.

Few ski tourers populate these slopes and if ever there was a mountain designed for snowboarders without two boards, this is it. Laax also has some of the best lifts in Europe, with many high-speed gondolas taking you to the peaks, and despite its popularity, you'll rarely find yourself in a long queue. Beginners will also appreciate that there are only a few lifts and you can easily get around them without being restricted in any way.

The downside is that the ski area administration is slow to open some areas after a new drain and takes every opportunity to close the lifts, especially in the Cassons area. Laax is not an unknown ski area and for freeriders wanting to try their first runs it is important to take the first lift as everything goes incredibly quickly.

The accommodation and facilities are spread across Laax and Flims, but all are connected by a free shuttle bus. Laax's base has improved significantly since the construction of the new Rocks Resort; There are now a few more bars, restaurants and shops, but the atmosphere is a bit contrived.

5. Zermatt

When you think of Zermatt, you probably think of money, and that's right. However, there are some serious mountains here that can keep a freerider busy for a few weeks.

The village lies in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn, and all the chalets kneel down to admire the view. It is a compact and attractive place where there are no cars but electric trolleys that move around.

Zermatt, together with Cervinia, forms the Matterhorn Ski Paradise and has 313 km of slopes. Ski pass prices are high, but if you're not going to Cervinia, you don't need to pay extra for a pass and can enjoy Zermatt's 183km of slopes.

Zermatt is one of the few places in the world where you can snowboard 365 days a year. In summer, the Matterhorn Glacier offers 22 kilometers of slopes and a good park and tubing. In winter it is the starting point for a massive 2263 m long descent into the village.

The area is connected by many narrow pistes, and the runs into the village are particularly challenging. However, it is not the slopes that attract snowboarders, but rather the many high-quality off-piste and freeride routes.

The nightlife is very lively by Swiss standards, with some bars and mountain clubs open until 3 a.m.

6. Flims

Flims is often overshadowed by its bigger brother Laax. However, this gem deserves its own platform, and although Laax is much larger and offers more walkable terrain, Flims can stand on its own. As the smaller partner, Flims also tends to be a little less crowded, although the two ski areas are connected on the slopes by lifts and have a common ski pass. Flims is slightly higher than Laax, but generally the slopes are the same in both regions. Up in the mountains you might think it's two ski resorts, but in many ways they're not. Both ski areas have a common ski pass and the slopes are well connected. The slopes above Flims are well groomed and offer a mix of gentle blue runs to fast black runs on the steep slopes of Cassons.

7. Crans Montana

If your idea of ​​a good time equates to sun-kissed slopes and high-end shopping, then Crans Montana is the place for you, and although it has a reputation for being a place where the rich and famous go come to do just that, if you're willing to dig a little deeper into your pockets, you'll find a great deal for everyone here.

Snowboarders will love the modern lift system, varied slopes, world-class snow park and easily accessible off-piste terrain. Away from the slopes, Crans Montana offers a wide range of activities, local cuisine, restaurants, casinos and numerous bars, making Crans Montana the perfect destination for a week of snow fun.

Despite the combined name, the ski area combines the two towns of Crans and Montana, which have joined together to form a ski area more than 140 km long. Good courses are offered and there is a good lift system. There are also plenty of mountain cafes, which surprisingly aren't as expensive as you might think. Although the highest point of the ski area is on the Plaine Morte Glacier at 3000m altitude, most of the slopes are well below this altitude, with the lower slopes offering the opportunity to play in the trees. The southern slopes allow good skiing in the sun, but can lead to muddy patches late in the season.

The view from the top of the Plaine Morte glacier is no less impressive if you come for the sights. From a height of 3.000 meters offers an incredible 180° panorama of 19 four-thousanders, including the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.

There are several schools to learn freestyle, including the ESS Ski School, which helps those who want to know how to ski a pipe properly or how to do big airs, all of which are one of the highest levels of snowboarding lessons in Europe offers.

8. Grumbling

Always look for quieter places, and in the Jungfrau family is Mürren, which hides the nightlife of a ghost town and has some of the most extreme terrain not only in the region but in Switzerland itself.

Murren lies in dramatic surroundings, on a 700m high cliff above the village of Lauterbrunnen. For any self-respecting base jumper, this place is at the top of the list, and so far more than 30 people have lost their lives trying to circumnavigate it.

There are no cars in the village, so you have to use one of the two cable cars that go up at either end. At the end of the day, when the crowds leave, the village yawns and quickly settles down. If you plan to spend the night drinking alcohol, you should avoid this place. Instead, go to bed early and try to complete the first few climbs to make the most of the time you have to explore this amazing area.

Every James Bond fan will love Blofeld's hideout from the film "On Her Majesty's Service" on the summit of the Schilthorn (2.970 m), the highest point in the town, can be recognized immediately. Have your photo taken with George Lazenby and then follow in Bond's footsteps by skiing off-piste.

Although the ski areas aren't enough for a week, when combined with the other Jungfrau areas there is enough to keep you busy for an entire season, let alone a week. Getting to Wengen is a bit tedious, not to mention getting to Grindelwald. Although everything is connected by cable cars, you'll spend a good hour between the villages, but you certainly won't mind looking out the window at the fantastic terrain.

9. Leysin

Leysin is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and has become one of the best and most popular snowboarding resorts in the country. Unlike many other popular ski resorts, Leysin is not known for skiing, which has led to it being highly prized by snowboarders. This has contributed to the ski resort's inexpensive, friendly charm that lacks the hustle and bustle. Leysin connects the two mountain villages of Villars and Les Diablerets to form a 60 km long, very acceptable piste network.

The resort has been catering to snowboarders for years, hosting the ISF competition in '92 and today hosting the TTR Nescafe Camps Open (, where the world's best riders compete in pipe and park.

Leysin is actually a sprawling old mountain town and not a modern, purpose-built resort like some others nearby. What you get here is a high mountain that, on a good winter day, has everything to make advanced, adventurous skiers happy, but also appeals to beginners who don't want to use the lift right away. A notable aspect of Leysin is that it is not a popular ski resort for ski tourers, which is good because the slopes are not crowded, although they can get a little crowded on weekends with locals and Genevans. But once you're on the slopes, you can hike for hours through fantastic terrain without seeing anyone else.

10. Nendaz

Nendaz is never mentioned when it comes to the best ski resorts in the world, but if you take a look at the Verbier piste map you will see the small village on the left. Nendaz is on 1.400 m high and is the heart of the 4 Vallées ski area, which includes 96 lifts and over 250 kilometers of slopes. A short drive or a few lifts will take you to the highest point in the area, Mont Fort at 3300m, where you can go off-piste.

Nendaz isn't cheap, but you save a lot of money by staying here instead of Verbier, and have access to the same mountain range and amazing off-piste areas. Freeriders will be pleasantly surprised upon arrival at what this area has to offer both on and off the slopes. For intermediate and experienced skiers, a week-long stay is an absolute pleasure, while thrill-seekers can push themselves to the limit. In the event that there is no snow, snowmaking systems have been installed from the summit to the valley station. Otherwise, Nendaz also offers heliboarding with passenger pickup and mountain guide.

You can fly into the heart of the Rosablanche Glacier and ski in deep snow, but in good weather this is not necessary as there are numerous pistes away from the modern lifts. If you want to explore the slopes of Verbiers but don't want to spend a lot of money, then Nendaz is for you.