10 Best Ski Mountaineering Routes in Zermatt

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Are you an experienced skier looking for a thrilling adventure in the Swiss Alps? Look no further than Zermatt, a paradise for ski mountaineering enthusiasts. With its stunning alpine terrain, breathtaking views, and challenging routes, Zermatt offers a range of options for those seeking an adrenaline-pumping experience on the slopes.

NoteBefore embarking on any ski touring route in Zermatt, be sure to check local avalanche conditions, weather forecasts, and have the necessary equipment and skills for backcountry travel. Hiring a certified mountain guide is also recommended, especially for those unfamiliar with the area or unsure about route finding.

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1.Breithorn Traverse:

Breithorn Traverse zermatt

The Breithorn Traverse is a classic route that starts at the Klein Matterhorn lift and takes you to the summit of Breithorn at 4,164 meters (13,661 feet). The panoramic views from the top are absolutely breathtaking, and the descent back to Zermatt offers a fantastic ski run. It’s a relatively straightforward ascent, making it a great option for those looking for a challenging yet manageable route.

2.Gornergrat to Riffelberg:

Gornergrat to Riffelberg:zermatt

Starting at the Gornergrat railway station, this route leads you through stunning alpine terrain with views of the iconic Matterhorn. It’s a popular choice for skiers who appreciate a mix of open slopes and tree-lined sections, offering a scenic tour that is sure to delight even the most seasoned mountaineers.

3.Stockhorn, Zermatt:

Stockhorn: zermatt

For a more challenging adventure, consider tackling the Stockhorn route. This route begins in Zermatt and ascends to the peak of Stockhorn at 3,532 meters (11,588 feet). It involves steep terrain and glacier travel, providing a thrilling descent back to Zermatt for experienced skiers looking to push their limits.

4.Monte Rosa Hut to Zermatt:

Monte Rosa Hut to Zermatt:

If you’re up for a multi-day adventure, skiing from the Monte Rosa Hut to Zermatt is a must-do. This route takes you through the heart of the Swiss Alps, with opportunities to summit peaks like the Lyskamm and Castor along the way. It’s a challenging yet rewarding experience that will leave you in awe of the beauty of the region.

5.Schwarzsee to Zermatt:

Schwarzsee to Zermatt:

Starting at the Schwarzsee cable car station, this classic ski touring route descends to Zermatt via the Gandegg Hut. With stunning views of the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks, varied terrain to suit different skill levels, and a scenic trail that will leave you breathless, this route is a favorite among adventurers looking for a memorable ski tour.

6.Triftjigrat, Zermatt

Triftjigrat zermatt

If you’re looking for a technical challenge, the Triftjigrat route is sure to test your skills. Starting at the Schwarzsee cable car station, this route ascends to the Triftjigrat ridge, offering unparalleled views of the iconic Matterhorn. The descent involves navigating steep couloirs, making it suitable for those with advanced mountaineering abilities. Are you ready to take on the challenge of Triftjigrat?

7.Gorner Glacier

Gorner Glacier zermatt

The Gorner Glacier provides a wide range of ski touring opportunities, from gentle slopes to more challenging terrain. Whether you choose to traverse the glacier towards the Monte Rosa Hut or ski the slopes above the glacier towards the Gornergrat, you’re sure to be rewarded with breathtaking views and thrilling descents. Will you explore the wonders of the Gorner Glacier on your next ski mountaineering adventure?

8.Breithorn Plateau

Breithorn Plateau zermatt

For a more leisurely ski touring experience, the Breithorn Plateau route is a perfect choice. Starting at the Klein Matterhorn lift, this relatively easy route traverses the Breithorn Plateau, offering panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. It’s a great option for those seeking a less technical ski tour without compromising on scenery. Are you ready to glide through the stunning landscapes of the Breithorn Plateau?

8.Zmutt Glacier

Zmutt Glacier zermatt

The Zmutt Glacier route is a challenging ski tour that rewards adventurous mountaineers with unforgettable views of the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks. Starting in Zermatt, this route ascends to the Zmutt Glacier, requiring good route-finding skills and avalanche awareness. It’s the perfect choice for those looking to test their limits in the high alpine environment. Will you conquer the Zmutt Glacier on your next ski mountaineering expedition?

10.Furgg Glacier

Furgg Glacier zermatt

For experienced ski tourers seeking a thrilling adventure, the Furgg Glacier route is a must-try. Starting at the Furgg cable car station, this route ascends to the Furgg Glacier, offering awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn and opportunities for challenging descents. With its mix of technical terrain and stunning vistas, the Furgg Glacier is sure to satisfy your craving for adrenaline. Are you ready to take on the challenge of the Furgg Glacier?

Expert Tips:

  1. Stay Informed: Check weather forecasts, avalanche conditions, and route information before heading out. Conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so stay updated throughout your trip.
  2. Safety First: Always prioritize safety. Carry essential avalanche safety gear, including a transceiver, probe, and shovel, and make sure you know how to use them effectively.
  3. Plan Ahead: Research your route thoroughly, including potential hazards, terrain features, and bailout options. Have a detailed itinerary and communicate it with someone who can raise the alarm if needed.
  4. Skill Assessment: Be honest about your abilities and choose routes that match your skill level. If you’re unsure, consider hiring a certified mountain guide for added safety and guidance.
  5. Fitness Preparation: Ski mountaineering in Zermatt can be physically demanding, so ensure you’re adequately fit for the challenge. Build endurance through regular cardio and strength training exercises.
  6. Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your passage. Pack out all trash and avoid disturbing wildlife and vegetation.
  7. Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and well-nourished throughout your trip. Carry enough water and high-energy snacks to fuel your adventures.
  8. Emergency Preparedness: Have a plan in place for emergencies, including first aid supplies, emergency shelter, and a means of communication such as a satellite phone or emergency beacon.

Packing List:

  • Avalanche Safety Gear: Transceiver, probe, shovel
  • Climbing Equipment: Harness, helmet, crampons, ice axe
  • Clothing Layers: Base layers, insulating layers, waterproof jacket and pants, gloves, hat, goggles, sunglasses
  • Footwear: Ski boots, mountaineering boots, spare socks
  • Navigation: Map, compass, GPS device
  • Emergency Supplies: First aid kit, emergency shelter (bivy sack or lightweight tent), repair kit (duct tape, multi-tool)
  • Hydration: Water bottles or hydration system, water purification tablets or filter
  • Nutrition: High-energy snacks (nuts, dried fruit, energy bars), lightweight stove and fuel for melting snow if needed
  • Communication: Cell phone, satellite phone or emergency beacon
  • Personal Items: Sunscreen, lip balm, camera, personal toiletries
  • Pack: Lightweight and durable backpack to carry all your gear

Season:

The ski mountaineering season in Zermatt typically runs from late December to April, with the best conditions often found from February to April. During these months, the snowpack is generally more stable, and the weather is milder, making for safer and more enjoyable skiing. However, conditions can vary depending on snowfall and temperature fluctuations, so always check local conditions before heading out. Additionally, be aware that some routes may be inaccessible or more challenging earlier or later in the season due to snow conditions and avalanche risk.

Trip Planning Resources

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Hi!I’m Kim!

A passionate adventurer, homesteader, home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favorite trips, skills , and recipes with the world.

 

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