Off Piste

Off piste and freeride holidays in the Val d'Anniviers area

Skiers and boarders who want to venture off piste will be surprised and impressed by what the Grimentz and Zinal areas have to offer. We summarise it best by saying that skiing this area is the opposite to admittedly legendary resorts like Chamonix/Argentiere and St Anton where all the powder is tracked out within 24 hours (or 48 if you are lucky) of the last snowfall.

A link to a blog article is attached: 

http://swissalpineadventure.blogspot.ch/2013/01/immense-grimentz.html

Guides: these are an important aspect of enjoying yourself off piste safely. A number of mountain guides with the UIAGM/IFGMA qualification are available locally and we can put you in touch with guides who we like and can recommend.

A British mountain guide we know well : http://www.backcountryadventures.co.uk has launched a number of off piste programmes plus IFGMA mountain guiding and off piste instruction. 

If you are less experienced but want to progress the local ski schools also run freeride classes which take advantage of the accessiblilty of powder close to the pistes.

The mountain:

- Zinal: this station gives you access to an avalanche training centre where you can practice use of your transceiver search function, a dedicated freeride area plus a number of off piste routes, many of which are accessible by lift but some of which require skins or further effort. Some routes take you down to the Moiry Dam and then to Grimentz and others allow you to rejoin the Zinal ski area. Lastly the Chamois piste (really an itineraire route) is a must do.

- Grimentz: here, within just 20 minutes or so by lift of the duplex apartment you have access to the Abondance itineraire route which can be done as a circuit or alternatively ski the various off piste/side of piste sections to the side of the Lona lifts on the left hand side of the mountain. You also have the extensive bowl areas off the back of the Bec de Bessons and accessible off the back of the Roc d'Orzival. And of course you have access to the Chamois route which takes you down from Zinal to Grimentz via an unspoilt valley. These are just examples - there are numerous variations. 

Heliski: experienced skiers and boarders may also want to heliski. This is, unlike most of Europe, possible in Switzerland and we are able to point you in the right direction. Grimentz has its own helipad just minutes from the apartment and we can recommend helicopter operators and guides to you.

Off piste groups: if you are trying to put together a group to ski off piste and do not know the area please contact us (via the Enquiries page) for ideas on what is possible - the information above is just a summary. We know most of the IFGMA guides who work in the region.

BCA Float 22 Avalanche air bag packs for rent

We know what a pain it can be flying with an avalanche air bag and are able to offer airbags for rent up to 6. These are available to rent on a per day basis at very reasonable rates. Please email us at grimentzchalet@gmail.com for prices and availability.