Andermatt Ski Area
Andermatt’s local ski area is on the North-facing Gemstock and South-West facing Natschen mountains, which straddle the resort. But the SkiArena extends beyond Natschen all the way to Sedrun via Gutsch, Schneehuenerstock, Val Val, Cuolm Val and Milez.
Skiing on Gemsstock
Despite all the investment into the lift system linking Andermatt with Sedrun, it is still the high-altitude, snowsure, steep, North-facing Gemmsstock mountain that is the main attraction for freeriders, off-piste skiers, black-run lovers and strong intermediate skiers who fancy a challenge. A two-stage cable car ascends 1500 metres from Andermatt via Gurschen to reach the summit at 2,961m.
Beneath the cable car on skiers' right is a north-facing bowl of long, steep slopes with good snow covering, made up of off-piste routes, a ski route and a black run piste (# 71 / B-Russi) named after a local ski hero. But Gemmsstock is not a pure experts-only mountain: there is intermediate skiing here as well. Outside the bowl, on skiers' left heading down Felsental or Guspis then swinging back towards Gurshen, they’ll find a nice, open red run named Sonnenpiste ( 70). At Gurshen it splinters into 5 different mini-red runs which all continue down to the bottom of the Gurshenalp chair - two of these reds (73 and 73a) used to be blues and are not very steep. But whilst intermediates are catered for, Gemsstock has even more to offer advanced skiers. As well as the top main bowl already mentioned there are off piste routes close to and beyond the red Sonnenpiste and more black runs leading down from the Geissgrat drag and from Gurschen down to the village.
Skiing on Natschen-Gutsch
Although not as challenging as Gemsstock, this sunny, South-West facing mountain offers a variety of terrain, with plenty of blue and red runs but also a few black runs and off-piste routes as well. Generally, the higher you go, the steeper it gets, but there is always a blue run alternative, so even quite weak skiers can return all the way from the 2344m high-point, known as Gütsch, to the village. The bottom half is ideal for beginners: a long, gentle blue run zigzags down the mountain face back to Andermatt village.
This interesting ski resort is family friendly and especially suited to intermediate skiers, although there are blue runs for novices and an excellent snowpark for complete beginners. Weaker skiers who want a change of scenery can reach it by train. Intermediates and above who can handle a red run can reach it on skis or snowboards - the toughest part is near the new Oberalp-Schneehuenerstock lift, but it's a two-way lift, so they can descend on the lift if they don't fancy the steep slope. beside the new and above can reach it on skis. For most intermeidates, the highlight will be the top of Cuolm Val where there are a host of long red runs descending towards Milez, Mulinatsch and Dieni, which are just outside Sedrun; or you can turn the other way and take iether a red run or an ungroomed ski-route towards Val Val valley.
Snowpark Valtgeva is right beside the town of Sedrun, this learning hill has two T-bar lifts and a carpet ride for novices. This gentle terrain allows complete beginners to get the basics done without having to brave going right up the mountain on the chairlift for the first time.
Andermatt Ski Lifts & Lift Passes
The Andermatt-Sedrun SkiArena project as well as the improvements to other lifts in the Andermatt area will improve things beyond recognition, transforming the ski access experience from a slow and dated one to a system that the 21st century can be proud of.
Andermatt Ski Lifts
The cablecars on Gemsstock are starting to show their age. At weekends there can be queues.
A huge investment has gone into building new lifts for the Natschen-Oberalp-Sedrun side of the SkiArena. There are still some old drag lifts around Cuolm Val, but barnd new chair lifts and gondolas predominate. And of course there is always the train linking Andermatt with Sedrun which runs with the cliched efficiency of Swiss trains.
Andermatt Lift Passes
The lift pass at SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun is currently very reasonable and covers Sedrun, Nätschen, Oberalp, Valtgeva, Gemsstock and Realp, all of which can be bought separately in the areas.
Beginner Skiing in Andermatt
Andermatt isn’t known as a beginners resort. But there are now nursery slopes and a special Matti Kids Arena at Natschen, with long easy blue runs to progress onto both here, and higher up the mountain at Gutsch, and another beginners' area at Sedrun, which can be reached by train.
Beginner skiing in Andermatt
Andermatt used to be the very opposite of a beginners' resort but no longer. All the basics are here now: sunny nursery slopes at Natschen at 1842m, and plenty of blue runs to progress onto on this mountain, including a long one all the way from the summit at Gutsch into town, although the very lowest part might be slushy, or icy, or even closed (the inevitable downside of skiing in a sunny area).
The option of sometimes travelling to Sedrun by train and using the beginners' facilities there (see below) can also make sense for novices in mixed ability groups who want to meet their freinds for lunch. Just be aware that skiing over to Sedrun is not possible for beginners.
The other negative is price. Resort level nursery slopes tend to be free whilst there is a charge for getting up to Natschen or going over to Sedrun and using the lifts there. On the plus side, the views are much nicer from mid-mountain.
Beginner skiing nearby at Sedrun
Beginners wanting to explore more terrain within their skill level can take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn narrow gauge railway through the Oberalp pass to Sedrun. At Sedrun you will see more beginner friendly slopes and learning terrain, with a natural progression from magic carpet slope for learning the basics, into gentle blues and even cruisy reds if you get that far.
Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Andermatt
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Intermediate Skiing in Andermatt
Andermatt’s shared 'SkiArena' with Sedrun has lots of wide open red runs and fast-pace blues, as well as a few blacks for better intermediates. There is also good red run skiing on Gemsstock - contrary to rumours, it is not an experts-only zone.
Intermediate skiing on Gemstock
Most intermediates are intimidated by Gemsstock mountain with its looming blacks and extreme off-piste routes but with a piste map all that can be avoided and there are very enjoyable runs to be skied. The Sonnenpiste (#70) is a wide, rarely over-crowded red run from the summit of Gemsstock all the way back to the middle station, Gurschen, where it splinters into five different alternative short red runs down to the bottom of the Gurshenalp chair. 73a and 73 are the gentlest of these - they used to be blue.There is also a relatively easy but quite long black from Geissgrat, albeit served by a difficult drag.
Intermediate skiing on Natschen-Gutsch
The bottom section of Natschen is aimed at beginners but higher up at Gutsch there are a couple of interesting reds and even a black run which should be within the ability range of most intermediates.
Intermediate skiing on the SkiArena from Gutsch to Dieni/Sedrun via Cuolm Val
The new Oberalppass-Schneehüenerstock gondola built for the 2018/18 winter season means that intermediate skiers who can manage a red run can now ski all the way to Dieni, close to Sedrun, and return without using the train. And it is amost alll excellent intermediate terrain: lots of red runs, plus a few black alternatives. The exception is the area close to the Oberalppass-Schneehüenerstock gondola - there is currently only an old ungroomed ski route. There are plans to make this into a piste, but if in doubt take the Gondola down instead.
Cuolm Val is the destination you're heading for. It's basically a mecca for red runs and they span out in all directions, including down to Dieni near Sedrun. When you;re finished, you return, either via pistes or lifts, or on the train.
Advanced & Expert Skiing in Andermatt | Ultimate-Ski.com
Andermatt's Gemsstock mountain has plenty of challenging terrain for freeriders, off-piste and black-run skiers. The SkiArena that now stretches to Sedrun also has ungroomed trails and black pistes.
With a summit of 2,961m, Gemsstock Mountain has 31km of terrain to attack without including the further 6km of additional ski routes, 17km (55%) of that is deemed difficult. The glacier piste is quite often ungroomed, so that when a fresh dump of snow comes it creates a playground for an amazing freeride experience. The classic descents like Felsental, Guspis, Giraffe and Geissberg attract off-piste skiers and freeriders from all over, although these routes are only the ones they’ve named: experienced steep and deep lovers can find their own gullies and shoots, although hiring a guide is strongly recommended. There are on-piste challenges too: the famous Bernhard Russi black run (#71) should not be missed, and there are plenty of other black runs at mid-mountain and below.
A two-section cable car system takes you straight to the summit from the edge of the village, and beneath the summit is a large north-facing bowl. This bowl consists of long, steep slopes including the Bernhard Russi black runt and various off-piste routes and ski trails. Valleys outside this bowl include the most famous off-piste run at Gemsstock, Felsental, and also Guspis which heads towards Hospental, a village along the valley from Andermatt. Even from Gurschen mid-station, there are tricky black runs heading back to the village, that’s if you have the legs after a strenuous day of serious skiing.
The only downside to the area for experts is the queue for the cable car in the village and at the mid-station. Midweek this is seldom a problem but on a sunny weekend after a lot of fresh powder has fallen, you will have to get up early to make the most of your day.
Natschen gets steeper as you go higher and from the summit at Gutsch there are a couple of black runs as well as some off-piste terrain. It's a good place for families and other mixed ability groups to enjoy skiing different runs of varying difficulty in the same ski area. It's general South West-facing orientation, however, means that fresh powder quickly turns to crud.
Most of the Andermatt-Sedrun SkiArena main circuit that stretches from Natschen to Dieni is intermediate terrain. But there are interesting black runs and an ungroomed ski route at the top of the Oberalppass-Schneehüenerstock gondola which was built in 2018 to complete the circuit.
Engelberg, the other off-piste mecca in Central Switzerland is neither connected to Andermatt nor covered by its lift pass. But it is within reach. By car it's about an hour away and by train about double that. Advanced skiers should make the effort, even if it's just a one day visit. They can then contribute to the never ending debate of whether the freeriding and off-piste skiing on the Laub and Klein Titlis are better than on the Gemsstock. (The short answer is that they are both very good.)
Want to push yourself to your limits? Take a day touring or heli-skiing with Andermatt-Guides.ch. Ski amazing untouched terrain and soak up some truly glorious views of the snow-laden mountains in the heart of the Uri Alps. A day pass includes a helicopter flight under the impressive Salbitschijjen to land at 3200m on the Sustenlimi. After landing is when the real fun starts; ski through the impressive valleys and crevasses of the Steingletchser to 1865m and reach the pick-up point. A second flight then brings you back to Sustenlimi and the long descent to Voralptal and towards the awaiting Göschenen.
Andermatt Boarding & Freestyle
Andermatt's Gemstock is best for experienced boarders and freeriders and there is a fun park as well as wider cruising runs nearby at Sedrun. Currently, beginner terrain is limited but the Andermatt-Sedrun SkiArena project will improve access to easier terrain in Sedrun from 2018.
Currently there isn’t much in the way of learning terrain and gentle slopes for novice boarders to cut their teeth on. However the freeride and off-piste terrain at the top of the cable car on Gemsstock Mountain is a snowy playground for confident boarders. The bowls and valleys layout of Gemsstock means there is little need for traversing, as well as the continued steep gradient even through the bottom half of the mountain, meaning snowboarders don’t have to worry about getting caught out on the flats.
Across the valley, snowboarders are attracted to Sedrun’s big wide cruising runs as well as to the snowboard fun park Milez; here you can enjoy a half-pipe, an obstacle park and other fun obstacles both natural and artificial on a run stretched to about 300m. And after 2018 all of this is much more accessible giving Andermatt much broader appeal for a bigger range of ability levels.
Andermatt Mountain Restaurants
Andermatt’s on-mountain dining remains a weakness and a shortage of mountain restaurants mean the ones that are available are often overly busy with long queues.
Those seeking opportunities to enjoy authentic local cuisine on a sun terrace slope-side with spectacular Swiss Alpine views will find Andermatt currently falls short of the high gastronomic standards found in better known Swiss resorts, the ones that are available are often overly busy with long queues.Time will tell whether Andermatt’s new image, village and ski arena will lead to better on-mountain dining.
Gurschen Hut/Bergrestaurant Gurschenalp
Centrally located at the mid-station of Gemsstock Mountain this bar/restaurant is accessible for skiers and non-skiers, with a table-service section serving tasty cuisine and Swiss specialities, although is known to be over-crowded.
Tel: +41 (0) 41 887 14 45
This large restaurant at the mid-station on Nätschen Mountain has a large terrace available in good weather. Accessible by train or chairlift, dine in the Swiss Alps with magnificent views of the Ursern Valley. Tel: +41 (0) 41 887 14 45
Andermatt is the largest village of three in the impressive Ursern valley at the foot of Gotthard Pass. This old world village with narrow streets lined with traditional chalets and cobbled paving has a certain charm and history behind it. The SkiArena development project is transforming the village and ski area, but the original village centre is still in tact.
Two hours south of Zurich at 1444m, Andermatt lies in the middle of Switzerland’s alpine passes and was once a traffic hub of Europe. With a golden age in the late 19th century, this village has been said to have been asleep for the last 30 years. However the charm and beauty of the original village centre is still intact.
The surrounding aesthetics of nature and architecture all document the thriving and turbulent history of the area. With stunning mountain lakes, glaciers and valleys surrounding this village, it creates a natural playground to explore and embrace. The unusual mountain passes and tunnels with whistling trains further remind you of its engineering heritage.
The famous Devil’s Bridge (legend had it this could only be built with the aid of the devil, hence the name) was once a gateway from north to south over the vast Gotthard. From the looming Gotthard Massif, spring four water sources named the Rhine, Reuss, Ticino and Rhone. The bridge and a picturesque hike to the source of the Rhine (part of a five day staged hike named ‘the four sources way’) are just two of the interesting attractions around Uri Canyon.
As you walk on the cobbles through Andermatt’s centre, you will still find charming and original buildings running from the central river bridge to the Gemsstock cable car. The Aurora hotel across the road from the Gemsstock cable car, as well as the folk museum, Talmuseum Ursern look over the narrow streets. There is also luxurious modernity if you want it howver,, most noticeably with The Chedi Andermatt
built in 2013.
Andermatt Bars & Restaurants
Andermatt hasn’t got the same appeal as many of its rival resorts in Switzerland in terms of après-ski or nightlife and for a small resort the cuisine available is quite expansive and varied. The completion of the whole new village project though is fast changing things.
The après-ski and nightlife side of Andermatt is historically quite limited and for the past fifty plus years has relied on the small family-run hotel bars and restaurants for evening atmosphere. On the weekends, the resort in general livens up and bars can warrant putting on live music and entertainment. However with the recent arrival of The Chedi Andermatt
, the nightlife aspect of Andermatt took a step in the right direction, albeit quite expensively.
Looking for a smart après-ski experience? The Chedi’s several chic lounge bars have quickly become a go-to for skiers straight off the slopes. Here you can enjoy local beers and wine by the glass with live music and indoor and outdoor fireplaces. Just down the road from the Chedi, in the village centre is a more traditional alpine après-ski spot The De Prato Pub, with a lively pub atmosphere staying open till the early hours of the morning. Other options are the traditional Spycher Bar with a bar and terracecwith big-screen TVs for sporting events, Bar Di Alt Apotek at River House is a well-known spot for friendly hospitality and often has live music later on. A younger crowd is seen in The Wooden Sportsbar Andermatt, next to the local ice rink and this even has bands performing on the weekends.
Andermatt is host to about 20 restaurants, serving cuisine with strong Swiss and Italian roots as you would expect. With this many restaurants in a small village like Andermatt, the standard of food and service is important and fortunately many have sterling reputations for excellent dining and friendly service. In recent years the bar has been raised with the arrival of Chedi hotel and resort has brought a new element to the table. The seven restaurants and chic cafes in Chedi hotel serve everything from Japanese delicacies to classic Swiss specialities.
Restaurants in The Chedi Andermatt
The Restaurant in The Chedi is located on the hotel’s ground floor, this chic restaurant serves a combination of central Swiss, European and Asian cuisine. It features ‘Theatre kitchens’ where guests can view their dish being prepared and cooked. Choose from three dining rooms and chef’s communal tables. Also in The Chedi, Japanese Restaurant by Hide Yamamoto, where the skilled Japanese chefs do their speciality show of preparing their delicacies of spectacular sushi, sashimi and tempura right in front of you. Tel: +41 (0) 41 888 79 66
The Riverhouse Restaurant has developed a menu of traditional meat and fish dishes and put their own modern twist on them. Tel: +41 (0) 41 887 00 25
Restaurant Pizzeria Chuchichäschtli
Above Andermatt towards the Oberalp Pass, The Restaurant Chuchichäschtli is predominantly an Italian menu with speciality pizzas. Guests enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding mountains from the sun terrace. Tel. +41 (0) 78 941 19 21
Located within the Hotel Metropol, La Curva is a little slice of Italy. It can get very busy so booking would be recommended, the traditional wood fired pizza oven, offer crispy wood-fired pizzas, along with juicy steaks from the grill and pasta in many variations included on the menu. After dinner you can enjoy a cocktail in the bar. Tel +41 (0) 41 887 1575
Specialising in authentic Ticinise cuisine and has become popular for its comfortable atmosphere, friendly service and fine cuisine with hearty portion sizes. Tel: +41 (0) 41 887 03 03
Gasthaus zum Sternen
Gasthaus zum Sterne serves both Swiss and local Ursern Valley dishes. The restaurant menu boasts a range of rösti dishes, tarte flambée, cheese fondue and raclette. Tel: +41 (0) 41 887 1130
3 Koenige & Post
The menu at the Hotel 3 Könige & Post serves regional and international specialities and is well known for its generous portion sizes. Dine in the sophisticated Goethesäli and enjoy tranquillity and fine cuisine. The Wiener-Schnitzel here is particularly favourite! Tel: +41 (0) 41 887 00 01
Bar Di Alt Apothek
Not only a popular après-ski spot, Bar Di Alt Apothek also has a thriving Spanish inspired restaurant serving a menu of delicious tapas.
Andermatt Other Activities
Other than skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of other activities available in and around Andermatt. Whether you enjoy action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled activities or relaxing and romantic rides on a horse sleigh, you will find them here.
Cross-country skiing in Andermatt
The Andermatt holiday region has ideal conditions for cross-country skiers, hence the 28 kilometres of trails in Ursern Valley. The cross-country ski pass (day and weekly) even includes travel on the trains from Andermatt to Realp, meaning skiers can use all the stops without the hassle of buying a new ticket every time. There is also a night trail in Realp available every Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm-9pm. Tel: +41 (0) 41 888 71 00; Email: [email protected]
Snowshoeing in Andermatt
In the Andermatt region there are approximately ten well signposted snowshoe trails, graded on difficulty like ski runs (blue-black). However although these trails are signposted, they are NOT patrolled or protected, therefore precautionary measures are strongly recommended; appropriate safety equipment and clued up knowledge on snow conditions judging on the daily avalanche bulletins. One nearby trail is the Andermatt-Mettlen-Mariahilf Chapel, this Blue 3km long trail takes you up the Unteralp Valley towards Mettlen. Enjoy glorious views throughout the trip and at the highest point, a view of the Gurschenbach icefall. Tel:+41 (0) 41 888 71 00 Email: [email protected]
Tobogganing in Andermatt / Gotthard
In the Gotthard region there are three tobogganing options. The nearest to Andermatt is on Oberalp Pass road in Natschen, this very child friendly route has a gentle gradient and yes don’t worry the road is closed for traffic in winter. Another is the 3.5km long run from Milez to Rueras on the other side of Oberalp Pass. And finally on the Furka Pass, on a winter hike trail to get to Tiefenbach, then from there toboggan all the way down to Realp. Passes and hire are available at lift stations or sports shops. Tel: +41 (0 )41 887 14 45 Email. [email protected]
Horse sleigh rides around Andermatt
What better way to explore around Andermatt in its winter glory than on a horse sleigh ride. Rides are available from 10am to 8pm, lasting from anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours long. Enjoy views of surrounding villages, landscapes and glorious snow-laden mountain peaks. Booking available at least 3 hours beforehand and is recommended to ensure you get your ride. Tel: +41 (0) 79 294 18 41; Email: [email protected]
Ice climbing in Andermatt
During the cold months of January and February there are many areas to ice climb in Göschenen and nearby areas. Although precautions must be taken, full safety equipment necessary and taking a mountain guide. will allow you to find the best route for you and your ability, as well as suitable conditions to climb.
Ice skating in Andermatt
Enjoy a day at the local outdoor ice rink, this natural rink named Icepark Andermatt also features a bar and café where skate rentals are available. Tel: +41 (0) 79 133 62 33; Web: www.icepark-andermatt.ch
Museums in Andermatt / Gotthard
In the Andermatt and Gotthard areas, there are several unique museums. Ursern Valley Museum with the history and culture of Ursern valley, St. Gotthard Museum located on a mountain pass, or take a day trip to Sasso San Gottardo. A museum, secret until a few years ago, located deep in the heart of the Gotthard mountain is a hidden network of army artillery fortifications. This dynamic world of steel and stone is the longest train tunnel in the world and contains the biggest group of crystals in the alpine region. Tel: +41 (0) 41 887 06 24; Web: www.museum-ursern.ch
Spa and Wellness centre at The Chedi Andermatt
This 2400 square metre spa and wellness centre is located on the ground floor and mezzanine floors at The Chedi Andermatt
, offering a host of activities and treatments. The Spa boasts ten deluxe treatments rooms with highly trained therapists performing a range of massages and beauty treatments. Manicures, pedicures and even a hair stylist is available. And if that’s not enough the bio and Finnish saunas and organic steam bath will drain your strains away. In addition the 35 metre indoor pool with panoramic windows and views of the mountain landscape is open from 7am-9pm. Along with a fitness centre with expansive state-of-the-art equipment and certified instructors offering personal training sessions. Yoga classes are also available. Tel: +41 (41) 888 74 88; Email: [email protected]