Skiing in Andermatt

Andermatt’s local ski area is on the North-facing Gemstock and southwest-facing Natschen mountains, which straddle the resort. But the SkiArena extends beyond Natschen to Sedrun via Gutsch, Schneehuenerstock, Val Val, Cuolm Val and Milez.

Andermatt Ski Area Overview


Despite all the investment into the lift system linking Andermatt with Sedrun, it is still the high-altitude, snowsure, steep, North-facing Gemmsstock that is the main attraction for free-riders, 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 the skier’s 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. 


Although not as challenging as Gemsstock, this sunny, southwest-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 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 Oberalp-Schneehuenerstock lift, but it’s a two-way lift, so you can come back down using the lift if you don’t fancy the steep slope.
For most intermediates, 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 either 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 until they’re ready to take the chairlift for the first time. 

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.

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 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 friends for lunch. Just be aware that skiing over to Sedrun is not possible for beginners.

The other negative is the 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.

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.

Most intermediates are intimidated by Gemsstock 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 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.

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.

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 to Dieni, close to Sedrun, and return without using the train. It is almost all 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 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

Andermatt’s Gemsstock mountain has plenty of challenging terrain for free-riders, off-piste and black-run skiers. The SkiArena that now stretches to Sedrun also has ungroomed trails and black pistes.

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With a summit of 2,961m, Gemsstock 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 free-riders from all over, although these routes are only the ones they’ve named: experienced steep and deep lovers can find 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. Its general southwest-facing orientation, however, means that fresh powder quickly turns to crud.

Most of the Andermatt-Sedrun Ski Arena 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.

Want to push yourself to your limits? Take a day touring or heli-skiing with 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 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.

Boarding & Freestyle in Andermatt

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.

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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 best restaurants are often busy with long queues. Time will tell whether Andermatt’s new image, village and ski arena will lead to better on-mountain dining.

Bergrestaurant Gurschenalp 

Centrally located at the mid-station of Gemsstock the Gurschen Hut 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

Bergrestaurant Nätschen 

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


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