Skiing in Grimentz-Zinal

Grimentz-Zinal Ski Area Overview

With 115km of well-groomed slopes and extensive off-piste terrain served by 21 lifts across two ski areas connected by the third-longest cable car in Switzerland, Grimentz-Zinal is the biggest and the best ski resort in Val d’Anniviers and offers a choice of two authentic Swiss mountain villages.

Due to its high altitude between 1,570m and 2,900m and largely northeast-facing aspect, it offers reliable snow coverage from mid-November until late April, spectacular views of five famous 4,000m peaks – the Bishorn (4,135m), Weisshorn (4,505m), Zinalrothorn (4,221m), Obergabelhorn (4,063m) and Dent Blanche (4,357m), collectively the “Imperial Crown”.

Offering great skiing for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities including lots of challenging terrain for experts and uncrowded slopes. Size matters and although the ski area statistics (115km) are typical of a medium-sized ski resort, both ski areas are wide open bowls with groomed runs surrounded by easily accessible off-piste terrain.

The impressive cable car connecting Grimentz and Zinal was the game-changing investment that has helped Grimentz-Zinal gain recognition as one of Switzerland’s best ski resorts. While the main lifts are efficient and queuing is rarely an issue, the lift system still involves riding old T-bars and button lifts to reach some of the highest points in the ski area. Another weakness is the relatively small selection of “mountain restaurants” which means reservations are recommended at all times and essential in peak periods.

Strong skiers can easily ski all runs in a few days, so if staying for a week and only skiing groomed runs, you will be skiing the same runs more than once, but the lift pass also includes 65km of skiing nearby at St-Luc Chandolin and 35km of skiing lower down the valley at Vercorin. Advanced and expert skiers will find plenty of challenging off-piste including some technically difficult and physically demanding descents.

Most of the ski area is above the treeline with splendid views which is wonderful in good weather, but not so much fun in a white-out.

Beginner Skiing in Grimentz and Zinal

With excellent nursery slopes and a strong Swiss Ski School presence mid-mountain at Grimentz and Zinal and a dozen or so nicely groomed blue runs, Grimentz-Zinal is a good choice for beginners. 23% of the runs in Grimentz-Zinal are designated easy (blue) runs for beginners.

Skiing in Grimentz-Beginner Skiing ©

Skiing in Grimentz-Beginner Skiing ©

There is a Jardin des Neiges beginners’ area, nursery slopes and a Swiss Ski School presence conveniently near the mountain restaurants at the top station of the Grimentz-Bendolla and the mid-station of the Zinal-Sorebois-Espace Weisshorn gondola.

When confident enough to ski blue runs, beginners have a choice of a dozen blue runs including the Becs, Panorama and Bonvin blue runs at high altitude in Grimentz and can either ski the Chache-Avoin blue run back to Grimentz at the end of the day or come back down in the gondola. The runs are well-groomed, pleasantly wide and typically uncrowded which makes Grimentz an easy place to learn to ski and fun for improving beginners.

Over at Zinal, there are just a few blue runs, notably the Combe blue run from the top of the cable car (Espace Weisshorn) down to the mid-station at Sorebois and no blue runs down to either village from the ski area at Zinal. First-time skiers, improving beginners and families with young children will likely enjoy Grimentz more than Zinal, but both ski areas cater well for beginners.

That said, the width of the slopes and the high standard of grooming is such that confident beginners in Grimentz-Zinal are likely to be comfortable also skiing many of the red runs. The main issue could be that you should be comfortable riding long T-bars and button lifts.

Skiing in Zinal-Beginner Skiing ©

Skiing in Zinal-Beginner Skiing ©

Intermediate Skiing in Grimentz and Zinal

Most of Grimentz-Zinal’s groomed runs are easy to medium difficulty including 51% of runs categorised as red runs, and the ski area as a whole is great fun for intermediates including long red descents starting at high altitude and ending down in the villages.

Skiing in Zinal-Intermediate Skiing ©

Skiing in Zinal-Intermediate Skiing ©

In addition to a dozen enjoyable blue runs, the Grimentz-Zinal ski area includes 15 intermediate (red) runs and 10 black runs. All of the runs are well-groomed and in good snow conditions, none should present too much difficulty for experienced intermediate skiers. Much of the time you have the choice of either a blue or red or a red or black run. Also, there’s plenty of easily accessible off-piste terrain between the marked runs for those keen to practise skiing ungroomed terrain and improve their technique.

Skiing in Zinal-Intermediate Skiing ©

Skiing in Zinal-Intermediate Skiing ©

So-called “Top runs” in the Grimentz ski area include the black Piste de Lona (1,300m of vertical elevation), and the shorter black Couloirs Sup. & Inf. (710m of vertical) and the delightful blue Chache-Avoin down to Grimentz (810m of vertical). Top runs in Zinal include the long red Durand-Coupe de Monde-Aigle run down to Zinal (1,200m of vertical) and the superb 7km long black Piste du Chamois (Grimentz-Zinals’ longest run) from near the top of Espace-Weisshorn down to Grimentz (1,280m of vertical).

Access to the Piste du Chamois is signposted from the top of the red Arete run. A narrow but gentle, groomed track leads to Chamois which is unquestionably steep for the first few hundred metres but quite wide, then nicely undulating terrain before the long easy route through forested slopes back to Grimentz and ending a 5-minute walk from the lifts.

Skiing in Zinal-Le Chamois Black Run ©

Skiing in Zinal-Le Chamois Black Run ©

Advanced & Expert Skiing in Grimentz and Zinal

An avalanche training centre in the ski area at Zinal and an abundance of easily accessible and visible off-piste terrain in both ski areas are just part of Grimentz-Zinal’s appeal to advanced and expert skiers. Add to that the fact, that unlike other better-known resorts, the off-piste terrain offers untracked snow long after the last snowfall.

Skiing in Grimentz_Expert Skiing ©

Skiing in Grimentz_Expert Skiing ©

As well as 26% of groomed runs in the advanced category (black) for strong skiers there are four ski routes within the ski area such as Pylon 6 and Abondance and two more ski routes leading away from the ski area, namely the Vallon d’Orizval (only in favourable conditions) and a ski route through forested slopes down to St Jean at 1,327m then a bus or taxi back to Grimentz. Ski routes are rated difficult or very difficult. There’s also a Freeride Zone at Zinal offering steep untracked skiing within the ski area and accessible via the Durand lift.

Grimentz-Zinal Mountain Restaurants

The Grimentz-Zinal ski area (115km) features seven mountain restaurants between 2,130m and 2,700m, including the impressive new Espace Weisshorn gourmet restaurant with a panoramic terrace and stunning views of the Imperial Crown of 4,000+ metre peaks.

Just seven “mountain restaurants” for 115km of skiing and a lift system carrying up to 24,145 riders per hour leaves room for improvement. It also means reservations are recommended at all times and essential in peak periods. The new Espace-Weisshorn restaurant offers gourmet cuisine and the best views, and three popular and more affordable choices are Le Marais, Bob and Buvetter La Marmotte.

Restaurant Bendolla 2,130m, Grimentz

The Bendolla restaurant at the top of the Grimentz-Bendolla gondola lift is more functional than it is charming with a not-very distinctive contemporary interior design and an outdoor terrace with plastic seating. Offering a varied menu of Swiss dishes, regional specialities, grilled meats and a dish of the day, and both self-service and table service. Plus points for families with young children include its proximity to the Grimentz ski school snow garden and an indoor play area for children. Open Monday to Sunday from 9 am until 4:30 pm. Tel: +41 27 476 20 15.

Bendolla Mountain Restaurant Grimentz © Val d'Anniviers Tourism

Bendolla Mountain Restaurant Grimentz © Val d’Anniviers Tourism

The Box 2,300m, Grimentz

Situated in the heart of the Grimentz-Bendolla ski area, near the top of the old Les Crêts chairlift, The Box is a fun place to pause for a drink or a snack and to relax outdoors. Located at the arrival point of the old Les Crêts chairlift, and with a strong focus on organic cooking and sustainability, The Box offers delicious home-cooked dishes to eat on the go including sweet and savoury crêpes and gourmet paninis, and a selection of soft drinks, local beers and wines. Tel: +41 27 476 20 00.

The-Box-Mountain-Restaurant Grimentz © Val d'Anniviers Tourism

The-Box-Mountain-Restaurant Grimentz © Val d’Anniviers Tourism

Le Marais 2,313m, Grimentz

A large stone building converted from a former cow barn with a stone interior and wooden beams open to the rafter, Le Marais is a charming and popular mountain restaurant with a large terrace. Easily accessible on foot from Bendolla or on skis from the base of the “Grands Plans” chairlift. The reasonably priced menu includes a choice of soups, salads and local Valaisanne dishes such as croûtes, röstis, polenta and fondue, as well as steak tartare. a good selection of desserts as well as hot and cold drinks and local wines. Open Monday to Sunday from 9 am until 4:30 pm. Tel: +41 27 476 20 18.

Le Marais Mountain Restaurant Grimentz ©

Le Marais Mountain Restaurant Grimentz ©

BOB 2,587m, Grimentz

A self-service restaurant specialising in delicious burgers made from locally sourced produce as well as other simple hot and cold dishes, with music on the terrace at weekends. located next to the snow park and easily accessible via the “La Tsarva” chairlift, it has a good atmosphere and is a great spot to watch skiers in the snow park. Typically an outdoor restaurant but in bad weather you can eat indoors and phone ahead to book a meal indoors. Open Monday to Sunday from 9 am until 4:15 pm. Tel: +41 27 476 20 00.

Bob Mountain Restaurant Grimentz © Val d'Anniviers Tourism

Bob Mountain Restaurant Grimentz © Val d’Anniviers Tourism

Restaurant de Sorebois 2,440m, Zinal

Conveniently located at the mid-station of the Zinal-Sorebois-Espace Weisshorn gondola lift, near the Swiss Ski School’s snow garden, the Restaurant de Sorebois offers local specialities with table service between 12 pm and 2:30 pm (two sittings. 12 pm and 1:30 pm) in Le Montagnard and the self-service Le Buffet open from 11:15 am to 2:30 pm offering traditional dishes of the day and children’s menu for more budget conscious skiers. Also, Le Snack is open from 9 am to 4 pm for a quick bite. A good family-friendly spot to enjoy a delicious lunch on the terrace with splendid views. Open Monday to Sunday from 9 am until 4 pm. Tel: +41 27 476 20 65.

Buvette La Marmotte Snack Bar 2,622m, Zinal

La Marmotte in the upper part of the Sorebois ski area is easily reached via a blue run or on foot from the top stations of the Grimentz-Espace Weisshorn cable car or the Zinal-Sorebois-Espace Weisshorn gondola lift. A self-service snack bar with a small rustic dining room for “Slope Food” (mountain specialities and craft sandwiches) and refreshments and a fun atmosphere with musical entertainment on the terrace at weekends. Open Monday to Sunday from 9 am until 4:15 pm. Tel: +41 27 476 20 67.

Le Marmotte Mountain Restaurant Zinal ©

Le Marmotte Mountain Restaurant Zinal ©

Espace Weisshorn 2,700m, Zinal

The top stations of the impressive Grimentz-Espace Weisshorn cable car and Zinal-Sorebois Espace Weisshorn gondola is the location for the ultra-stylish Espace Weisshorn offering fantastic views of the Weisshorn 4,506m and other Imperial Crown mountain peaks rising to over 4,000m. Moreover, it offers the best gourmet dining experience in Grimentz-Zinal, with impeccable management and service by its highly experienced restauranteurs and superb four-season cuisine by head chef Davide Esercito. The highest culinary standards are matched by the stylish interior design of the futuristic dining room with soothing lounge music. Whether for lunch in the restaurant or drinks at the bar, the Espace Weisshorn offers an unforgettable customer experience and the panoramic terrace at 2,700m m offers unrivalled 360° views. With a strong emphasis on an eco-responsible approach and sustainability, and accessible to people with reduced mobility. Open Monday to Sunday from 9 am until 4 pm. Tel: +41 27 476 20 66. Web:

Espace Weisshorn Mountain Restaurant Zinal © Val d'Anniviers Tourism

Espace Weisshorn Mountain Restaurant Zinal © Val d’Anniviers Tourism

Espace Weisshorn Team in the Kitchen ©

Espace Weisshorn Team in the Kitchen ©

Schuss-Bar 2,700m, Zinal

The Schuss Bar is a new snack bar, replacing the old Bar-à-pente, and a more affordable alternative to dining at Espace Weisshorn. Offering a small range of local specialities, snacks and drinks (sit inside or takeaway) with similarly great views of the Imperial Crown of 4,000-metre peaks. Located at Level 0 in the Espace Weisshorn. Tel: +41 27 476 20 66.


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