Most people assume Zermatt is skiing heaven, but the slopes of this stunning resort will give snowboarders an otherworldly experience. Wide pistes are perfect for newer boarders mastering their turns and aspiring freestylers will feel at home in one of Europe’s best snow parks. Need more convincing? Read this complete guide to snowboarding in Zermatt.
Looking for a boarders holiday? Check out our collection of luxury chalets in Zermatt and speak with The Luxury Chalet co. team for first hand experience of snowboarding in Zermatt.
Towering peaks and 360km of piste make Zermatt a premier snowsports destination. High altitudes and the Matterhorn glacier provide exceptional snow throughout the season. Zermatt is one of the few places in the world with open pistes 365 days a year.
With great variety in every ski area, you’re unlikely to get bored. But if you want to explore further afield or just have a craving for pasta, you can make your way across to Cervinia and spend the day in Italy.
Gornergrat and Rothorn are spread across the Findel Valley. You can reach Gornergrat by taking the highest open-air train in Europe and it has some good options for newer boarders. Rothorn is great for intermediates. Get here via an underground funicular or gradually move towards it from Gornergrat as your confidence grows.
The Matterhorn Ski Paradise is the highest pisted area in Europe and the star of the resort. Here you’ll find exquisite 360° views, a park and pipe, and access to Cervinia. Schwarzee is a pretty and quiet area with great snow conditions. It’s mostly served by reds and itinerary runs and has a half pipe for boarders.
Beginner Snowboarding in Zermatt
The Wolli Beginner’s Park at Sunnegga is an excellent place to kickstart your snowboarding career. It’s sunny and sheltered so you can take in everything that your instructor has to say without suffering in the cold. Away from the busy main pistes, you can learn to turn in a relaxed environment. The five magic carpets are ideal for beginners, and you’ll spend minimal time queuing for the lifts. There’s even a magic carpet saved only for snowboarders.
Progressing beginners may struggle in Zermatt. Cat tracks linking ski areas and the descent down to the village can feel frustrating. The designated slow slopes around Sunnegga will help you feel less cut off by speedy skiers. Keep your cool on these slopes and remember that many of the new skiers and boarders here are yet to establish their confidence or spatial awareness.
Avoid the No.7 slow slope down to Sunnegga until you are comfortable with your speed. You’ll need to ramp it up on the steep section to carry you through the following flat. While Sunnegga is the go-to place for beginner skiers, new boarders will be much more comfortable learning on the blues at Gornergrat. You can take different wide routes down while avoiding the drag and chair lifts all day if you want. The slopes are wide and relaxed so you can concentrate on progressing without any pressure.
Intermediate Snowboarding In Zermatt
Even if you’re becoming a confident boarder, it’s recommended to take an instructor or guide for at least one day. They’ll help you suss out Zermatt’s vast network of pistes and establish which areas aren’t going to work for you as a boarder.
You’ll find some nice blues and reds in Rothorn to kick-start your day. Don’t do the reds towards the Patrullarve chair to avoid getting stuck on cat track. Instead, ride the No.19 red over to Gant and take the cable car up to Hohtalli. There’s a varied combination of reds here stretching all the way to the Riffelalp area. The fast lifts include minimal chairs, so you can cover a lot of ground in a day.
Matterhorn Ski Paradise has long red runs and some of the best views in the resort. But get off the top fast and make your way down the reds to Trockner Steg so you don’t waste too much time on the drag lifts.
You can also go from the Matterhorn Glacier Ski Paradise to the neighbouring resort of Cervinia. If you’re finding the reds in Zermatt difficult, they tend to be easier and more board friendly, if not a little flat in places. The most annoying part of a day in Cervinia will be getting back into Zermatt. The flat area requires you to dodge hordes of skating skiers. Get back before the cable car closes if you don’t want to navigate the drag lifts.
Advanced Snowboarding In Zermatt
There are some thrills to keep the experts satisfied on the piste. The Obere National is the most famous run in Zermatt. The steep black was once used for the World Cup races. While it will challenge you, it’s wide and has good snowmaking facilities, so it’s the perfect challenge for a confident boarder.
The long No.62 black is a popular route back to Furi. While it’s a definite workout, avoid when it’s crowded as the narrower parts require some weaving between skiers. The short and fast No.54 black from Hirli is a fantastic way to end your day. Since it’s rarely busy, you can take the opportunity to ramp up some speed before joining the long red back home.
The true draw of Zermatt for advanced snowboarders is the freeriding. To make the jump into off-piste, Zermatt has yellow itinerary runs that are marked and opened according to safety conditions. There’s a fantastic selection of these around Rothorn, Rote Nase, and Hirli. For more information on Zermatt’s itinerary runs and an in-depth look at off-piste in the area, read this guide on off-piste and heli-skiing in Zermatt.
Freestyle Snowboarding In Zermatt
There are some exceptional freestyle opportunities in Zermatt. The park on the Theodul Glacier is one of the most popular in the Alps. Covering 1,200m, there are endless features for all levels set to the staggering backdrop of the Matterhorn.
Rails, boxes, and tabletops give you lots of opportunities to experiment. Beginners can learn the ropes on easy jumps and boxes, professionals can show off in the rail garden, and everyone can join in the fun on the boardercross piste. When you’re ready for a break, there’s a coffee bar in the park with a DJ providing a soundtrack to the action.
For total beginners, there are also mini parks at Sunnegga and Riffelberg with easier options and magic carpets.