Switzerland’s considered a pretty small country. That said, it depends on which way you’re looking. Tilt your head skywards and you’ll find the largest concentration of high mountain peaks in Europe – 48 of them reaching over 4000m in altitude. For Holden Outerwear explorers, Fredi Kalbermatten, Silvano Zeiter and Gray Thompson, last winter was an opportunity to snowboard through this vast network of glaciers and alpine peaks. Better still, they did so from the comfort of the Glacier Express, the world-famous mountain railway, which trundles and tunnels its way through the Swiss Alps.
In episode three, the trio roll into the town of Andermatt and score heli-worthy backcountry lines right off the lifts. “Andermatt was for sure my favourite shred spot,” Fredi said in a recent interview. After seeing what was on offer after a weather front rolled in a reset the entire resort, it’s not hard to see why.
“In episode three, the trio rolls into the town of Andermatt and score heli-worthy backcountry lines right off the lifts”
With the help of local mountain guide, Ralphi Imsand, the guys showcase exactly what’s on offer in this hidden gem of the Swiss Alps. By the looks of things, couloirs, wind lips, wide-open backcountry descents and some pretty lively apres drinks are business as usual here.
“The cool things about Switzerland is that, especially by train, you’re in a different resort so quickly,” explains Ralphi. “I can be in Zermatt and if it’s bad I can hop on the train and three hours later I’m in Disentis, and maybe there the conditions are killer. I don’t have to go far away because I can experience so much in such a little country with such beautiful mountains and such beautiful runs. I don’t need to jump on an aeroplane to look for that elsewhere.”