The Glacier Express | Ep 3, Andermatt

Third time lucky - the powder gods deliver for the Holden snowboarders.

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.”

Photo: Silvano Zeiter
Photo: Silvano Zeiter

Travelling from Zermatt to St. Moritz on the world’s most scenic railway, the Glacier Express, the film follows the trio as they explore pristine valleys, towering peaks and the fabled Swiss mountain towns in their new five-part series.

The Glacier Express train has been in service since 1930. It passes over 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and 281-kilometres as it journeys through the heart of the Swiss Alps. The route was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 for its engineering, architecture, and unity with the landscape. For ardent explorers and casual vacationers alike, this incredible journey has something for everyone.

“The route was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 for its engineering, architecture, and unity with the landscape”

Like every Swiss local, Fredi’s usual mode of transport is by train. Last season, he finally had the chance to ride the lines he’d been scoping from the window on all those journeys:

“I always wanted to go explore the area. For many years, my winter travel schedule was too busy to allow such a trip. But now I am a father, and I like to stay a bit closer to home when I can. Switzerland has so much to offer, I could explore it forever. The Glacier Express stops at really cool resorts, so we made a pitch to Swiss Tourism and they were really down with the idea of it.”

Click here for a full behind the scenes interview on the making of the Glacier Express with Fredi Kalbermatten.

If you missed it, you can catch Episode 1 here and Episode 2 here.

Stay tuned for Episode 4 of the Glacier Express, dropping next week.

Photo: Silvano Zeiter
Photo: Silvano Zeiter


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