The Glacier Express | Ep 5, St Moritz

Fondues and freeriding for the final leg of the Holden team's adventure

“Last stop, St Moritz!” The fifth and final episode of Holden Outerwear’s Glacier Express series calls into the legendary resort in Switzerland’s south-eastern Alps and delivers one hell of a finale. 

The crew is joined by their friend and fellow shredder, Gregor Betschon, for the final leg of the journey. “In Switzerland, it’s really normal to get on the train to go snowboarding,” he says. “You can reach every single town by public transportation. It’s nearly perfect.”

They arrive in the Italian speaking region of Switzerland and luck out with cold smoke, blower conditions, right off the lift. It’s the kind of snow that makes you want to put in two turns where a skier might do 30 (2 mins, 43 seconds).

“The Glacier Express perfectly highlights how, sometimes, exploration can take place right off your own doorstep”

Adventure lies at the very heart of snowboarding, whether it’s travelling under the resort ropes into the backcountry to score new lines, or travelling to the other side of the world in search of different cultures and experiences. The Glacier Express perfectly highlights how, sometimes, exploration can take place right off your own doorstep. For the likes of Fredi Kalbermatten and Silvano Zeiter – who are no strangers to the global jet-setting life that comes with pro snowboarding – it seems the perfect adventure was already right under their noses, in Switzerland. Hopefully, it serves as a little inspiration for anybody out there who’s looking for a more local shred adventure this winter.

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 them, you can catch Episode 1 here, then Episode 2 here,  Episode 3 here and Episode 4 here.

Photo – Silvano Zeiter
Photo – Silvano Zeiter
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