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The Swiss villages of Andermatt, Sedrun and Disentis are known for their untracked freeride slopes but they also offer more than skiing in winter. Visitors can sample the ski resorts’ culinary delights in rustic pubs, on sunny terraces with mountain panoramas and in family restaurants with dedicated children’s corners, too.

 

All aboard the Après-Ski train

Too tired to ski back to your resort after a day of skiing? Then take the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway instead, which runs between the villages of Andermatt and Disentis every hour in winter. You can alight at any stop, but the drinks and snacks may tempt you to stay onboard.

Child’s play on the slopes

Snow rookies will love Andermatt’s Matti KidsArena and Sedrun’s Druni KidsArena, which have practice slopes, beginners’ slalom finish lines and child-friendly ‘magic carpet’ lifts, as well as the chance to snow tube. A roaming brown bear mascot, Matti, will also entertain little ones. If the fresh mountain air makes you hungry, you can dine in a family restaurant nearby.

Freeriding fun in Disentis

Disentis village is still an insider tip among freeriders, who are attracted to its powder slopes, jumps and 1,500m natural drops. The descents in Val Segnas and Val Acletta have become classics among experienced skiers, while secluded powder slopes in other valleys, such as Val Pintga and Val Gronda, are also nearby. Various routes lead back into the Rhine valley from the 3,000m Mt Gemsstock, and you can reach most routes from the cableways – so you needn’t wear out your legs with a climb.

Go take a hike

If you want a break from skiing or snowboarding, then consider taking a local hike. There is a network of more than 100km of hiking trails between Andermatt and Disentis, some of which are several kilometres long. For a shorter trek, seek out the 2km path that winds from the mountain station of the Gütsch-Express gondola. The route has beautiful 360° views and is flat and peaceful, making it suitable for families.

Swap skiing for sledging

Sledging fans will get their money’s worth in Andermatt, Sedrun and Disentis. Opt for the gentle Oberalp Pass from Nätschen to Andermatt, a speedy valley run from Milez to Dieni, or a toboggan run with sensational views near Disentis. If you’re prepared to climb, then walk the narrow curves of the Furka Pass from Realp to Tiefenbach – part of which featured in the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger. After a two-hour ascent, you can reward yourself by relaxing in a restaurant in Tiefenbach before tackling a thrilling descent down through the valley.

Sustainable skiing

Andermatt, Sedrun and Disentis are committed to a sustainable future. As well as drawing water used for making snow from mountain streams and lakes – which is returned after the ski season – Sedrun and Andermatt’s lifts and snow cannons use 100% renewable energy.

In winter 2020/21, the area deployed its first hybrid PistenBully to maintain smooth slopes. Compared with a traditional diesel vehicle, PistenBullys cut greenhouse gases by 20% and soot particles by 99%.

The region also has ambitious plans to create mass snow depots, which will be covered with fleece in spring. This will preserve the snow until autumn so it can be used again to create pistes. As well as being cost-effective, this process saves more energy compared to artificial methods of creating ski slopes.