Add these three Swiss routes to your backcountry bucket list pronto
A jewel in the crown among the classic glacial runs of Zermatt. You can make the short approach on skins from the Klein Matterhorn lift station to the Schwarztor col, the starting point for this classic descent at 3730m above sea level, some 2100m of delightfully north-facing and glaciated vertical metres above Zermatt.
The descent is a high-mountain dream – a northerly powder paradise (if you luck-out with the conditions) and spectacular scenery as you follow the folds of the contorted glacier through stunning terrain.
Tour du Mont Collon
Located in the upper Arolla valley, it’s hard not to be impressed by Mont Collon’s awesome north face: ragged ridges radiate from the summit to the tumbling ice flows of the lower glaciers.
Disembarking the draglift, don your skins for a ski tour circumnavigating this mighty mountain. It’ll take you past the Vignettes hut at Col d’Vignettes and the ridiculously-impressive Glacier du Mont Collon.
The final descent to below Mont Collon’s north face is hero skiing at its very best. Huge panaches await in the local bar.
A few valleys over from Lötschental and great for late-season touring, the Bernese Oberland is very high, so watch out for altitude sickness!
The Kranzberg (3742m), the Grunegghorn (3860m) and the Gross Wannenhorn (3906m) are all good ski peaks that can be climbed from the Konkordia hut (konkordiahuette.ch) in around three hours, perfect for a day tour. Spectacular glaciated terrain guaranteed.