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Valais – where winter comes to play

Dear journalists,

One thing is for sure: winter is on its way. Specifically to Valais. Thanks to its spectacular topography, Valais is home to 29 ski areas, 2,000 kilometres of piste and 446 cableways and mountain railways: a land where sparkling mountain summits frame a piercing blue sky, where immaculate powder snow dances in the pure mountain air and where living traditions meet ultra-modern comfort. Here, you can be sure that your break in the snow will be a dream holiday. Welcome to the ultimate winter wonderland: welcome to Valais!

Like to find out more? Don’t hesitate to contact us: we would be delighted to provide you with further information or organise interviews.

My first winter sports experience

It’s never too late | Anyone can learn to ski or snowboard as an adult. Whether you are starting from scratch or returning to the sport after a break of a few years, it is well worth taking advantage of the expertise of the Swiss Snow Sports Schools. The qualified instructors help clients develop optimal technique quickly and gain confidence safely on their first runs.

Skiers in Verbier, Ski, Winter in Valais, Switzerland

Zermatt inaugurates a record-breaking project

Matterhorn Glacier Ride | With the inauguration of the new 3S cableway at the end of September 2018, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG proudly presented the newest member of its family of lifts. The new link between Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn is the highest of its kind in the world.

The ultra-modern facility with stylish cabins designed by Pininfarina makes for a significantly faster and more comfortable ride up to Matterhorn glacier paradise. The new 3S cableway by Leitner ropeways complements the existing conventional cable car and increases capacity up to Europe’s highest lift station by 2,000 passengers an hour. It also optimises the ski area link between Switzerland and Italy.

Rising star of freeride skiing

Yann Rausis | Yann Rausis is only 25 years old, yet he needs no introduction in the world of freeride skiing. After competing for the first time in the Freeride World Tour (FWT) in 2017, he bagged the title of “Rookie of the year”. Then, over the course of this past season, his second on the tour, he scored 5th in the overall rankings. Thanks to this fine result, he has secured a place for the 18/19 season. A performance that reflects his consistency at the highest level, but which Yann views with modesty: “This season has given me the chance to explore the limits of what I am able to achieve in competition and to gain experience,” he says. “I prefer to see it as a collection of special experiences rather than as a sum of results.”

ProJacks – zurück zur Natur

Back to the simple life. Two men, one obsession: a passion for the “simple life”. They achieve it in their adoptive home, Valais. Not just for themselves: they also make it happen for others who crave it. ProJacks: that’s the name Reto Gilli and Daniel Wunderlin gave their idea – or rather, their adventure.

Today, Reto Gilli and Daniel Wunderlin offer visitors, too, the chance to experience life in a log cabin – in Unterbäch or at Moosalp above Bürchen. It’s an invitation to slow down. Guests can opt for a digital detox by symbolically locking away their smartphones and tablets in a box in their cabin: a chance to find out what a day without electronic devices feels like. Empty? No way. There are fires to take care of: not just for cooking in the cabin, but also for heating the external sauna or outdoor hot tub. Guests need to look after their own lighting, water, cooking and baking. Tips and tricks can be found in a reference file, with chapters such as Life Energy, Nutrition, Accommodation, Nature, and Creativity. Because the act of slowing down makes space for creativity – which brings guests closer to nature, step by step. 

Top Tips

  • Insider tip 1

    Ski touring at night

    The lift companies of various ski areas regularly open their pistes and mountain restaurants in the evenings for enthusiasts who enjoy a spot of ski touring after the lifts have closed for the day: Tuesdays: Champex, Vercorin, Veysonnaz / Wednesdays: Anzère, Evolène, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Verbier / Thursdays: Champex, Nax, Crans-Montana / Fridays: Les Marécottes, Morgins / Saturdays: Crans-Montana Subject to alteration.

    Ski touring
  • Insider tip 2

    Circular snowshoe trail – Bettmeralp/Riederalp

    An easy but gorgeous snowshoe walk in the Aletsch Arena. The 4-kilometre route starts at the summit station of the Bettmeralp cable car; along the route, you will climb and descend a total of 238 vertical metres. Along the way, mountain restaurants offer refreshments and fine views. The walk takes roughly two and a half hours.

    To the trail
  • Insider tip 3

    Alaïa Chalet

    Alaïa Chalet is set to become an innovative hub for action sports, unrivalled worldwide, with skateboarding, freeskiing, snowboarding, BMX and a gym and trampoline zone. The spacious site (5,000 sq. m) will include both indoor and outdoor facilities complete with lounge bar, and will be equipped with modular elements that can be reconfigured according to needs. The Chalet is scheduled to open by the end of 2018.

    Alaïa Chalet
  • Insider tip 4

    Saas-Fee Winter Card 2018/19

    After two successful seasons, the Winter Card promotion by the “Free Republic of Holidays” Saas-Fee is going to Round 3. Until 31 October 2018, you can take advantage of a special price of 255 francs. But there’s one condition: the price only kicks in once at least 66,666 winter sports enthusiasts have ordered the seasonal pass, which covers Saas-Fee, Saas-Grund and Saas-Almagell.

    Saas-Fee Winter Card
  • Insider tip 5

    Valais Skisafari

    The new Valais Skisafari is a cool winter holiday package aimed at experienced snow sports enthusiasts, available from winter 2018/19. Every day, guests will explore a new ski area – as well as some of the delicious cuisine served at mountain restaurants and refuges all along the pistes of Valais. The basic package of the Valais Skisafari comprises five nights’ accommodation and a “Snowpass Flexdays” lift pass for four days, with a free choice of use over the course of a six-day break.

The magic of winter in Valais – in figures

  • 2,000 kilometres of piste
  • 45 peaks higher than 4,000 metres
  • 29 ski areas
  • 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • 8 holiday resorts with the Family Destination label
  • 6 spa resorts
  • 75 gourmet restaurants