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Val di Fiemme - the world capital of winter sports
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Andermatt: Steep Mountain Gemstock
The second day it seems to me that we are alone on this mountain. Occasionally there are soldiers in groups of 7-8 people, who are specially brought to Andermatt and…

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Andermatt, as it turned out, is not only a mecca for freeriders, but also a popular place for skitour lovers. Looking at the zigzags and known origin beautiful lonely descent lines on the wild slopes above your head, of course, you could guess. Moreover, skituring is becoming more and more popular in Europe every year. The advantages are obvious – excellent physical education is useful for the body, breathtaking views, peace and quiet away from the resort resorts, clean air and, of course, the ability to be the first (and most often the only one) to leave your mark on the pristine slope.

Difficulties include the need to go up on foot, without lifts, as well as a mandatory knowledge of the basics of mining, avalanche and safety. To help fans of such trips produce special skis, boots, bindings and other equipment with the lowest possible weight. For example, skitour boots weigh like ordinary sneakers.

Skitur trips usually take light day, up in the morning, then a little rest, views and descent down untouched slopes. Two other options: short trips with an overnight stay in mountain shelters or huts, as well as marathons for 3-5 days or even a week of progress. Andermatt has all the possible routes. For those who want to get the first idea of ​​skitour or snowshoeing, there is an excellent route towards the Furka Pass. In Andermatte, take the train, go through one stop in Realpe (Realp 1538), another 5 minutes walk to the beginning of the route and you can put on equipment – the path goes straight along the road through the pass, which is closed in winter, covered with snow and is processed from time to time ratrak.

The path winds along the sunny side of the valley, the views are wonderful and the slopes are comparatively small, you can safely share your impressions with fellow travelers, without worrying about the breathing that was lost. After a 2.5-3 hour walk, a pleasant surprise awaits you – the hotel / restaurant Tiefenbach, which is open all year round. There you can have a great snack, take a sun bath, and if you like it, then stay overnight. Employees of the hotel and prepare the route after each snowfall.

Another surprise, especially if you came on snowshoes – at the hotel you can take a sled and go down the same route almost to the train itself. You will leave the sledges at the station, the hotel workers will come later and pick them up for the next travelers. In season and good weather tables in Tiefenbach, as well as sleds, it is better to book in advance.

From Tiefenbach, further upwards are more difficult routes for the ski tour. One, for example, leads towards the glacier and the summit of Galenstock (3586 m). At an altitude of 2543 m, about half way to the top, there is a shelter Albert Heim Hutte, where you can relax, spend the night, if you are aiming at the very top. But you can already go down the virgin soil, since the descent to Realp is a huge field with almost no rocky outcrops and stones.

On the other side of the valley there are routes to Pizzo Rotondo (3192 m) and the Gotthardpass pass (2091 m), as well as to the peaks of Pizzo Lucendro (2963 m) and Winterhorn (2661 m). The most popular, one-day route – on the right shoulder of Rotondo, followed by a descent into the valley.

At an altitude of 2571 meters on the Pizzo Rotondo there is a hut of the same name, which allows you to plan and 2-day long hikes. A big plus of the routes to the left and right sides of the Furka Pass are comparatively gentle slopes along which the trails are laid, as well as avalanche safety. If after the snowfall, train traffic to Realp is open, then the Rotondo and Galenstock elephants are open to the skitour.

The most unusual and challenging skituring route is the 5-day journey from Andermatt to Engelberg accompanied by a guide and overnight stays in huts. Andermatt is a great place to join this wonderful winter activity.

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