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 are taught to handle skis in deep snow and in zero visibility conditions on Gemsstock. A huge ski area, immense and steep mountainous! In the validity of the last statement, they were convinced by their own strength, having fundamentally lost them after the first day. For the rest, local guides convince us, running their fingers along the “real” map of the region, manually framed with dotted lines and routes accessible from the cable car alone to the very top of Gemshtok.
The ski area in Andermatt consists of three zones united by one skipass – Gemsstock, Natchen / Gyutch and Sedrun (Gemsstock, Natschen / Gutsch and Sedrun). The first two are directly above Andermatt itself, on the slopes of opposite peaks. Sedrun is located in the neighboring valley, above the Oberalp Pass, and you can get there by train (on the same skipass), leaving at the Oberalppas stop (journey time 20 minutes) or even further to Dieni (another 25 minutes).
Sedrun includes several chairlifts and a pair of drag lifts and is good for quiet skiing for beginners and intermediate skiers, skiing with children and training. There is also a snow park for snowboarders and newschoolers. The tracks are well prepared, are on the southern slope, in good weather there should be a lot of sun + a great view of the pass and Gemshtok. In Sedrun, a relaxed weekend is held by most of the coming Swiss and many Italians, who are within easy reach.
The Natchen area is located on the southern slope of the valley in which Andermatt is located. The chairlift, pulling into the ski area, is located at the very beginning of Andermatt, next to the train station – from the farthest nook of the resort here 10 minutes to go. You can get on the free bus, resembling a minibus, plying the town. The first line of the wheelchair raises to Natchen station, and the train going through the pass to Sedrun also stops there. The next turn throws you to a height of 2344 m, from where a good view opens up of Andermatt, the adjacent valleys and the Furka Pass in the distance.
Riding along prepared trails over Natchen is a pair of wide black trails with a good incline for carving fans and a calm blue trail. Between them, as well as on the sides, it is relatively safe to roll off-piste, there are practically no stones and rock drops, the whole area is very friendly for freeride. On a nice sunny day you can have a great time.
The descent from Natchen to Andermatt winds serpentine along the railway line, from which the red trains of Glacier Express and regional small trains rise or descend from time to time – do not be lazy to stop and take a picture if you happen to catch this moment. A brisk red trail leads down, but if there is a lot of snow or (even better), it has just fallen – slide down directly below the wheelchair from Andermt to Natchen. This slope is marked as an off-piste route and has a good slope for dynamic descent. Hold the landmarks (yellow with orange top), and when the lower station appears, move to the left of the cable car. Immediately after or during a snowfall, when visibility in the Alpine zone is unimportant, here you can perfectly roll out before the “big day” on Gemstock.
Hemstock (2963 m) is the top of the world’s legendary freeride and mountain range, which at one time became the main reason for the appearance of people in Andermatt with very wide skis and long snowboards. Two queues of the gondola lead to the highest point from Andermatt. In the area of the intermediate station there are chairlifts and a pair of ski tows on both sides of the gondola, the only short blue track on the mountain, a training area of the local ski school, a snowpark, as well as a unique freeride park with marked jumps for jumps and other obstacles. And that’s all. The jokes on this on Gemssstock end.
Few people linger on the middle station, everyone aspires to the main summit. On both sides of the gondola, down from 2963 meters, marked and prepared descents leave. Red on the left (if you look down from the top) is not very difficult, with several traverses, allows you not only experts, but also intermediate skiers, to come down with pleasure. Good for those who just want to admire a great view from the top and end up safe and sound. If the traverse to go even more to the left and cross onto the opposite side of Charly’s couloir – a steep off-piste slope down to the valley itself.