Grimentz (alt 1570m) is in the Val d’Anniviers in the Swiss canton of Valais, the same canton as Verbier, Zermatt and Crans-Montana. The Val d’Anniviers ski pass covers about 220km of pistes in 4 different areas - Grimentz and Zinal are now linked by the fabulous new gondola and St. Luc/Chandolin and Vercorin are 20 minutes drive by car or by local bus.
Here’s what Peter Hardy in the Where to Ski and Snowboard Guide has to say about it:
“Europe’s best-kept secret: five charming unspoiled villages beneath high, snow-sure slopes with spectacular scenery … It is incredible that the ski resorts in this valley can have remained so amazingly unspoiled when they are so close to big-name resorts such as Verbier, Crans-Montana and Zermatt. The villages all have lots of old wooden houses and barns, narrow paths and lanes and few shops except ski shops and those catering for locals’ needs.”
Grimentz itself has about 50 km of pistes between 2100m and 3000m so is very snow-sure. The pistes range from easy blues and reds through more challenging reds and blacks to fabulous and extensive off-piste. There is a self-contained beginners’ area with “magic carpet” and graded button lifts. There are two ski schools in the village with charming, multi-lingual guides. Renowned adventure guide, Nick Parks is now based in Zinal and offers amazing off-piste excursions through his company Grimentz Zinal Backcountry Adventures. There is also a great snowpark at 2500m with a thriving youth scene with music and its own café.
The neighbouring village of Zinal has a further 70km of pistes which are linked to Grimentz by the new gondola (which opened in January 2014). It is also possible to ski back to Grimentz from Zinal on a spectacular black run through the woods.
St. Luc/Chandolin is a 20 minute drive away and has a further 75km of south-facing slopes.
In addition to the ski pistes, there are 35km of langlauf trails, 120km of snow-shoe trails, 110km of winter hiking trails, 15km of tobogganing trails, an ice-skating rink and indoor swimming pool with sauna in Grimentz and a further indoor pool in Zinal. A parapente ride from the top of the Grimentz pistes to the village is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.