Schwarztor Ski Tour

Skiing the Schwarztor ski tour, Zermatt

The Berner tour

Navigating serious glacier seracs and crevasses during the Schwarztor descent.

After a traverse and 200 meter climb from the Klein Matterhorn station, the skins get ripped and the big drop begins.

Skiing the Schwärzegletscher includes views to the Matterhorn.

Good enough for a second lap, heading back up for the good bits.

Exploring the Schwärzegletscher seracs along the way.

An ice cave in the Schwärzegletscher.

Schwarztor skiing

Skiing Zermatt’s Schwarztor | Ski Touring

Description : The Schwarztor ski descent is basically an enormous freeride tour over a huge amount of terrain. Your day starts with strolling through Zermatt to the Kleine Materhorn tram, which takes you to to 3883 meters where you begin your tour.

From the station you immediately enter the glaciated, alpine world. You either need to be with a guide, or be 100% sure where you are going. Ski tracks will lead to all different destinations, do not just blindly follow what seems right.

Your goal is the Schwarztor itself, a small pass at 3700 meters that sits on the Swiss Italian border, and your entry to the Schwärzegletscher. After a gentle dropping traverse from the station, and small climb, you’ll reach the pass. Time to pull your skins.

The descent is on a glacier where you’ll quickly be amongst crevasses and seracs which you’ll navigate for hundreds of meters of descent before it becomes more classic ski terrain. While the skiing is never steep, it is critical to find the right line to get through the glacier. Once you are off the glacier you’ll enjoy more normal ski terrain before entering the narrow Gorner Gorge for an interesting re-entry back into Zermatt. The Gorge is a classic Alps exit with a fast track down through technical terrain. Head’s up! In total, the descent is about 2000 meters and serves as a great intro to Alps skiing.

Start : Zermatt and the Klein Matterhorn Lift  /   Finish : Zermatt

Effort : Medium. Glacier skills required.

Dan’s Tip : Like so many big mountain trips in the Alps, if you don’t have the knowledge or skills for glacier travel, go with a mountain guide. While this tour is likely to have a track in, if it doesn’t, or the weather turns ugly, you are in serious terrain. While this tour may not be a reason to come to the Alps, it is yet another reason to go to Zermatt. Or, if you are already there, do it. If you have an extra day, it’s the classic closer to a successful Haute Route. And if there is fresh snow, it is a massive classic.

Schwarztor ski

Classic Alps obstacle course ski descent for the final part of the Gorner Gorge and return to Zermatt.


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