The Best Skiing in Switzerland: Famous Skimo Route Stars in New Film

‘Zermatt to Verbier’ is Faction Skis’ premier short film of the 2020-2021 season. And it’s totally worth watching.

Four Faction athletes set out to ski tour from Zermatt to Verbier, Switzerland. The result? This film.

The duo follows the route made famous by the Patrouille des Glaciers ski mountaineering race, an inaugural race first run by Swiss Army soldiers in April 1943. The 80-ish-km route usually takes 3-4 days, but pro skimo racers have finished the route in as little as 5 hours 35 minutes.

The route runs from Zermatt to Arolla to Verbier: the first 53 km have an elevation gain of 3,994 m, and the next 27 km have a gain of 1,881 m. The high point sits above 3,600 m. In short, it’s a lot of gain, a lot of skinning, and a lot of views.

“The breathtaking ski lines abounding [in the Swiss Alps] are the lines that brought our cast calling this past spring,” wrote Faction. The four ski touring athletes also all hail from either Zermatt or Verbier, showing appreciation for local terrain.

Faction skis skiers verbier film

“The Patrouille is a mythic alpine route with a unique story to tell,” said skier and guide Sam Anthamatten.

Faction calls its film a “melding of world-class ski talent.” There’s insane drone footage, shocking descents, and a brief history lesson of how ski mountaineering in the area came to be. The full film premieres on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Read more about the film premiere on Faction’s blog here.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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