Please note we regularly interchange the terms off-piste, backcountry and freeride. For us they really mean the same thing: “skiing ungroomed terrain away from the pistes.”
It depends how much off-piste skiing you have done.
For most ski touring you really ought to be proficient in off-piste terrain. The easiest way to get a complete answer is to give us a call and we can find out more about your skiing experience and whether a ski touring skills is a good next step for you.
If you are coming for a week and just using the train to get from the airport to Zinal and back, then No, there's no financial advantage to buying a travel or transfer card.
If you staying in Switzerland and doing more travel, then we would certainly recommend you chat to the Swiss Travel Centre to see if having a card will offer you reduced cost travel.
You can certainly arrange private guiding or instruction with us for half-days - either morning (08.45-12 noon) or afternoon (13.00-16.15).
Yes! Olympia Sports is a small but well-stocked ski shop in Zinal, just 2-3 minutes walk from the base station of the cable car. In Grimentz, Val Sport offers a wide range of equipment and is just next to the Hotel Alpina.
GZBA will provide you with transceivers, shovels and probes free of charge. Further avalanche safety equipment (including ABS airbags which we strongly recommend) and ski touring equipment (ice-axes, crampons, harnesses and helmets) can be hired from the GZBA team.
No, we don't operate any age restrictions.
As long as you have the necessary skills and experience for your preferred trip, you are welcome to join us. Children under 16 years old should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
All the GZBA guides are IFMGA-qualified, thereby ensuring you get the safest, most rewarding day out and the best routes and conditions the mountain has to offer. IFMGA mountain guides are the most highly qualified professionals, internationally recognised and uniquely trained - our guides are unmatched in their ability to find the optimum experience for our guests based on expert knowledge of local conditions: it's this expertise which guarantees our guides will make sure you get the very best from your trip.
Our ski instructors are all qualified to the highest international standard (e.g. BASI 4) and have a wealth of experience teaching. They'll ensure you get the most from your off-piste skiing and provide the support and instruction you need to develop your technique.
All participants must have personal travel and ski insurance; check that your insurance covers you for off piste skiing and medical cover. You should bring a copy of your insurance certificate with you to the Alps and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC from the post office). We also recommend taking out patronage with Air Glaciers. Their Rescue Card gives you helicopter rescue in the event of an emergency.
Yes, we can try to arrange this and put individuals together to share the cost of a guide.
You will need to be flexible as we cannot always guarantee numbers. We will try to make sure that you are joined with individuals of a similar standard of skiing.