Best Glacier 3000 Snowboarding

The 29th most popular snowboarding destination in Switzerland.

  Vaud, Switzerland


  November 8, 2022

Southeast of Geneva and Gstaad, the Glacier 3000 ski area has 10 pistes totaling 30km of pistes served by 10 lifts accessing a maximum vertical descent of 1700m. It is one of the more advanced ski areas in the region and usually has the best snow due to its elevation. However, it is prone to be very hardpacked and icy, so you'll need to plan accordingly to arrive right after a snow storm (not during).

Glacier 3000 is served by two base lift areas. The Col du Pillon cable car base is closest to the Les Diablerets train station (12 minutes by free ski bus). The older Reusch cable car base is closets to the Gstaad train station (35 minutes by free ski bus). There are no runs back down to the Col du Pillon cable car base, so you need to downlift via the cable car. There is a yellow-marked ski route down to the Reusch cable car base but it isn't always open and doesn't get much traffic. Note, the old Reusch cable cable car has not operated since the winter of 2019, so the Gstaad ski bus now goes up to Col du Pillon.

While the ski map shows 11 pistes, there are really only three main pistes. The two long north-facing groomed pistes are narrow cat-tracks that are prone to being hardpacked and icy. There are short rolling climbs so look ahead and carry some speed.

In addition, there is the new black diamond Pierres Pointes (Cabane Pillon) piste. This ungroomed, steep piste descends 900m over 3km on a northwest-facing slope that is known to hold more powder-like snow and to be less icy when compared to the groomed pistes. It is accessed by a new 265m long tunnel through the Rocher Jaune cliff located just below the Cabane (Col du Pillon cable car mid-station). Once out of the tunnel, the piste begins with a very steep 41 degree slope on an above-treeline face and then flows down into a forested gully. Before the tunnel was built in 2022, this off-piste route was only accessible from the Scex Rouge summit via a treacherous, icy, off-camber, cliff-lined backcountry descent.

One of the favored groomed lines is the expert Red Run piste descending 8km down 1700m from the Scex Rouge top station to the Reusch base area with vistas of Oldenhorn. Of course, the original big line is the Olden piste starting from Scex Rouge summit down 1100m over 7km to Oldenalp base station.

Snowboarders know that Glacier 3000 has several nice off-piste routes. These rocky peaks with big exposure to cliffs need a lot of snow for the freeriding to be optimal (<2m base). Since the harse wind and sun up high at 3000m can make the off-piste snow solid, the best freeriding at Glacier 3000 would be in late February on warm days and when the avalanche danger is low. But, it is highly recommended to use a guide since some of the off-piste lines can be treacherous for snowboarding at Glacier 3000. The best routes include 1) Dome Peak down to Les Diablerets village with 1800m descent, 2) Pierre Pointe down Col du Pillon bottom station with 1400m descent, and 3) Oldegg down Reusch with 500m descent.

For the freestyle snowboarders in your crew, Glacier 3000 has a terrain park to session. The Snowpark Glacier 3000 has rails, tubes, kickers, jumps and big air launch. The terrain park has a very long season from October through April.

There aren't many services up in the ski area. The best option for lunch is Restaurant Skihütte which is located at mid-mountain near the Col du Pillon cable car top station.

While Glacier 3000 is part of the massive Gstaad Super Ski Region, it is also part of the Les Diablerets-Villars ski region. There are two convenient base areas servicing both ski regions.

Keep in mind that there are no base area accommodations or any base services at Glacier 3000. The nearest lodging can be found either back in Gstaad or Les Diablerets.

• One big vertical run when open.
• Reliable snowpack.
• Insane offpiste backcountry access.

• Small ski area with few runs.
• Needs deep snowpack over 2m.
• Prone to icy hardpack conditions.
• Minimal on-mountain dining.
• No base area services.

To reach the snowboarding at Glacier 3000 ski area by air, fly into Geneva Airport (GVA). There is a train from the airport to Aigle, where there is another train running up to Les Diablerets. From Les Diablerets, there is a ski bus every 30-60 minutes up to the Col du Pillion base area (12 minutes). Alternately, there is a free ski bus from the Gstaad train station up to the Reusch base (when open) or to the further Col du Pillion base (about a 40 minute ride).

Overall, Glacier 3000 is the 29th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 87 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland.

Local Contacts:  Glacier 3000 Ski Area +41 (0)24 492 33 77

Best Season:  Dec. - Mar.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  Auberge De La Poste, Les Diablerets; Sanestch Hotel, Gsteig

Luxury Loding:  Eurotel Victoria Les Diablerets

Reference Source:  click here

PDF Map:  click here

GPS:  46.354526, 7.205722

Date Published:  1/1/2016

Date Updated:  11/8/2022

ID:  23935

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Glacier 3000 Snowboarding Map