There are two ski schools in Grimentz: the oldest is the Swiss Ski and Snowboard School Grimentz – ESS – which was founded in 1959. Today it teaches skiing, snowboarding and telemark. Grimentz International New School – or INS – is the other place to take lessons here, offering ski, snowboard, telemark, freestyle, freeride, snowshoeing and hang-gliding tuition. Prices at both schools are a little lower than in the A-list resorts of Zermatt, Saas Fee, Crans Montana and Verbier in the neighbouring valleys. A private lesson with the ESS, for example, costs about half of what you might expect to pay in Verbier.
You can book a day’s off-piste guiding, ski-touring or heli-skiing through INS or with a local mountain guide such as Aurel Salamin.
A car-free family resort
The ESS runs a day care centre located at the top of the gondola in Bendolla. It includes an outdoor play area: The Snow Garden, which is an enclosed outdoor space for small children to take their first turns before progressing to the main slopes. Children can be left here for an hour, a half-day, or for full days – but lunch is not included. The INS accepts children in its classes from three-and-a-half years old, with discounts for siblings.
There are myriad after-skiing activities in and around the traffic-free village for families. These include an indoor swimming-pool (open 2-7pm) and an outdoor ice-skating rink (with free entry), paragliding, and a ‘Whoopy Jump’ which is a delta wing which you fly whilst wearing skis on a specially prepared piste. Strictly for older teenagers and upwards is a floodlit frozen waterfall for climbing in nearby Mayoux. The Val d’Anniviers area has 35km of cross-country trails, 120km of snowshoeing walks, 33 of signposted winter walks (110km in the area), and 15km of toboggan runs. If you haven’t hired a car, you can take the local bus between the villages.