March 5, 2019
On a map, Bosco Gurin in Switzerland’s canton of Ticino, looks like it’s just around the corner from Zermatt. But it’s really about five and a half hours by train, which is one reason why it’s a “secret spot.” Freeskier Sam Anthamatten journeyed to the small mountain village to uncover this pristine ski area in the second episode of our video series “Secret Spots with Sam Anthamatten”.
Nestled in a valley at the base of humbling mountain peaks, Gurin is a quaint town with less than 50 inhabitants. Sam met with one of the locals, Illa, to learn more about this hidden paradise and what makes it so special.
She tells Sam that the first people came to Gurin 800 years ago and they brought with them their Valais culture and language, and both have stuck until today. Though Gurin is located in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region, locals speak Swiss-German and Sam was surprised that even after such a long journey, he could speak to Ila in his own Valais Swiss-German dialect.
The ski area of Bosco Gurin is small, but because the area hasn’t been developed, it’s a stunning playground for freeriders like our Swatch Proteam Athlete. The alpine terrain can become very technical, which is ideal for adventure-seekers looking for a new challenge.
Bosco Gurin has had its share of avalanches and it’s a concern that every winter season brings. No matter where Sam is skiing, he is always equipped with avalanche gear.
“When I’m skiing off the slopes, I always take my avalanche gear and I always look at the avalanche risk for the area I’m in,” Sam explains. “On any day, this is the most important thing I do to make sure that I stay safe.”
What stood out to Sam as he discovered Bosco Gurin was the view of both Switzerland and Italy. The lookout point he found gave him an unobstructed view of the natural border between the two countries and the Italian and Swiss valleys below him.
“What I’ll remember about Bosco Gurin is that we were almost alone in the ski area. It’s an area where you can really live it up, it’s almost like a private resort,” he says.
The Secret Spots series, a collaboration between Swatch and MySwitzerland, isn’t just about finding Switzerland’s best-kept ski secrets. It’s also about shining a light on the culture of these unknown locations. Illa perfectly described what she cherishes about her home, saying: “I’m proud of our village, of our culture; I’m proud to be from Valais but also Ticino. For me, Gurin is a home that is hugged by the mountains, and when you have white snow and a blue sky like today, it’s just like a dream.”