I am a big fan of taking time off during the summer from skiing, allowing the body to rest, the mind to reset, and the appreciation for being on skis to refill. A good sign that this summer reset is working is when you get the undeniable urge that you absolutely need to go skiing again, which inevitably will happen. I usually quench the thirst in October when the Austrian glaciers open, but with family commitments back home in Boston looming for October, I couldn't rely on that fix. So, I needed to find a ski destination in September to unofficially start the season and enjoy my favorite passion again.

Usually, this wouldn't be rocket science, and there would be a plethora of ski destinations to choose from in Europe alone. But due to several bad winters in a row, the European glaciers are no longer the slam dunk that they used to be. So, I daydreamed about what returning to New Zealand for the first time in 6 years would look like. After looking at flights to New Zealand and seeing that the fastest flight was 36+ hours and not to mention several thousand dollars, I quickly realized that I would be broke and spend the majority of my time sitting on an airplane rather than skiing. So, I decided to go against warnings from many and go to Zermatt to see what a "bad" year looked like.

To preface, I love Zermatt, and I love Switzerland. The country is beautiful, and the view of the Matterhorn every day from the village is unbeatable. Every day I wake up in Zermatt, it feels like a surreal moment. As a kid growing up in America, there is Matterhorn appropriation at almost every ski village, with Matterhorn Bar & Grill's or a Matterhorn ski shop. I didn't even realize that the Matterhorn was in Switzerland. Having the privilege to see it in person and knowing how much more beautiful it is in person than any of the pictures hanging up of it on the restaurant walls of a ski pub in America

Snow Backcountry Backpack 34L


I had the pleasure of first coming to Zermatt in 2019 for summer skiing and was blown away by the wonderful free skiing scene that lives on the mountain as well. It is not all just posh skiers and vacationers; there are many "jibbers" who call the mountain home and are a pleasure to ski with. After I made the last minute decision to return this fall, I quickly consolidated my equipment and clothes into my luggage.

The Snow Backcountry Backpack 34L, the Snowroller Pro, and the new 90L Ramverk Pro luggage. This was a slight change in the lineup from the previous winter where I had been using the 90L Roamer split duffel. I really loved the way the Ramverk luggage looks, and I might have been influenced by the marketing, so wanting to flex my sophistication levels in one of the richest countries in the world, I decided this was the trip to test the Ramverk luggage out on a ski trip, and I must say it was an airport killer! Never have I been so easily able to fly around the airport with a 50+lbs bag. The 4 wheels really proved to be a big benefit.

When I arrived in Zermatt, I was positively surprised, not sure whether by function of my low expectations, but I felt that despite the smaller park, and generally less snow the skiing experience was very similar to the last time I was here two years ago, and the vibes on the slopes were all-time. The wonderful coffee shack at the bottom of the park was still an amazing place to meet free skiers from all around the Alps. The locals I had met two years prior were still buzzing around, and more importantly, my urge to ski was being fulfilled! I was blessed with extremely good weather and had full sun for 7 out of the 10 days I was skiing.

The Fjall 34L proved once again that it is the best pack for the day on the mountain, whether it's for a backcountry excursion or a day on the mountain. Its versatility, abundance of space, and comfortable on-slope fit allow me to have all my necessities for the day and space to bring lunch, extra layers, and more without having to carry around a clunky bag.

Overall, I was very happy with my last-minute decision to get a jump start on the season and return to this beautiful valley. The trip made me realize how the passion for skiing, progressing, and traveling very much remains a driving factor in my life! It also made me appreciate that sometimes the best trips are not always to new places or the best conditions. There is so much value in revisiting and reconnecting with the communities that you have already been to!

Product grid

Didn't find what you'relooking for?
Back to all stories