Located in the Swiss Alps, Ried-Brig is within easy access of four great snowkiting spots and eight ski areas and has good transport links. There are also a huge variety of winter sports available within a small areaand some great adventures, from extreme snow cat trips up high mountain passes (Grimselpass) to serene snow shoeing through snow covered forests. All abilities can be catered for, from beginner skiers or snowboarders and novice kiters, to high level wind freaks and powder monkeys.
The snowkiting in this area varies from high mountain passes to low level meadows and all wind directions covered. The potential for climbing and touring with the kite are plentiful. One spcial area is only accessible by snow cat, making for a memorable day with a long freeride back down to the valley. There areflat areas for beginners and rolling landscapes with drops and wind lips for the more advanced to explore. Course prices include all the necessary equipment except ski/snowboards, which can be rented on request. Swiss Snowkite School also have a comprehensive range of Ozone foil kites available to test and hire. This is charged separately on an hourly basis. Harnesses and helmets are also available to hire.
Windguru and Windfinder cannot be relied upon to accurately predict alpine wind conditions up here. Local knowledge is needed to find the best snowkite spots with wind, but 70-80% of the days you're there you'll find wind to snowkite somewhere. The best directions are north or south. North winds vary from 10 - 20 knots, south wind is a bit stronger and can reach 20 ? 35 knots. Even if there is no wind predicted, there will usually be a thermal north wind in the morning (15 knots) that will last until midday. December ? April is the best time to visit. Take your 6/7 and 11/12 metre kites and a normal ski suit will work fine for snowkiting. Don't forget your gloves!
The main snowkite spot of Simplon is 20 minutes from Brig and the road between the two is open all year. It's a good idea to rent a car but take the winter wheels option. You can reach Brig by train, then by bus to Simplon, but there are only a few buses going up there per day.
There is one basic hotel (Monte Leone) on the Simplon Pass with reasonable rates, but there is no night-life at all. Lots of people stay in the valley where they are close to the snowkiting spot and ski resorts. One of the areas is only accessible by snow cat making for a memorable day with a long free ride back down to the valley. If you want to stay the night on the pass (2465m) there is also a hotel called Grimselblick at the Grimsel spot. SSS recommend staying in the Aparthotel Bach in the village called Ried-Brig, a 20 minutes drive to the Simplonpass and five minutes from Brig. Snowkite safaris available from there to the Grimselpass.
All kinds of food in Brig, including: takeaways, delicious Swiss and Italian restaurants. The bars in Brig are open till 2am and a club is open from Thursday-Saturday until 5am. There is a common room in the Aparthotel Bach where guests can drink as long as they want.
Ski and snowboard resorts, ski touring, snow-shoeing, tobogganing, snow tubing, swimming in hot springs, heli-skiing
Sion (SIR) is 40 minutes from Brig. Serviced by the Snowjet, weekend flights from many places in Europe are available during the season. Transfers with SSS can be arranged. There are more comprehensive and cheaper services to airports, which are both a two hour train journey from Brig. Timetable for trains: www.sbb.ch