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Zermatt (and Cervinia) 2016/17

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Summer is over. Winter is definitely on its way. Skiing continues up on the Klein Matterhorn glacier all year through. I enjoy it up there. I know some people regard summer skiing as limited. In one sense of course it is but combined with hiking and cycling it makes for good fun. However you know the season is on its way when the pistes on the Furgg glacier open up. These are red pistes 71 and 72 coming down from the top of the Furrgsattel glacier chairlift back to Trockener Steg. The date for opening this up was listed as “When conditions permit but no earlier than 15 October”. A week ago all was rock from the couple of hundred metres from the end of the Furgg glacier to Trockener Steg lift station. But right on cue came the storm at the end of last week. The rock got covered, the snow cannons fired up and the Furgsattel lift started running on Saturday 15 October.

I was up there today. Really lovely crisp fresh snow. You’d be pleased with pistes in that state at any time of the season. As you got beyond the glacier it was OK but not so great. But that part is really just the run down to the lift station. The light was flat so I couldn’t see how good the stuff to the side that is used a lot was. But I suspect it was in good shape. I am heading back up on Wednesday so if the light is good I might venture over there.

Work has been progressing throughout the summer on the super duper all singing and dancing new lift from Trockener Steg up to Klein Matterhorn. They were still working today. Don’t they feel the cold? That lift is going to make such a difference. I am very excited about it. However I will have to control myself. It will not be in operation this season. Or next! It will only be open for the 18/19 season. It really is a major venture. The new lift for this season is the one replacing the old bubble from Gant up to Blauherd over the nature reserve (hence the age it has taken to get permission to build it). That should be a real benefit as in the peak weeks Gant was one of the few places with major queues (Trockener Steg up to Klein Matterhorn being the worst).

Later edit: as suggested by a poster further down, here is a rough and personal guide to the itineraries from a later post:

You need to look at the piste map - http://www.matterhornparadise.ch/pdf/panoramakarten/panoramakarte_winter.pdf

For those coming to Zermatt who are not certain of itineraries, here is a rough guide from right to left (in the Swiss area only – the Italian side does not have any):

67/68 – run down next to the piste. Nice and wide. Not a lot of cliff edges. Usually plenty of people around and from most places you can be seen from the piste. The best place to start.

59/60 – similar to 67/68 but a bit steeper and not as many people around and can’t be seen from the piste.

58 – known by my daughter as “death route” because I took her on it when her skiing was not really up to it. It starts off dead easy then gets steep then falls into the trees. I love it. Don’t do it unless you can handle really sharp turns or you have a desire to get very intimate with a tree trunk. Nowhere near a piste.

49 and 43 – just ways to get to restaurants or back to town but do them if you are passing by.

30 – getting into the real stuff now. Try this before you take the lifts over to Rote Nase and Stockhorn. If you enjoyed 67 and 68 you’ll probably enjoy this. But unless you are confident on this don’t try …

31/32/33/34 – heaven on earth in my opinion. I could spend a whole day playing over these routes. You get an ancient lift over there that only serves itineraries and not groomed pistes. Unless you know them don’t try to do them on a bad light day – it would be easy to stray off route (or just go off the edge of a rock drop!) and no-one is going to find you. On a clear day there should be enough other people around to make you feel not too nervous. If you go to Zermatt and are a reasonably competent and confident skier (and fit) it would be a real pity not to head over here. But do check whether your own insurance covers you.

10 – easy peasy lemon squeezy. But surprisingly nice run still. Another good one to try if you just want to find out if you can cope with itineraries.

16/17/18 – Great runs to do and often have unskied snow for several days after a dump but they do not get a lot of people on them so those of a nervous disposition might not like them. Can be very steep in parts and there are rocks a plenty. If you were fine on the Stockhorn sector you should try these ones as well. But it is much better to do with at least one other person (and stay in sight of each other) than on your own.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 25-10-16 11:43; edited 1 time in total
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@JohnMo, I was up there today as well. I thought the snow was superb. Light was a bit flat in the afternoon.
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Looking forward to my first visit to Cervina and Zermatt in Jan 2017
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chrisb wrote:
Looking forward to my first visit to Cervina and Zermatt in Jan 2017

Me too, I'm not overly excited yet tho.......






96 days to go !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Do we know if the Gant lift is the same model as the Hirli 6 seater?
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is there a snowpark open at the moment on the Zermatt glacier? cant work out if its still there or closed until the winter park opens :/
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eddiethebus wrote:
is there a snowpark open at the moment on the Zermatt glacier? cant work out if its still there or closed until the winter park opens :/


Pretty sure they had their summer closing session last weekend
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yeah I think they did. Not sure if there's anything there at all now Sad

really want to go somewhere this weekend but cant be bothered with 3hrs to les deux alps when its supposed to overcast on the sunday.

edit...saas fee still has a park open so that's the weekend sorted Smile
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eddiethebus wrote:
is there a snowpark open at the moment on the Zermatt glacier? cant work out if its still there or closed until the winter park opens :/


    The snow park up on the Klein Matterhorn is open. The (better) one on the Furgg glacier is not yet.
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Run28 wrote:
Do we know if the Gant lift is the same model as the Hirli 6 seater?


I have not waked over there during the summer but it looks very similar from this

http://blog.matterhornparadise.ch/en/bautagebuch/gant-blauherd/overview-gant-blauherd
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read this http://alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=248&start=4425

https://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Falpinforum.com%2Fforum%2Fviewtopic.php%3Ff%3D12%26t%3D248%26start%3D4425&edit-text=
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@scotspikey, same as me so we must be going the same week
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Onnem wrote:
read this http://alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=248&start=4425

https://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Falpinforum.com%2Fforum%2Fviewtopic.php%3Ff%3D12%26t%3D248%26start%3D4425&edit-text=


Very Happy Now that is a forum for people with a serious interest! I am pleased the guy finally got an answer about the Stockhorn lift being fixed (it has been). I had wondered about that as well.
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[quote="JohnMo"]
Onnem wrote:
read this http://alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=248&start=4425
Very Happy Now that is a forum for people with a serious interest! I am pleased the guy finally got an answer about the Stockhorn lift being fixed (it has been). I had wondered about that as well.


Yes, it's the best forum by far for the most recent, extensive and trustworthy information about new infrastructure.
The best trip reports as well!
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chrisb wrote:
@scotspikey, same as me so we must be going the same week


4 of us going with crystal ski. We are staying in the cheapest cervinia has to offer.
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Back up again today in gorgeous light and enjoying the off piste (OK, side of the piste for the pedants - but still really nice). The shocking thing I could see today that I didn't in Monday's poor light was the huge crevasses in the glacier just to skiers' left off piste 71 coming down from the Furgsattel lift. A lot of people ski that area - many walking high up from the Furgsattel lift to come down that way. They certainly won't be this season! The crevasses extend to about 10 metres from the piste. They are very obvious at present but will be dangerous when covered by snow bridges at high season. I guess they will have to put some extra warning there.

The good light meant I could stand on the ridge and see exactly how great Cervinia is looking. The storm last week came from the south so they got even better snow than us. The runs down to at least 2500 metres are looking fantastic. They are open this weekend and then full time from the following weekend. Annoyingly we are driving back to the UK tomorrow and I am feeling very jealous of anyone who is going to be out. If you are anywhere near Turin you should be heading up there.
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@scotspikey, crystal as well for us - which hotel/apartment for you?
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Hotel des guides. Low cost, low budget accommodation, but right next to the crevaz chairlift. Tbf the accomodation does not matter to me. Ski all day, dinner few drinks, sleep. Repeat for 6 days.

How many of you going?
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We are doing the des guides on 5th march... Never been to the area before so getting quite giddy ...
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Where trying Chalet Meisters this time round - very excited for this year.
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Stayed in des guides last year, lovely little hotel. Loads of old climbing paraphenalia and pictures all over the walls from expeditions (from a member of the family who currently/used to run it, I'm not sure).

Great location for the skiing, right next to a couple of the best pubs and a much better breakfast spread than I was expecting given the price...whats not to like!
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Hi All, a piece of advice needed. Very tempted with Ski-test weekend offer for Zermatt and the only issue I could not find mates to come with me at a short break so would probably be driving to Tasch/Zermatt on my own. Any recommendations on the road choice/roads to be avoided in CH? Investigating train options, in that case would have to go via Paris, but trains there get delayed quite often so hesitant to risk it
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mooney058 wrote:
Hi All, a piece of advice needed. Very tempted with Ski-test weekend offer for Zermatt and the only issue I could not find mates to come with me at a short break so would probably be driving to Tasch/Zermatt on my own. Any recommendations on the road choice/roads to be avoided in CH? Investigating train options, in that case would have to go via Paris, but trains there get delayed quite often so hesitant to risk it


There is not really an obvious way from North West France to Lausanne. We generally only drive in the summer (on our way back right now in fact). We tend to drive to south of Dijon then take a hard left over the Jura and onto the Swiss motorway system north of Lausanne. From Lausanne there is only one route: round Lake Geneva, up the Rhone Valley and turn up the Visp Valley.

However the roads over the Jura are not major ones and if there was significant snow might not be much fun. In winter I would be tempted to come across Northern France, enter Switzerland at Basel and then come through the Lötschberg car train tunnel which brings you out just north of Sion. The problem I find with that is you can get snarled up round some of the Northern French cities or at Basel.
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@JohnMo, many thanks for this! I would be coming via Luxembourgh in any event, so Basel-Sion looks most likely. I alsu just discovered that a tunnel near Visp is closed for works, and there will be a diversion - but that would be the last stretch and no way of avoiding it. Btw the ski test weekend would be mid-Nov and I would not expect much snow on FR roads (in any case I would change into my winter tyres for that trip already)
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@mooney058, are you really going to drive all the way to Zermatt for a ski test weekend? Or am I missing something? We do the ski test package regularly. Fly out from Gatwick early morning to Geneva, then train to Zermatt with Swiss transfer ticket (arrive for late lunch/mid afternoon-it is a bit of a mission to get there), or hire a car if better value when there are more than two of us. Transfer about 3hrs 30 by train, less than that by car.
For two nights' accommodation you can get two day's skiing in (finish on the mountain just after 3pm on day two) as long as you can get a sleazy jet 9.30pm flight back to Gatwick or your closest local airport. Handbaggage only (am a master of minimal kit and still manage to take ski boots and helmet!)
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@Perty, what is the Swiss transfer ticket?
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mooney058 wrote:
@JohnMo, I alsu just discovered that a tunnel near Visp is closed for works, and there will be a diversion - but that would be the last stretch and no way of avoiding


That closure is not much of a problem. You just go into the edge of Visp and come back out again. It is going to be closed for a couple of years. But afterwards we'll have a new shiny highway extending beyond the current limit of Sierre/Siders to Brig.

Mind you I do agree with the other poster that it is a long drive for a weekend - even from Luxembourg.
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@JohnMo, hmm indeed ... I do not mind driving. I see that Swiss transfer ticket is 145 CHF (return as I understand it) and the return flights could be had for almost the same ammount. Would the Swiss Transfer ticket allow me to go all the way to Zermatt or would I need to purchase a separate ticket at Tasch to go to Zermatt?
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mooney058 wrote:
@JohnMo, hmm indeed ... I do not mind driving. I see that Swiss transfer ticket is 145 CHF (return as I understand it) and the return flights could be had for almost the same ammount. Would the Swiss Transfer ticket allow me to go all the way to Zermatt or would I need to purchase a separate ticket at Tasch to go to Zermatt?


The Swiss transfer ticket takes you from wherever you get into Switzerland (airport or land) to your holiday destination and back. So it takes you all the way up to Zermatt. You don't get off the train at Täsch.
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So it is all booked Smile flying to GVA, Swiss transfer pass and the skitest package Smile
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@scotspikey, 12 of us. Like you first to last lift every day. Couple of drinks at night but too old for a hangover.
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@mooney058, Excellent! Bon voyage, Am quite jealous, as we are not doing it this year (getting married instead!). Where are you staying-I should have said-make sure you are up the Matterhorn Glacier paradise end as that is the lift you will need. All the shiny new skis are laid out on racks in a big room at Trockener Steg with helpful technicians who will advise you and set you up on the skis you chose. Best option is to walk up to the lift in the morning in your shoes, carrying boots. Easy to leave your shoes on a shelf just outside the ski test room. Rent poles-either at a ski hire shop, or they have a few to rent at the ski test.
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No doubt our paths will cross chrisb! In a few bar town, don't think we'll not notice 12 geordies! Laughing
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@Perty, congrats on the big move! I have to say my wife was kind enough to agree for me to go despite the already planned second week of January to Champoluc.

Many thanks for the advice - it will be my first time in this iconic place. Would be staying at hotel Simi that is close to the train station where train arrives from Tasch. Good idea re shoes, will do just that. Not sure whether to bring my collapsable (right term?) hiking poles so not to waste time renting
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Perty wrote:
@mooney058, Excellent! Bon voyage, Am quite jealous, as we are not doing it this year (getting married instead!). Where are you staying-I should have said-make sure you are up the Matterhorn Glacier paradise end as that is the lift you will need. All the shiny new skis are laid out on racks in a big room at Trockener Steg with helpful technicians who will advise you and set you up on the skis you chose. Best option is to walk up to the lift in the morning in your shoes, carrying boots. Easy to leave your shoes on a shelf just outside the ski test room. Rent poles-either at a ski hire shop, or they have a few to rent at the ski test.


blimey - quite a distance from hotel Simi to the needed end - I hope there is a bus circulating in the area that helps getting from one end of the resort to the other?
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mooney058 wrote:
Perty wrote:
@mooney058, Excellent! Bon voyage, Am quite jealous, as we are not doing it this year (getting married instead!). Where are you staying-I should have said-make sure you are up the Matterhorn Glacier paradise end as that is the lift you will need. All the shiny new skis are laid out on racks in a big room at Trockener Steg with helpful technicians who will advise you and set you up on the skis you chose. Best option is to walk up to the lift in the morning in your shoes, carrying boots. Easy to leave your shoes on a shelf just outside the ski test room. Rent poles-either at a ski hire shop, or they have a few to rent at the ski test.


blimey - quite a distance from hotel Simi to the needed end - I hope there is a bus circulating in the area that helps getting from one end of the resort to the other?


The Hotel Simi is near the main train station. There is a bus (travel included as part of your ski pass) that leaves from the main station - on the street between the main station and the station for the Gornergratt train. Just need to make sure to get the Green Line that goes via the Sunnegga lift station and on to the Matterhorn lift station that you need. The Red line does sort of end up there as well but goes all over the town first.
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@mooney058, when are you going? SnowPenguin and I are going for the weekend 11-13th November, also to ski test.
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@Gämsbock, same week! Where are you staying?
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@scotspikey, except I am the only one from Newcastle. But if you hear Welsh accents then that will probably be us
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@mooney058, good question... I had found an apartment near the station that I was going to book, however, I am not clear how access to the test centre works if you do not book the complete accommodation+lift pass+test centre package through the tourist office. I did call them, but they weren't overly helpful - they said as far as they were concerned it was full package or nothing, and they couldn't advise further. They told me to contact the test centre directly if I had further queries, but couldn't or wouldn't provide contact details for the test centre, and I can't find them online - everything just refers you back to the tourist office.

Does anyone know if you *have* to book the complete package including accommodation though the tourist office in order to access the test centre, or is there a way to book separately?
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