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Poster: A snowHead
Mon 15-01-18 13:52
Replies: 326
A nice bonus today. One beneficial side effect of them opening red 15 (so that people can ski off Rothorn down past Kumme even though the Kumme lift station is destroyed) is that they have opened itinerary 18 that comes off red 15 and then rejoins at red 9 leading to Patrullarve. That is always a really quiet itinerary and gets some ridiculously deep snow. It should be great fun at present (and hopefully still will be for me when I am back out this weekend).
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sun 14-01-18 12:11
Replies: 326
@axci, unless I am seeing your post incorrectly you only seem to have posted the “before” picture of the avalanche destroyed Kumme lift station. Here is a picture of what remains of it: {IMG45045_342_right}
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Sun 14-01-18 9:58
Replies: 326
@JohnMo, I hope Red 15 down to Tufteren is open by February! Your wish has been granted. They have opened red 15. As well as the blue down to Kumme they have opened up the black that runs alongside it. So even without the Kumme lift you can ski off the top of Rothorn, turn left and ski all the way down to Tuftern then on down to the bottom of the Patrullarve lift. Nice.
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Fri 12-01-18 12:55
Replies: 326
Two more pieces of good news: 1. The train line is now working the whole way down the valley. That is going to make transfer day much, much better than shuttle buses. 2. Switzerland and Italy are connected again. At this stage on the Swiss side you have to use the T bars and you can only go through the Theodulpass (the Ventina piste on the Italian side down from Plateau Rosa is not yet open). But everything is getting there. The weather looks canny for the next few days as well. Anyone going out for next week really has hit the jackpot.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fri 12-01-18 11:32
Replies: 326
@caughtanedge, The specific one was on twitter: https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/951431191541972992
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Fri 12-01-18 9:59
Replies: 326
@twoodwar, I saw that :sH: I assumed you were just the new Dr Who. Almost everything that was open before the mega dump is now back up and running (not Kumme of course RIP). The train is back running up to Gornegrat (some superb videos up of them cutting through snow as high as the train). The shuttle down to Täsch is working fine but it is still replacement buses from there down to Visp. It will be interesting to see if they can get the line open for transfer day tomorrow. Cervinia also seems to be running well. But the link between the two has not yet been opened.
Well, it's only polite to Register
Thu 11-01-18 18:26
Replies: 3
http://www.cervinia.it/en/inverno/tariffe-internazionali Rule 13: “International tickets purchased in Italy cannot be used departing from Switzerland at the beginning of the day.” The rule is clear. The technology is there to implement as you go through an electronic barrier to get on the lift. I have never know anyone try to get away with it so I can’t say whether they would catch you. Personally I wouldn’t do it. I am surprised a ski instructor would suggest it is possible.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thu 11-01-18 12:47
Replies: 326
A shame - those pistes are a nice backwater and a good way to warm the legs after a morning start from Rothorn. I agree. Also tend to be a relatively quiet place to go. Bit cold and dark at this time of year but fantastic spring snow. My bigger worry is whether they will not open itineraries 16 and 17. Despite how they look on the piste map they actually lead off red 12 coming off Rothorn. In principle they shouldn’t- just declare the first bit of 12 to be part of itinerary 16 this season. There is also the question of whether they will open red 15 (which had itinerary 18 as a branch off. 15 is always a late opener. In principle again it should be OK as it runs past the Kumme lift Station and on down to Patrullarve. The only potential good news is they might use it as an excuse to upgrade the lift. It really is a rickety old thing.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Thu 11-01-18 11:38
Replies: 326
The bottom station of the Kumme lift in Rothorn has been completely destroyed by avalanche. Sadly your info was correct. That lift is now out of action for the rest of the season. Almost every year there is an avalanche down the slope to the North of that lift line. They often stretch onto the piste but I have never seen one get anywhere near the lift station before. I saw a report this morning that there had been 45 recorded avalanches around the resort.
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Wed 10-01-18 20:49
Replies: 326
@JohnMo, I have noticed the website ski runs and lift status reset every night to "all green" then in the next morning an update comes through and everything close. That shouldn't be happening. The only ones showing as green should be the ones they plan to open. So for example from Rothorn down to Kumme the blue 14 should be shown as green while the black 13 and the red 12 should not. Personally I find it easier to follow on Zermatt.net than the official site of Zermatt.ch. The former is in German but is pretty easy to navigate even if you don't speak German. Of course what is "planned" and what happens can be different things. Usually wind is the cause of the biggest difference but at present optimism about avalanche control can be undone on inspection in the morning.
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Wed 10-01-18 20:13
Replies: 326
The bottom station of the Kumme lift in Rothorn has been completely destroyed by avalanche. That would be unfortunate. The website is still showing it as due to open tomorrow morning (with only the blue piste down not the red and black ones). But then they are showing that they are going to try to open back up everything that was open before with the exception of the itinerary down Schwarzsee and the itinerary from Blauherd. I imagine things are still fairly chaotic.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 10-01-18 15:58
Replies: 326
@gnave, I am not on the ground (came back end of last week and driving back out the end of next week). However, you can tell a reasonable amount just from what they got open today: 1. Furnicular up to Sunnegga and then bubble/chairlift up to Blauherd. All pistes leading down from those lift stations open (including the learner slopes into Findeln). The higher connection up to the top at Rothorn did not open. 2. The lift up to Furi and then the connection up to Riffelberg and onto the top (or as near as damn it) at Gifthittli open. All pistes leading back down from those lift stations to Furi open but not those down to Gant. 3. The cable car from Furi up to Trockener Steg and then the first T bar up from there with the pistes back down to Trockener Steg (bit of a waste of time IMO). So what is not open: a) Itineraries. b) Link to Italy. c) Anything on Schwarzsee. d) Anything on Klein Matterhorn (with the exception of the pistes on the T bar mentioned above). e) The train up to Gornegrat (although the lifts were taking you to pretty much the same place). f) Hohtälli. g) The top of Rothorn as discussed above. So you can be an optimist or a pessimist on this. I think that is not a bad amount to get open the first day clear of some fairly major snowfall with incredibly high avalanche risk and lots of resources diverted elsewhere (e.g. trying to get train access sorted). If you were facing a week of only those areas being open it would not be great. But my prediction would be that with the weather set fair over the next few days they will get more and more open.
You know it makes sense.
Wed 10-01-18 10:56
Replies: 326
They are running the Täsch-Zermatt train again. . Well that didn't last long. In fact it didn't even last as long as the first train. Still too much snow on the line but they are "confident" it will be opening up again this afternoon. The helicopter is running as a link between Täsch and Zermatt again until then.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Wed 10-01-18 9:54
Replies: 326
They are running the Täsch-Zermatt train again. The avalanche risk is still too great further down the valley and so it is still replacement buses from Täsch down to Visp. Not many lifts open but a very large number shown as in preparation. Cervinia still closed but some stuff open down in Valtournenche.
Poster: A snowHead
Wed 10-01-18 8:32
Replies: 326
if anyone is bothered, the picture posted above is not the avalanche that has closed the Zermatt-Täsch link. That is a picture from planetski which even they describe as "an avalanche". It is a gully down which snow always runs in the winter (the snow run off is still always there and needs to be traversed when the Täsch to Zermatt walk opens again in the May). It is why there is a roof over the railway line at that stage. Obviously some of the snow that has come down has collapsed back under the roof and onto the line. But if that were the only issue it would not take them long to get it cleared. The west side of the valley (which is what the photo is of) is fairly shallow at that point. At other stages it is closer to being a vertical face. There are currently numerous either actual or risk of avalanches that the workers are having to deal with (as well as the same situation further down the valley between Täsch and Visp). It is also worth noting that the road is closed as well (hence the need to use the helicopter and not taxis). The road runs down the other (eastern) side of the valley and has the same issues as the train line.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tue 9-01-18 17:40
Replies: 326
I love the Guardian and The Daily Mail (interesting bedfellows) reporting that 13,000 tourists are "trapped" in Zermatt. Well it is a Tuesday so the vast majority of them would have no intention of leaving until the weekend. They will be a lot more concerned that they can't get onto the pistes than an alleged inability to get away down the valley. In addition those who do need to leave are being given a lift in the helicopters down to Täsch from where the replacement buses are running down the valley. Not quite such a good story though. The website is showing an intention to open the whole Swiss side, but not the Italian link, tomorrow. A lot of work to be done between now and then but hopefully that happens. The snow should be not too bad compensation for losing today.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Tue 9-01-18 14:01
Replies: 326
Just seen a thing from SRF Meteo saying that the last time we were at level 5 avalanche risk was nine years ago. Power seems to have gone again - and warnings that there could be more power outages to come. People are being asked to stay indoors. It really is dramatic stuff.
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Tue 9-01-18 11:54
Replies: 326
Yep. Everything is closed for the day on the Swiss side as well. Plus the Cervinia-Valtournenche road is closed. On the Swiss side both the railway and the road are closed up from Visp. Zermatt even had a power cut this morning. It is still snowing so I wonder if they will wait until this evening (when it is due to have stopped) before attempting avalanche control. The next few days look fairly settled. So hopefully those sitting in their rooms staring out the window will get a good few days.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fri 5-01-18 17:40
Replies: 326
This is the sort of idiocy the rescue services have to deal with. Air Zermatt posted this bloke deciding he would go along a closed road to inspect the end of an avalanche (because of course there are never secondary falls). He is either the least perturbed man in the world or the biggest idtiot. As Air Zermatt said: mehr Glück als Verstand (more luck than sense): https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oyx5UGyP_E4
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Fri 5-01-18 17:30
Replies: 326
@CamillaMcPhee, The train up the valley from Visp (or Brig) to Zermatt has reopened. As was said before a good proportion of the lifts and pistes on the Swiss side were open today. As they get more and more avalanche safe and the wind drops (as forecast and indeed has already happened) they will open up more. It should be a fantastic week to be out there. There is a lot more snow due early next week. Hopefully that will be a plus rather than a minus for you. Cervinia is clearly having more problems with the volume of snow. It has been awful for those who have lost several days. But it could be great for you once it does open up as the snow will be incredible. At this time of year it is so much more sunny than a lot of the Swiss side.
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Thu 4-01-18 23:10
Replies: 326
@CamillaMcPhee, I feel for you. The men and women who work for the lift and train companies are superb professionals and get things going when you wouldn’t think it was possible. But this has been an incredible dump that has overwhelmed even them with all their experience and it is not over yet. We are back in the UK now. We got down the valley in a replacement bus (no trains because of avalanches) very early this morning. I do think it is unlikely they won’t get you to the resort on Saturday. However it is really hard to call as to how much of the ski area will open. The winds are due to abate over the next couple of days from the gales we’ve been having. I think you’ll have a better idea by noon tomorrow. My betting money would be on a lot being open. If it is, you are looking OK for next week. When things do open up it is going to be incredible. The skiing was great on Sunday and Monday this week. The snow we have had since it is going to make it out of this world.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thu 4-01-18 15:05
Replies: 1507
SWEET JESUS!!! Zermatt in the last 24hrs? Must be drifting near the measuring station no? {IMG16718_247_right} The whole area has been closed for the second day running. Plus there was an avalanche across the trainline down the valley to Visp last night and they can’t get it reopened because of further avalanche risk. It is going to be incredible when they can get the ski area open up again.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Thu 4-01-18 9:59
Replies: 326
Back to snowmaggedon, as I said above an avalanche closed the train line up and down from Zermatt yesterday evening. Buses are replacing trains all the way from Täsch down to Visp (it was fun coming down the valley on one this morning). At first they had it down as closed until noon today. Now it is closed all day and the closure is “indefinite” due to further avalanche risk. If it is not open by Saturday transfer day is going to be chaos.
And post your own questions...
Thu 4-01-18 8:51
Replies: 326
@Gyro, There has been threads about this on snowheads before and nobody seemed to know for sure. What you describe sounds like a normal bus down the valley rather than a shuttle bus connecting the two areas that you would expect in most resorts. I always just ski between the two so don’t know. I guess you could email the resort. If you do find out if there is a connecting shuttle bus will you please post it here. It is madness if they don’t have one because the skiing link between Vatournenche and Cervinia is not the easiest for beginners or nervous intermediates or in bad weather. In fact it can get closed down altogether in strong winds.
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Wed 3-01-18 20:53
Replies: 326
A good advert for Zermatt this morning. While snowmageddon is hitting transfer day at most resorts the trains are running up and down the valley no problem and then on to Geneva and Zurich airports. Ha! Great post from Saturday. What does pride come before? There has been an avalanche down the valley this evening. So there are no trains between Visp and Täsch. They are using replacement buses. Great news for anyone heading for the airport tomorrow morning - that would be me :roll:
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 3-01-18 16:17
Replies: 326
Literally nothing open today. They opened the underground furnicular to Sunnegga but then even closed that as the pistes from there down through the trees were still too windy. The good news is our snow line seems to have stayed lower than most of the Alps. It was raining in Zermatt (1620m) about noon. But waliking up to Furi (1867m) it was all snow. Except for the home runs all the skiing is higher than Furi. Since gettting back down home to Täsch (1450m) we have been watching consistent snow. It is going to be fantastic up top once it does open up again.
You know it makes sense.
Tue 2-01-18 19:20
Replies: 326
This must be one of the earliest openings for the itineraries. :sH: Aye. The irony was that the winds up high were so strong today nothing opened up on Klein Matterhorn or Schwarzsee. So the "open" itineraries were closed! Still it is shaping up to be a great season. Just need to see Stockhorn opened up this month (as scheduled but not managed last year).
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mon 1-01-18 18:03
Replies: 2
Sorry. I didn't see your request earlier. Strictly I don't know the answer but I can't see any reason why not. The train is part of the lift system and your lift pass gives you access to that whenever it is running. I have an annual pass and it had never occurred to me that there might be a time when my pass wouldn't work.
Poster: A snowHead
Mon 1-01-18 17:59
Replies: 326
Big news today is that the itineraries are opening up. Today 67 and 68 in the Klein Matterhorn sector were open and 60 on Schwarzsee. In fact most itineraries have been getting heavily skied but strictly that has been as off piste. The official opening means those ones are marked and controlled.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sun 31-12-17 17:04
Replies: 326
Riffleberg webcam showing +11c?. Weird doesn’t begin to describe it. It was April temperatures with late January snow. Great stuff to be out in. I think every Swiss person in a 200 mile radius had headed here today. Coupled with the New Years week crowd all wanting to ski on their first full day made for a very full ski area. But heh it’s a big mountain(s) and I love to see people enjoy themselves. I did my usual thing on such days and headed off to Schwarzsee. It is never as busy. While it can be cold and dark at this time of year that was no problem in today’s glorious sunshine and heatwave. The pistes there were not as busy as the other areas and there is enough off piste for everyone. It was not what a purist would call champagne powder. It was a bit too wet and heavy for that. But it was deep, untouched and great fun. Looks like there is a snow top up just a few hours away. Tonight’s New Year fireworks in the church square will seem even better than usual. :sH:
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Sat 30-12-17 17:41
Replies: 326
Webcams looking amazing JohnMo! Superb just to be out in it. We walked up to Furi in gentle snow. The pistes down from Gornegrat were all open by that time with everyone having a wonderful time. By the time we got back to Zermatt late afternoon it had turned to rain. Very usporting but it would still have been snow up in the mountains. Fortunately even down here in Täsch, 170m lower down, it has now turned back to snow and the radar suggests that will last until at least 9 o'clock. What a superb week for anyone who has come out for the new year. I am back out on skis tomorrow and ridiculously excited.
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Sat 30-12-17 10:04
Replies: 326
A good advert for Zermatt this morning. While snowmageddon is hitting transfer day at most resorts the trains are running up and down the valley no problem and then on to Geneva and Zurich airports. Not much skiing to be had today for obvious reasons. They have managed to open up the Sunnegga sector up to Blauherd but that is it. The Mrs and I are heading off for a walk but I think it will be a short one - the snow is gorgeously deep.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fri 29-12-17 20:17
Replies: 4
There is a steep uphill walk of 300-400 metres to the main lift station Cervinia is on google street-view, so you can do a 'virtual' walk to see how far it is... Not sure about snow cover in April, but it would be in the resorts interest to keep that section open Aye. I've done that walk. It is horrible. Pity as that run through Cieloalto is rather nice. I just never do it now because I can't be bothered with the walk. As for the snow, they generally manage to keep those lower sections open but they can be slushfests in April. Less of a problem I guess if just being used to start the day.
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Wed 27-12-17 19:12
Replies: 326
I’m sitting here at the bottom of 11 watching the snow come down. It’s been snowing since 2pm yesterday, which is perfect because a lot of the runs into town (1, 42 and 50) are getting pretty icy. Besides the lower icy stuff on home runs, snow is in great nick and they had something like 45 lifts open before the weather closed in. Doing very well for this time of year. I’ve been told is is snowing down in town today. So all good. Well it is certainly coming down heavily in Täsch just down the valley from Zermatt. Most of the time I spend praying to the snow gods and they answer my prayers when I have to walk half a mile to the nearest restaurant! It was beautiful seeing the valley all the way up from VIsp in a white blanket. Such a contrast to this time last year (and the year before wasn't great at this time). Unfortunately we have too much to do at the apartment tomorrow but I am really excited to get up there on Friday.
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Fri 22-12-17 9:26
Replies: 326
Down the valley the langlauf (cross country skiing) opened a couple of days ago. The route goes between Täsch and Randa. Didn’t manage to get it open for Xmas either of the last two years.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wed 20-12-17 15:32
Replies: 326
Currently in Zermatt. Snowed today until about 1pm to freshen things up nicely. Pistes very quiet, no queues. Sun out all day yesterday, again this afternoon and predicted for most of the week. Hardly any wind. Couldn't ask for anything more! Black run 8 was being groomed this afternoon so hopefully open tomorrow. Open now.
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Tue 19-12-17 12:25
Replies: 326
@Newbie72 That is right. You can ski into the Valtournenche bowl from the Cervinia bowl in one of two ways. For both you must take the lifts up to Laghi Cime Blanche. Then you can take the lift up to Plateau Rosa and ski across to Valtournenche. The top section of piste from Plateau Rosa is excellent but it is steep (even though it is only a red). The alternative is to ski from Laghi Cime Blanche down to the bottom of lift Z. That is an open old chair lift. Unusually for Cervinia it is over a North (or at least north West) facing piste. So at this time of year it can be very cold. As you say the problem is coming back you need to take a drag lift (h) (a button lift). It is right on the ridge so if it is windy it is not pleasant. It is not as long as the t-bars that take you back from Trockener Steg if the Klein Matterhorn lift is closed. I’d also say button lifts are easier for children than t bars. Once the lifty gets the button between their legs there is a lot less chance of something going wrong. If you don’t fancy that and want to travel by road to the bottom of Valtournenche I understand there is a bus transfer but I have never used it myself so I can’t compare it to simply driving and parking up.
And post your own questions...
Tue 19-12-17 9:43
Replies: 326
Thank you, will sort the winter tyres! I don't know if you know but you will also need a Swiss motorway vignette (cost CHF40). On the Swiss side they come as standard but not on cars hired on the French side. If you are lucky a previous hirer will have been through Switzerland and there will be a one on the screen already. Otherwise you can buy one when you cross into Switzerland (indeed they will insist you do!). In theory it is possible to get onto the French motorway system to Italy without coming through Switzerland but it is quite a hike on minor roads.
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Mon 18-12-17 16:36
Replies: 326
@Newbie72, I do Geneva to Zermatt but I would have thought road conditions would be similar. There is absolutely no way I would risk it without winter tyres.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Mon 18-12-17 16:33
Replies: 326
I am planning to hit Cervinia in early March. Does anybody have experience of the snow conditions at this point in the season. I usually go late January and early February. Cervinia, like Zermatt, is very high. Generally I think that is good (although there are some interesting contrary views on this thread). One issue about being high is that the top is glacier and below the glacier is rocky. Therefore the off piste and itineraries are best when it has a full covering of snow. For example the best of the Zermatt itineraries don’t even plan to open until late January when the snow cover will be sufficient. By early March the snow cover will be great, everything will be in full swing and there will be plenty of off piste. Even if the weather is warm, the height now is a real advantage because the snow stays in good condition all day long. However, Cervinia is fairly south facing (strictly more south west facing). This means that if is very warm even Cervinia might start getting a bit slushy. Valtournenche even more so – although it is a bit more west facing it is distinctly lower. However the solution is easy – just pop over to the Swiss side. The areas closest to Cervinia (Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee) are very north facing and even in a warm early March the snow will be good (and the itineraries on those two areas are great). While the link over to Switzerland can sometimes get closed by high winds that happens a lot less in March than at this time of year.
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