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Advice for skiing in Cervinia/Alps in general

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Whats up you guys, I'm a student studying in Europe from the U.S. and heading down to Breuil-Cervinia for the weekend of April 21st-22nd. I'm a pretty experienced skiier and mostly just gonna stick to skiing piste for the weekend and hoping to make my way onto the Zermatt side some too. I've got my lodging, ticket, transfer, and gear all set and ready minus ski's which I'll have to rent when I get there. I'm actually getting there Friday mid day so I'll have time to get squared away and ready to go before skiing Saturday. I've skiied a lot in the U.S. but never in Europe or mountains quite like the Alps. Does anyone have any advice for Cervinia, or skiing the Alps in general or simply anything they could tell me that might help with my trip or skiing in general? Maybe what to expect? Thanks in advance ya'll!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We returned last monday
Not sure where you are staying ,but we were near the Plan Maison Lift so we hired skis from shop next door and they let you store your skis over night saving you carrying them back to your room each night http://www.genzianellasport.it/en

I only skied the Cervinia side,it had wide calm slopes nothing to difficult .I was told the Zermatt side have more challenging runs .

Regards the US vs Alps ,they both have mountains with snow on i cant see how it would be to much different.
Saying that Ive been to 7 different alpine resort and the have all been different on the slopes and in the village

Any questions just ask
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@CarsonPotter, It's quite a few years since I've been to Cervinia, but here's a couple of things I remember.
It's high and virtually all above the tree line. The views are good especially of the back of the Matterhorn. The village isn't the prettiest, but preferable to many of the high french monstrosities, I quite liked it. Some of the bars were reasonably lively during Happy Hour, but not a mecca for Apres. They was an open air ice rink and other activities, we went on a Skidoo safari.
As Wasley mentioned the skiing is mostly pretty easy cruising. The Ventina (piste 7) is the exception, a very long (11.5km) swooping red with some steeper sections, a classic. The food on the mountain was very good. The L'Etoile is a lovely mountain hut.
I'd recommend the International Pass to go over to Zermatt. The slopes that are immediately over the border are even flatter the Cervina's and are on a glacier, but you do get to go up to the highest piste in Europe (I think it is anyway!) on the Kleine Matterhorn. And you get to see the classic view of the Matterhorn itself. We daren't go further afield as we only went over after our morning group lessons and were worried about getting back before the lifts close. We were told to take our passports with us if we were crossing the border.

I haven't skied in the US, but speaking to people who have, I get the impression you go to the mountains to ski. In much of the Alps, skiing is one thing you do while you're on holiday (IMO). In Italy, you may notice many people with fashionable gear who appear to just to hang out in the mountain cafes!

A couple of minor negatives were that our Hotel served dinner very late and it was heavy, alpine stodge. Also, we felt somewhat unwell while we were there, which we put down to altitude at the time. The village is over 2000m and most the skiing is above 2400m. I'm told (by SH) that it was more likely to be dehydration, so bear that in mind.

Overall though, I liked the place and would go back. Enjoy.
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Italian queueing etiquette [ lack of ] may come as a shock to US skiers used to well managed queues populated by the polite.

There is a very long run

20-kilometre red run

Access one of the world's longest ski runs from the Klein Matterhorn, also known as the Piccolo Cervino. Europe's highest cable car whisks you up onto the Klein Matterhorn over gigantic glacial crevasses. From its lofty height of 3,883 metres, take an epic 20-kilometre descent down red runs to Valtournenche at 1,524 metres, Cervinia's lift-linked neighbour. Alternatively, from the Klein Matterhorn, you can ski the 13-kilometre descent down into Zermatt, Switzerland. Whichever direction you choose - Cervinia or Zermatt - this is one heck of a run which begins with enormous glacial fields and drops into steeper mogulled terrain. Due to its altitude, the ski runs from the Klein Matterhorn are consistently skiable from late November to mid-April. For something slightly shorter, try Cervinia's red Ventina piste, an 11.5-kilometre descent from Plateau Rosa.

If you ski all the way down make sure you understand how to get back to Cervinia.

If you do venture down towards Zermatt and plan to have lunch on that side be prepared for serious sticker chock.

IMHO the hot chocolate from the machine that starts off by melting huge blocks of proper chocolate is finest kind .
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
yes, lift lines much less orderly than in the states, so be ready for that (although lines probably minimal this time of year). Also, be ready for the safety bar to come down seconds after you get on the chair and to stay down until seconds before you arrive. You'll probably catch it on the top of the head a time or 2 until you get used to that.
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Eat lunch on the Italian side. It’s much cheaper and the food is excellent. Chalet Etoile just above Plan Maison is v good. The refuge at Plateau Rosa Testa Grigia is also great for tasty value grub.

Get over to Zermatt if you can. The views of the Matterhorn are quite something. Sometimes the wind can close the lifts but I think you should be fine looking at the forecast.

They do take euros on the Swiss side but tend to offer a pretty rubbish exchange rate.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hello. I am just on my way to Zermatt now (and am a regular there). It looks like it is going to be really sunny and hot when you are out there. Almost all of Cervinia is south facing. Hence, although the snow is still very good, it is going to be taking a pounding. Anything below Plan Maison is going to get slushy quickly - as will most of Valtournenche. Stay as high as you can. The Swiss side is more north facing so the skiing generally will be better - particularly in the Klein Matterhorn down to Furgg area, which is the closest one to the Italian side.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
My comment on Valtournenche is somewhat irrelevant- it closed for the season last Sunday. Doh!
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