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Zermatt (and Cervinia) 2018/19

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The summer season is drawing to a close. The lifts have stopped bringing skiers up to the summer ski area above the Plateau Rosa from the Cervinia side. So access is only possible from the Swiss side. In a few weeks’ time (exact date subject to early snowfall) the chairlift will open from Trockener Steg up to Furggsattel on the Furgg glacier to open up the ski area used in early summer and Autumn. Already the lift company are using stored snow to build the track that runs from the end of the glacier to the lift station. So while there is no new snow there yet the lift company is showing confidence that the temperatures are going to stay low.

The big development for this season is the new ultra-modern lift system from Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn. The grand opening is this Saturday. The four cabins will be able to carry 2,000 people an hour to the highest ski area in Europe and will totally change the ease of access between the Swiss and Italian sides.

As well as the difficulties caused by the avalanches last season, late March saw the closure of the lift up to the top of Rothorn. The pylon at the top had shown signs of moving (the permafrost proving not to be as permanent as might have been expected due to the rising of temperatures). Over the summer a quite huge amount of concrete has been deployed and the lift is again considered safe and will open as usual.

Not so fortunate has been the Kumme lift which was taken out by an avalanche last year. It served the north facing slopes off Rothorn. The intention is to put a more modern and longer lift system in. Good news in the longer term but it won’t be open until 2020. That is not too much of a problem as one can still ski down the same pistes but continue all the way down to Patrullarve.

Similarly the drag lifts in the Stockhorn area have been smashed by numerous rockfalls (an increasing feature due to the shrunken glacial area there now). The lift company are not going to try to repair them but will look at putting in a more robust chair lift. Again that will be good in the longer term but no timeframe has been given. In the meantime it is also not too much of a problem as you simply ski all the way down the itineraries to Gant (which is what I tended to do in any case).

Let’s hope for the sort of great snow we had last season – althought not quite so many avalanches might be nice as well.
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@JohnMo,
Thanks for the update. Good news on the Rothorn lift - we had wondered whether or not they would be able to open it. The lift company’s website hadn’t said anything about the winter so we were concerned. Phew - lunch in Fluhalp is safe. We’re looking forward to trying the new Klein Matterhorn lift - an amazing feat of engineering.

Hope you have a great season.
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Welshcakes wrote:
@JohnMo,
Thanks for the update. Good news on the Rothorn lift - we had wondered whether or not they would be able to open it. The lift company’s website hadn’t said anything about the winter so we were concerned. Phew - lunch in Fluhalp is safe. We’re looking forward to trying the new Klein Matterhorn lift - an amazing feat of engineering.

Hope you have a great season.


Yes. The lift company's website has not been updated. The reopening and the work done (and to be done) are discussed in this article from elsewhere a couple of days ago (you either need to be able to read German or copy and paste into Google Translate):

https://www.1815.ch/news/newsletter/wb/rothorn/

I am particularly impressed that they use a satellite to monitor shifts in the pylon down to the millimetres.
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https://www.matterhornchalets.com/2016/12/13/worlds-highest-tricable-cable-car-coming-zermatt/

Here is the animation. Looks similar to the Olympic express at val d’isere except the manufacturer here is the Italian company Leitner, with design touches by pininfarina.
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Apparently four of the cabins have floors encrusted with Swarovski crystals and the floor slides back to reveal a clear glass floor showing the glacier below. I do confess I hope to get one of those cabins at some point but will just be glad the new lift should avoid the queue for the old cable car.
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Peter S wrote:
https://www.matterhornchalets.com/2016/12/13/worlds-highest-tricable-cable-car-coming-zermatt/

Here is the animation. Looks similar to the Olympic express at val d’isere except the manufacturer here is the Italian company Leitner, with design touches by pininfarina.



It certainly is impressive. I am hoping for some October snow (none in sight at present) to give me an excuse to get out there and give it a go.

It cost over 52 million Swiss francs. But it is worth it. While the piste skiing off the Klein Matterhorn is not the greatest (although there is some fantastic off piste) it is such an iconic thing to do that everybody wants to go up and do it - as well as lots of non-skiing tourists. It also makes the Swiss and Italian sections much, much better connected. The old cable cars were commissioned in 1979 so really needed replacing.

The next plan is to build a lift from the Italian border at Testa Grigia up to Klein Matterhorn. That is hoped to be live for winter 2021 (which I assume means winter 2021/22). That will be just as expensive but I am not sure why it is seen as being worth it. It means that people coming over from Cervinia on the Italian side can go straight up to Klein Matterhorn rather than ski down to Trockener Steg then getting the lift up from there. Better maybe but not such a game changer as the new lift being opened up this week. I would have thought the money would be better spent on the proposed link to the Monte Rosa ski area, which still doesn't have a start date.
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Let me upgrade that link you shared from Matterhorn Chalets. This is an updated look at the new lift, which officially opens on 29 September
https://www.matterhornchalets.com/2018/07/04/3s-matterhorn-glacier-ride-zermatt/

Plus some fluff about the posh Swarovski cabins here:
https://www.matterhornchalets.com/2018/09/18/crystal-ride-zermatt/
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Nice to see a dusting of snow up high last night. Rothorn, top of Gornergrat and Trockner all getting something. Hopefully this is the start of something more regular for October.

Great to see the 3S Cable car opening successfully over the weekend. Will be giving it a test run in due course and will report back.
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A dusting is right. This is the webcam from Trockener Steg showing the Furgg Glacier, which should open up to skiing this month when conditions allow. Altough it is not much it all helps in getting the lower glacier skiing prepared (the higher glacier with its all year round skiing is still going). More snow is looking possible for the weekend and early next week.

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An article (in English) on the issues around the new lift and further plans at Zermatt http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/alps-new-matterhorn-gondola-plans-draws-criticism-a-1231087.html
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It will be interesting to see what if left after the 'dusting today' a number of sites estimating 10-15cm up on the glacier. Intrigued to see if that happens - temps throughout the mountains are a bit high for my liking.
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The early season lift pass offer is up and running until the end of october, aproximatly £247 for six days according to my calculations.

https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/en/special-offers/Presale-Newsletter?from=1549756800000&to=1550188800000#ticketCategory

Does anyone know anything about the "dynamic pricing" for passes that was announced earlier this year?
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Seahoob wrote:
The early season lift pass offer is up and running until the end of october, aproximatly £247 for six days according to my calculations.

https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/en/special-offers/Presale-Newsletter?from=1549756800000&to=1550188800000#ticketCategory

Does anyone know anything about the "dynamic pricing" for passes that was announced earlier this year?


I suspect the below blurb might simply be telling you what you already know. It makes sense and it is more surprising that they didn’t do it earlier. While it is never “quiet” there are certainly times in January where it is running way below capacity. Anything to get more punters in has to be welcome.

Quote:

Ever since the current winter season, the Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, has offered variable prices for individual trips, depending on the season and capacity. Beginning in the 2018-2019 winter, the prices for ski passes will be dynamically set. Factors such as supply, demand and time of purchase are included in these calculations. Therefore, three seasons (pre-season, off-peak season and peak season) are introduced. The prices then vary up or down during the course of the season depending on capacity. The aim of the new price model for ski passes is to optimise utilisation during the winter and to attract guests during low-demand times through cheaper prices. Known discounts for children and adolescents remain. In addition, the new price system rewards early bookers and online bookers with lower prices. So, if one buys early via partner or online through the Webshop, the least expensive price is ensured.

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Run28 wrote:
It will be interesting to see what if left after the 'dusting today' a number of sites estimating 10-15cm up on the glacier. Intrigued to see if that happens - temps throughout the mountains are a bit high for my liking.


The glaciers are looking good but none of yesterday’s snow has hung around elsewhere. Looking reasonably dry through to the end of the month now.
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Agreed glaciers are looking a bit healthier up top - amazing what a few cm can do to change the feel. Quite a few forecasts predicting something Monday and Tuesday of next week - temps are too high for it to be settling anywhere but up top. Towards the end of next week temps look like they start to drop at town level.
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Good intro JohnMo. I have managed to get to Zermatt again this year, despite being accused of being boring for wanting to go to the best Ski resort in the world.( out of many over 50 years skiing). Also going to Saas on the way for a couple of days. Lets hope there is not quite as much snow as last year, but quite close to it. Cant remember what the early season was like last year before the deluge? sH:
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@twoodwar, the early season was great. Furggsattel lift opened up early October to allow skiing on the lower glacier. This year the opening looks as though it is going to be later than it has for a few years now. Fortunately I haven’t noticed a correlation between timing of Furggsattel opening and quality of the season overall.

Nothing much to get one excited in the various computer runs. Temperatures look to be heading down but no significant precipitation in sight.

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Temperature drop is a good sign - temps in the town have been giving me nightmares. Then again - correlation with past couple of years is fairly similar in terms of temps at this time of year.

Bring on the precipitation.
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Latest GFS run now showing temp drop around 28th and precipitation a day later. Be interesting to see if this holds
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It is holding up and increasing! Large accumulations getting forecast, and now withing a week. Zermatt site also forecasting for next Tuesday.
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A few sites seem to be agreeing that Saturday, Sunday and Monday will bring something to the mountains. Always skeptical of the volume predicted but anything would be useful right now.
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Forecast still holding and we are now only 3 days from the anticipated start of the snowfall.
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Anyone know anything about the 15% reduction on passes before 31st Oct.?
I followed link (https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/de/Spezial-Aktionen/Presale-Newsletter), but it only shows that reduction on international passes. As we are intending to pay a visit, but stay in Tasch, we would be looking for the skipass inc. shuttle option. Just wondered if anyone knew whether this was discounted also - can't find anything on it.
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@kapt, I think the 15% discount is only available for 6,7, or 8 day ski passes for Zermatt and international (i.e. Cervinia, Italy).

If you want a pass for that long then 15% is a good discount. I assume you'd be getting the international pass in any case?

Don't worry about the shuttle. Just go to the train station in Täsch and buy a shuttle ticket for however many days you are there for (much cheaper than buying single tickets). You can't have the 15% discount on the shuttle. But buying your ski pass and shuttle pass separately is not more expensive than buying them together. Make sure you go to one of the ticket office windows to buy your multi-day shuttle ticket. The ticket machines don't sell them! God only knows why not.
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Quote:

Don't worry about the shuttle. Just go to the train station in Täsch and buy a shuttle ticket for however many days you are there for (much cheaper than buying single tickets).

Many thanks for that - didn't know about cheaper multiple day tickets on train.
We are due out there in March, but happy to pay for passes now with the discount offer.
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The GFS runs are starting to look rather more exciting from Saturday onwards. Everything could look a lot whiter by this time next week.

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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
kapt wrote:
Anyone know anything about the 15% reduction on passes before 31st Oct.?
I followed link (https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/de/Spezial-Aktionen/Presale-Newsletter), but it only shows that reduction on international passes. As we are intending to pay a visit, but stay in Tasch, we would be looking for the skipass inc. shuttle option. Just wondered if anyone knew whether this was discounted also - can't find anything on it.


Quick FYI - the link tends to crash on Chrome if you are using that - Internet Explorer works a treat.
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Run28 wrote:
kapt wrote:
Anyone know anything about the 15% reduction on passes before 31st Oct.?
I followed link (https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/de/Spezial-Aktionen/Presale-Newsletter), but it only shows that reduction on international passes. As we are intending to pay a visit, but stay in Tasch, we would be looking for the skipass inc. shuttle option. Just wondered if anyone knew whether this was discounted also - can't find anything on it.


Quick FYI - the link tends to crash on Chrome if you are using that - Internet Explorer works a treat.


Odd. Were you using Chrome on a tablet or laptop? I renewed my annual pass and bought six 3 day passes a couple of weeks ago (sadly only get the 5% online discount - not within the 15% offer). I did that on Chrome on a MacBook. I had no problems.
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By that I mean to obtain the 6,7 and 8 day pass to obtain the 15%. Any other day gives you 5% as you've found.
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forecast of a pretty mega snowdump starting Saturday are firming up. could be a great base high up for those going early!
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Whoop whoop..arriving for a few days on 15th November Very Happy
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Arriving next Wednesday, might be too early?
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hope you get there ok! A lot of rain lower down. Hope for your sake no avalanches of the rock variety as last year.
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I know snow forecast is snow forecast, but 5 Metres of snow between now and next Thursday at 2700 metres, is pretty extraordinary. GFS charts are off the scale Shocked
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Yes, let's hope the floodings won't be too bad for the poor Italians stuck in the valleys. The forecasts are off the chart right now, can't remember anything like this in recent years
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Snow at 2500 metres, (Riffleberg) but raining at 2000 metres (Findeln). In line with forecsts. Level should drop over the next day. Lets wait and see.
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IhateSnow wrote:
Arriving next Wednesday, might be too early?


Possibly. What were you hoping to do? The only pistes even planned to be open would be the Summer ski area up top and the Furggsattel lift allowing skiing on the Furgg glacier down from Furggsattel to Trockener Steg. The latter opens up in October as soon as there is enough snow. There has been close to nothing (bar a couple of dustings) until this recent storm so it has not been open. It will open up once this storm settles down - but it has at least another 24 hours of dumping in it. And then things look fairly unsettled for the rest of the week. That is good news for most people as it is creating a fairly hefty base (at least above about 2000m - rather wet snow below that - including rain during the day at village level) but I am afraid it might not be good for you.
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Can someone who knows zermatt answer a question about the new lift to Cervinia , the web site seems to be the most confusing ever as also does not appear to be updated .
Question 1 Does the new lift replace the old cable car that used to be there but during our last visit only ran 1 day out of 7 .
Question 2 Are there any decent restaurants over cervinia that are accessible by fooT from Zermatt side
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1. No both will be running - depends on the time of year you are there and also the weather conditions if the cable car was running previously.

2. Not really if I'm honest. Not unless you are wearing proper hiking gear. They are all really ski reachable - I'm thinking Chalet Etoile etc. You could walk down to Plateau Rosa / Testa Griga and there is a restaurant there but it's a fair old walk back up and I wouldn't recommend it. There is a restaurant in the Klein Matterhorn station.
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@gwatts10,

I agree with @Run28. I don’t think anyone would ever go over to The Cervinia side other than on skis. For a start you would need an international pass that would shoot the price of your meal through the stratosphere.

Non-skiers can get to Trockener Steg (and indeed Klein Matterhorn but that is less useful). From there you can go by foot without a ski pass to “Italy”. But by foot I mean snow shoes.

There is a restaurant at Testa Grigia which is a few metres inside Italy and is run by Italians and charges Euros. It is a relatively easy walk if you are fit. But it takes a couple of hours. I sometimes do it on skins (broadly similar effort level to snowshoes). But of course I am skiing back down. I am not sure it would be a whole lot of fun coming down on snowshoes (to be honest I don’t like descents in snowshoes generally).

There is also a restaurant at Theodulpass, which again is just inside Italy. The ascent is similar to Testa Grigia with the exception of the last bit which is a bit narrow and trickier. That restaurant has two parts: a basic part similar to Testa Grigia and a table service part with a large window overlooking the whole Cervinia bowl - on a blue sky day it is a view to die for.

Personally if I wanted to take a walker up there (and I have - my wife) I would go up to Trockener Steg and then walk to Gandegghütte. You don’t even need snowshoes to do that (although we use micro spikes on our walking boots but you could do it without them). OK you are still in Switzerland by a few hundred metres. But you can see Italy! And you are perched on a valley edge overlooking a glacier with Klein Matterhorn on one side and the Matterhorn on the other. Pretty cool place to eat!
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