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Zermatt (and Cervinia) 2018/19

 Poster: A snowHead
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Hope to be arriving in Zermatt early March with my lad Oli, who's there ostensibly to visit his sister Hannah, who lives in Zermatt and works at the Findlerhof............
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That's a good connection!!
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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?
@KenX,
I know you know Zermatt really well. Will be interested to hear what you think about the changes since you lived there. For me, the new lift to Kleine Matterhorn is a big plus but think the Hörnli side has not been improved with the new lift. If you hanker after a reminder of the old lift (even I at 5’ 3 used to bump my head) up to Sunnega from Gant then they have one at the Firefly opposite Sparky’s.The new chair is definitely an improvement. We think we met Hannah when we were last at Findlerhof. Hope her perks include free meals! Have a great stay.
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@Welshcakes, Very Happy
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Welshcakes, Why do you not like the Hörnli lift? Going up on a chair rather than being dragged up on a T bar seems better. Plus you get that extra bit of skiing down through the trees because the chairlift starts quite a bit further down than the old T bar. That access trail to the lift from piste 51 is rubbish mind.
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@JohnMo,
I didn’t mind the T-bar and it kept the area very quiet. The two runs down from the top of the T-bar were two of my favourite runs in the resort and one of those has been remodelled to fit in the new lift. And yes, the access to the new lift is pretty grim. There were bodies all over the place when we did it at Christmas. I guess the main advantage is making access to Furi easier after a lunch at Stafelalp. Sitting on the deck there in the sun with the Matterhorn behind and watching the ski tourers coming through is one of my favourite pastimes in the Spring. Maybe I’m just getting stuck in my ways! I do miss the old lift at the top of the Rothorn even if it always seemed to whack me in the knees as it came round (OK, I’m not that tall) and, although the plans for the replacement look exciting, it would appear that it is going to be some years before it is built assuming that permission is obtained. However, I think that the Zermatt lift company does a great job and is prepared to invest to improve the lift system. Piste maintenance is also excellent. The cost of the lift ticket is eye-watering but you probably do get better value for money than some resorts (Chamonix comes to mind).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Appreciate a bit of local knowledge on a flying visit to Zermatt next weekend from all the knowledgeable
Zermattofiles.
Anyone out there at the moment?How are the conditions holding up in the tropical heat ?


A group of middle aged mixed ability skiers mainly upper intermediate skiers, a couple of experts and a one weekish intermediate to put a spanner in the works.

If we hit the mountain via the Matterhorn express it looks like we can more easily gain access to all 3 areas of the mountain from there?

Is there an area of the mountain that suits early intermediates , somewhere to get the legs in and possibly meet up with the rest of the group for lunch. ?

Talking of lunch.

Top 3 on mountain lunch venues?

A couple of recommended on mountain early après venues ?

In village après ski bars?

£ Cheapish eats?
£££ blow out dinner?

Lateish night venues ?

TIA


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 22-02-19 22:37; edited 1 time in total
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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!
@hedley,

There are really four mountains. From left to right on ski map: Rothorn; Gornergrat; Klein Matterhorn (top right) and Schwarzsee (bottom right).

I am not out at present (get back out there on Sunday). But all the reports I have seen are still raving with how great piste conditions are. Mountain temperatures have stayed low and kept the snow in good condition (notwithstanding that everyone would really like some fresh snow). Some people have been saying that Rothorn (particularly Blauherd down to Sunnegga) has been fairly icy. It is the lowest and most south facing of the mountains.

Yes. The Matterhorn Express is probably your best bet for easy access to several of the mountains. Newcomers do often complain that access between the mountains is not that easy.

Two best places for early intermediates are: Blauherd down (on the Rotterhorn mountain) – but see my comment re might be icy; and Gornergrat (aka Gifthittli if you are on the chairlift) down.

If the intermediates go to Blauherd there is plenty for the advanced – the black national number 1 piste is a must. Plus they can access the itineraries (yellows) from Rothorn and Blauherd or ski down to Gant from Rothorn and take the lift up to Hohtälli. From there they can access itineraries from the pistes or get the lift over to Rote Nase and ski the itineraries there.

If the intermediates ski Gornergrat (possibly a better idea in the conditions) the advanced can still head down to Gant and do as I suggest above.

For mountain lunch the Mecca is Findeln – the area reached by skiing down from Sunnegga. Top two are: Chez Vrony and Adler Hitta. Over on Schwarzsee the Stafelalp is great.

On mountain Apres Ski is Blue Lounge at Blauherd and Ice Bar at Trockener Steg. Just before leaving pistes and hitting town best apres is Hennu Stall on piste down from Furi.

In town best apres pubs are Papperla and Harry’s Bar. I am less of a foody but I like Grizzly’s Bar and Brown Cow is good for basic food, Time Out is a good sports bar. I don’t really do the top end food but I would recommend Restaurant du Pont for a proper fondue.
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JohnMo wrote:
@hedley,

There are really four mountains. From left to right on ski map: Rothorn; Gornergrat; Klein Matterhorn (top right) and Schwarzsee (bottom right).

I am not out at present (get back out there on Sunday). But all the reports I have seen are still raving with how great piste conditions are. Mountain temperatures have stayed low and kept the snow in good condition (notwithstanding that everyone would really like some fresh snow). Some people have been saying that Rothorn (particularly Blauherd down to Sunnegga) has been fairly icy. It is the lowest and most south facing of the mountains.

Yes. The Matterhorn Express is probably your best bet for easy access to several of the mountains. Newcomers do often complain that access between the mountains is not that easy.

Two best places for early intermediates are: Blauherd down (on the Rotterhorn mountain) – but see my comment re might be icy; and Gornergrat (aka Gifthittli if you are on the chairlift) down.

If the intermediates go to Blauherd there is plenty for the advanced – the black national number 1 piste is a must. Plus they can access the itineraries (yellows) from Rothorn and Blauherd or ski down to Gant from Rothorn and take the lift up to Hohtälli. From there they can access itineraries from the pistes or get the lift over to Rote Nase and ski the itineraries there.

If the intermediates ski Gornergrat (possibly a better idea in the conditions) the advanced can still head down to Gant and do as I suggest above.

For mountain lunch the Mecca is Findeln – the area reached by skiing down from Sunnegga. Top two are: Chez Vrony and Adler Hitta. Over on Schwarzsee the Stafelalp is great.

On mountain Apres Ski is Blue Lounge at Blauherd and Ice Bar at Trockener Steg. Just before leaving pistes and hitting town best apres is Hennu Stall on piste down from Furi.

In town best apres pubs are Papperla and Harry’s Bar. I am less of a foody but I like Grizzly’s Bar and Brown Cow is good for basic food, Time Out is a good sports bar. I don’t really do the top end food but I would recommend Restaurant du Pont for a proper fondue.



Much appreciated thankyou.

We arrive on the 28th for 4 nights. Can't wait. Very Happy
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@hedley, Was in Zermatt at end of Jan. Fully back up what @JohnMo, says. Burgers in Grizzly's are excellent. Also North Wall bar for good pizzas.
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I can add to the restaurants Toofy Grin . Findlerhof is in the same cluster of restaurants as Chez Vrony and Adler Hitta and is excellent with stunning views down the valley. A level down from the likes of Chez Vrony but still with excellent food and views is Fluhalp which is particularly good fun when the band is playing. On the Kleine Matterhorn side, Zum See (my personal favourite) and Blatten (also good for more gentile apres than Hennu Stall) are worth trying. Simi in the dip at Furi is also good with a sheltered terrace that is a sun trap in the Spring. More modestly priced restaurants on that side include Restaurant Furi, Farmerhaus at Furi and the big self-service at Trockener Steg. There is usually a very lively apres scene at the restaurant at Schwarzsee but we have had some indifferent food there so tend to only go for a drink in the setting sun. We use the Kleine Matterhorn side for getting our ski legs back. There are plenty of straightforward reds and, for the more adventurous, the Swarzsee trees and itineraries if open. If your less experienced skier can manage T-bars, the Trockener Steg drags give access to very easy, long cruising blues and the run from the top of the Kleine Matterhorn is within the compass of most early intermediates I would think. Usual caveats apply about depending on conditions. I guess the top of the Kleine Matterhorn in a blizzard with wind scoured icy pistes is not great fun. Similarly, the run past Stafelalp can be a delight passing under the Matterhorn but can be thoroughly unpleasant when icy. We tend to eat in most evenings but can recommend Sparky’s at the more moderate end of the price bracket, Sonnmatten and Chez Max some where in the middle price bracket. There are plenty of places to spend much more. I’m not sure I have ever had a poor meal in Zermatt just ones that are more or less pricey! Hope you have a great stay.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I would also rate Findlerhof as the best mountain restaurant in Zermatt, certainly in Findeln. Grampis for pizza on Bahnhoffstrasse. No restaurant is cheap. My view is that the blowout meal should be on the mountain, as the restaurants are better. Ski hard in the morning, with a late lunch. Then 'travel' home after. Papperla pub on Kirchestrasse, best for apres imo. Live bands playing rock covers of a high standard. Depends on what you want though obviously. Another vote for Sparkys as well by the way. Enjoy snowHead
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Just had two days in Zermatt. Monday was itineraries and a few pistes. Tuesday was a helicopter up to Monte Rosa for a bit of touring. I guess the Monte Rosa Massif conditions might be a bit niche so I will concentrate on the other stuff (except I’ll post a photo I took of the Monte Rosa Massif because it is beautiful).

The obvious point to make is boy do we need snow – and for temperatures to fall. Having said that however every piste I skied was in absolutely superb condition and only really deteriorated fairly low down (e.g. last couple of hundred metres down to Patrullarve) in the last couple of hours of the day. Side piste is cruddy – stay on the piste. The itineraries were all still in fantastic condition. We skied those coming down to Furgg, the Schwarzsee one that takes you back to the piste and Stockhorn. We even did one of the Rothorn itineraries at about 4 o’clock and while it was soft (it gets a lot of sun) it was still in a good state and a joy to ski.

The resort is really busy and the pistes were full. However snow does seem to be on its way next week and will be very welcome.

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You know it makes sense.
@JohnMo, its arrived, a bit at least. from webcams its coming down across the area. Joy snowHead
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Well we’ve been back a week and wow , why has it taken us so long to make a return to Zermatt . Even though Easyjet flight was delayed by an hour we managed to get through passport and baggage hall in 20 minutes ( amazing for half term really ) and got on the train with 45 seconds to spare . All concerns about getting a space were misguided but by central Geneva stop it was standing room only even in first class . The journey home was 100% hassle free , our group of 15 all got seats together on both trains .
The snow was fantastic ,They really look after the pistes and every piste was pure grippy corduroy each morning the hotel was amazing ( Alpenhof ) the weather was glorious and our lunch time restaurant stops were all top notch , in order we did Cervo Puro , Chez Vrony , Chalet Etoile , Blatten , Principe delle Nevvi , Alphitta . Best food was Cervo or Blatten ( as was the best apres ) but best location was Blatten .
There is plenty of snow but the sun may have damaged it a little this week . The link to Cervinia is now awesome and we covered every last mile of pisted runs .
Fantastic resort well deserving of its reputation and with the friendly smiling swiss people , it knocks French resorts into the shade . It is expensive but not as bad as Val d , St Anton or Courch .
To cap it all you have the Matterhorn looking over you , it is ever present and just reminds you where you are .
We will return and very very soon .
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twoodwar wrote:
@JohnMo, its arrived, a bit at least. from webcams its coming down across the area. Joy snowHead


Yes. That will have helped and good to see. Next week looks very exciting. Could be too exciting for me - I am in the Dolomites and meant to be driving back next Wednesday. With the forecast snow it could be an interesting drive back.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@JohnMo, driving from the Dolomites to the swiss alps. Hell! snowHead
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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?
On the M1 home from LTN after a brilliant four days at Zermatt in wall to wall sun and temperatures that got up to about 16C down in Valtournenche on the Italian side.

Piste conditions varied from winter snow at altitude to south-facing mush low down, with a fair few places that were very worn and getting a bit slick.

About 12 years since we were last there - we'd forgotten how mind blowing the scenery is. It's amazing.

We were very impressed by the new lift up to Klein Matterhorn - what a feat of engineering and a bit of an improvement on the old cable car!

One minus point that struck us about the area is the number of runs that are very narrow in parts - not very pleasant when crowded and slick, especially with nutters who like to ski them at dangerous racer-speeds.

Highlight of the trip was spending 2 nights at the Gornergrat Hotel (for our wedding anniversary) - a brilliant experience with fantastic Matterhorn sunrises/sets and an amazing starry sky. It was also great to set off from there skiing on a morning - downhill all the way.

We stayed the other 2 nights in Taesch to save a few quid on the trip. Still not looking forward to the credit card bill landing though - we weren't extravagant but seem to have just spent money hand over fist. We found drinks reasonably priced - cheaper than our regular trips to Espace Killy - but food is another story (e.g. £15 for a pizza in Taesch, £18 for pasta; over £4 for a takeaway coffee on the slopes...). And once you add in the train fare from Taesch and the cost of parking there, it makes it all a very dear do.

Still, we've had a fabulous time - and it's only money...

We rounded off the trip with a night in Sion and a few hours skiing at Ovrennaz (in snowy and windy conditions that were a shock to the system!) on the way back to GVA.

Will try and post some pics in the next few days.
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Hey,

Just recovered from my trip and a slight Milan shopping sojourn.

Thanks for the advice given. Summit is a great choice. Our instructor Joe was awesome.

Zermatt is truly beautiful. I think I'll next be back when the new link is ready!

Sadly one of the 4 of us couldn't get past the magic carpet despite 3 days of lessons. any tips on how to overcome his mental hurdle?
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First day yesterday, back in Zermatt having arrived from Saas Fee. The good news is that the Gornergratbahn, once past Rotenboden, could not actually make it to Gornergrat due to snow on the line! We had to reverse back to Rotenboden, everyone off and back down to Riffleberg. The snow below riffleberg was getting slushy even in the mornig due to high temps. This has according to the website and me sticking my head out of the hotel window changed somewhat. -4 max in town today apparently. A chance of getting over to Italy if the winds are not too fierce at the top of Klein Matterhorn. snowHead
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Second day of 4. Got as far as Trockner Steg in the morning, and effectively got blown down the black to Furi. Great weather for scott of the antarctic officianiardos. Then got the bus over to Sunnega. Got blown down to Findeln and lift up. Then tried Ober national down to Patrullarve. In the lee of the wind but still interesting. Lift back up to the top gave us snowmenlike appearances. Went into the Blue bar for lunch. At one stage all the staff were videoing the blizzard outside. Something special. After lunch down to Sunnega. Blue all the way, but my wife was frightened it is true to say, as visibility was less than 30 yards at times. The worst weather we have ever skied in 40 years. The good news is that the town now looks like a ski resort. Lovely and white all over. It is also reassuringly cold. Better things hoped for tomorrow with a possibility of sun and Italy. snowHead
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@twoodwar, just got back from 3 days in Zermatt, had pretty much the same experience on Sunday!
Could only get as far as Trockener Steg as all lifts above were closed due to very high winds, but the temps were really high due to the Foehn wind (German for hairdryer btw.....), snow was grim and sticky and we were really sweaty by the time we got down to Furi!
Hopped on the Riffelberg gondola and scoped out a great line from the top of the big bowl just under the Gornergrat gallery all the way down to the Chämi Hitta, did that twice then went to get the Riffelberg chair, which had a huge queue and then stopped.........Tried to get on the train at Landtunnel but obviously that didn't work as you said above........
Skied down to Zermatt and got the bus to Sunnegga, down to an empty Pattrularve chair (strange as I thought Sunnegga would be rammed on a Sunday with the other 2 hills pretty much closed), skied directly under the chair a couple of times which was sweet and then down to the Findlerhof to see Hannah and got comped for drinks by Heidi and Franz Very Happy
So, what looked at the beginning like a pretty grim day delivered the goods!
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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!
Still never fail to be amazed at the wealth of the Zermatters! In the 3 years since I last visited, there must be be over 20 new CHF10-20million+ wooden/glass luxury chalets built; mind you, I actually like the look of the trad/modern mix Very Happy
No more "cheap" English catered chalets since the minimum wage for chalet staff was introduced, shame cos that's how I first came to Zermatt in the 80's with Bladon Lines......
Instead there are high-end fully catered chalets with their own chefs and ski techs going for CHF 150,000 a week in peak periods Shocked
And the MTB workshop in Slalom Sport that I ran in the 80's which was the old hairdressers in the back of the sales floor, maybe 20 sq m, is now a 2 level 150 sq m emporium which was constructed under the Papperla Pub next door with electric bike lifts, more tools than I had on my Snap-On van and a full-size indoor bike wash!
That's not to mention the millions (billions?) spent on new ski lifts......
Fair play to the rich bugs, I'd probably do the same Laughing
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Failed in our bid for Italy yesterday. All Italian lifts closed, but at least had a ride on the new Matterhorn gondola. True to say this was experiencing a few problems, with a very late start, and a lot of concerned senior looking staff hopping on and off gondolas at the bottom checking something Puzzled
At least we also got to Findlerhof late on without a booking. Chalet Etoile's fish soup may be missed this year, looking out of the window this am Sad
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is it me or has the link been closed a fair bit this season?
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Made it to Italy on Wednesday! The wide well groomed slopes of Cervinia were a delight to someone like me who likes to carve, ( im not an off piste man). Snow was very good down to Cervinia. Early lunch at chalet Etoile, Madam remembered us which was nice. Fish soup still absolutely fantastic. Going back down to Zermatt, the Matterhorn Gondola stopped working as we were dropping down from Trockner Steg to Furgg. We were going to take the lift to Furi and up to Riffleberg to finish the holiday cruising the blues and reds. This made it impossible and the Furgg Furi black was the only option. ( for info we are both in our 60's and my wife especially was a bit leg tired on our 7th day skiing). Down the black it was, which for those who dont know is a nice winding black with a lot of steep pitches down a gorge. As the lifts had closed everybody had to go down it. It was carnage in terms of fallers. I led each pitch and my wife followed. We had no issues but if she had seen the bodies falling above her, she might have had a few negative vibes! By the time we got home for an early finish the run had been closed. To save further casualties I would have thought. Still a great time as always. If you are going out next week the piste conditions on both sides should still be excellent. Hope for low winds so it can all be enjoyed snowHead
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