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First time in Cervinia-few questions

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello, coming to Cervinia for the first time next week. Planning to ski 4 days weather-permitting, and go over to Zermatt at least on 2 or more days. It is our first time skiing in Europe, we mostly ski black trails back in US, so prefer challenging but groomed runs with no bumps/moguls. Have several questions:

1) what are the prettiest, nicest trails over at Zermatt that are a must do? What areas of Zermatt can we realistically hit on those couple of days that we come over from Cervinia without rushing too much and risking not making it back? Is it worth it to attempt to get to Sunnegga/Rothorn parts, or should we stick to the parts closest to Cervinia.
2) what are the recommended nice trails over at Cervinia besides Ventina that are not too flat for the days we will not cross over to Zermatt?
3) Are there going to be large crowds the week of February 16 and are lines long to pick up ski passes ever day in Cervinia? It looks like the online system of purchasing ski passes does not work very well. Are there single lanes to lifts and gondolas like in US?
4) Good place to rent suitable skis (we are bringing our own boots) in Cervinia? Should we ask for wider skis?
5) we will be driving from Malpensa, are there any issues with toll roads leading up to the resort? Do we need to just pay once and are credit cards OK or need cash?
Thanks for any info!

snow report Wed 05 Feb, 20
16:52 Reply with quote Edit-post Delete-post
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Aelita Welcome to Snowheads

1) Blue 73 for the "classic" vue of the Matterhorn, get the train up from Rifflealp to Riffleberg. Get to the top of the Kleiner Matthorn (watch out for the lift in the tunnel at the top of the cable car, then take the steps to the top) Do not try this one on your first day - it's high (3883m)

2) Head over to Valtournenche. Most of the runs to the left of Cervinia up the Novita lift

Sorry no idea for the rest.
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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?
Assuming every slope and lift mentioned is open I would do this tour, which is easily doable in a day if you're a decent skier and covers pretty much all the good stuff in Zermatt:

- From Cervinia take the "lift chain" up to Theodulpass (or Testa Grigia, either is fine)
- Ski to Trockener Steg, take the chair up to Furggsattel
- Ski down red 70, then black 62 down to Furi
- At Furi take the Gondola to Riffelberg
- At Riffelberg take the chair "GIFTHITTLI"
- Ski down to Gant via red 29 and 26
- Take the cableway to Hohtälli (3285m)
- Ski down red 28 ("White Hare", must do!) to Eja
- Take the chair up to Sunnegga, then the chair/gondola combi to Blauherd and further via the cableway to Rothorn (3100m)
- Take red 14 (or black 13), red 15 and red 9 to Patrullarve (2000)
- Take the chair to Blauherd and further via the cableway to Rothorn (3100m)
- Ski down red 19 ("Fluhalp") to Gant
- Take the cableway to Hohtälli (3285m)
- Ski down red 44, then red 35 to Riffelberg and further down via red 39, 41 en 42 to Furi
- Take the Matterhorn Express gondola to Trockener Steg
- Take the new Matterhorn Glacier Ride 3S bahn to Klein Matterhorn (3880m), go and have a look from the viewpoint at 3900m
- Ski to Theodulpass (or Testa Grigia, either is fine) and head back to Italy

Have fun! Cool
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Thank you for detailed answers! Can not wait and hoping weather will cooperate Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Skiwi222 has given a thoroughly good recommendation that I would happily second. Keep in mind though that Black 62 can be closed at short notice if significant snow has recently fallen and if that happens you’ll need to head back up the chair and back down to Furi Via a different route costing you valuable time. Try and check before you descend if it’s open and reroute accordingly.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Also depending on where you’re staying in Cervinia will determine your best route back, if you’re in the main town then taking the theodulpass is the right choice, if you’re uphill a bit or near to the plan maison gondola base then keep left on the way down from Klein Matterhorn and take the Ventina (red 7) piste back)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
3. Yes likely busy. I tend to find the kiosk by the Cretaz lift less susceptible to long queues than the one by the bubbles up to Plan Maison

5. You pay a toll just as you come off the motorway at Chatilon St Vincent. They take cards. From memory it's about 15 Euro.

On a good run you can do Malpensa to Cervinia in not much more than 2 hours.
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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!
Has anyone been able to purchase cervinia ski pass online? Just wondering if their system is not working, or some settings on my end)
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
3) It’s UK half term so it will be busier than say this week. That said there’s large piste KM’s to swallow numbers up. I was there new year week and it was very busy but even still there were very few queues for lifts. If you arrive in Cervinia before 5:30pm I’d be tempted to pick up your lift pass the evening before rather than in the morning.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'd suggested buying a Cervinia pass for the duration and upgrading to international on the days you'll be in Zermatt. In my experience the connection can often be closed for full days.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I was considering a pass, but looking at the 4 days non consecutive one-it only saves very little vs just buying tickets daily. And weather might not be good on some days. That is why was wondering whether their skipasses can be purchased online on a day to day basis.
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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.
That’s a fair point but you’ll have a decent idea of the forecast for the next few days when you arrive. If it’s set fair as it has been for 5 out of the 6 weeks since 26th of December then just buy a multiple day pass when you arrive. If also add its worth doing the whole ventina piste at least once first thing in the morning, it tends to get a bit cut up in the afternoon and freshly pisted top to bottom it is one of the best runs in the world.
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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
Hi @Aelita,

I hope you enjoy Cervinia – I think you will.

It is always hard to compare North American and European trail gradings. But if you are skiing groomed black trails in North America you will probably be OK on all of our groomed pistes, providing conditions are OK.

I think you are coming the week beginning 16 February. Conditions should be fantastic. We had a great start (November and December) to the season so there is a good base. January was almost completely dry (great for those out there but a season needs snow all the way through). Fortunately, the snow has returned the last couple of weeks and conditions at present are superb. We are expecting snow next week so that should be good for you. The following week (i.e. your week) is a bit too far away to start making weather predictions. Most of the recent snow has been coming from the north west so Zermatt has been getting the better of it (Cervinia benefits from storms from the south) but Cervinia is still in very good shape.

Personally I prefer off piste but I am very happy to do groomed pistes (except in North America – I love your ungroomed in bounds areas so never see the need to hit groomed trails!). What I love most is doing large verticals non-stop. Not on your first day (lack of oxygen) but you should definitely go to the top of Klein Matterhorn and ski non-stop over Plateau Rosa down the famous Ventina piste (number 7) all the way down to Breuil Cervinia. From just under 4,000 metres down to 2,000m. Almost literally lung busting!

I would say there are three must do groomed trails in the Zermatt area (there are lots of other good ones but these are essential): black piste 62 from Furgg to Furi: red piste 28 from Hohtälli to Gant (or divert down black 25 to Eja when your reach Grünsee); and black piste 8 from Blauherd down to Patrullarve.

16 February is half term for many places in Europe so it will be busy. But queues very rarely get very long up on the mountains on the Swiss side. We used to have two pinch points: at Gant going up to Blauherd; and Trockener Steg going up to Klein Matterhorn). But there are fantastic new lifts at both places and there are now no queues there even at the busiest of times.

As regards the Cervinia side I would say my favourite runs (other than the Ventina) are the runs coming back down to Plan Torrette from the top of that lift (lift c). The black in particular is fantastic. Also do go over to Valtournenche. The pistes running down the lift line of lift f are very good. But if the conditions are good going all the way down piste 1 from the top at Colle inf. Cime Bianche down to Valtournenche itself is excellent. Unfortunately if it is a while since fresh snow or there has been freeze-that, the piste below Salette can deteriorate.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It's been a long time since i came here by myself and coming back with good but nervous wife and 2 boys (3rd week so hard blue/easy red for PDS standard).

Would you say that most of the reds here are pretty straightforward? e.g. in comparison to PDS reds?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
MHskier wrote:
It's been a long time since i came here by myself and coming back with good but nervous wife and 2 boys (3rd week so hard blue/easy red for PDS standard).

Would you say that most of the reds here are pretty straightforward? e.g. in comparison to PDS reds?


I assume you are referring to Cervinia (rather than Zermatt - which has some tricky reds). I don’t know PDS but here is my view on Cervinia.

I would say the pistes down from Plan Maison/Plan Torrette to town are fairly easy. The ones down from Theodulpass have a tricky start (thin and sharp turn) but then become pleasant. The ones down from the top of the Plan Torrette lift down the lift line are trickier. The Ventina (7) is very steep to start off but it is also very wide. In Valtournenche the bit at the very top is steep but that section is not that long. They then can become easier. The run down from Salette to Valtournenche can be quite tricky - and can also be rather icy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks for that. Yes cervinia only for the day on the aosta pass.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks, @JohnMO. Does Cervinia side get more crowded than Zermatt during half-term? Is there such a thing as single lanes for the gondolas and lifts like we have in North America( somewhat faster lane for individual skiers)? Or everyone is in the same lane?
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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?
Aelita wrote:
Thanks, @JohnMO. Does Cervinia side get more crowded than Zermatt during half-term? Is there such a thing as single lanes for the gondolas and lifts like we have in North America( somewhat faster lane for individual skiers)? Or everyone is in the same lane?


I would say Cervinia can get more crowded. The reason for this is that Plan Maison is a real pinch point as so many of the pistes lead back to it. Therefore you can end up with it being very busy. Having said that I have never queued for an inordinate amount of time there.

I don’t know what the queues are like at the base. I come over from the Swiss side and avoid skiing down to the base when the morning crowds are still arriving.

I think you might not like the European “system” of queuing at ski lifts. Not only is there no singles line, the whole thing is a free for all. It is weird. I prefer the North American system of everyone taking their turn. But then I am British. We love a good queue.
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Also, are there any interesting sites on the way from Malpensa to Cervinia? Any cute towns, maybe castles, any notable restaurants for lunch?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Aelita wrote:
Also, are there any interesting sites on the way from Malpensa to Cervinia? Any cute towns, maybe castles, any notable restaurants for lunch?


Not if you want to do the trip reasonably quickly, if so it’s toll motorway all the way until you turn onto the Cervinia valley road at Châtillon.

That said, on our way back in Jan we had loads of time and took a detour to Lago Maggiore. Stressa is a nice town albeit a little awkward to access with some tiny roads. The three little islands in the lake are worth a visit but if you do that it will turn a circa 2 hour drive into a 6 hour day out as you’ll add at least 90 mins driving time plus whatever time you spend at Stressa.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
We have a whole day on the way back, just getting to Maplensa to stay before our early morning flight next day. So detours are OK, but I was looking for attractions more along the motorway, without major detours.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you have the whole day then I’d definitely take the detour and go visit one of the lakes. There’s not a huge amount just off the motorway to be honest.

As an alternative you could head towards France from Châtillon and see the whole Aosta valley and Mont Blanc and then double back towards though I’d have thought after a week you’d maybe had enough of the high mountains.
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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!
I was in Cervinia in mid Jan and the slopes were almost empty for the first few hours each day. It was awesome... Zermatt (did in in December 1 year ago) was very crowded, and of course everything was much more pricey than Cervinia.

I think for a perhaps intermediate skier, not "cool" I know but that's where I am, Cervinia is really amazing. I did all the red runs I found myself on. All were beautifully groomed.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Hi , I am off to Cervinia , for the first time in March 14, we have two complete beginners and was looking to get them onto a group lesson for 3-4 days
Ride em are fully booked Scuola Di Sci Del Breuil and Scuola Di Sci Del Cervino can't do these dates for groups .
anyone know of an alternative, short of going for private lessons ?
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