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Zermatt and Cervinia 2019-20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Frustrating stuff. The snow is already starting (rain in town obviously) and the GFS runs below suggest there is going to be a fair amount. Cervinia would still be open as would the Klein Matterhorn/Furggsattel/Furgg areas. As well as some great piste fun, the lift accessed off piste and particularly the touring would be awesome.

Ah well.

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnmo, so when do you think you'll get back out to zermatt?
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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?
Kj82 wrote:
@johnmo, so when do you think you'll get back out to zermatt?


God only knows. May is often a great month to be out there. Relatively quiet. Superb snow up top where a decent area is (in a normal year) still open, lovely walking lower down and often very nice weather. It is quite a few years since we did not have a trip out in May. At present, it is looking possible we might not get out there this summer at all. As soon as we safely can we will certainly be out. I’d prefer to drive than fly but it is not clear which will be available first.

The three offspring and their spouses were meant to be put with us last month before the end of the main ski season. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I had bought them weekly passes back in October as there was a discount. It was not possible to get a refund but you could move them to next season. So, I have changed them all to the week after Xmas. I am not even 100% certain that that will go ahead if we get another surge of the virus in the early winter.
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my personal opinion is that there will be skiing next year but it'll be riddled with restrictions to enforce (as best possible) social distancing. i think any month of the year is a good month to visit Zermatt ! I've driven to Zermatt before but after (i want to say Dijon) i recall the drive taking an awful long time away from the E roads.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Kj82 wrote:
my personal opinion is that there will be skiing next year but it'll be riddled with restrictions to enforce (as best possible) social distancing. i think any month of the year is a good month to visit Zermatt ! I've driven to Zermatt before but after (i want to say Dijon) i recall the drive taking an awful long time away from the E roads.


I enjoy the drive. I have only ever done it with my wife (and sometimes others as well). So we tend to switch drivers every couple of hours or so. Leaving central London very early and taking the tunnel we get to Zermatt (Täsch) early enough to pop into the pizza restaurant for dinner and necessary alcohol.

The driving in France is good and the driving in Switzerland is good. But there is no good way to switch between the two. In summer it is fine because we just come off the French motorway system at Dole (beyond Dijon as you say) and then drive via Bescancon into Switzerland north of Lausanne. The drive over the Jura is on narrowish roads but is very pleasant. In winter, in bad weather we avoid doing that. But that means either coming into Switzerland from the North at Basel or continuing past Dijon and Dole down to the Lyon to Geneva road and heading in that way. It means staying on good motorways the whole way but is quite a bit longer.

Anyway the big news at the moment is that the Swiss border with France is opening 15 June. Now I need to find a way to get out of the UK and into France.
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Summer ski area opening up on 6 June. Great for those in Switzerland. Frustrating for those of us in the UK.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
very frustrating. the current financial climate doesn't lend itself to holidays in zermatt either.
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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!
The Lauberhorn downhill is in dispute with the Swiss ski federation so this press release is timely (notwithstanding the opening protestation of innocence). That would be a great course from Gobba di Rollin down to Laghi Cime Bianche. It would certainly be a good way to attract visitors in November and a good advert for the new Alpine Crossing gondolas (Testa Grigia to Klein Matterhorn). That opens Autumn next year and the first race is planned for November 2022.

Leisure skiers at that time would mainly be using the Furrgsattel lift and skiing from there back down to Trockner Steg. So there would be no conflict but racers/spectators and leisure skiers.

Ironically, despite the “starting in Switzerland; ending in Italy” boast, Gobba di Rollin is actually a few metres inside Italy, although there is no access to it from anywhere else in Italy. Once you push off, you are almost immediately in Switzerland. The race route would cross back into Italy after about 2km.

Quote:
Due to the unexpected developments in the Lauberhorn downhill, there is considerable media interest in Zermatt’s World Cup plans. Daniel Luggen, Zermatt’s Director of Tourism, has however urged restraint: “It is not our intention to detract from Wengen.” Quite the opposite: “This traditional race is a key part of the ski race circuit and is vital for Swiss tourism and skiing as a whole.”

However, this approach does not contradict the intention of the Zermatt – Matterhorn destination to press ahead with their own World Cup plans, using their position as a leading ski resort to launch a new, innovative project that will boost the sport of ski racing. Working with the Italian resort of Valtournenche, Zermatt is planning to host cross-border downhill races, starting in Switzerland and finishing in Cervinia in Italy. It’s a kind of race around the Matterhorn, starting at 3,899 metres on the Gobba di Rollin above the Klein Matterhorn to Laghi Cime Bianche at 2,814 metres. Franz Julen, Chairman of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG and the driving force behind the project, says: “Hosting a skiing World Cup underlines our forward strategy; we want this race and we will do everything to ensure that it happens.” He also refers to the Alpine Crossing project, a CHF 150 million cable car link between Switzerland and Italy, currently under construction and due to open in autumn 2021. This will really open up the race area.

The idea for the race came from the neighbouring community of Valtournenche: “In the history of the World Cup, there has never been a race over national borders,” says the CEO of Cervino S.p.a, Federico Maquignaz. The plan is to host a men’s and women's downhill race every November, at the start of the season. The difference in altitude over the 5 km route is more than 1,000 metres, making it the longest World Cup route, and the highest. Most of the route uses existing, scenic glacier pistes. No significant construction is required to create the route, no trees need to be felled and the altitude means that it is snow-sure.

The project is strongly supported in the Zermatt – Matterhorn destination, with the ski club, hotels, cable cars, municipal communities and the tourism organisation all firmly behind the plans and the project’s strong chances of financial success. Initial discussions have already taken place with the FIS, the Italian ski association Fisi and Swiss Ski; reactions have been positive and encouraged all those involved to press forward with the project. “If everything goes to plan, we will ready for our first race in autumn 2022,” says Luggen confidently.
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@JohnMo, the Lauberhorn people have settled their differences with Swiss Ski, so Wengen's race is secure. That doesn’t mean the Zermatt proposal shouldn’t go ahead though, it sounds like a great course.
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JohnMo wrote:
Summer ski area opening up on 6 June. Great for those in Switzerland. Frustrating for those of us in the UK.


Border reopening on 15th June, for EU/EFTA and U.K.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-to-further-open-borders-from-mid-june-/45809336
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telford_mike wrote:
@JohnMo, the Lauberhorn people have settled their differences with Swiss Ski, so Wengen's race is secure. That doesn’t mean the Zermatt proposal shouldn’t go ahead though, it sounds like a great course.


That is good news. No-one was going to be a winner in that.

Zermatt will never challenge Lauberhorn but it should be good fun. I will definitely be up there spectating in November 2022.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just for my own understanding, will this race start at the klein cable or the top of the t-bars? and where will it finish? top of run 7 or the 1st stop down at bottom of the cable car up to plateau rosa?

thanks
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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
Kj82 wrote:
Just for my own understanding, will this race start at the klein cable or the top of the t-bars? and where will it finish? top of run 7 or the 1st stop down at bottom of the cable car up to plateau rosa?

thanks


It is saying it will start at Gobba di Rollin. That is now a very little used lift station. In summer skiing, after the Furggsattel lift closes (normal year sometime about 20 June) the summer skiing continues on pistes 83 and 84 and above. You end your skiing by skiing back down to Trockener Steg on piste 73. As summer progresses piste 73 deteriorates (disappears beyond the glacier for last couple of hundred metres to Trockener Steg). At that stage the Gobba di Rollin lift button lifts open up. They are: lift X7 to drag you from Klein Mattehorn up to the lift station (pretty pointless as you can just ski from Klein Matterhorn over to the summer ski area); and lift X6 which drags you up from the top of the summer ski area to allow you to ski back to Klein Matterhorn.

One of the conditions of the planning permission for the Alpine Crossing gondola (Testa Grigia to Klein Matterhorn) is that the lift company has to dismantle the Gobba di Rollin lift station and all associated infrastructure (a good call in my opinion). This will not affect summer skiing as you will be able to ski over Plateau Rosa to Testa Grigia on piste 88 (as the summer skiers from the Italian side currently do) and get the new Alpine Crossing from there up to Klein Matterhorn.

That happens Autumn 2021. The first race is November 2022. So I imagine they will transport the racers and officials across from Klein Matterhorn to Gobba di Rolin by snowmobile. There might be no spectators for the first hundred metres or so unless they let people walk up.

The race ends over on the Italian side down on the first lower lift station on the Ventina piste, i.e. the Laghi Cime Bianche station. So, using the piste numbers the route will be approximately: 82; 85; 84; 88; 7.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@JohnMo, Thanks for sharing that. An interesting route. I've never been to a FIS race and only infrequently watch them on TV, but I had gained the impression that many locations had the finish either down in resort or at a place which is relatively sheltered and can accomodate large crowds at the finish line. I would have thought that Laghi Cime Bianche was relatively exposed by comparison.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
DCG wrote:
@JohnMo, Thanks for sharing that. An interesting route. I've never been to a FIS race and only infrequently watch them on TV, but I had gained the impression that many locations had the finish either down in resort or at a place which is relatively sheltered and can accomodate large crowds at the finish line. I would have thought that Laghi Cime Bianche was relatively exposed by comparison.


I am no expert either. I would speculate that this is all part of a wider marketing drive. So, they want it to be cross border and they want the new Alpine Crossing involved. Going from the Swiss area to the first lower Italian lift station already makes it the longest downhill race.

As they are “Johny come latelies” there may not be many slots available in the race calendar so a very early one in November makes sense. They can almost certainly guarantee good snow up at that height (another useful marketing plug) whereas down into town (whether Zermatt, Switzerland or Breuil-Cervinia, Italy) would be more hit and miss.

But you are right that the large crowds one sees in town at the finish line of other races will be hard to achieve at Laghi Cime Bianche.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

you've got to hand it to the swiss. they know how to invest!


I guess they've still got a lot of that Nazi hold hanging around. Got to spend it somewhere
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
A slight pity that they are removing the two highest lifts in Europe up to the Gobba di Rollin at almost 4000m. I understand however that they rarely run these days. When I used one of them the tow track was crossing small crevasses.

With regard to the race it’s a good idea but it will be rather weather dependent right up there. Wouldn’t fancy standing around for long in November to watch it 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?
Peter S wrote:
A slight pity that they are removing the two highest lifts in Europe up to the Gobba di Rollin at almost 4000m. I understand however that they rarely run these days. When I used one of them the tow track was crossing small crevasses.

With regard to the race it’s a good idea but it will be rather weather dependent right up there. Wouldn’t fancy standing around for long in November to watch it snowHead


Quite. The run is entirely south west facing. So if it is a blue sky day with not too much wind (which we get even in November) it could still be pleasant. If not ...
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if they remove the 2 drag lifts at the top, how else will you get up to the top in summer? i understand that the snow-line recedes beyond trockner most years now.

the top part of the run will be a bit boring.... different story once they get onto 7 though. the start of it is amazing.
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Kj82 wrote:
if they remove the 2 drag lifts at the top, how else will you get up to the top in summer? i understand that the snow-line recedes beyond trockner most years now.

the top part of the run will be a bit boring.... different story once they get onto 7 though. the start of it is amazing.


In summer you don’t use those two lift stations to get to the pistes (unless you want to ski 82, which hardly anybody does). You take 85/86 over to where the three drag lifts (X3/X4/X5) are. You ski to the bottom of them and then they (or rather X4/X5 – X3 is for learners) take you up to the top of 83/84, which is the (post June) summer ski area proper. You only use those high lifts to get back (once you can no longer ski down to Trockener Steg).

As for the race route, I think the last part of 85 which takes a sharp right onto 84 will be exciting. I agree though that 7 is the jewel in the crown.
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yes in 10+ years of annual trips (not this winter unfortunately) i've only been on that drag a handful of times. 99% of the times i've come from the cable car and (not sure i should admit this) its been straight lines down (under full control of course). different story once at the top of 7 though - not brave enough!
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Kj82 wrote:
yes in 10+ years of annual trips (not this winter unfortunately) i've only been on that drag a handful of times. 99% of the times i've come from the cable car and (not sure i should admit this) its been straight lines down (under full control of course). different story once at the top of 7 though - not brave enough!


snowHead Straight line is definitely the best tactic if you are heading over Plateau Rosa to Italy on 88 (you can probably afford a couple of turns if you are taking the 81 back down to Trockener Steg. The racers obviously will straight line 84 and 88. The interesting thing will be how they make sure they lose as little momentum as possible turning off 85 onto 84. You will be able to see that by how far they leap onto the 7 as they skis over the Swiss/Italy border. Alternatively they might not use 85 at all. They could build a new racing piste from Gobba di Rollin to come onto 84 higher up.
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