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Zermatt (and Cervinia) 2018/19

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, just a dumb dumb question. Is there a way to transfer from cervinia to zermatt and back without skis? Is there the possibility of a cable car or gondola all the way from one resort to another?
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gfmozart wrote:
Hi, just a dumb dumb question. Is there a way to transfer from cervinia to zermatt and back without skis? Is there the possibility of a cable car or gondola all the way from one resort to another?


The simple answer is no.

You can get cable cars all the way up to the border (Plateau Rosa) on the Italians side but there is no non-skiing transport between there and Trockener Steg (or Klein Matterhorn) on the Swiss side. It is certainly walkable between Plateau Rosa and Trockener Steg but you’d need mini crampons if walking along the side of the piste or snow shoes if walking on the ungroomed snow. Once at Trockener Steg there is a cable car all the way down into town.
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Thank you!
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Yesterday was fantastic. Cold again but blue skies all day. Started with the Matterhorn glacier to Cervinia via the lake. Spent most of the morning in salette as enjoyed it so much and then went back to Cervinia around lunch. Over the top and took 52 back to ground (bad choice) but overall a great day. This Morning turned out better than predicted. Sun shone through from 9 until about 12. Plenty powder in places after last night. Afternoon was pretty overcast. 42 to Riffelap was open for the first time this season. Great run. Nice lunch stop along the way also. Thoroughly enjoyed Zermatt. Weather helped. Advice from snowheads appreciated also in the weather thread over past few weeks. Saucy spot though so bring your wallet if visiting Smile
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Redial wrote:
Yesterday was fantastic. Cold again but blue skies all day. Started with the Matterhorn glacier to Cervinia via the lake. Spent most of the morning in salette as enjoyed it so much and then went back to Cervinia around lunch. Over the top and took 52 back to ground (bad choice) but overall a great day. This Morning turned out better than predicted. Sun shone through from 9 until about 12. Plenty powder in places after last night. Afternoon was pretty overcast. 42 to Riffelap was open for the first time this season. Great run. Nice lunch stop along the way also. Thoroughly enjoyed Zermatt. Weather helped. Advice from snowheads appreciated also in the weather thread over past few weeks. Saucy spot though so bring your wallet if visiting Smile


Pleased you enjoyed it. Yes, piste 52 is a bad choice as a way of returning back down from Schwarzsee to Furi Very Happy Its only really useful function is if you want to go the Stafelalp restaurant. It is a fantastic location and the restaurant is (or at least was) great. Unfortunately it burnt down in April. They are rebuilding it and have set up some temporary arrangement for this season – I haven’t been to the temporary arrangement so don’t know what it is like. One of the entertainments is watching people who have had a good lunch (and probably indulged in early àpres) suddenly realising they have to ski uphill!
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A nice photo on Summit Ski School’s Facebook page this morning. This is from fairly low (by Zermatt’s standards). So it will be even better up top. Another good looking dump building up for Thursday on GFS.

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Not too shabby off piste either (from SCGB):

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The runs into the village are now open. More importantly so is the Hennu Stall (and I assume the various other apres ski spots).
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They have opened up the National - the black run from Blauherd to Patrullarve - a run that a lot of advanced skiers name as their favourite run in the are. A particular bonus (for me as I will be out next week) is that they have opened the itinerary from Balherd down to Findeln. I absolutely love that run. Quite often they can’t get it open in time for the Xmas/New Year break.
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Sounds great JohnMo, does this mean that Zermatt has above average conditions for this time of year?? Arrive next Friday for my first visit!!!
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surferrosa wrote:
Sounds great JohnMo, does this mean that Zermatt has above average conditions for this time of year?? Arrive next Friday for my first visit!!!


I would be reluctant to say “above average”. It is easy to see when there is a poor Xmas/NY (two years ago) or a bumper Xmas/NY (last year). But calling one good year better than another good year is tricky.

For what it is worth there has been above average snowfall for this time of year (all be it there is not even a reliable or agreed method of measuring that!). What has worked well is the way that the snow has fallen. There were some good dumps early on. Notwithstanding that there were also some strong winds that scraped a lot of it away from exposed ridges, that set up a good base. We have then had consistent snow since then (all be it no mega dumps). For example, it is currently snowing in the mountains and will continue to do so for most of today. There are some disadvantages about being as high as we are (rocky, more prone to wind) but there are also advantages: any precipitation falls as snow in the areas people ski (so all those worries about warm fronts and Föhns are less of a concern for us) and we get little melt. So every snowfall adds to what is already there.

When I was out there a couple of weeks ago the piste conditions were excellent. As there has been consistent snow every few days since then I am expecting them to be even better now. The fact that the snow cover is sufficient to cover the rocks at Garten and Blauherd to open those itineraries is very encouraging.

Next week will be very busy. So from your (and my!) point of view it would be nice if there was new snow to refresh the heavily skied pistes. At the moment even Monday seems uncertain. A number of sites are predicting snow for Monday but GFS (which I follow most closely) is suggesting close to nothing after this evening’s snow out until the end of next week. We’ll see.

Whatever pans out on the snowfall front I am sure you’ll have a great time.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Whoo-hoo, tomorrow sees the black 62 run from Furgg to Furi open.

The real joy is that the red heading north from the top of Rothorn down past where the Kumme lift was is also opening. Before the Kumme lift was taken out by an avalanche (last season) that would be a fairly normal Xmas week opening. However because the Kumme lift is no longer there what they have had to do is open the piste that continues on past the Kumme lift (piste 15) that takes you all the way down past Tufteren and on to Patrullarve. In previous seasons piste 15 would not be opened until later in the season. IMO the run from Rothorn down to Patrullarve is a great one (over 1,000m vertical which is not bad).
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surferrosa wrote:
Sounds great JohnMo, does this mean that Zermatt has above average conditions for this time of year?? Arrive next Friday for my first visit!!!


According to slf Zermatt region snow depths are well above average https://www.slf.ch/en/avalanche-bulletin-and-snow-situation/measured-values.html#opened



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Was chatting last night to someone who'd spent a fair bit of time in Zermatt and the Furggen lift in Cervinia cropped up. Anyone on here skied it before the cable broke and they decided not to repair it? I lived in Zermatt for 10 years and only got to ride in it twice, on one of those instances it stopped 3/4 of the way up, then slid back down towards Plan Maison for about 50 m, then the emergency brake kicked in and we swung like a pendulum for about a minute before we gradually crept back up and docked at the top Shocked
They were very cautious about opening the lift, the slightest breath of wind and it was a no-go.... 1000m of vertical over 2.5 km of 45 year-old cable with no intermediate pylons.......
Then when you got to the top, it was a 100m walk downhill through a gallery in the ridge exiting onto a 2m x 1m platform where you clicked in and dropped off into a wicked black run Very Happy
Rumour has it, Mussolini had the lift and gallery built in order to facilitate an escape through the ridge to neutral Switzerland.........
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if an absolute beginner is learning to ski, how realistic is it to be able to ski the La Ventina trail after a few day of lessons?
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Well, obviously much depends on age, fitness, confidence, how quickly they take to it etc, but personally I think the top of the Ventina heading down towards Cervinia might be pretty daunting for a complete novice. It’s very wide, which is good, but also has a reasonably steep gradient. And of course you need to get there in the first place which, if coming from Zermatt, requires either two t-bars or the new lift up to Klein Matterhorn and ski down from there. I don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm, and as I say some people learn quickly but I would be inclined to say it’s a bit too testing for a first week skier...
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what is wrong with a T-bar?
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Absolutely nothing is wrong with t-bars - these happen to be two very long ones on an exposed glacier. Your question was posed in the context of an absolute beginner. I suspect these particular t-bars might prove challenging for such a person. As I said though, no two learners are the same, so nothing wrong with having a go. The alternative route is a lift to the highest point and then skiing down to the Ventina. Not particularly challenging skiing in itself, just very high and often quite windy. Only you know how fit and confident your beginner is likely to be. I wouldn’t do it all with a complete beginner, but I accept I tend to be on the risk-averse end of the spectrum.
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i had to look up T-bar fails on youtube. But i do now understand what you mean. the novice is very likely to be nervous.
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In that case, honestly, I wouldn’t attempt this trip. If they are having lessons, depending on which school they are with, they are likely to spend most time either on Sunnegga or at Gornergrat both of which are more learner friendly. No reason the more experienced skiers in your party shouldn’t do this though, it’s really fun cruisy intermediate skiing.
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@gfmozart, I agree with @scotsgirl. The top of the Ventina is lovely: very wide and the snow is almost always excellent (it is on top of a glacier). A reasonable intermediate should love it. However it is steep. I took a couple of experienced but poor skiers down that way once and got a load of abuse. Fortunately they couldn’t convert the abuse into physical recriminations as they were too busy falling over.

My daughter in law is an OK but nervous (following a fall and arm break a few years back) skier. I never take her down the Ventina. We head down piste 6 (Italian numbering even though it is 100% in Switzerland) and cut into Cervinia through the Theodulpass.
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The webcams make it look pretty good there....hope it is a Merry Christmas!
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Good snow - but also avalanches. Three have hit the Täsch to Zermatt road the last two days. This is what it looked like today:

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A very merry Xmas and Happy New Year from Zermatt.There certainly was a lot of avalanche clearing activity yesterday morning. Most lift opened late but, when they opened, the skiing was terrific above about 2300 metres. Lovely snow, sunshine and uncrowded pistes on the Kleine Matterhorn side. It was so good we got no further. The runs below Sunegga were mixed. The Hornlï pistes were excellent but the runs down to the lift very icy. The forecast is for sun for the next few days so we are hoping for more of the same although the resort will get busier when the New Year visitors arrive.






,
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A rather unfortunate (or fortunate depending on how you look at it) Xmas morning ski for a group of 5. This is a picture of the rescue from the Air Zermatt helicopter. It is an area coming down from Hotälli to Grünsee. Once opened itinerary number 30 forms part of this area. Even before the itinerary is open it is a frequently used off piste area.

Five skiers were skiing there when the avalanche you can see happened. Four were only partially covered and were relatively easily rescued. The fifth was completely covered. However the helicopter got rescuers into the area quickly and he was found. He was then airlifted to Visp hospital. I hope he will be OK.

The avalanche risk outside the controlled areas remains very high.

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Another beautiful day - good snow (above about 2300 metres) in both Zermatt and Cervinia, blue skies and uncrowded pistes. Could be Spring. The avalanche management activity of the last couple of days has eased off but the risk level is still 3. The new gondola up to Kleine Matterhorn is a huge improvement over the old cable car and popping over to Cervinia to cruise the pistes is very easy with no queues at the moment.
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These reports are great stuff. So looking forward to our trip at the end of Jan.
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We were on the first lift from the Matterhorn Base station this morning and had a great morning’s skiing before the light went flat. The pistes are excellent above Trockener Steg and holding up well down as far as Furg. The black from Furg to Furi is showing some signs of wear but was good first thing. The run from Scwartzsee to Furi was pretty mixed. The temperatures were mild with no wind and the sun and good light returned this afternoon but we were back in the apartment by then. I noticed the staff at Trockener Steg putting out extra ski racks presumably for the New Year crowds. Ah well - we’ve had a great week so can’t complain and there are the New Year fireworks and more sunny weather to look forward to. We got to travel on one of the “crystal” cars up to Kleine Matterhorn. I think you have to pay extra for the full crystal experience with the transparent floor which, given the lift pass price, is cheeky but you can just lift up the mat and peek through. Maybe they want to protect the floor from damage by ski boots. Off back to Cervinia tomorrow for bombardinis and pizza and cruising in the sun.
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sounds fantastic Welshcakes. Have to wait till March to get my Zermatt fix!
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just outside of the one week horizon, but 7th to the 9th is looking cooler and with a good chance of decent snowfall on todays 6am GFS forecast
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@twoodwar, some more snow would be welcome by then particularly for the lower runs which are icy now and, of course, for the itineraries. I have old bones so have been taking the lift down the last couple of days to avoid the icy runs home. I don’t bounce as well as I used to! We leave after New Year but will keep my fingers crossed for more snow. I confidently forecast March is going to be epic (just hope Noz doesn’t read my “forecast”).
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Arrived two days ago. Yesterday the non-skiing Mrs and I went walking. A nice new feature this year is that the signposts for the winter walks are now all in pink. The poles along the walks have always been pink and the signs for the walks have been yellow. Most of course refer simply to summer walks. I know the winter walks very well but I would think the new winter pinks signage would be very helpful for visitors.

Yesterday the three children and their partners arrived. They are a mixed bag of beginner to intermediate. So we stayed on the Sunnegga/Rothorn area for them to get their confidence up. Generally the pistes are in fantastic shape – even as far down as the red 4 and black 8 down to Patrullave at 2000m. Less than enjoyable is the last section of the red 9 down to Patrullarve, which is just an unpleasant sheet of ice. That is a pity as it is the last section of the run down the north face of Rothorn (13 or 14 then 15);which was fantastic at first and ridiculously quiet (how do so few people know what a great run this is after about 11, maybe 11.30.).

Itineraries 16 and 17 high up on Rothorn and 18 lower down were open. I suspect 16 and 17 will be very good based on the little side piste skiing I did up there. As I am a dutiful father/father in law I stuck with the young ‘uns and did not head off there. I did manage to persuade some to come down itinerary 10 from Blauherd to Findeln. I was very happy with that – I would put it in the good rather than fantastic category, but that was fine by me given the time of year and the fact we have not had fresh snow for several days.
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Saturday was a Cervinia day for us. A speedy ride up to Kleine Matterhorn on the new lift and the first sign of wind there for a few days. Off to Cervinia via the Ventina and the wind increased. The Ventina was in great shape but there was a fair breeze blowing across the piste. Stopped for a bombardini at the Ventina Canteen and, given the wind, decided to head across to Plan Maison and thence the Pancheron lift (far side of the resort, under the Matterhorn). The weather here was sunny and calm and the pistes off the Panchreon lift in very good condition. We spent the morning here on reasonably quiet pistes and then headed down into town for a pizza. The snow on the run down was surprisingly good with evidence of the snow making having been used to good effect. Town was very busy, sunny and warm. We decided to head back to Zermatt after a late lunch and took the cable car back to Testa Grigia. By now, the wind had really picked up and it was a bit of a battle down the piste to Trockener Steg. We went to Furi via Furg and Schwarzsee and found the pistes holding up well. Today, it is windy on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise side and in Cervinia so I’m assuming the more exposed slopes will be wind affected. Slow start for us but heading up to Gornergrat side now.
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Hi, heading to valtournenche next weekend (5th and 6th) and notice today that cervinia side is closed. I assume this to be due to wind. Question: approximately what wind speed (& direction - I assume southerly) closes the cervinia side of the area?

50/55/60 km/h?

Thanks
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Welshcakes wrote:
Saturday was a Cervinia day for us. A speedy ride up to Kleine Matterhorn on the new lift and the first sign of wind there for a few days. Off to Cervinia via the Ventina and the wind increased. The Ventina was in great shape but there was a fair breeze blowing across the piste. Stopped for a bombardini at the Ventina Canteen and, given the wind, decided to head across to Plan Maison and thence the Pancheron lift (far side of the resort, under the Matterhorn). The weather here was sunny and calm and the pistes off the Panchreon lift in very good condition. We spent the morning here on reasonably quiet pistes and then headed down into town for a pizza. The snow on the run down was surprisingly good with evidence of the snow making having been used to good effect. Town was very busy, sunny and warm. We decided to head back to Zermatt after a late lunch and took the cable car back to Testa Grigia. By now, the wind had really picked up and it was a bit of a battle down the piste to Trockener Steg. We went to Furi via Furg and Schwarzsee and found the pistes holding up well. Today, it is windy on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise side and in Cervinia so I’m assuming the more exposed slopes will be wind affected. Slow start for us but heading up to Gornergrat side now.


According to cervinia website, no lifts open Italian side.
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@Kj82,
I think the Cervinia website was updated during the morning to say the mid and lower lifts were open so don’t be too depressed, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for skiers on that side. I can’t answer your question about Cervinia winds but the winds that closed the Zermatt Matterhorn high lifts were North/North West and over 100 Kms per hour according to Meteocentrale. We had a quiet day but the children skied Gornergrat first thing then gave up because of the lift queues, skied down to Furi (OK but icy according to them) and up to Trockner Steg, skied down via the Swartzsee trees which they said were OK and down to Zermatt.
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Can any Snowheads familiar with Cervinia give advice as to which of the next three days would be best to drive up to Cervinia from Aosta with a view to getting across to Zermatt for a ski under the Matterhorn?
Thanks in advance.
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@sbooker, For the Zermatt side, I look at www.meteocentrale.ch. If you search on “Zermatt” it gives you a click through link for a forecast for “Kleines Matterhorn” including wind speed. There is also a link to “Plan Rosa” which will give an indication of the wind speed at the top of the lifts from Cervinia over to Zermatt. Having just had a look at the site, the forecast for the next few days is very windy. It is only a forecast so could be wrong but it doesn’t look very encouraging.
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I am staying near the Sunnegga lift for a long weekend at the end of February,with a mixed ability group of upper intermediate to expert skiers.. Steinmattstrasse 43. Never skied Zermatt before so can I pose a couple of questions pls.

Given the proximity to this lift would a hire shop and ski locker near this lift be most convenient,can we acesss the larger ski areas from here or would we be better hiring skis/lockers elsewhere. ?

From what I can gather the Zermatt ski area is fairly fragmented with different areas served by different lifts , trains, funiculars etc. Which area are we more likely to spend more time on the mountain and finish up at the end of the day.

This affects where we hire skis/lockers as I want to minimise walking in ski boots / hassle etc.

Any recommendations pls on convenient hire shops in the right spots?
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My last visit to Zermatt was too long ago to advise on a specific ski shop.
However, Sunnegga is a very convenient lift to start your day (gets you on a slope the fastest), and you are also likely to end up there at the end of the day as one of the two valley runs ends there. So a locker (at ski hire shop or in accommodation) in that area is very convenient.
And if you ever want to start/end your day at the Klein Matterhorn lift base at the other end, the free (with your skipass) ski bus will get you there and back in a few minutes with minimal walking (but some crowds esp on the way back).
Lastly, I recall that one shop (Flexrent I believe) has two depots (one at each lift base) and lets you leave and pickup your stuff at/from the depot of your choice - a local expert will confirm.
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