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Zermatt and Cervinia 2019-20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi! I know what I'm about to ask is loaded with many variables, however in people's previous experience, is it possible to ski down to Schwarzee by mid-November? How much of the mountain is generally open by that time? Thanks (and apologies for the annoying question!). Madeye-Smiley
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shellskis wrote:
Hi! I know what I'm about to ask is loaded with many variables, however in people's previous experience, is it possible to ski down to Schwarzee by mid-November? How much of the mountain is generally open by that time? Thanks (and apologies for the annoying question!). Madeye-Smiley


Zero chance. Schwarzsee will not open until end November. The summer ski area and Furggsattel down to Trockener Steg will be open (from this weekend or possibly next). There might be an outside chance they would open up from Trockener Steg down to Furgg but I doubt it. It is nothing to do with quantity of snow it is the planned phasing of the manpower and what the people who will be controlling the lifts will be doing instead.
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Ha ok, very good to know - thanks for managing my expectations! Sadly mid November is my only chance to ski in Europe this season, so was perhaps unrealistically optimistic about how much would be open at that time.
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shellskis wrote:
Ha ok, very good to know - thanks for managing my expectations! Sadly mid November is my only chance to ski in Europe this season, so was perhaps unrealistically optimistic about how much would be open at that time.


Cervinia might have more. They will have Testa Grigia down to Laghi Cime Bianch open and probably the lifts above Plan Maison. So if you buy an international pass you have not too bad an area.
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Great, thanks for the helpful tips! Smile
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shellskis wrote:
Great, thanks for the helpful tips! Smile


They are certainly doing their best for you. Here is a picture from earlier today on the Cervinia side. They have the snow cannons blasting away onto the real snow. Above Plan Maison it takes three chairlifts to get you up to the top. What you can see there is the top of the first and the bottom of the second. Cervinia has its planned opening a week on Saturday. I doubt they would be running those cannons if they didn’t intend to open that part up. Plus there is more snow (or rather precipitation which we hope will be snow) looking likely between now and then (at least according to GFS).

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@JohnMo, Thanks a million for the updates, great to see they are going full steam ( or in this case snow) ahead. Roll on Nov 25th.
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We are heading there at the end of Jan for a long weekend. I figure weather will be uncertain, but gee I am looking forward to skiing there.
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Some heavy stuff coming over the next few days. Good for up top and the places on both sides that are due to open this month. But the snow line is high - you can see the higher than usual temperatures on the GFS runs. The Meteo Swiss warning is backing this up.



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Looks like it will be the beginning of November before we have a temp drop, from latest GFS data. Noza showing ECM trend reflects this too over the alps.
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Well that was dreadful. A s season starting amount of precipitation over the last few days - except almost almost all of it came as rain. So not only did it not kick start the season it has destroyed a lot of the snow that was there.

The only good news is that it was snow up top and so the Furggsattel lift opened up today. Good news for me as I will be out there from Thursday.

Cervinia due to open this weekend. They will get the pistes running down from Testa Grigia opened up. However last week I was optimistic about the pistes above Plan Maison. They seem to be still trying to run the snow cannons but as noted above temperatures look like staying high for another week. That area looks a mess and does not look like it is 4 days off being skiable.

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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
JohnMo wrote:

The only good news is that it was snow up top and so the Furggsattel lift opened up today.


And here is an exciting picture of the chairlift going over those pistes to prove it.

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The last few days have been something of an Indian Summer (although I am not sure the expression Indischer Sommer means much here). That has been great for walking (and so great for the non-skiing wife and me, who are mainly out to do that at present) but of course we want to see the white stuff. The coming week looks a bit more hopeful.

I left the Mrs and went up top to get in a bit of skiing today. A beautiful blue sky day and fantastic ski conditions. Although little snow has survived below 3000m, there has been a lot of precipitation. Up top that has been snow and on the glaciers it has survived fairly well. On the Swiss side the summer ski area off Klein Matterhorn is still open and the skiing on the Furgg glacier is up and running. The Italian lifts are running again – but none of their pistes (more of which later). Both the Swiss and the Italians know how to spot a good ski Sunday and it was insanely busy for October. The open air Ice Bar at Trockener Steg was doing great business and I couldn’t get food at the Testa Grigia restaurant just over on the Italian side! They did let me have a glass of red wine so I forgive them.

The first photo is of the pistes coming down from the Furggsattel lift (pistes 71 and 72 on the piste map).

While this was billed as the big opening weekend of the Italian lifts they didn’t open any of their pistes so the Italians had to come over to the Swiss pistes. The second photo is the top of the (not open) Italian Ventina piste (number 7) coming off Testa Grigia. It looks in great condition and you might just be able to see that some people are skiing it.

Even by the time you get down to the lift station at Laghi Cime Bianche the pistes look in good condition. Hopefully you can see that from the third photo. However there is still liquid water around there (as you can see from Lake Cime Bianche itself). I think there might be a small creek runs across the piste near the lift station and they may not have been able to fill it in with snow given the high temperatures. Shouldn’t be a problem by next weekend I hope given the forecast drop.





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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
JohnMo wrote:
The last few days have been something of an Indian Summer (although I am not sure the expression Indischer Sommer means much here). That has been great for walking (and so great for the non-skiing wife and me, who are mainly out to do that at present) but of course we want to see the white stuff. The coming week looks a bit more hopeful.


Just wanted to say I really appreciate these updates you’re posting as I keep nervously checking the webcams as am off to do a Warren Smith course in Nov! They are a nice tease. Thank you.
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anjunabeats wrote:
JohnMo wrote:
The last few days have been something of an Indian Summer (although I am not sure the expression Indischer Sommer means much here). That has been great for walking (and so great for the non-skiing wife and me, who are mainly out to do that at present) but of course we want to see the white stuff. The coming week looks a bit more hopeful.


Just wanted to say I really appreciate these updates you’re posting as I keep nervously checking the webcams as am off to do a Warren Smith course in Nov! They are a nice tease. Thank you.


+1
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 Poster: A snowHead
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A reminder that avalanches can happen at any time. Despite how dry it is low down there is a lot of heavy wet snow higher up. The Allalin area is just north east of the Zermatt skI area and just south west of the Saas Fee area. There is a nice tour that starts at the top of the Saas Fee lifts, crosses the Allalinpass (where this avalanche took place) and heads down into Täsch just north of Zermatt.

Here is a link to the article (in German):

https://www.1815.ch/news/wallis/aktuell/lawinenniedergang-4/

And here is what it says having gone through Google Translate:


Quote:
On Saturday afternoon, nine ski tourers were caught in an avalanche outside the marked pistes in the Allalin region. Four people were involved. However, they remained unhurt.

As the cantonal police say, three groups of ski tourers were traveling in the area when the avalanche broke loose. Two people fell into a crevasse. Another two were carried away by the snow. All remained uninjured.

In action were two helicopters of Air Zermatt, five dog handlers, about 40 helpers of the local mountain rescue and agents of the cantonal and community police.
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sobering, as always for off-pisters, and all skiers. I remember the on piste avalanche just last year across the valley in Crans Montana.
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Russeh - this place is highly recommended for stunning Matterhorn and glacier views from the terrace. It's at the top of the Gornergrat Railway & well worth a visit even for a quick cuppa:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://gornergrat-kulm.ch/en/home-en/&ved=2ahUKEwia1u6j8b_lAhUuQkEAHQKbAAoQFjAJegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw0MCUvRZY697CQuYRepoywm

You can stay there too, as it's a hotel.
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@mountainaddict thanks will check it out, is this the place at the top of the cog railway?
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@Russeh, yes it is.
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For those who like that sort of thing, the snowpark on the pistes down from Furggsattel will be open from a week on Saturday (9 November). The one up on the higher glacier (which is used during the summer) closed a week or so ago. Not entirely sure why there is a gap but I hope the adrenalin junkies managed to get their fix in some other way. Personally I try to keep my skies more in contact with the snow.
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Snow now down to Rifflealp (2222m). More forecast over the next few days. GFS shows temps coming down nicely and further precipitation. snowHead
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Looks like snow in Cervinia town qt 2050m (assuming the Cretaz webcam is updating!) - Bregfex has forecast 1m+ for Friday!!
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Gone now!!
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Its settled though to at least 2500m judging by the webcams - https://cervinia.panomax.com/matterhorn - these were all brown on Thursday.
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First artists announced for Zermatt Unplugged 14-18 April. Great time: snow usually excellent, sunny days, music with accompanying drink & food. Tickets go on general sale this Friday.

Quote:
DIDO | «Unplugged-Show after Comeback Tour.»
CRO | «The musician with the panda mask, an artistic universe.»
KAISER CHIEFS | «Onwards to musical world domination.»
JAMES MORRISON | «You’re Stronger Than You Know: New album with honest heartfelt songs.»
GLEN HANSARD | «Irish Folk on a new level.»
JAKE ISAAC | «Someone who loves his audience.»
LUKE SITAL-SINGH | «Tender, haunting, melancholic.»
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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.
It has been a nice few hours. Everything looking a bit better. I know it has gone white a few times and then reverted to green/brown but this time it should stick. First picture is of Plan Maison, the central hub on the mountain on the Cervinia side. Nothing is open on the Italian side yet. This weekend should see the upper section of piste 7 open. The next big task is to get the lifts that you can see in the photo open down from the top to Plan Maison.

The second photo shows the GFS ensembles. The temperatures are staying low (so snow making will be good) and there is a fair bit of precipitation coming along that should all be snow in the important places. Friday is looking interesting so fingers crossed (or Daumen gedrückt - thumbs pressed - as it is in a German speaking area).



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Noticed on the Riffleberg webcam that the Gifthittli chair was running. I assume this is testing prior to opening @JohnMo, ?
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You know it makes sense.
twoodwar wrote:
Noticed on the Riffleberg webcam that the Gifthittli chair was running. I assume this is testing prior to opening @JohnMo, ?


Good spot. Yes, I assume that is the case. Those lifts have been in the shed for 6 months so lots could have happened. That lift is due to open on 30 November and because it serves pistes covered 100% by snowmaking it will almost certainly do so (although actually the real snow is probably going to be sufficient). But I don't think they would open it early. There is not really much commercial benefit. Cervinia is different as they declare themselves "open" from 26 October and so want to get lifts and pistes running when they can. Also a lot of their November visitors come from the metropolitan Turin area who can pop up with no advance planning.

When I saw your post I checked the Riffelberg webcam to see. I also looked at the Gornegrat webcam to see the top of the Gifthittli chairlift. What struck me was the small lake (not even really a lake - more a large pond) that is just downhill and north west from Gornegrat and just to the east of the top of the Gifthittli. It is still water! How is that even possible? It is 3000m. The daytime temperatures are getting nowhere zero and the nighttime ones are way below. I can understand large expanses of water like Laghi Cime Bianche on the Italian side taking a while to freeze over and then get covered with snow. But a small lake like that is very odd. It is not just weather that is difficult to understand but basic physics.
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Takes a long time for the ground to cool down and even longer for water to cool (requires more energy). It will suddenly get to the point where it freezes over. As I understand the North Sea reaches its minimum temperature in April several months after the minimum temperature of the land is reached.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Peter S, my parents had a caravan in Lincolnshire when I was a child. I can attest to the sea temperature in April Shocked
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@Peter S, but much of the reason why the sea takes so long to cool down is because the sea is 1. salty (so a lower freezing point) and 2. massive (so cold parts keep getting mixed with warmer parts).


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 6-11-19 11:16; edited 1 time in total
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@Peter S, is of course right about the physics. The cold is winning the battle. Not surprisingly- the daytime temperature there is minus 10 and no sign of it getting any warmer for several days. My little lake/pond that was water yesterday is now almost entirely ice with a light covering of snow. It is in the bottom right corner of the photo. The infrastructure in the foreground is the Gornergrat railway station and in the centre further down the mountain is the top of the Gifthitti lift (the chairs on which are running again today - not for passengers, as discussed above).

Even when it is all open in three and a half weeks I still wouldn’t recommend skiing over that pond - unless you want to attempt some weird duathlon.

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Cervinia have just announced that the chairlifts above Plan Maison will open Saturday - which is nice (will be there on Sun!)
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Wildsmith wrote:
Cervinia have just announced that the chairlifts above Plan Maison will open Saturday - which is nice (will be there on Sun!)


Great news. The piste 7 (Ventina) from Test Grigia down to Laghi Cime Bianche will also open from that day. If you have an international pass there will be a decent quantity of pistes open to have fun.
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Yea that is great news, two and a half weeks until I get there.
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JohnMo wrote:
Wildsmith wrote:
Cervinia have just announced that the chairlifts above Plan Maison will open Saturday - which is nice (will be there on Sun!)


Great news. The piste 7 (Ventina) from Test Grigia down to Laghi Cime Bianche will also open from that day. If you have an international pass there will be a decent quantity of pistes open to have fun.


Jus noticed that a day ticket for the Italian side only is €30. That is great value. About 25% less than spending three hours in a UK fridge.
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Hi everyone, does anyone know what will be open on the Zermatt side this weekend (it's hard to find any info...or perhaps I'm just not looking in the right places)!? Am heading there (and hopefully to Cervinia too) on Friday. Thank you Smile
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shellskis wrote:
Hi everyone, does anyone know what will be open on the Zermatt side this weekend (it's hard to find any info...or perhaps I'm just not looking in the right places)!? Am heading there (and hopefully to Cervinia too) on Friday. Thank you Smile


You can download the lift timetable (which includes opening dates) but it is probably not much use unless you already know the area well:

https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/en/Current-news/Timetable

If you look at this piste map dowloadable from here

https://www.zermatt.ch/en/Lifts-pistes/Panoramakarten-Facts/Piste-map-Winter-panorama

Then what will be open will be the Matterhorn Express lift from the south of town to Trockener Steg and the Glacier Paradise lift from Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn. Up there you can ski pistes served by the drag lifts (e.g. 83 and 84) or ski back down to Trockener Steg via 81. The two drag lifts up to Testa Grigia will be open and you can ski 6 (technically an Italian piste - but you don't need an Italian pass) and 80 and on down to Trockener Steg.

From Trockener Steg you can also take the chairlift up to Furggsattel and ski back down 71 and 72.

Depending on the weather, if you are skiing two days it would be worth having an international pass and popping over to Italy. Piste 7 from Testa Grigia down to Laghi Cime Bianche will be open. From there you can hop on the bubble over to Plan Maison and all the stuff up to Theodulpass will be open (you can also get back into Switzerland at Theodulpass.

A two day lift pass for Zermatt will be CHF131 and an international pass from Zermatt will be CHF143 (cheaper for those starting from the Cervinia side). It is definitely worth the extra CHF13 to have access to the Italian side.
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Thank you so much! I’ve been there a few times, just never this early, so was t sure.
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