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Zermatt and Cervinia 2019-20

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decent forecast now for Monday afternoon and evening. Decent top up on both sides of the border. snowHead
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Got back yesterday after spending the week walking and skiing. Fantastic conditions for this time of year and we were lucky enough to arrive as the storms were ending so had all of our time in blue skies. Even the temperatures were perfect: cold enough to keep the snow in good condition all day through but not so cold that it started biting your face (at least when you are in the sun).

I did my skiing mainly on the Italian side. Most of the storms had come up from the south so there was more snow on that side. Plus the fact that they are south facing means at this time of year you can ski the whole day in the sun. Coming back into Switzerland can seem very dark and cold. To be fair Sunnegga and Gorgnergrat do OK for sun even at this time of year but the border down to Furgg is totally north facing.

There obviously have been some strong winds. Notwithstanding the amount of snow that has fallen some of the high areas are very scraped. So for example there is nowhere near enough snow to open the itineraries 67 and 68 coming down from Trockener Steg to Furgg and Schwarzsee is looking very thin up top as well. Having said that the pistes are all in good condition in those areas. It is interesting how even one mountain along the wind can have a very different effect. We snow shoe walked up from Riffelberg to Rotenboden (so on the open mountain not on the piste). The snow was in great condition and there was little of the wind scraping that was so evident just one valley away to the south.

The only area where the piste was looking less than perfect (as has been mentioned above) is the Italian piste 1 from Salette down to Valtournenche. There obviously had been some thaw-freeze going on. However, it is going down to 1500m and is south(ish) facing so it suffers from that a lot. It is a lovely run mind and I enjoyed it even so.

Still no home runs open on the Swiss side. They also still haven’t opened Riffelberg to Furi, which I just don’t understand. Since I left they have now opened the red through the trees from Sunnegga down to Patrullarve at 2000m. They have also opened the itinerary 10 down from Blauherd to Findlen. That is just reflecting reality as it looked in great condition and a lot of people were skiing it in any case.

A nice looking storm on its way through tonight and lasting most of Monday with temperatures low enough that it should be snow all the way down to village level. Bits and pieces through the week but then Friday is looking hopeful again.
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Heading to Zermatt on Thursday. Weather forecast at the moment is looking very snowy. Where is best to ski in bad light?
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mjross1992 wrote:
Heading to Zermatt on Thursday. Weather forecast at the moment is looking very snowy. Where is best to ski in bad light?


Not a great place in bad light to be honest. The generic resort advice is to ski below the tree line. But we don't have much of that and of what we do have a lot of it is not yet open. The areas in Italy that are below the tree line are Salette down to Valtournnenche and Cielalto. But with the storm the link might not be open. In Switzerland the area below Sunnegga is lovely and is below the tree line but at present the area below Patrularve is not yet open. Riffelberg down to Furi is good and is below the tree line but is not yet open. I wonder if there is half a chance they might get that open - there is certainly more than enough snow for them to do so. Furgg down to Furi is also a good run below the snow line but that is a black and they tend not to open until Xmas week. Schwarzsee down to Furi is open and is half below the tree line - but the best part of the route is mainly above. If you like itineraries the one from Blauherd down to Findeln is open. It is not below the tree line but it is very sheltered so could be OK.

The winds are coming from the North West. Most of the Swiss side faces north and west so it is hard to hide. Cervinia might be getting a bit more sheltered (it faces south west mainly)

I suspect your best plan is the Rothorn mountain. Rothorn down to Gant or Blauherd will get some shelter and whatever sun there is you will get there, Blauherd down to Sunnegga could be windy but again will pick up whatever sun there is. And then Sunnegga down to Patrularve is between trees and should be fine.
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Huge shame not to see more of the resort open. With the current conditions, you'd expect to see 35, 39, 41 & 42 open on the Gornergrat side and also 1,3 and perhaps 8 below Sunnegga.
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We interrupt this 2019/20 thread to bring you an update on 2020/21.

In the first post on this thread I mentioned the replacement (and massive improvement) of the avalanche destroyed Kumme lift at the underused far north of the resort. Here is an article from the Swiss newspaper Blick with an update (and a google translate into English). Nothing massively new but the timetable of having it ready for next season seems a lot more certain. I didn't know we were going to have "Robo-Gondolas" (i.e. no personnel at the lift stations). I have not been to Val Thorens so I don't know how well they have worked there.

https://www.blick.ch/news/wirtschaft/zermatt-baut-erste-vollautomatische-bergbahn-mit-der-robo-gondel-ambruef-id15652671.html

Quote:

The avalanche left only a residue of concrete. The valley station of the chairlift Kumme in Zermatt VS was destroyed. The railway was in operation for 37 years, when the snow masses revealed their destructive power in early January 2018. The chairlift never resumed operations.

Instead, Zermatt plans the big birth at this point. The winter sports area wants to build Switzerland's first fully automatic gondola, as research by BLICK shows. The operation should get by completely without personnel. The Swiss gondola specialist Garaventa builds the 10-passenger gondola. The Federal Office of Transport (FOT) has given the green light after the authorities have been cautious about similar projects. Already in December 2020, the project should be implemented.

Planned start of construction is April 2020, as Zermatt Bergbahnen CEO Markus Hasler (60) says. "The costs known to date amount to 23.8 million francs," says Hasler. This included the cost of the actual railway system as well as the valley, mountain and middle station. The costs of "construction industry work" are not yet known. So for facades, roofs, plumbing, electrical. "The final price of the plant will certainly be over 25 million francs."

New location due to avalanche danger
For the new plant another line was chosen. To avoid repeated avalanche damage. The robo gondola is also longer. And has a higher capacity. Nearly 1500 people per hour to transport the pioneer project.

"Planning began in the spring of 2018," says Hasler. Shortly after the avalanche. Still standing the final okay of the FOT. There is a so-called planning approval procedure. The head of Zermatt Bergbahnen expects a positive decision in the spring of next year. The FOT itself is covered. Because of the current procedure, no information can be given, it is on request by BLICK.

The revolutionary thing about the Zermatt project is the fully automatic operation. To date, all train stations must be staffed by one person who oversees the operation of the facility. It is intended to intervene in the event of accidents and disruptions. At the Zermatt Railway, however, the valley and mountain station are unoccupied. At the middle station, there will still be one person at the beginning. "In the medium term, the intention is to operate the middle station unoccupied," says Garaventa boss Arno Inauen (51).

France as a pioneer
"With the use of new technologies, Garaventa has developed a concept in which the stations can be remotely monitored with additional technical equipment and consequently no longer have to be permanently staffed," said Inauen. "This system is being used in Switzerland for the first time in Zermatt's new 10-seater gondola lift."

The basics were developed by a seven-member working group. It consists of representatives of authorities, cable car operators and manufacturers. The start of her work was in February 2019. Since then, the group met almost monthly. There were "extensive discussions," says Garaventa CEO Inauen. It was a "constructive and committed cooperation of all involved". "It was also possible to draw on insights from already implemented plants in France."

Inauen plays on the Robo gondola in Val Thorens (F). There, not far from Mont Blanc, the premiere has already been successful. Representatives of the federal government have inspected the plant in recent months for their safety, according to industry circles. The findings were positive. Bergbahn CEO Hasler says about the Zermatt project: "The most important point will be that after the concept has been implemented, an operation without incident, based on the unoccupied stations, can be reported to the FOT for several years."
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Wonder how the “beginner misses the gondola seat “ situation will be handled? A person on site always adds a layer of re-assurance. Good to see it’s in progress . The three Kümme runs were the basis of our first day, - ‘get our ski legs back’ routine
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twoodwar wrote:
Wonder how the “beginner misses the gondola seat “ situation will be handled? A person on site always adds a layer of re-assurance. Good to see it’s in progress . The three Kümme runs were the basis of our first day, - ‘get our ski legs back’ routine


A gondola is perhaps less likely than a chairlift to have beginners falling over? Would love to hear from someone who knows how well it has worked at Val Thorens.

As well as the three runs you mention there is the lovely red (15) down to Tufteren (with some easy off piste to the side of it) and the three great itineraries (16, 17 and 18 ) which will become much easier to access. Fantastic area in Spring being completely north facing.

Those two guys who run the cafe at Tufteren (i.e. where he new base station will be) that serves up soup, cheese, sausage and bread are going to cash out big time I reckon. I often go there at busy times as at present it does not get huge customer numbers. It also has the most fantastic terrace with (in my opinion) the most beautiful profile of the Matterhorn.
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drmattwill wrote:
I would appreciate some friendly advice from experienced Zermatt skiers.

Background
I will be skiing in Zermatt late next week for the first time. It is difficult to assess my ability, but consider myself between a beginner and intermediate. I have skied twice this year on very small local slopes in Indiana (yes, we have some) to prepare for my trip and have done so about 20 times in my life. My biggest trip was to Vail 10 years ago, where I did all the beginner runs and could easily navigate most (not all) of the intermediate slopes. I have a lesson planned on day one in Zermatt.

Advice
After hearing of the death last week and various accidents posted here, and given my ability, what advice would you give me? A youtube video of the trip to Cervinia got me a bit nervous as the piste looked rather narrow (but I could not assess the steepness). I would enjoy going to Cervinia and back and enjoy as much of Zermatt as possible. Please send me your advice.

Thanks in advance for you help.


Hi there. I didn’t see your post last week as I was out there skiing! I assume you are out within the next couple of days? I see you have already had some good advice.

You have been fortunate in that the early season snow has been, and is, good. Unfortunately, there are quite a few storms coming over the next week or so. Good for those who like powder. But not so good for an intermediate faced with poor visibility and/or wind.

Hopefully you have been studying the piste map. If not, you should download if from here:

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

You sound like you are at a broadly similar level to my daughter in law (who also happens to be an American, although she lives in London). We tend to get her around OK – including to Cervinia (I think you don’t need to go all the way over to Valtournenche). What we try to do is avoid the narrow (and particularly narrow and steep) sections with her. They are not very long and so strong intermediates and above tend almost not to notice them. But I know from skiing with her that they are not pleasant for either inexperienced or weaker skiiers.

The worst ones are, bizarrely, the home runs. But they will almost certainly not be open when you are there (nothing to do with amount of snow – it is just that in Switzerland schedules must be obeyed and they are not scheduled to be open). Also, if not already clear – avoid the yellows. They are “itineraries” and are not groomed (ever) and only have one pole so you are basically guiding yourself down the mountain.

I would say the worst pinch points are:

1. From the top of Hohtälli. It is a pity because this is a great run. But the top bit can freak some people out. Unfortunately, if you don’t do that getting from the Rothorn mountain over to the Gornegrat is difficult. You have to: ski down to Eja; take the lift up to Breitdoden; ski round to Riffelalp (piste 27); and wait for a train to take you up to Gornegrat.
2. The approach into Italy. There are two ways to get into Italy. Both of them require you to get to Testa Grigia. You can get there by skiing down from Klein Matterhorn or take two T bar drag lifts up from Trockener Steg. The former is a much nicer way to do it. From Test Grigia you can ski down piste 7. As has been said that is very steep at the top, all be it that it is wide. The alternative is to ski down piste 6. You will feel that you are skiing back into Switzerland (legally this actually is in Switzerland even though it is an Italian piste) but keep to your left and you will cut through a narrow pass (the Theodulpass) into Italy proper. This route is narrow but it is not very long. My daughter in law much prefers doing the latter. That also takes you into the area that has the most sun, the easier slopes – and the better restaurants!
3. Getting back from Italy to Switzerland I would really avoid going back the way you came in. The return piste is horrible for an early intermediate and can be icy as well at the end of the day. When I have my daughter in law we ski down to Plan Maison, get the gondola over to Laghi Cime Bianche and then the big gondola up to Testa Grigia and ski back into Switzerland that way (this time keeping right – otherwise you will repeat your journey into Italy).

I hope you have fun.
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@JohnMo, This is great advice and much appreciated. I plan to ski on 16, 17, 18 December, so I hope the weather is good by then. I enjoy powder, so should have fun. THANKS!
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@JohnMo, agree with the comments about leaving the top of Hohtälli - one of our party gets a bit freaked. But if one waits until most people have gone and before the next cable car arrives, there's usually a reasonably quiet gap. Only worry is being peered at by those above you in the cable car as it arrives!!
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A bit of train advice please.

Should I book the Geneva airport to Zermatt train tickets in advance or just buy at the station? I'm traveling mid week in January. Also is there significant advantage in going first class? Any advice much appreciated.
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I paid double the price from Zurich by rocking up to the desk in the airport for a flexible ticket. Book in advance but as close as you can to the date. Only differences is you may be locked in to a time. Travelled coach Friday to Monday early season. Train from vesp up to the resort is amazing.
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feshiebridge wrote:
Should I book the Geneva airport to Zermatt train tickets in advance or just buy at the station? I'm traveling mid week in January. Also is there significant advantage in going first class? Any advice much appreciated.

Outwards, unless you enjoy stressing about the punctuality of your flight, don't buy an advance ticket for a specific train. IIRC since the demise of the transfer ticket the saver day pass is the cheapest option if booked several weeks before your trip.

Return journey if there are reduced priced advance fares then testing the world famous reliability reputation of the SBB is more justified.

Due to the eye watering extortionateness of the Geneva-Zermatt walk on fare it might be worth buying a half fare card (Halbtax). Especially if still available for one month.

The train starts at Geneva airport so you will have no problem finding a seat in 2nd class. Invariably it gets totally ramboed between Geneva-Lausanne and often as far as Martigny so just depends if you want the extra space that 1st class may provide. Personally I wouldn't bother but YMMV.
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@Redial, I agree with the above. You should get on and book your tickets from here:

https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

Enter Genève-Aéroport and Zermatt and your date of travel. Ignore any additional ones and look at the three choices (times 2): point to point; Supersaver; and Saver day pass. Then compare the prices of two separate single tickets with getting a return ticket.

Point to point only allows you to go from Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport, Genf Flughafen) to Zermatt but you can take any train that day.

Supersaver allows you to travel from Geneva Airport to Zermatt but only on a specific train. Miss that and you are paying the extortionate walk up price.

Saver day pass allows you to travel anywhere in Switzerland and on any train that day.

Saver day passes can be bought up to 60 days in advance and are cheaper the further out you buy them. They start around CHF50 and at present mid-Jan ones are selling for about CHF90. The supersaver tickets sell out but are often not that much cheaper than saver days pass. Most people seem to end up buying two saver day passes (one there and one back) to give themselves flexibility.

Make sure you select the full price ticket. The site sometimes seems to default to half price as many Swiss people (or frequent visitors) have a half price card (it is only CHF180 for a year). It is not worth you getting one as it is CHF120 for a month and you don't often get as much as 50% on some of the discount tickets in any case.

You might have to set up an account (I can't remember - I have had one for years) but it is easy to do. You can then print off your tickets before you head to Switzerland. Alternatively you can download the app and do all of the above from the app and just have your ticket on your phone.
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JohnMo wrote:
the app

Is the best I have encountered on any mobile device anywhere. It is drenched in Swiss efficiency. Highly recommend.
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Final tip makes sure you get a seat on the right hand side of the train for full throttle views of Lake Geneva, mountains and all that jazz. Best appreciated with a cold beverage.
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hd wrote:
Final tip makes sure you get a seat on the right hand side of the train for full throttle views of Lake Geneva, mountains and all that jazz. Best appreciated with a cold beverage.


Toofy Grin Good point. Although I feel we should embrace those who would prefer a red wine as well.

The "right hand side" of the train is actually the left hand side as you come down the stairs to the platform. Slightly confusing - even more so if you have watched the train come into the station as it leaves back towards the direction it has just come from.
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Any thoughts on how busy Cervinia is at (UK) half-term - is it super crazy busy (ie 30min + queues at the town chairlift) or just busy?!
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Many thanks for the speedy replies
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@JohnMo, chairlift I meant Embarassed
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JohnMo wrote:
mjross1992 wrote:
Heading to Zermatt on Thursday. Weather forecast at the moment is looking very snowy. Where is best to ski in bad light?


Not a great place in bad light to be honest. The generic resort advice is to ski below the tree line. But we don't have much of that and of what we do have a lot of it is not yet open. The areas in Italy that are below the tree line are Salette down to Valtournnenche and Cielalto. But with the storm the link might not be open. In Switzerland the area below Sunnegga is lovely and is below the tree line but at present the area below Patrularve is not yet open. Riffelberg down to Furi is good and is below the tree line but is not yet open. I wonder if there is half a chance they might get that open - there is certainly more than enough snow for them to do so. Furgg down to Furi is also a good run below the snow line but that is a black and they tend not to open until Xmas week. Schwarzsee down to Furi is open and is half below the tree line - but the best part of the route is mainly above. If you like itineraries the one from Blauherd down to Findeln is open. It is not below the tree line but it is very sheltered so could be OK.

The winds are coming from the North West. Most of the Swiss side faces north and west so it is hard to hide. Cervinia might be getting a bit more sheltered (it faces south west mainly)

I suspect your best plan is the Rothorn mountain. Rothorn down to Gant or Blauherd will get some shelter and whatever sun there is you will get there, Blauherd down to Sunnegga could be windy but again will pick up whatever sun there is. And then Sunnegga down to Patrularve is between trees and should be fine.


Thanks very much for that! The snow for Friday and Saturday looks to have subsided a little. Do you know how likely the link to Italy is to be open either Friday or Saturday with the current forecast for wind? Thanks in advance.
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mjross1992 wrote:

Thanks very much for that! The snow for Friday and Saturday looks to have subsided a little. Do you know how likely the link to Italy is to be open either Friday or Saturday with the current forecast for wind? Thanks in advance.


The forecast still seem to be showing a significant storm (with accompanying snow). Below is the Meteo Swiss wind warning. It is very likely that the link will not open on either day.

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Thank you to everyone for the suggestions on my Zermatt ski itinerary. All is now planned. My prayer is merely that the weather cooperates. Thus, my question to the experts on these boards.

What is the outlook for Zermatt and Cervinia for this coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? I can find conflicting weather forecasts but cannot find a forecast of open pistes on those days.

Input greatly appreciated.
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drmattwill wrote:

What is the outlook for Zermatt and Cervinia for this coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? I can find conflicting weather forecasts but cannot find a forecast of open pistes on those days.


Well it looks better than the weekend. But that is about as much as you can say. Below are the GFS runs. There are still storms coming through at the beginning of next week. Storms are good in that they mean snow (those temperatures look like might be wet snow or even some rain in village but all good stuff higher up). However storms mean wind. Meteo Swiss are projecting winds of 50-60 kmph at piste level. The winds are from the south west so the Zermatt area will be protected somewhat - the Cervinia area less so. The link is at 3500m and is exposed. There is a good chance it will be closed all 3 days.

What this means for piste openings is impossible to say at this stage. My guess would be: link closed; possibly Klein Matterhorn closed; top of Rothorn and Hohtälli at risk but wind direction might be kind to them. That should still leave plenty open and lots of nice fresh snow to play in. Hopefully there will be a couple of more pistes open tomorrow.

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Looks like it was pretty windy out there today but they managed to get a lot of the system open. Plenty more snow to come this week. The Föhn is moving the temperatures up so it might be rain in town but fine up on the pistes.

They finally opened the Riffelberg to Furi pistes. As well as being nice runs themselves they are important in linking the various areas. Most exciting the black number 1 piste (the National) is open a week earlier than it often is (they always try to get it open for Xmas week). That is a great run from Blauherd down to Patrullarve. It is through the trees and a lot of the time has an adverse camber which makes it a fun challenge even for good skiers.
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Posting this in here as it seems to have more locals. Any thoughts please.

Raptor23 wrote:
I’ve been to CERVINIA before but was unable to venture into Zermatt much due to my lad being in ski school. He’s come on a lot and returning or new year and rather than put him in ski school am going to get some private lessons, anyway that opens up more time to explore the Zermatt side. One thing that’s caught my eye is some of the food places for lunch in Findeln. I wonder if someone could cast their eyes over my planned route and advise how doable it is for a couple of immediates, he can manage the steeper reds but has to take it a bit slower. Assume good weather.

First lifts out of CERVINIA at 8:30 - 08:45
Theodulpass for 9:30
Blue 73 to Trockener Steg then red 66 to the Matterhorn express lift near to furg. Get lift up to Schwarzee and then red 51 or 52 to Furi (don’t think he’s up to the black from Furgg to Furi)
Riffelberg express from Furi then Gifthittli chair then red 29/28/26 to Gant.
Chairlift from Gant to Blauherd then cable car to Rothorn.
Red 11 and blue 7 back to Sunegga then blue 6 to Findeln.

Would that have me at Findeln by say midday to 12:30? An hour or so for lunch.

Route back,

Eja chair then red 26 down to Gant, cable car to Hohtalli.
Red 44 then 35 to Riffelburg then back down to Furi before heading back up to Trockener Steg aiming to be at the top of Klein Matterhorn for 15:30 for the trip back down into CERVINIA.

Any thoughts gratefully appreciated.
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Raptor23, as long as you stay on the move that should be very doable. We take that exact route very regularly when going to Findeln for lunch.

A couple of quick notes:
-When making your way down through the Schwarzsee section, I would recommend sticking to red 51. Red 52 is very scenic and takes you past Stafelalp, which was a great restaurant prior to burning down (haven’t yet tried the temporary replacement) but it also has a slightly nasty uphill section. If you’re not sure of your timeframe on the first time making this journey, might be best to save that for another time.
-The run from the top of Rothorn is a lot of fun and definitely worth the trip up there, but if you find you’re running behind schedule by the time you reach Breitboden, you can take the lift down to Eja and straight back up the other side to Sunnega, just above Findeln. I would expect you won’t need to do this if you’re staying on the move, but that’s one potential place to save a bit if you’re running behind.
-On the way home, if you’re looking for an excuse to take the old cog railway, rather than taking red 26 back to Gant, you can take Red 27 to Riffelalp and then take the train up to Riffelberg (or higher if you’re feeling ambitious).

Have you settled on a place for lunch in Findeln yet? You’ve got a bunch of great options available to you.

I’d definitely recommend a reservation no later than 12:30 so that you don’t feel rushed and still have plenty of time to get the last lift up to Cervinia.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I agree with what is said above, that this route is eminently doable, and as above, I would be tempted to cut out the cable car up to Rothorn and just ski down from Blauherd to Findeln unless you have a lot of time in hand. One thing I wondered about though was the age of your son? You say he can manage steeper reds, though slowly and I think it’s only fair to point out there are a number of quite steep sections in this itinerary (though I appreciate steep can be a relative term). I think it’s also only fair to point out/warn that the descent from the top of Hohtalli has a section at the top that many people find unnerving ( I have skied for a long time and got taken out once on that section and it took me a while to get my nerve back!) It has been widened a bit in recent years but is in essence a zig zag, quite steep path at first before you reach the junction with two pistes (you will take the left hand fork to get back to Gornergrat). Obviously only you know your son and his ski level but it is possible this might be quite a challenging day for him.
So far as lunch is concerned, if you are there over New Year week (as we are) then I wouldn’t waste any time reserving somewhere for lunch, many places are pretty booked up already (though in fairness we are a much larger group, two should be easier)
Re reading the above, I certainly don’t want to put you off, it would be a great days skiing if your son is up for it, but I wouldn’t want you/him getting any nasty surprises either!
Have fun!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks both, he’s 13 now. Ive had a look at the runs in question on YouTube and think he’ll be ok. He managed the top section of Ventina just fine last time out and has a further week in his ski legs since then from a school trip this past February. The only real wobble he’s ever had was at the top of Klein Matterhorn when visibility was almost zero and it was howling, not pleasant for anyone really.

Not really much point making reservations at this point as obviously very much dépendant on the link being open though the longer range forecast does look reasonably promising.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ah he's older than I had imagined - if you've already seen the runs on YouTube then you know what to expect. Providing the weather isn't against you, you should have a memorable day!
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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?
@Raptor23, Good advice above. If you are way up north on the Rothorn mountain (incl lower sections at Blauherd, Sunnegga and Findeln) keep an eye on the boards above the lift entry gates. Generally if they think the weather (meaning mainly the wind) is going to turn for the worse they don’t open the link. But very occasionally they open it and then find the weather is turning unexpectedly they will put a message on the electronic screens asking you to return to Italy. They will get you back over but it is worth complying with the request.
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Raptor23 wrote:
First lifts out of CERVINIA at 8:30 - 08:45
Theodulpass for 9:30
Blue 73 to Trockener Steg


I would concur with what DCG has said on the other thread. The short thin u bend coming from Italy into Switzerland through the Theodulpass is a bit unpleasant – possibly not a nice way for an intermediate to do his first stretch of skiing in the day.

Instead of getting chairlifts N, O and P from Plan Maison up to Theodulpass, you could get the continuous gondola T up to Laghi Cime Bianche and then the mega gondola F up to Plateau Rosa. From there you can ski down red 80 (be careful not to fork left or you end up back in Italy!) and join up with the blue 73 that was your plan. The red 80 is nice and wide and straight so quite a good first slope for any level (not actually sure why it is red – it feels more blue).

I don’t think doing it that way adds much (if any) time.

Sorry if this is teaching granny to suck eggs: but at the start, make sure you get the continuous gondola at the south of town and not the chairlift at the north. The latter only gets you to Plan Torrette, not Plan Maison where you want to be whichever way you are going over to Zermatt.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It is. Cool Why doesn’t this forum have a wink smiley?
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Those winds are not going away. Look at the warning below. It is proving really hard to get the southern end of the resort open (and so of course there is no chance of the Italian link). I guess the good news is that it is all bringing in snow - looks like there is at least some snow almost every day through to Xmas. But it will be tough skiing up high for those out there at present.

In better news the home run from Furi to Zermatt is open as is the Hennu Stall which is alongside that a couple of hundred yards before the end. Even if you have been scraped by wind, alcohol will always help.

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Do you have a link to that wind forecast please. I might have an unfortunate lift pass decision (Italy only) to make on 28th.
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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!
Raptor23 wrote:
Do you have a link to that wind forecast please. I might have an unfortunate lift pass decision (Italy only) to make on 28th.


If you buy an international pass for a day and the link doesn’t open you can get a refund. In fact they probably wouldn’t sell you one as there is a good chance they would know if you were buying early morning. I will also be there on 28th but that will almost certainly be a walking day.

The site I use for wind is actually the Zermatt website. I don’t use if for precipitation or temperature- I use the GFS runs and the Meteo Swiss radar projections for that. But the Zermatt site is pretty good on wind:

https://www.zermatt.ch/en/Weather-forecast

Ignore The tabs for Zermatt and Täsch/Randa. Knowing it is not very windy at the bottom of the valley is not much use. Gornergrat gives you a good indication of what the wind will be like up high in the main ski area (it is one of the higher point and is the middle Swiss mountain). Klein Matterhorn is where you ski down from to the link. The link will not be as windy as Klein Matterhorn but it is usually similar in direction as well as speed. The wind charts are at the bottom and look like the photo below. It is in German but wind is Wind. It gives you gust speed, ordinary speed and then direction.

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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks, I’ll be buying a 5 day pass so will need to decide whether to go local and upgrade individual or go international for the full 5 days.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Raptor23 wrote:
Thanks, I’ll be buying a 5 day pass so will need to decide whether to go local and upgrade individual or go international for the full 5 days.


In weather terms we are talking quite a long way ahead. So hopefully by then (for me as well as you!) the winds of the last few days (and projected to last a few days more) will have died down.

On 5 days it might not make much difference. An Italy only pass is €214. The daily supplement to upgrade to get into Switzerland is €35. The 5 day international pass is €284. So if you were planning three days in Italy and two days in Switzerland (a sensible mix if you are based in Italy) it would be €284 either way.
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