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Zermatt and Cervinia 2019-20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@MHskier, You need to be in Switzerland for the Iconic view of the Matterhorn. From the Cervinia side you get an excellent view from pretty much everywhere but it is simply a standard Mountain shape, Mountain, if you get my drift.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Indeed. Even from Klein Matterhorn the view just isn't that spectacular as it is from Gornergrat/Riffelberg or Sunnegga/Rothorn.

My advise: on a sunny day go up to Gornergrat (take the train up from Riffelberg) to enjoy spectacular views of the Matterhorn, Gorner Glacier and majectic over-4500-metre Monte Rosa massif.
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Ah ok thanks. It was just Cervinia views I was thinking about.

@Skiwi222 We're just visiting for the day on the Aosta valley pass so won't have time/budget for the international pass into Zermatt unfortunately.
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@MHskier, as said above from Cervinia your view of the Cervino, as the Italians would call it, never really looks like the iconic smooth faces of the north east and north west sides with the little kink at the top.

The closest you can get is like the photo below. This is from Plateau Rosa and the first big building on the left is the top lift station for the cable car (marked F on the piste map) from Laghi Cime Blanche up to Testa Grigia. If you get that lift instead of turning right and heading back down into Italy on piste 7 (although you should definitely do that run!), turn left and head down where the drag lifts are coming from (you can see one of the drag lift stanchions in the photo). This is Italian piste 6 and so you are OK on your Italian lift pass even though legally you are skiing wholly in Switzerland at this point. It means you can get a decentish view of the Matterhorn and take a photo. However do make sure you keep left on the piste as in a couple of hundred yards you need to cut through the Theodulpass back into Italy (and still on piste 6). It is very well signposted where the piste divides.

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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@MHSkier, I would still try to make it up to Gornergrat, this is the view you get: https://www.dropbox.com/s/d7t7ggxmuflh6av/2019-04-10%2010.58.52.jpg?dl=0

Looking slightly to the left you get this view of the Monte Rosa and Gorner Glacier: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vaqy3mw0445zed6/2019-04-10%2010.58.41.jpg?dl=0

Going back to Italy you get to ride the highest and one of the most spectacular lifts in the Alps: https://www.dropbox.com/s/o4trtrv0z45n0n4/2019-04-09%2016.06.22.jpg?dl=0

I believe the 1-day skipass extension that allows you to go to Zermatt costs 35 euro, I would reckon that is definitely worth it Wink

Timing-wise it's easily doable in a day: ski from Plateau Rosa down to Furi, take the gondola up to Riffelberg and then hop on the Gornergrat train.
Going back you just ski all the way down to Furi again, take the MEX (Matterhorn Express) gondola up to Tröckener Steg, where you switch to the Matterhorn Glacier 3S that brings you to over 3800m at Klein Matterhorn.
(if you have some time left: go up to the panorama platform to enjoy some more majestic views)
From Klein Matterhorn it's a (very) long ski all the way down to Cervinia


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 20-01-20 21:43; edited 1 time in total
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If you're a fast skier you can even head over to Sunnegga, where you get the iconic view of 'Toblerone Mountain': https://www.dropbox.com/s/va1zs27dki6yh4d/2019-04-08%2012.52.11.jpg?dl=0
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Passing through today so I headed up to the slopes. I stayed north so was only on Rothorn and up to Hohtälli.

If you are a piste skier (as the vast majority of skiers are, even if not true for SnowHeads) the pistes are in superb condition. You would not believe you were skiing on four week old snow. The cold temperatures and the fact that January is not crowded both really help. If temperatures were to go up and there was still no fresh snow by the time the February half term crowds hit things would be very different. Thank goodness the November and December snow was so good.

The lift accessible off piste is rubbish as you’d expect. However the itineraries are generally in good shape. 30 down from Hohtälli (pictured below) was lovely. Both 16 and 17 off Rothorn were enjoyable. 10 from Blauherd down to Findeln was hilarious. Large solid ice moguls! Very good exercise though. Any intermediates who has enjoyed it in soft snow would have been horrified once they were on it.

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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!
@JohnMo, must admit I would want to give the ice moguls a miss Shocked
End of month on 12 o’clock GFS is looking interesting. At least holds out some hope of fresh cover.
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@twoodwar, yip web cams looking poor currently. scraped thin mostly. hopefully the GFS is
accurate......though anything over 5/6 days really is a crap shoot. but if it pans out as it says, it should be better for when I get there. it really needs some descent snowfall.
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mcg wrote:
@twoodwar, yip web cams looking poor currently. scraped thin mostly. hopefully the GFS is
accurate......though anything over 5/6 days really is a crap shoot. but if it pans out as it says, it should be better for when I get t
here. it really needs some descent snowfall.


I hope the 6z GFS is wrong. It shows very little snowfall except for elevations over 3000m. It also shows rain to pretty high elevations, persistent above normal temperatures, and a generally unfavorable (for fresh snow) longwave weather pattern.

There is plenty of uncertainty, and the front around the 28th could trend more favorably. There is even a small chance of some light accumulations with a dampening wave this weekend. But overall the guidance looks pretty ugly for the mid- and long-range.
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mcg wrote:
web cams looking poor currently. scraped thin mostly.


If you mean the pistes, it really isn’t. I have skied Saas Fee then Zermatt then Verbier the past three days. All close to each other in Southern mid Valais and all in fantastic condition. Even today in Verbier we were doing south facing slopes in the afternoon and they were tremendous.

Itineraries are good if high and north facing. Otherwise not. Lift serviced off piste is rubbish. But we saw the guide we ski with in the bar just know and he said if you are prepared to put skins on and tour there is still plenty of good stuff to be found.
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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.
good to hear @JohnMo,
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@jebroni3_16, with the new gondola it was easy to move over to Gornergrat from Furi, but I mainly skied the glacier and Cervinia. For me, the pistes on the Italian side were more of a variety.

@MHskier, in my experience, the Matterhorn was way more spectacular and powerful from the Swiss side. The Cervinia side, of course, is also beautiful, but it is very different. The view follows the ridge which eventuates in the Matterhorn rock formation. From the Swiss side the Matterhorn covers up the ridge and looks stand alone. From the Pass, though, you have a different view again, and a gondola takes you up to the Plateau Rose from the Italian side. It's a fantastic view from there too.

I've tried to upload a photo of the Matterhorn in sunrise which I took from my window, but there seems to be no easy way...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Aussieboy wrote:


@MHskier, in my experience, the Matterhorn was way more spectacular and powerful from the Swiss side. The Cervinia side, of course, is also beautiful, but it is very different. The view follows the ridge which eventuates in the Matterhorn rock formation. From the Swiss side the Matterhorn covers up the ridge and looks stand alone.


Here is a photo that illustrates your point. On Wednesday and Thursday I was round in Verbier at a friend’s place skiing the 4 valleys with him. I took this photo from Thyon, at the most easterly end of the resort. It is looking south east at the Matterhorn. On the left of the Matterhorn is the north west face which appears as the right face from Zermatt. On the right is the ridge which is not visible from Zermatt but dominates the view from 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:
Glad to hear the pistes are in good shape. Heading out to Cervinia on Thursday. Fingers crossed there is a little bit of a top up, butnot too much to make it awful conditions. Given how nice it has looked on webcams I would be gutted to get a long weekend of zero viz days!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Rote Nasa lift over from Hohtälli has opened on schedule this weekend. This opens up itineraries 31, 32 and 33 (and 34 if you have skins - although technically this is now off piste). This area is very high and completely north facing so it will be good itinerary skiiing.

Decentish bit of snow in the forecast for the next few days. Really hope it materialises.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@JohnMo, Has the stockhorn drag lift been decommissioned, if so when and why?
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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?
@mcg, Yes, see https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/en/Current-news/Lifts/Information-on-cableway-services

"STOCKHORN SKIING AREA - SURFACE LIFTS IN THE BALANCE

The two tow lifts in the Stockhorn skiing area have been badly damaged by rockfalls over the years. Furthermore, the shrinking glacier fields have exposed steep rocky steps along the track of the lift, making it impossible to use. Here too, glacier towers have become unstable because of the melting ice fields. As a result of these natural changes, operation of the lifts had to be temporarily halted. In view of the persistent danger of rock falls in the area and continuing retreat of the ice fields, a solution would be to replace the two surface lifts with a cableway. Planning work on the construction of this new lift has already begun. The two surface lifts will remain closed until further notice because the Hohtälli-Rote Nase cable car offers an alternative means of reaching Stockhorn.

Last updated on May 2018"
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looks like we should get a decent amount of the white stuff over the next two days
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@mcg,

@Skiwi222 has posted last public update. At present a lot of the investment money is going into the new "Alpine Crossing" from Klein Matterhorn down to Testa Grigia. This doesn't really do skiers a lot of good (unlike the recent Trockener Steg up to Klein Matterhorn lift) but is a huge attraction for the many foot tourists who come to the area. That should be finished Autumn next year (i.e. ski season after next). More exciting for skiers is the new lift from Tufteren up to Rothorn. That replaces the shorter, avalanche-destroyed lift from Kumme up to Rothorn. That new lift is opening for next season and is really going to improve the far north of the resort (where there are some excellent itineraries). Coming in third place seeking the investment francs is the new lift for Stockhorn. From a selfish point of view I would like to see this done earlier. But to be brutal it is only cutting out one itinerary (34) in an area where there are plenty of itineraries (I am including 30 a bit further west in this) and if you want to, even without skins, you can ski over from Rote Nase and join 34 half way down (although there are no poles now).

If I were to guess I would think the earliest we could see work on the new lift would be next year with the hope of having it up for the 21/22 season.
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@JohnMo, sounds realistic. Sadly, the lift on Stockhorn is no longer of any interest to me and I’m just hoping I can keep skiing long enough to try out the Rothorn replacement! Still, looking on the bright side, the new Testa Grigia lift will enable me to get to Chalet Etoile when the time has come to hang up my skis! The list pass price might be eye watering but at least Zermatt is investing in new and improved infrastructure unlike Chamonix, my other favourite ski resort .....hope I haven’t started an argument.
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Welshcakes wrote:
@JohnMo, sounds realistic. Sadly, the lift on Stockhorn is no longer of any interest to me and I’m just hoping I can keep skiing long enough to try out the Rothorn replacement! Still, looking on the bright side, the new Testa Grigia lift will enable me to get to Chalet Etoile when the time has come to hang up my skis! The list pass price might be eye watering but at least Zermatt is investing in new and improved infrastructure unlike Chamonix, my other favourite ski resort .....hope I haven’t started an argument.


I am also looking forward to the Testa Grigia lift. The wife does not ski but she comes out to the Täsch apartment with me a lot. We do a lot of walking including winter walking and snowshoeing. I go over to Cervinia a lot to ski so it will be nice to take her over there for walking.

I hope you will be OK on the Tufteren-Rothorn lift. If you come down what was blue 14 (now classified as red because the only way off it is via a red) and on to red 15 (which is pretty easy by red standards) that will take you to the bottom of the new lift. That is a really nice run and stays in great condition right through to the end of the season.
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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!
Am I missing something? How does the new lift help you get to Chalet étoile sans skis aside from meaning you miss out the bit from Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia? It’s still on a ski run rather than being by a lift station. You gonna walk up from Plan Maison? Some dedication that just for some fish soup.
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@Raptor23, well,I’m not at that stage yet but, yes, my thoughts are I could walk up from Plan Maison. There’s a walking path - you quite often see people walking up to lunch there. Just planning ahead.
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@Raptor23, @Welshcakes, Because the wife is non-skiing we often walk up from Trockener Steg to the Gandegghütte during Zermatt Unplugged in April because they have live bands on there. It is about the same distance (roughly 1 km) as the walk up from Plan Maison to Chalet étoile. Still, if you were based in Zermatt it is certainly a journey: Matterhorn Express gondola to Trockener Steg, 3S Bahn cable car up to Klein Matterhorn; new cable car down to Testa Grigia; cable car down to Laghi Cime Bianche; gondola down to Plan Maison; then walk to Chalet étoile. Mind you the fish soup is really very good. snowHead

I am very much enjoying the mountain webcams at present. And quite a bit more to come. Webcams by Thursday morning should be showing a very attractive picture.
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Avalanche risk up to 4 (severe) and winds are strong. Still quite a lot of this storm to come. Good news for those coming out, all be it I don’t think those out there at present will be enjoying it.

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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.
Nice little top up of snow there.
First time to Cervinia for me on 28th March, have been to Zermatt twice though, liked the skiing but not the prices. Staying at the Hotel Breuil
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From all the webcams, snow cover looks excellent. Even the Bahnhofplatz is getting a covering snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Well that storm this week did great stuff for the area. Some decent precipitation coming through beginning of next week. But crazy high temperatures. It should be OK up on the pistes above the home runs but that could be rain in the village.

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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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JohnMo wrote:
Well that storm this week did great stuff for the area. Some decent precipitation coming through beginning of next week. But crazy high temperatures. It should be OK up on the pistes above the home runs but that could be rain in the village.



Goes a lot colder on Tues (4th) bringing more snow down to lower levels, so maybe that will cover up any damage caused by rain during soggy Sunday (2nd)?? Puzzled
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The storm currently coming through is not going to be pleasant to be out in. See the warnings from Meteo Swiss below. It could be rain not only on the home runs but also on the lower slopes. Fortunately those are ones that are mainly used for piste skiing rather than any off piste stuff. So they can be kept in good condition even if they get a bit of rain. The storm last into the evening so it will be snow most of the way down then. Perhaps not the storm we would have wanted but it is still better than no storm.

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Conditions looking terrible in Zermatt!
https://www.instagram.com/p/B8B6pCHB6km/?igshid=q7197gl8b8ah
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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?
@JohnMo, How much is it to park a car In tasch for a week. Thanks
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Google led me to this website which should allow you to check price and availability.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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In the 'official' car park, 8 days is CHF120. It's part of the station, so the transfer is pretty seamless. Load your trolley by the car, wheel the trolley straight on to the special 'trolley areas' on the train, with helpful MGB staff on hand, sit on the train for 10 minutes or so, then wheel your trolley off at the other end. We normally stay near the station in Zermatt, so can push the trolley all the way to the front door of the apartment. It's worth booking the parking (and train shuttle tickets) in advance, you can just key in your booking code when you arrive at the car park.
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BobinCH wrote:
Conditions looking terrible in Zermatt!
https://www.instagram.com/p/B8B6pCHB6km/?igshid=q7197gl8b8ah


Great video. It looks the skier is coming down close to the lift line that goes up to Hirli jus above Schwarzsee. Some wonderful off piste skiing to be had there.

I assume the "terrible" is an ironic reference to the discussion (if that is the appropriate word) taking place elsewhere on this board as to what a dreadful season we are having. It does seem that some people judge a season from data on their computer rather than from what is actually happening on the mountain. I have been out three times this season so far: beginning of December; New Year's week and a couple of weeks ago. The beginning of December was the best I can remember for that time of year. November and December produced some epic snow (sadly for Xmas visitors it included storms during that week) and then it cleared for New Year's to create an absolutely brilliant week. January was weird with almost no storms making it over. Nevertheless the earlier snow and the cold temperatures kept the pistes (which most skiers are interested in) in superb condition. Even the itineraries held up well (with one or two lower level south facing exceptions). Lift accessed off piste became very poor but touring remained good. Now we are getting storms coming through again and we have survived the unseasonal warm temperatures. The vast majority of visitors have had a great time so far and things are looking positive for the February half terms crowds (I know the winds bring storms so are good but it would be nice to see them subside). If this is a dreadful season then goodness only knows what a good season would be like.
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mcg wrote:
@JohnMo, How much is it to park a car In tasch for a week. Thanks


The two posters above have answered your question. There is an alternative. As you drive into Täsch before you get to the train station where the main car park is there are several private car parks on the left side of the road. They tend to be cheaper than the main one (although not as convenient for the train). They are even cheaper if you are prepared to park your car at ground level rather than underground (I wouldn't!). They also do package prices where you park your car, they then taxi you up the restricted road to Zermatt and hand you over to an electric taxi in Zermatt which will take you to where you want to go (or hand you over to your hotel's electric shuttle if they offer such a service).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Nice band of precipitation coming across from the North West early hours of tomorrow morning (so should be snow down to a decent level). This is how Meteo Swiss projects it.

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The little neighbour Valtournenche is slushy, not fun at all.
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EARNEST wrote:
The little neighbour Valtournenche is slushy, not fun at all.


I can imagine. Valtournenche is that bit lower (ignoring the home run, it is 2,200m to 2,900m) but more importantly it is south facing. Also the recent storms (including the one coming in tonight) have been and are coming in from the North West. Zermatt benefits most from them then Cervinia then Valtournenche. So the dry January followed by the spike in temperatures would not have been good for it. Hopefully enough of tonight’s storm will make it over and with the expected drop in temperatures, conditions will improve.
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