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Zermatt and Cervinia 2022-2023

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I suppose September is early 22/23 season rather than late 21/22 season so as it is September tomorrow, let’s get this started.

We can but hope for a better snow season than 21/22. It started pretty well but then once we hit 2022 pretty much nothing happened. The lack of snow plus hot, dry summer (and of course what is happening to the climate) meant that for the first time (as far as I am aware) summer skiing had to be abandoned up on the glacier. So the order of things is: first get some snow to get the top glacier reopened. We have already had a few nice dustings but not enough to cover over the damage. Then in October get the lower glacier going. The earliest date for this is 8 October but given the starting position I would be happy getting going at any time in October.

The new Alpine Crossing (from Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia, allowing foot passengers to cross from Zermatt to Cervinia) was due to be open this season. Covid has put that back and it will now be next summer. You will see the ongoing construction if you go up top. The Matterhorn Express lift station has been pulled down. A fancy new one is being built. At the same time the lift from Zermatt to Furi is being replaced. Few will know that one as it only ran in shoulder periods. The new one can help at times of high capacity and in particular foot passengers with luggage heading up for the Alpine Crossing.
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Hi JohnMo, good to see the thread started. Will be back in Zermatt in Feb again, after last years Cervinia base. Which Matterhorn express station is being replaced? Are there not 6 of them? I’m obviously getting the wrong end of this particular stick Puzzled
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I think John is referring to the Zermatt to Furi cable car which is currently being replaced. Useful to avoid those pesky queues!
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@Run28, probably, but not the Matterhorn express to my knowledge?
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And I know JohnMo has more knowledge of the area than me.
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I found out all new cabins are being put on the Matterhorn express though
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Sorry, should have been clearer.

The only lift station being refurbished is the Matterhorn Express station at the south end of town. The Matterhorn Express itself is not affected (although, as noted, they have upgraded the cabins – you would need a keen eye to spot that). However, entry onto the Matterhorn Express is affected as the station is now a construction site. They have made the temporary entry fairly good so I don’t think it will be a problem. The temporary ticket office is a bit further up the road (well signposted). The big problem is I couldn’t see any temporary toilets! Bad news for those who like a lot of morning coffee and/or have weak bladders – it is a long journey up to Trockener Steg.

The whole thing should be completed by the beginning of the following ski season – that is, Autumn 2023.

I lied about no other lift station being affected. There is also construction work on the cable car part of Furi station for the new cable car from town. However, as I think I said: unless you came to Zermatt during shoulder periods you probably didn’t even realise that cable car existed. It will not replace the Matterhorn Express but will be a help during peak times (they already use the Furi to Trockener Steg cable car for this pupose). Mainly however it will take the cross Alpine foot passengers and all their luggage and so will link up with the new “Alpine Crossing” lift. That sounds great. Foot passengers can go: Zermatt to Furi cable car; Furi to Trockener Steg cable car; Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn cable car: Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia (shiny new) cable car; Testa Grigia to Laghi Cime Bianche cable car. But after that they (and their luggage) are going to have to squeeze into a gondola from Laghi Cime Bianche to Plan Maison and a second gondola from Plan Maison to Breuil-Cervinia.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks JohnMo. Do you think morning rush will be adversely affected this season?
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twoodwar wrote:
Thanks JohnMo. Do you think morning rush will be adversely affected this season?


I suspect not. The temporary system has the same number of entry and exit gates. Unlike the old system the temporary exit gates are right next to the entry gates. However at busy uplift times there are few people coming down (and vice versa) so hopefully OK. Despite my sniffiness towards the new gondolas, they might help as they all have high ceilings so people might get in them quicker - and fill them.
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A few nerds might be interested in this. It is a few years since we were up on Rothorn in summer. I can’t remember them snow farming up there but they now have a small store of the stuff. This is a photo taken from Upper Rothorn looking down on Lower Rothorn (or Rothorn as skiers know it – the top lift station of the Sunnegga area). In the foreground is snow from last season under canvas. I imagine this is for pistes 11 (to Blauherd) and 19 (to Gant), They are popular pistes but are south facing so are hard to get going. There is snow making on those pistes but a base of the real stuff would not come amiss.

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Snowmaking for 3000 metres. Sign of the times Sad
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twoodwar wrote:
Snowmaking for 3000 metres. Sign of the times Sad


Here is another illustration of the point. The Furggsattel lift was the first chairlift built onto a glacier. Obviously it is tricky because the glacier flows under the pylons. On the lower part of the glacier they use tarpaulins to reduce the amount of summer melt under the pylons and hence slow the flow, making it easier to manage. Those lower pylons are now on rock in summer - or at least would be if it wasn’t for the tarpaulins keeping ice directly under them! This one is not my photo, it is from skipedia.co.uk.

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Does anyone recall the optimum time for booking train travel to Zermatt (from Geneva) i seem to remember the best price is like 90 days before something similar?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
90 days ahead of time is what we usually aim for. You tend to get the slight discount by working that way. That said....its never a huge discount!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Russeh wrote:
Does anyone recall the optimum time for booking train travel to Zermatt (from Geneva) i seem to remember the best price is like 90 days before something similar?


Usually the best option is the saver day pass. This can be purchased 60 days before you travel. The earlier you purchase it the cheaper it is.

https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/day-pass/saver-day-pass.html

Be careful not to buy the supersaver. This is cheaper but can only be used on the train specified. If you are 100% confident you will get that train then it makes sense to get it.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Does anyone know what is up with SBB ticketing at the moment? Looking to buy tickets for late October (Geneva airport to Zermatt). When I looked a few weeks ago and trains and pricing were coming up, now you can see the trains but cannot get any pricing or buy tickets on either the SBB website, SBB app or even thetrainline.com.

This issue has been going for a few days, I know they were doing maitenance early this morning as a message popped up last night, but it has not changed/fixed the issue.
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You can book up to 23 October. And you can book from Geneva Airport to Visp for dates after that. So I assume the reason they are not selling tickets up to Zermatt from 24 October is that the train are not running and there are replacement bus services. Strange as you still might want to buy a ticket.

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@JohnMo, oh bug. Thanks! Funny how the website/app doesnt tell you why you cant book that route over that time, just a mysterious message about an error occurring when you click purchase tickets.
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@Run28, @JohnMo Super helpful, i will stick a note in my diary for 60 days out Smile
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ster wrote:
@JohnMo, oh bug. Thanks! Funny how the website/app doesnt tell you why you cant book that route over that time, just a mysterious message about an error occurring when you click purchase tickets.


If you are buying a saver day pass, then it doesn't matter which places you put in. The saver day pass is valid for the whole public transport system in Switzerland (with some not relevant exceptions like ski resort infrastructure) for the whole day. So you could just put in Geneva Airport to Visp and buy a saver day pass for that day. The pass will be valid for the train to Visp, the replacement bus service from there to Täsch and then the shuttle train from Täsch to Zermatt.
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JohnMo wrote:
ster wrote:
@JohnMo, oh bug. Thanks! Funny how the website/app doesnt tell you why you cant book that route over that time, just a mysterious message about an error occurring when you click purchase tickets.


If you are buying a saver day pass, then it doesn't matter which places you put in. The saver day pass is valid for the whole public transport system in Switzerland (with some not relevant exceptions like ski resort infrastructure) for the whole day. So you could just put in Geneva Airport to Visp and buy a saver day pass for that day. The pass will be valid for the train to Visp, the replacement bus service from there to Täsch and then the shuttle train from Täsch to Zermatt.


Cheers, I didnt think of that. Funnily enough I thought it wasnt doable when I tried as first it assumes you've got the half price railcard so the Saver Day Pass doesnt show up as an option, but when you click on Full Price then it appears. Thanks!

The thing I'm worried about now is on the return trip that enough buses run to from Tasch to Visp take all the passengers who want to go and we don't get left in some big queue waiting for a bus as we have a plane to catch that afternoon. And if the buses have spaces for ski bags!

PS Where did you see that message, I still can't find it on the Zermatt website. Is it on an app?
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I'm wondering about a pre Xmas trip to Zermatt, how easy/regular is the service from Geneva to Zermatt via train and any idea how much it'd likely cost?

Are there any reasonably priced hotels in Zermatt I should be looking at please?

I tried searching here https://www.sbb.ch/en/buying/pages/fahrplan/fahrplan.xhtml for GVA->Zermatt for the 16th Dec but got an error

Unfortunately, no connection could be found which meets your request. The route may only run seasonally or at weekends.
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kitenski wrote:
I'm wondering about a pre Xmas trip to Zermatt, how easy/regular is the service from Geneva to Zermatt via train and any idea how much it'd likely cost?

Are there any reasonably priced hotels in Zermatt I should be looking at please?

I tried searching here https://www.sbb.ch/en/buying/pages/fahrplan/fahrplan.xhtml for GVA->Zermatt for the 16th Dec but got an error

Unfortunately, no connection could be found which meets your request. The route may only run seasonally or at weekends.


You might have the same issue I had when searching for trains for my dates that JohnMo kindly helped with in that if any part of the line is closed for engineering work that error can show (without telling you why) - see posts immediately above . PS I still cant find mention of the work on the SBB website on their other pages, not great!

As he mentioned you can buy Saver Day Pass if there is a bus replacement in place and that whould still be valid for the whole trip. When I've looked, it appears to be CHF52 one way, the usual trip seems to be about 4 hours but who knows if there is a bus replacement somewhere.
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kitenski wrote:
I'm wondering about a pre Xmas trip to Zermatt, how easy/regular is the service from Geneva to Zermatt via train and any idea how much it'd likely cost?

Are there any reasonably priced hotels in Zermatt I should be looking at please?

I tried searching here https://www.sbb.ch/en/buying/pages/fahrplan/fahrplan.xhtml for GVA->Zermatt for the 16th Dec but got an error

Unfortunately, no connection could be found which meets your request. The route may only run seasonally or at weekends.


52chf each way with saver day pass. You can book it 2 months in advance. Don’t get a super saver ticket as this is restricted to the train selected.

If you can stretch to 250chf for a double this is excellent!!!
https://e.coeurdesalpes.ch/reservations
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The train (with bus) connection from Geneva Airport is finally bookable for the dates I was needing, I guess SBB has finally loaded the bus replacement. However, I will buy a Saver Day to cater for any late flights (and my return has already been cancelled and moved once!)

Anyway I see on the Matterhorn Paradise website the following:

"On Tuesday, 20 September 2022, Zermatt Bergbahnen will be able to resume summer skiing operations on the Theodul glacier. "

That sounds good news.
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@ster, how long does it take on the train/bus to get into Zermatt from GVA? Was thinking would be a good weekend pre Xmas, but if its a 4 hour transfer I'd probably rethink!
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@kitenski, When I look at SBB website its about 4 hours, give or take. The odd train is a bit faster the odd one a bit slower. Might be a long transfer for a quick weekender?
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ster wrote:


The thing I'm worried about now is on the return trip that enough buses run to from Tasch to Visp take all the passengers who want to go and we don't get left in some big queue waiting for a bus as we have a plane to catch that afternoon. And if the buses have spaces for ski bags!

PS Where did you see that message, I still can't find it on the Zermatt website. Is it on an app?


We will almost certainly be in Täsch the last week of October so will be using the buses. I wouldn’t be worried about capacity – particularly at that time of year – it is quiet. If I remember correctly the replacement buses are just the normal PostBus buses. They have vertical crates on the back into which you put your skis. I have done it several times and it is fine.

As to where I saw the message, I follow so much Zermatt/Cervinia linked social media it could have come from anywhere! The info is on the train companies website:

https://www.matterhorngotthardbahn.ch/en/winter/railway-information/traffic-news/

kitenski wrote:
@ster, how long does it take on the train/bus to get into Zermatt from GVA? Was thinking would be a good weekend pre Xmas, but if its a 4 hour transfer I'd probably rethink!


Yep, it is four hours. When I was a worker I would occasionally do last flight out Thursday and last flight back Sunday. So got in three good days of skiing. However, we had to do hire car as it was too late on the Thursday to get a train. We have a place of our own in Täsch so it is quite different to having to check into a hotel. I wouldn’t think of Zermatt as a weekend destination from the UK.

ster wrote:

"On Tuesday, 20 September 2022, Zermatt Bergbahnen will be able to resume summer skiing operations on the Theodul glacier. "

That sounds good news.


Yep, there is a great video on the Zermatt Tourism’s Facbook page. A bit if snow up there really transforms things very quickly.

https://www.facebook.com/zermatt.matterhorn/videos/611596370658977
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@JohnMo, I'm glad you didn't write to say it might be a mini-bus and only good for those with sharp elbows as have just bought the train tickets (I really don't fancy needing to rent a car and drive).

We plan to be in Zermatt on 26-30 Oct, drop me a line if you're around those days, maybe we can meet up?
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Ooh, starting early. In October as the snow builds on the lower glacier (served by the Trockener Steg to Furggsattel lift) skiing starts there (the summer skiing is on the upper glacier). The snow builds up on the glacier fairly well. But the glacier ends a couple of hundred metres short of Trockener Steg. So the lift company builds a snow track from the end of the glacier. They have got that going already. Maybe they are optimistic about opening up the lower glacier earlier rather than later in October. Some decent stuff looks like it might be on its way Sunday/Monday.

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 Poster: A snowHead
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@JohnMo, I wonder if it's due to the Speed Opening' downhill race which I guess they need snow for & to show they are ready so a decision can be made on running it or not?


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 22-09-22 9:00; edited 1 time in total
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@kitenski, the race goes down to the other side (Italian) I think, so they won't be pelting down that little track.
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@ster is right. In any case the race is not until end November. By that time they should have a lot more than just the upper and lower glaciers open.
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@ster, I believe it starts in Switzerland before going down the Italian side?

https://www.fall-line.co.uk/ski-podcast-races-episode/
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@kitenski, yes but I think that track in the pix is on the Swiss side lower than where the race diverts to the Italian side.

@JohnMo, Late Oct, early Nov arent they?


26-30 Oct 2022
Zermatt-Cervinia
SUI
AL
TRA • WC
DH
M

02-06 Nov 2022
Zermatt-Cervinia
ITA
AL
TRA • WC
DH
W
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kitenski wrote:
@ster, how long does it take on the train/bus to get into Zermatt from GVA? Was thinking would be a good weekend pre Xmas, but if its a 4 hour transfer I'd probably rethink!
I think the Zurich train might be a bit quicker (3.5 hours) - it's definitely a more pleasant journey as the trains are typically more modern.
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@franga, but the train station is a bus ride away I believe rather than just under the airport arrivals?
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twoodwar wrote:
@franga, but the train station is a bus ride away I believe rather than just under the airport arrivals?


Train station is in the main passenger terminal at Zurich Airport - ground level underneath the large foodcourt. Direct trains to Visp where you have to run with your luggage / skis / board as if your life depended on it to catch the connecting train to Zermatt.
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@franga, good to know. I did think a bus transfer was required. I’ll put Zurich on my airport list if we have any flights from Liverpool or Manchester.
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twoodwar wrote:
@franga, good to know. I did think a bus transfer was required. I’ll put Zurich on my airport list if we have any flights from Liverpool or Manchester.
No problem - the SBB app is excellent for checking timings, connections etc.
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