I have a customer in Sierre that I might need to visit. I know that Crans Montana is close. How is the skiing there and what other small area's are around?
Train from Zurich the easiest way to get there?
I spent a night in a hotel in Sierre many moons ago on the way to Zermatt. Sierre is on a main train line, I was coming from Florence, Italy and had missed the stop before at Visp. Visp is where you catch the approximately one hour cog-train ride to Zermatt, so that has to be a consideration for any nearby skiing, esp if you've never seen the Matterhorn up-close!
Crans-Montana is even closer and a significant ski resort in its own right, probably less intimidating for quick visit than Zermatt and surely worthy of a day or two of skiing. Apparently, has sunny exposure which might be good for January visit, but not late season or in low-snow conditions: http://www.wheretoskiandsnowboard.com/resorts/CransMontana
Aminona is a SMALL area also close to Sierre with 1500 meter vertical!?! http://www.j2ski.com/ski_resorts/Switzerland/Aminona.html
Hopefully, you'll get a Euro to reply with better first hand info.
Edit: article on Crans-Montana, the candid comments may be of interest to you:
CM is a nice place. But you also have other options being so close to so much great Valais skiing. We've had over 6 and a half feet of snow in the past week plus and its still snowing.
Don't know what skiing you like but think a good bet for a day trip is driving a half an hour to Siviez, the back door to the 4 valleys, e.g Verbier. A highspeed quad, followed by two trams put you on the top of Mont Fort 3300 meters.
Other thoughts are the ski areas straight up from Sierre in Val d'Anniviers.
Cool, I didn't know it was so close to Verbier? It's always been on my list. I just got another big order today from CH and I really need to visit.
What is the latest in the season that you would consider the skiing to be good? I'm an expert and ski everything, but my days of you fall, you die are about over.