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Questions about Zermatt

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am planning my 2012-13 ski trip and need some advice on where I should head:

-I am going the week after xmass (I know its busy)

-Will have myself (expert skier) sister (advanced but did not ski this year) father (aging but still advanced) and mother (only groomed runs but likes a challenging groomer). 

 

I need something that will be acceptable for all parties. The mother is the tough one to please as she only skies groomed runs (but will ski any groomer) and myself on the other end of the spectrum (Looking for something to test my new Rossi Squad 7's if that gives you an idea of how I ski). We have been doing family trips for 20 years in a row and been a lot of places.

 

My father suggested Zermatt - I have never skied in Europe and I would love to. Concern is snow quality and lack of advanced runs for me to ski (I dont know anything about Zermatt).

 

Can anyone give me a quickie on euro zone skiing/zermatt specifically?

Anywhere else I should look in Europe or should I stick with Canada?

 

 

 

First time on epicski so excuse me if I dont know how things are done here

post #2 of 12

Welcome to Epic Justnnow!

 

Zermatt has 7000 feet of vertical and it overlooks the Matterhorn. Now that alone does not make it impossible to have poor snow quality or lack of a variety of terrain, but it should tell you a lot. The week after Christmas may or may not have enough snow cover to enjoy the most difficult terrain. With the Alps it depends on the year. I've been twice in low snow cover (December) and got plenty of skiing in.

 

Have you seen Epic's Zermatt page?

http://www.epicski.com/products/zermatt-ski-resort

 

Have you used the search feature for info about Zermatt that is already on Epic?

http://www.epicski.com/search.php?search=Zermatt

 

There are lots of threads, but you might want to start with the 2 reviews.

post #3 of 12

I know I always give this answer, but it's the correct answer: St. Anton is the place to go.

 

There are 84 lifts and 276 km of total pistes spread across 5 or 6 towns. Most of that will be groomed, which will keep your mom happy. There are a number of ungroomed but marked pistes, which will keep your dad and sister happy. And, there's a ton of off-piste terrain that the guides can take you to that will leave you smiling.

 

On top of that, the journey there is pretty convenient and rather scenic. You can fly to Zurich and then take the train from there directly to the resort. The train starts off along the lakes near Zurich, then goes into the mountains of eastern Switzerland and western Austria. It's about 2 hrs in total.

 

Here are some trip reports from other members:

http://www.epicski.com/t/101032/st-anton-this-week

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/111201/st-anton-austria-amazing

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/78363/christmas-week-in-st-anton-zurs-lech-stuben

post #4 of 12

The other resorts that worth considering are :

Verbier - excellent piste and off-piste. 

Trois Vallees - largest ski resort in the world

Val d'isere / Tignes - excellent terrain

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post

I know I always give this answer, but it's the correct answer: St. Anton is the place to go.

 

There are 84 lifts and 276 km of total pistes spread across 5 or 6 towns. Most of that will be groomed, which will keep your mom happy. There are a number of ungroomed but marked pistes, which will keep your dad and sister happy. And, there's a ton of off-piste terrain that the guides can take you to that will leave you smiling.

 

On top of that, the journey there is pretty convenient and rather scenic. You can fly to Zurich and then take the train from there directly to the resort. The train starts off along the lakes near Zurich, then goes into the mountains of eastern Switzerland and western Austria. It's about 2 hrs in total.

 

Here are some trip reports from other members:

http://www.epicski.com/t/101032/st-anton-this-week

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/111201/st-anton-austria-amazing

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/78363/christmas-week-in-st-anton-zurs-lech-stuben

I have done that train ride before during the summer. It is beautiful. Just from a quick I am taking a liking to St. Anton. 

post #6 of 12

The other resorts that Scavenger listed are also fantastic and are definitely worth visiting. But, if it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip, my vote always goes to St. Anton.

post #7 of 12

Chamonix. Yes it's renowned for its 'mega-Gnar', but there's plenty of pistes there too. Moreover, a lot of the off piste terrain is easily accessible and fine for intermediate-advanced skiers. For example, Vallee-Blanche alone offers routes for intermediates to experts it's that big.



Lukas

post #8 of 12

At that time of year, your best odds for snow is in the Arlberg.  Klosters/Davos is another good bet for reliable snow.  For spectacular scenery and charm, Zermatt cannot be beat.  But you are rolling the dice a bit on snow reliability, particularly the steeper terrain off piste, early in the season.  A lot of that does not open most years until much later in the season.  Consider Lech, St. Christoph, Zurs or Stuben as well as St. Anton.  Smaller but more charm that St. Anton.  Access to the same lift system/terrain.  You can bus it from the Zurich airport to the Arlberg on Arlberg Express.  Quick and easy transfer at a reasonable cost. It will be crowded that week wherever you go.  If the snow is marginal, the pistes will be jammed.

post #9 of 12
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukas View Post

Chamonix. Yes it's renowned for its 'mega-Gnar', but there's plenty of pistes there too. Moreover, a lot of the off piste terrain is easily accessible and fine for intermediate-advanced skiers. For example, Vallee-Blanche alone offers routes for intermediates to experts it's that big.

 

FWIW, I've been warned that Chamonix is not a good place to go early in the season due to poor coverage.  But that may depend on whether you want to do guided off-piste stuff.  I have not gotten there yet to check it out for myself.

 

Zermatt is pretty awesome, assuming you can get over the sticker shock.  We were there in kind of a 'meh' snow year (also around New Year's), and there was no shortage of runs -- and we couldn't even get over to the Italian side (bad weather the day we'd planned for that).  The place is enormous.  So unless the snow is amazingly bad or you get pouring rain or something, there will be skiing.

 

Would love to check out St. Anton sometime, though...

post #11 of 12

Ah, forgot when you were going. Yeh your best bet with Cham is until you're into Jan.



 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Would love to ski Cham. Actually did a hut to hut hike around Mont Blanc a long time ago, white an area and lots of ski history. Better save that for a time when I gan go in Jan. St. Anton, the more I read about it, seems like it has a mix of the other areas strengths and might have better coverage at that time of year. While not quite as gnar at Cham or as breathtaking as Zermatt...

 

I am balancing skiing in Europe with repeating what I did last season (split time in Big White and Revelstoke in BC). It seems an unfair comparison because the skiing is simple so different. 

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