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What to expect for Davos (Switzerland) at the end of January...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Can someone tell me what to expect with the general ski / slope conditions to expect in the Davos-Klosters area for the last week of January?  I try to pick my trips when the weather is the absolute coldest (I want the best snow and no melting).  There is obviously a balance between the cold and giving the resort enough time to build a good base to have all the terrain open.

 

For anyone that has skied BOTH Davos and Zermatt, what are your impressions of the two? We picked Davos because this trip is being for almost entirely on credit card points (airfare and lodging), and there was SPG lodging available, but we could slide to Zermatt,

 

Our last trips were to Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, and a lot of the resorts around Lake Tahoe (Kirkwood being my favorite).  We are not off-trail kinda folks.  I prefer the harder intermediates and easier blacks.

post #2 of 14

OK I have skied both and if I had to choose it would be Zermatt every time. The skiing is better especially the off piste, the scenery is better, the nightlife/dining is MUCH better in the town  [cars are banned].and the general ambiance is better.

 

It is easy to ski over to Cervinia for some great cruising blues and reds. There are plenty of challenging runs on the Zermatt side. Be carefull about equating the Swiss black run grade with the US version. some of the blacks leading down to Zermatt are really tough. However both resorts will have a much greater ski area and many more lifts than you are used to.

 

Neither Davos or Zermatt has much ski in ski out accomodation,. expect to take a bus at the end of the day.

 

I would expect good snow conditions at both resorts at the end of January however Zermatt is slightly more snow sure.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  Well, let me ask you this way...  If you were able to stay in Davos free for four nights, or pay to stay at Zermatt for 4 nights, what would you choose?  That is the situation I'm in.

 

Davos=Free

Verbier=partly free

Zermatt=out of pocket

 

We are flying into Zurich, so Verbier is a haul.

 

I'm not underestimating their blacks, as they don't have the double designation like the U.S. does, but I figure if I can handle Jackson Hole's blacks, I should be ok as long as I avoid the 'hard' blacks (the blacks that would be doubles in the U.S.).  I don't venture onto double's, as I don't have the skill, and when I have wandered onto them by mistake, there is normally a story associated with the run ;)

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Turner View Post
 

Thanks!  Well, let me ask you this way...  If you were able to stay in Davos free for four nights, or pay to stay at Zermatt for 4 nights, what would you choose?  That is the situation I'm in.

 

Davos=Free

Verbier=partly free

Zermatt=out of pocket

 

We are flying into Zurich, so Verbier is a haul.

 

I'm not underestimating their blacks, as they don't have the double designation like the U.S. does, but I figure if I can handle Jackson Hole's blacks, I should be ok as long as I avoid the 'hard' blacks (the blacks that would be doubles in the U.S.).  I don't venture onto double's, as I don't have the skill, and when I have wandered onto them by mistake, there is normally a story associated with the run ;)

Well I stand by my choice of Zermatt over Davos or Verbier. But it will be pretty costly, hey it is Switzerland.

 

But if you go to Zermatt and ski run 69 under the Matterhorn it will seem worthwhile.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Turner View Post

Thanks!  Well, let me ask you this way...  If you were able to stay in Davos free for four nights, or pay to stay at Zermatt for 4 nights, what would you choose?  That is the situation I'm in.


Davos=Free


Verbier=partly free


Zermatt=out of pocket


We are flying into Zurich, so Verbier is a haul.


I'm not underestimating their blacks, as they don't have the double designation like the U.S. does, but I figure if I can handle Jackson Hole's blacks, I should be ok as long as I avoid the 'hard' blacks (the blacks that would be doubles in the U.S.).  I don't venture onto double's, as I don't have the skill, and when I have wandered onto them by mistake, there is normally a story associated with the run wink.gif


 



Zermatt is also quite a long trip from Zurich. Davos is the easiest of the three to get to.

Davos is a proper city rather than a pure ski resort, so it won't have that ski village atmosphere. But, the mountain should be good for the type of skiing that you're looking for. You can get more info on the mountain here http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/skiresorts/resortmountain.aspx/Davos.

Personally, from Zurich I would choose St. Anton. But if I had a chance for a free stay in Davos, I wouldn't pass that up.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Turner View Post
 

Thanks!  Well, let me ask you this way...  If you were able to stay in Davos free for four nights, or pay to stay at Zermatt for 4 nights, what would you choose?  That is the situation I'm in.

 

Davos=Free

 

Verbier=partly free

 

Zermatt=out of pocket

 

We are flying into Zurich, so Verbier is a haul.

 

I'm not underestimating their blacks, as they don't have the double designation like the U.S. does, but I figure if I can handle Jackson Hole's blacks, I should be ok as long as I avoid the 'hard' blacks (the blacks that would be doubles in the U.S.).  I don't venture onto double's, as I don't have the skill, and when I have wandered onto them by mistake, there is normally a story associated with the run wink.gif

 


from Zurich I would choose St. Anton. But if I had a chance for a free stay in Davos, I wouldn't pass that up.

I second that.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, wanted to update the thread.  I don't know how many of you have been following the Europe weather pattern, but it has been STRONGLY emphasizing the southern alps, not the northern.  Davos has an upper base of around 85 cm, while Zermatt has about 300 cm.  Zermatt's lower base is about what Davos's upper base it.  Since we are going such a long way, I don't want to ski in crap.  So, we cancelled staying in Davos, and rebooked in Zermatt.  Davos just hasn't gotten the snow.  Pretty excited for the change.  Was getting pretty depressed about Davos conditions, then decided it just wasn't worth saving a grand to ski crud.  Who know, Davos may get slammed the week we were going to be there, but with about 3 weeks to go, I'm not going to bet on it.

 

Thanks for all the advice!

post #8 of 14

So far, this is the year to ski in the south.  I was in Davos last week of January '13 and we had fantastic snow.  As a rule, I'd rate it more snow sure than Zermatt.  I also like the Davos area because you have a lot of tree skiing options if the weather turns nasty.  Zermatt is virtually 100% above tree line and is a mess when things get socked in or the wind kicks up and they close the upper lifts.  Given the weather pattern to date this year, I'd say you have chosen wisely.  Only time will tell what it will be like in either place by the end of January.  Hope you nailed it for snow and weather in Zermatt. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks :)  1 foot just fell in Zermatt, with another 3 feet forecast by Sunday.  We arrive on the 27th.  All I ask for it one good powder day :) 

post #10 of 14
Both are excellent resorts with enough ski area to keep you busy for 2 weeks at least.

I've been to both and will go to Davos again in March. In Zermatt we liked Cervo hotel and the Gornergrat view of the Matterhorn. We also wanted to go paragliding with an instructor but did not as my wife was pregnant. If you like similarly dangerous things there are plenty of options beyond skiing. I'd also recommend a day of heli skiing, ideally at the weekend to avoid crowds on the piste.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  We will be skiing Monday through Friday, so we should be able to avoid the rush :)  I need to check into the heli pricing.

post #12 of 14
Also look on dcrainmaker.com as he recently went to Zermatt - should get you in the mood
post #13 of 14

and a tip - in case you didn't know this.  You should look into getting the "Swiss Transfer Ticket".  This is a special train ticket that one can only buy in advance (not available for sell in Switzerland!) and it's valid for one outbound one return journey from a Swiss airport/border (in your case, Zurich airport) to your final destination (Zermatt).  Assuming that you don't have any railpass discounts coming from abroad, the transfer tickets should save your quite a bit of $$ :)

 

 

sorry for not seeing this post earlier....  I would've probably recommended Verbier, but that's only because you can stay partly free there!  Zermatt will not dissapoint :)  Enjoy!  (the snow was already quite decent back in December in Zermatt this year!)

post #14 of 14

He choose well for Zermatt.

 

I was in Verbier at Christmas, and their base isn't that great this year...It's better now than at Christmas, but Zermatt has the better snow at the moment.

 

I also had a trip booked at Davos, and canceled it and rebooked in the Dolomites instead.  Got myself on a 7 night hut-to-hut tour...it should be amazing!

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