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Zermatt vs the rest of Europe - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 

 

That's the thing; there aren't 2 or 3. It's more like 10 or 12. 

That's kind of true about a lot of places, North America included (maybe Japan too?). And there are piles of threads around here making just that point.

 

But back to question posed above: if someone who could only go to the Alps 2-3 times in a lifetime asked you for a shortlist, don't you think you could pare it down? I think we could eliminate a lot of those places from a short list. Kitzbuhel? Too low. Wengen? Too slow (liftwise). Murren? Too small (though Murren is on my short, short list). Engelberg? Too disjointed. Arosa-Lenzerheide.? Not linked. Gstaad? Really?

post #32 of 52

OK

 

For the mountain classics - Arlberg, Chamonix and Zermatt in that order.

For the mega circuits- 3V, Sella Ronda and PdS

For get away from it all - Monte Rosa, Val D'Anniviers....

For big names and celebs and big areas - Verbier, Val D, Davos/Klosters

For Austrian charm at Austrian prices - Mayrhofen,Westendorf, Zell Am see

For partying, Mooser, Folie D, some strip club in Ishgl

For epic views - Glencoe, Lofoten

post #33 of 52

That's not bad.

post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

 

Zermatt certainly ticks a lot of boxes - Swiss charm & efficiency, cog railways, iconic scenery, big vert, reliable snow, opportunity to ski cross border.

 

 

And that's exactly why Zermatt is so appealing to me, because all of those boxes are ones I would want ticked if I were to make the trip across the pond.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

 

But Venice combined with the Dolomites/Sella Ronda or the Arlberg as a whole or wider Kitzbuhel region or the Tarantaise or the James Bond/Clint Eastwood  thrills of the Jungfrau region all have major points to recommend them.

 

 

And there we have it...fatbob's top 2 or 3 (or 5) European ski destinations.  If I only had three chances, based upon all the research I have done...my choices would be Zermatt, Venice/Cortina/Sella Ronda and the Arlberg.

post #35 of 52

I like Venice as much as the next guy, but a ski trip's a ski trip. 

post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

I like Venice as much as the next guy, but a ski trip's a ski trip. 

 

I agree.  But which of these two options would you recommend for my wife and me celebrating our 20th anniversary?

 

A) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days) and 2 days in Venice; OR

B) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days).

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

That's kind of true about a lot of places, North America included (maybe Japan too?). And there are piles of threads around here making just that point.

 

But back to question posed above: if someone who could only go to the Alps 2-3 times in a lifetime asked you for a shortlist, don't you think you could pare it down? I think we could eliminate a lot of those places from a short list. Kitzbuhel? Too low. Wengen? Too slow (liftwise). Murren? Too small (though Murren is on my short, short list). Engelberg? Too disjointed. Arosa-Lenzerheide.? Not linked. Gstaad? Really?

 

This goes back to what I was saying to @Tony Crocker. Once you get a list of 10 or 12 resorts that have everything that you're looking for, then the decision comes down to things that wouldn't otherwise be that important, such as the length of the transfer from the airport or how easy it is to make your way around the town. Those aren't the two main things that you look for in a resort, but they are two of the only things separating the resorts in a rather long shortlist.

 

FYI, Arosa and Lenzerheide are now linked.

post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post
 

 

I agree.  But which of these two options would you recommend for my wife and me celebrating our 20th anniversary?

 

A) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days) and 2 days in Venice; OR

B) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days).

C) Flying into/out of Zurich, 7 Days in St Anton

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 

 

 

FYI, Arosa and Lenzerheide are now linked.

Really? F! That link opened last season? That's a pretty appealing resort in my view, Arosa is very pretty and Lenzerheide has the better skiing. Not sure it's top 3, but I like. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/snowandski/switzerland/10446100/Skiing-in-Switzerland-Lenzerheide-joins-Arosa.html

post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

C) Flying into/out of Zurich, 7 Days in St Anton

 

D) Fly to Zurich on a Thursday, spend a couple of days sight-seeing, train to St. Anton for a Saturday-Saturday week of skiing, train to Innsbruck for a day of sight-seeing, train to Salzburg for 1 or 2 days of sight-seeing, train to Vienna for even more sight-seeing, and fly home from there. Or, if you're just incredibly greedy, you could take another train from Vienna to Budapest and fly home from there.

 

The train rides from Zurich all the way through St. Anton and Inssbruck to Salzburg are ridiculously scenic. Vienna is really nice, and everyone I know who's been to Budapest says it's also a must-see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

Really? F! That link opened last season? That's a pretty appealing resort in my view, Arosa is very pretty and Lenzerheide has the better skiing. Not sure it's top 3, but I like. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/snowandski/switzerland/10446100/Skiing-in-Switzerland-Lenzerheide-joins-Arosa.html

 

It seems to have flown under a lot of radars. A lot of sites still list Arosa and Lenzerheide as separate ski areas.

 

I'm definitely thinking about going for another visit myself.

post #41 of 52

I love that hotel in Arosa with the glider train. Arosa is very posh.

 

 

post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 

 

 and everyone I know who's been to Budapest says it's also a must-see.

 

I like Budapest as much as the next guy, but...

post #43 of 52

The huge area/advanced weighted terrain short list in my mind before I started to ski in the Alps was Chamonix, Val d'Isere, Verbier, Zermatt and St. Anton.  I have not yet been to Val d'Isere and had just one day at Verbier on the Chamonix trip.  La Grave is unique, and for those who want a guided backcountry/quality over quantity experience, it should be on your bucket list. 

 

Nonetheless the potential for a great experience is undoubtedly there at many more places.  Mid-size places in the Alps can still be huge by North American standards, and the less famous places are even more non-competitive for powder. 

 

As in North America there are the usual snow conditions variables: Snowfall and particularly altitude/exposure.  There are places that are so heavily south exposed that you need to be very lucky to find any decent conditions off-piste.  OTOH high altitude north exposure can preserve even better than here because latitude is farther north than ski areas at comparable altitudes here. 

 

The mid-to-late February school holidays are at the period of greatest snow reliability, as in most of our resorts.  So it's worth the investigation to choose a higher snowfall resort for the mid January/early February time frame or a high altitude/north exposed resort for the mid-to-late March time frame. 

 

Fraser Wilkin's http://www.weathertoski.co.uk/ is the go-to source for this information.  I have finally succeeded in a data exchange with Fraser and have been wading through Alps snowfall data for the past month.  Snowfall data is much sketchier over there and tends to be measured low on the mountain or even at the resort base.  Therefore its less informative than in North America, and I concur with Fraser's view that altitude/exposure are the most important variables to consider in evaluating prospective snow conditions in the Alps.

post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post
 

 

I agree.  But which of these two options would you recommend for my wife and me celebrating our 20th anniversary?

 

A) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days) and 2 days in Venice; OR

B) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days).

Cortina would be a long way down my list of ski resorts from the pure ski point of view. Slow lifts and disconnected ski areas. A couple of days at the most.

 

What it does have is beautiful people Ferraris and good shopping so for a romantic get away with some skiing thrown in it will do just fine.

post #45 of 52

If by convenience, you mean a short 1hr to 90 minute transfer, then, yes, there are many more resorts that fit that bill. But if you mean convenience, as in get off the plane go through customs, get your gear, hop on the train at GVA, (or ZRH), get off the train at Geneva Main Train station, schlep your gear over to your train to Zermatt, for 4 hours of train ride to your final destination, then yes, it's not as convenient, as going to Chamonix, and some of the the many ski areas that require the same routine, but just happen to be 2 hours closer.

 

But Zermatt is worth the trip IMO. Even if just once.

 

 

 

Xmas 2012 loads of snow. Ski for an hour, stop for a apre snack/drink in some quaint hut, and then ski for another hour, and realize you just skied 7,000' vertical feet in just one run.

 

But there are so many ski areas to experience in Europe. And like just about everyone on here, we all want to hopefully get to as many as we can in our life times.

 

Snowed Xmas Eve all the way down to the village.

 

Sometimes you feel like you have the whole mtn to yourself, because you actually do have it all to yourself....

post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post
 

 

I agree.  But which of these two options would you recommend for my wife and me celebrating our 20th anniversary?

 

A) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days) and 2 days in Venice; OR

B) Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in Cortina D'Ampezzo (ski 6 days).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
 

Cortina would be a long way down my list of ski resorts from the pure ski point of view. Slow lifts and disconnected ski areas. A couple of days at the most.

 

What it does have is beautiful people Ferraris and good shopping so for a romantic get away with some skiing thrown in it will do just fine.

It's worth remembering that distances are quite compact over there compared to North America.  My friend Richard and his non-skiing wife daytripped to Venice in their rental car from their hotel in Kitzbuhel.  So if your wife wants to go to Venice, absolutely.  Your skiing can still be at the resort of your choice.  So why not combine your and prickly's choice??

 

Flying into/out of Venice...7 Days in St. Anton (ski 6 days) and 2 days in Venice???  Actually for a 20th anniversary trip I'd suggest staying in Lech to ski the Arlberg areas.

post #47 of 52

Lech is a real snow pocket too.

 

The gratin stay there so it is pricey but not much more than Cortina.

post #48 of 52

350km Kitzbuhel to Venice, 480km St Anton to Venice (GMap directions). No doubt some quite scenic driving, but hardcore for a day trip! 

post #49 of 52
Quote:
No doubt some quite scenic driving, but hardcore for a day trip! 

Maybe hardcore for a daytrip, but surely not unreasonable for a 2-destination trip of 10 days or so.

post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

Maybe hardcore for a daytrip, but surely not unreasonable for a 2-destination trip of 10 days or so.

Oh, absolutely! Memo to self: outpoint to wife re season's ski plans

post #51 of 52
I wonder if one can buy a one-day pass in zermatt and ski to cervinia to buy a multi day pass and use it in zermatt? This can save a lot if works
post #52 of 52
Thread Starter 

They actually have a system to prevent that. The multi-day pass that you buy in Cervinia only works if you start each day on a lift in Cervinia. So if you are staying in Zermatt, you have a lift pass you can't use.

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