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Zermatt!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Zermatt from the tram.JPGopen run, 2.JPGopen run, 1.JPGopen run 3.JPGold village.JPGMatterhorn , from hotel window, 1.JPGglacier run, 2.JPGglacier run.JPGfrom the tram, 9.JPGfrom the tram, 6.JPGfrom the tram, 5.JPGfrom the tram, 4.JPGfrom the tram, 2.JPGfrom the gondola top, 1.JPGCervinia side.JPG



Sometimes it pays to be a ski instructor.  A fantastic English family (mother, dad, 12-year-old daughter) have been coming over to Copper and skiing with me for the past four years.  Good all-terrain skiers.  Last year, I was joking with them and said, "You know, if you like your instructor, you're supposed to take him to Europe!"  "Like where?" was the reply. "Well, I've never been to Zermatt."  Reply:  "OK."  SO...!   Just got back from a week there with them.  Utterly amazing place.  Huge area with a connection to Cervinia in Italy.  Skied off-piste for with them for five days with a terrific Swiss guide (Andre Imboden: www.zermatt-mountainguide.ch); had amazing food every day; stayed in a very nice hotel (the Perren) with a view of the Matterhorn from my window (sixth photo above is from that window).

As mentioned in a thread posted earlier this season, you really need to go in late February, early March to get coverage on the off-piste runs.  The pistes are crowded and rock hard, so if you are restricted to them, you will have a very different experience, BUT if you are a solid advanced-expert skier, this place is unbelievable.  Fabulous open snow fields, glaciers, great bumps, terrific on-mountain restaurants (two favorites: Chez Vrony and the Fluhalp).

The transport and accomodation details were handled by Chips Lindenmeyr of Lindenmeyr Travel (lindenmeyr travel.com).  Extremely helpful and comprehensive.  She even sent me a sheet with the times and platforms I needed to get my connecting trains to the mountain.  Highly recommended! 

So, if you're looking for a memorable European ski vacation, this may be your place.  (It also helps if you can find a generous European family to pay for most of it!) 
post #2 of 17
This reminds me of something, let's all flag names of guides every time we have a positive experience. Really useful to have those names, thanks.
post #3 of 17
Great report & pics!
Thanks,
JF
post #4 of 17
It sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Glad that you corrected the erroneous impression created by the fellow who went in December and thought he'd skied Zermatt.
post #5 of 17
I never knew the top of the Matterhorn tilted back like that! Great pictures and I'm sure great memories. I've never skied outside NA . When in Colorado I meet a lot of Europeans skiing here which always made me wonder a bit why they wouldn't stay closer to home. Proves skiing in Colorado is worldclass .
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Glad that you corrected the erroneous impression created by the fellow who went in December and thought he'd skied Zermatt.

+1

amazing pics
post #7 of 17
Good stuff, Michael. What great pictures! To paraphrase Edward Abbey, "See one Matterhorn...you've seen 'em all!" There's nothing else like that iconic peak staring right at you, is there?

Looks like you got some great conditions, too. Way to go--I'm envious!

Best regards,
Bob
 
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yeah, seen one, seen 'em all!  I think if folks were to go to Europe to ski only once in their lives, this might be the place to choose.
post #9 of 17
Mike

Great pictures. Looks just as I remember it from my april 04 trip.

I am curious - exactly where photos 2, 4, 13 were shot. I am assuming 2 is in the Gornegrat area and 4,13 in the KM area. But I was wondering if you know the details.

thanks
Marty
post #10 of 17
Glad that you corrected the erroneous impression created by the fellow who went in December and thought he'd skied Zermatt.
Oh god, did you have to say that?  Too Funny!  That fella would be me, author of Zermatt-Not My Kind of Skiing.

First let me say, I appreciate the nice pic.'s/report and chance to refresh some memories.  But If you read what Mike wrote, he was off-piste with a guide for 5 days of his trip.  Where in the US would you even consider such a thing??? Where???

Hope not to get into "all that" again(sorry to hijack this thread but have to defend myself/mytrip), but my skiing hobby is expensive enough w/o having to pay for trip and days off work(even w/ free air) and then have to "expect" to hire a guide to ski some black terrain.  I don't have any rich Swiss pals to put me up for a week, complete with guide!  Said with all due respect to you Mike, you must be a terrific instructor and a good all around person for them to fix you up like that.

Aaagain, Zermatt is an intermediate skiers resort, in bounds, except for the area served by T-bars above Gornegrat, and looking at OpenLift report, i think those T-bars are closed even now, for whatever reason.  Don't got to Zermatt and expect to be zipping around exploring things, except inbounds(vast but groomed flat), which means stay between the yellow poles.

Also note.  I had a terrific time, can't wait to see if I can make it to Europe next year.  Almost the entire mountain was open in mid-December.  I skied 2 full days, enjoyed skiing the miles and miles miles of groomed cats and slopes, even though in general I much prefer more challenging terrain.  I loved the town and the culture and being in a foreign place, where I rarely heard English spoke. 

I just said it was "not my kind of skiing".  I'm a Snowbird/Utah skier.  So please, don't peg me as not enjoying my trip, I'm just calling a spade a spade, regarding in-bound terrain to be expected sans guide.
Edited by SnowbirdDevotee - 3/11/10 at 6:34pm
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi, Marty!

Not sure of the exact locations.  There was so much on so many days, it's kind of a blur!  Your suggestions sound likely, however.

SnowbirdDevotee: 

I feel bad that some folks seem to be coming down on you.  Most of us that have skied the Bird feel as positive about it as you do!  It is much easier to get around off-piste there, and in most North American ski areas, than in Europe.  Without a guide, you are literally risking your life there if you go off the trails if don't know the mountain.  If I went to Zermatt when you did, and was restricted to the pistes, it would have been an entirely different (and much less enjoyable) trip.  As I said above, "The pistes are crowded and rock hard, so if you are restricted to them, you will have a very different experience."  Actually, it would have been terrible!  The fact that you were able to enjoy it at all is a credit to you.  I doubt I would have been as positive.  If you get out to Summit County, let me know.  I'd be happy to be your guide off-piste around here!

All the best!
Mike
post #12 of 17

Thanks for the photos.  I am very excited to be heading off to Zermatt in 2 weeks. Going with www.myswisstrip.ca

post #13 of 17

Great TR... even better pictures!

post #14 of 17

Here is my Zermatt picture album from my Dec trip last year.

http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennCz/Zermatt#5414868503765794610

post #15 of 17


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Here is my Zermatt picture album from my Dec trip last year.

http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennCz/Zermatt#5414868503765794610



Thanks for the memories. Back in 1986 I climbed the Matterhorn. Is nice too see the old hill again.

David

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Here is my Zermatt picture album from my Dec trip last year.

http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennCz/Zermatt#5414868503765794610



More awesome pics.... I may have to make a trip there someday.

post #17 of 17


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty View Post

Mike

Great pictures. Looks just as I remember it from my april 04 trip.

I am curious - exactly where photos 2, 4, 13 were shot. I am assuming 2 is in the Gornegrat area and 4,13 in the KM area. But I was wondering if you know the details.

thanks
Marty


2 is Riffelalp (below Gornergrat), 4 is the Triftji T-Bar (with the Hohtalli cablecar station just visible on the right), 13 is a view of the Furgg-Furi run from the Schwarzsee gondola.

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