Zermatt this Winter

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  1. #1
    Hawk's Avatar
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    Zermatt this Winter

    We are thinking of going to Zermatt this winter. I know a few of you guys have gone. Looking for some intel on where to stay and any do's or don'ts. Our only qualification is to not have a long walk in ski boot to the lift. 5 minute walk is fine but not 10 to 15 minutes.


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  3. #3
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    We stayed at this place in 2017 and it was fucking awesome.

    https://www.sonnezermatt.ch/en-us/home/

    Not necessarily trailside, but there was a free shuttle into the village and lifts and a lot of ski shops rented lockers for you to get your gear and be close to the lifts.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  4. #4
    I just went last year, and I've been twice and I am not a fan. Total PIA to get to lifts. You absolutely will be walking for min 10 mins in Zermatt unless you stay at the few hotels right next to lift, but those are not in center of town and then you have to walk into the town. We took a cab every day to lifts. Walked once, its a long walk. We stayed at Unique Post right in center of town. Great hotel, but crazy partying. Live music every night, really good quality bands and the bars in the hotel close at 4:00 am, so the lobby is always crazy with drunken people everywhere.

    Its in a dry belt so snow can be iffy. When they get it, they get pounded, but they can literally go 6 weeks without any measurable snow. Which can cause snow to deteriorate considerably and make off piste not much fun, or even flat out awful. When snow is right, off piste is good, but still better off piste options in Europe. As usual, if its cloudy its very difficult to ski as there are no trees. If you get vertigo easily keep that in mind. On piste is not great and actually quite limited for a resort so large. The transfer over to Italy is frequently closed. Was not open the entire 8 days we were there this last time. First time it was picture perfect blue skies, no wind and good snow.

    The lifts are very efficient. They literally have a detachable tram that spins like a detachable quad with each tram holding at least 100 people.

    On mountain restaurants are the best in the world. Partying is tremendous. You can literally bar-hop on skis.

    Town is very nice and very expensive. Great restaurants and I mean great. Several Michelin Starred places.

    Personally I think its a bit overrated. I don't plan to ever go back, so much so that after my trip last year I said its my least favorite resort in Europe and I've been to about 40 in Europe.

    With that being said, many people love it and if you get good snow and bluebird skies it can be excellent. If that is the case you absolutely should hire guides and go off piste.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiberg1 View Post
    I just went last year, and I've been twice and I am not a fan. Total PIA to get to lifts. You absolutely will be walking for min 10 mins in Zermatt unless you stay at the few hotels right next to lift, but those are not in center of town and then you have to walk into the town. We took a cab every day to lifts. Walked once, its a long walk. We stayed at Unique Post right in center of town. Great hotel, but crazy partying. Live music every night, really good quality bands and the bars in the hotel close at 4:00 am, so the lobby is always crazy with drunken people everywhere.

    Its in a dry belt so snow can be iffy. When they get it, they get pounded, but they can literally go 6 weeks without any measurable snow. Which can cause snow to deteriorate considerably and make off piste not much fun, or even flat out awful. When snow is right, off piste is good, but still better off piste options in Europe. As usual, if its cloudy its very difficult to ski as there are no trees. If you get vertigo easily keep that in mind. On piste is not great and actually quite limited for a resort so large. The transfer over to Italy is frequently closed. Was not open the entire 8 days we were there this last time. First time it was picture perfect blue skies, no wind and good snow.

    The lifts are very efficient. They literally have a detachable tram that spins like a detachable quad with each tram holding at least 100 people.

    On mountain restaurants are the best in the world. Partying is tremendous. You can literally bar-hop on skis.

    Town is very nice and very expensive. Great restaurants and I mean great. Several Michelin Starred places.

    Personally I think its a bit overrated. I don't plan to ever go back, so much so that after my trip last year I said its my least favorite resort in Europe and I've been to about 40 in Europe.

    With that being said, many people love it and if you get good snow and bluebird skies it can be excellent. If that is the case you absolutely should hire guides and go off piste.

    Hope that helps.
    Yeah, a lot of these observations are true.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by skiberg1 View Post
    its my least favorite resort in Europe and I've been to about 40 in Europe.
    So what are your top 4 or 5 in Europe that you've been to?
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    So what are your top 4 or 5 in Europe that you've been to?

    Yes, I'd like to hear more Europe impressions too. Nice/informative first post skiberg1 !

    By the way, I went to Zermatt in summer for non-ski visit in 1983. Looking at Matterhorn from town is still probably the most memorable mountain view I've seen in my life. Blots out a third of the sky!

  8. #8
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimk View Post

    Yes, I'd like to hear more Europe impressions too. Nice/informative first post skiberg1 !

    By the way, I went to Zermatt in summer for non-ski visit in 1983. Looking at Matterhorn from town is still probably the most memorable mountain view I've seen in my life. Blots out a third of the sky!
    The Matterhorn and the incredible setting is the major selling-point for Zermatt. In my two visits, this has what has really stood out. The snow has been decent, but not stellar.

    We had planned a trip to Chamonix for earlier this year, but had to cancel because of work stuff. I am interested to know what others who have been there have thought.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  9. #9
    Every one of these ski areas are better than Zermatt. More snow, less people and cheaper.



    Laax, 6200 foot vertical....



    https://www.flimslaax.com/en





    Aletsch Arena, 3360 feet vertical....



    https://www.aletscharena.ch/sports-w...and-snowboard/





    Andermatt/Sedrun/Disentis, 4977 feet vertical....



    https://www.skiarena.ch/en





    Engelberg, 6561 feet vertical....



    https://www.engelberg.ch/en/





    Arosa Lenzerheide, 5331 feet vertical....



    https://arosalenzerheide.swiss/en/Wi...er-sports-area








    and that's just some of the big ones. look at any of them on goggle maps, then pull back a little and check out how many other ski areas are right near by. most of them you will never have heard of, but most are worth checking out.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss View Post
    The Matterhorn and the incredible setting is the major selling-point for Zermatt. In my two visits, this has what has really stood out. The snow has been decent, but not stellar.

    We had planned a trip to Chamonix for earlier this year, but had to cancel because of work stuff. I am interested to know what others who have been there have thought.
    We loved the town. Chamonix is not one of those places where you walk out to the lifts and can access hundreds of pistes and access other ski areas. There are, I think, 4 nearby areas; sort of like Aspen that way. Grands Montets is the biggest and most popular and has some great skiing. However it's a crowded 20 minute bus ride away. Good free bus system but can be crowded. A couple of times we had to wait for the next bus to come along because there was just no room to squeeze in. Also going home at days end there can be a line where you will have to wait for a few busses and then endure a crowded ride.

    There is an amazing amount of backcountry skiing and if/when we go back we will do more guided touring. Taking the Agui du Midi cable car from town up to the top of Mont Blanc and skiing down should be on every skiers bucket list. One run is about 11K vertical feet! Although a lot of that is just cruising straight down the middle of Vallee Blanche it is still super cool. Depending on your guide and your group's skill level you can do anything from upper intermediate skiing to really scary shit off the top. Another great day was taking a bus through Mont Blanc Tunnel and skiing Courmayeur on the Italian side.

    Lots of bars, shops, restaurants, great apres, live music...like a lot of French resorts there are a lot of Brits and most local seem to speak enough english. Part of Cham's charm is that it is not a town that was built around ski resorts. It is a town where they put in some ski resorts. It is a mountaineering capitol for sure. You will see lots of climbers, paragliders and may even catch a glimpse of one of those crazy squirrel suit guys flying around.

    Fairly easy to get to, about an hour and a half bus ride from Geneva's airport. We rented a little studio apartment right at the edge of the pedestrian part of town and loved being able to walk out for fresh croissants or a baguette, salami and cheese.
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