21:43,
Thursday,
22 October 2020.

Zermatt, Skiing & Snowboa...

Zermatt is one of the most spectacular places in the world to ski with a skyline dominated by the impressive sight that is the Matterhorn. When viewed from certain points near Zermatt this distinctive mountain can have an apparent pyramidal appearance that belies its natural geological history. From Cervinia over the border in Italy with which Zermatt shares the ski and snowboard domain, the Matterhorn appears radically different though, but does retain its dominance.

The slopes of Zermatt pose many challenges for all level of rider with the majority of terrain being suited to intermediates and above. Cervinia’s pistes on the other hand are less challenging overall and as such more weighted in favour of beginners, improvers and intermediates on the whole.

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Beginner

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Zermatt’s main nursery area is located on the sunny slopes of Sunegga at Wolli’s Park – Wolli is a sheep – which is ideal for absolute beginners and kids. Just beside Wolli’s Park beginners come early improvers will find a couple of slightly longer blue runs on which to further development before moving onto Gornergrat and Rotenboden above Riffelberg which provide several more good improver pistes. Under the guidance of a good instructor beginners should find their confidence builds steadily – enough for them to take on some of Zermatt’s trickier terrain and begin to move about the mountain a bit more.

Intermediate

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Intermediates will relish the many challenges that will be thrown at them on the slopes of Zermatt. With a huge variety of terrain both above and below the tree line intermediates should be able to find plenty to excite them. Head for Cervinia and the eight kilometre run down to the village from Plateau Rosa or the 22 kilometre marathon down to Valtournenche.

Advanced

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Zermatt is world renowned for its challenging slopes. With numerous on-piste challenges and an abundance of off-piste options advanced riders will be in heaven. Being a heavily glaciated region it is recommended that the services of a guide be employed when heading off-piste. It’s good to go but it’s better to go and come back again. For mogul fiends there is the Triftji below Stockhorn reputed to one of Europe’s longest and toughest bump runs.

Freestyle, Skier and BoarderCross

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Freestylers should head for the gravity park for some airborne action. The park is open in both summer and winter although as one would expect it does offer more features in winter. There’s a good selection of constructions including rails, kickers, boxes and tabletops suitable for entry level tricksters and grand masters alike.

Touring

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This area is fabulous for those wishing to go touring. Due to its proximity to the Monte Rosa Massif and the abundance of challenging peaks within the region there are a near infinite number of routes to choose from. Several of these epic journeys will take tourers into the neighbouring Ayas valley to the hamlet of Saint-Jacques just a few kilometres up the road from the popular Italian ski resort of Champoluc. Also Zermatt itself is the final destination on the famous ‘Haute Route’ which starts in Chamonix.