With 360 kilometres of pistes served by 52 ski lifts that can take you the heady height of 3,883 metres at the Klein Matterhorn (Europe’s highest ski station), it goes without saying that skiers love Zermatt.
The certainty of snow is hardly ever guaranteed, particularly with a rapidly changing climate that’s altering Switzerland as we know it. But with many of the runs here at an incredibly high altitude, you are guaranteed to find slopes that are open from November until around April. Off-season skiing can be cheaper, and the slopes are less crowded. Check the snow report at Zermatt.ch.
While Zermatt is generally suited to intermediates (220 km of slopes), there is something for everyone, from pros to absolute beginners. Budding skiers can learn the ropes on 74.2 km of beginner’s slopes, while the pros can hone their skills on around 64 km of black and yellow slopes.
Experienced skiers can get off-piste and test their skills on ungroomed powder by following Zermatt’s off-piste itineraries. The pros head to Stockhorn, described by ultimate-ski as the “supreme HG for Zermatt’s experts,” as it offers challenging free-riding runs from late January onwards.
You can have the best slopes in the world, but if the views aren’t up to scratch it can make for a disappointing ride. You certainly won’t be disappointed by the vistas on your way down Zermatt’s slopes. With 38 summits above 4,000 metres in the surrounding area, the Matterhorn chief among them, skiers are treated to breathtaking views while winding through crisp snow.
Zermatt is pretty small. Its population is only 5,700 (but this is bumped up considerably by tourists). It’s also car free, making it an altogether relaxed resort to visit. Skiers also flock here for the chilled atmosphere, coupled with great places to eat out after a day on the slopes.
While the slopes are why skiers come to Zermatt, there’s also plenty more to do in this winter playground. Snow shoe walking, trekking in the shadow of the Matterhorn, or exploring underground caverns are just a few of the ‘off-piste’ activities that you can enjoy from Zermatt. It’s certain you’ll never be bored here.