Mixed conditions in Zermatt

29th March 2010, by Dave Watts

Welcome new snow in Zermatt on Friday

Welcome new snow in Zermatt on Friday

I spent last week on holiday in Zermatt and encountered very mixed weather and snow conditions. Sunday and Monday were mostly cloudy and foggy with hard packed pistes and crusty off-piste. Tuesday was gloriously sunny and warm, with hard-packed pistes turning to slush by lunchtime. Wednesday dawned sunny too - but by late morning the wind was whistling round the Klein Matterhorn (or Glacier Paradise as the Zermatt marketing consultants have termed it) sector and most of the lifts there shut down. The sector remained closed and windswept throughout Thursday and Friday. But conditions on the much less windy Gornergrat sector were great on Thursday, with three or four inches of fresh powder falling overnight after the pistes had been groomed - meaning idyllic conditions for the first few hours before the snow got chopped up and the pistes crowded. Friday started with grim conditions - very windy, poor visibility and hard-packed, icy pistes with all the fresh snow having been blown off overnight. As well as the Klein Matterhorn sector remaining completely closed, the area above Sunegga was shut too. And on Gornergrat, the only lifts open were the train and the Hohtalli cable car. But snow started falling heavily late-morning right down to resort level and in mid-afternoon the sky cleared and we enjoyed an hour of brilliant snow and visibility on Gornergrat before the lifts closed.

A mixed week of weather and conditions. But still very enjoyable, not least because of Zermatt’s excellent mountain and village restaurants and bars. And made even more so this year by the superb Snowjet flights from Stansted to Sion - cutting the transfer time to just two hours - and the excellent bar and spa facilities of the Hotel Alex which were made available to us as we had rented an apartment in a linked building.

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