I will be in Zermatt in April with my wife and sister in law. We will only be able to ski for 1.5 to 2 days so I want to somewhat plan our time.
How long does it take the train to go from Zermatt center to Gornergrat and how often does it run? What are the best easy runs and if I wanted to separate from them and go to the Klein Matterhorn (or something more challenging) and ski back down to Zermatt how long does that take and where is a good place to meet back up? What runs offer the best views of the Matterhorn?
Hi, the train from Zermatt up to the end of the line at Gornergrat takes about 40 minutes – it’s a gorgeous ride and you can get off and on as you please (there are stops along the way) to eat, ski, hike. You can ski from Gornergrat to Riffelalp, for example, and then take the train back to Gornergrat if you like. Additonally, if you are a fairly good skier – a solid intermediate – you can ski from Gornergrat down to an elevator that will take you up to the lift station at Furi where you can catch the lift to Trockener Steg and then up to the Klein – for an intermediate skier with not many, if any, stops, it takes maybe 20 minutes from Gornergrat to the elevator at Furi, the lift to Trockener Steg is maybe 10 minutes and the cable car from Trockener Steg to the Klein Matterhorn is about 10 minutes. It is fairly easy to be up to Gornergrat and then up the Klein by 11 at the latest if you get an early start. You don’t say what time of year or level skier you are or your wife and sister-in-law so where to meet is difficult to say. There is not really anything more “challenging”, by the way, on the Klein (they do beginner lessons on part of that area) than there is on the Gornergrat or the Sunegga areas. For a group of skiers with different levels, you may prefer Sunegga.
Hope this helps.
Hi, the views of the Matterhorn are terrific anywhere on the hill where it isn’t blocked by a mountain – there are terrific views from all three areas. As your wife and sister-in-law are beginners, I would suggest you start on either the Sunegga (a pain to use the lift out of the village – it’s underground and requires quite a long walk from the street back into the tunnel – stairs, too, but there is an elevator so look for it to the right as you approach the tracks) or take the T-bar up from Trockener Steg as that is a run they use for teaching and beginners advance nicely on it – it’s a gentle slope and very wide so not a scarey narrow one. If they handle that then take a look at going on up to the top of the Klein with them – the view is truly incredible! The nice thing about Zermatt is that most of the lifts are two way so you can go up, enjoy the view and/or lunch and then ride back down if preferred.
The ski school is great – you might consider lessons for your wife and sister-in-law as they will improve rapidly with lessons. It might be a great idea to get a couple of mornings of private lessons (usually about 240 francs for a half day – total, not per person) and see how it goes. A friend took private lessons and went from being a barely advanced beginner to a lower level but confident intermediate in two half day lessons – she isn’t particularly fit or athletic. Worth every penny!
best regards Kiley