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Skiing Zermatt is well known throughout the world for its great skiing, especially Triftji for its moguls. The high altitude results in consistent skiing continuously up until the summer. Skiing in Zermatt is split up into four distinct areas; Sunnegga, Gornegrat, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee. There is also a connection to Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy. Trail Map.

Sunnegga

The Sunnegga Paradise is accessed via a funicular railway, followed by a gondola to Blauherd and finally a cable car onwards to the Rothorn (3,103m) above. The unique topography of the mountain and the valley tends to keep the Rothorn clear and sunny, even when Zermatt itself is submerged in cloud.From Blauherd there is a gondola down to Gant, and from here there is a large connecting cablecar up to Hohtälli. This cable car is currently the only connection between Sunnegga and Gornegrat. With few steeper slopes, this mountain is often used to train younger skiers.

Gornergrat

The Gornegrat is served by a railway of the same name (Gornergratbahn) and, whilst picturesque, the journey is a very slow ride up to the Gornegrat peak (3,089m), via Riffelalp, Rotenboden and Riffelberg, (with limited stops at Findelbach and Landtunnel just above the town). At the summit, the hotel and restaurant have been completely refurbished, and there is a further cable car that seemingly heads more across than up to the Hohtälli (3,286m), where the Gant cable car connects the mountain to
Sunnegga.

Two final cable cars head up to the Stockhorn (3,405m) and across to the Rote Nase (3,247m). These final two lifts serve a unique freeride area and can be unreliable as this mountainside requires high snow cover to be skiable. The lifts generally open for the season in late February or early March, depending upon the amount of accumulated snowfall. For the 2007 season, the Rote Nase opened on the 6th March, with the Stockhorn opening the 8th of March.

It is planned that the ancient Hohtälli to Gornegrat cablecar will permamently close at the end of the 2007 season, with no replacement lift planned. A new slope leading back from Hohtälli to Kellensee just under the Gornergrat will open for the winter of 2007 to maintain the link from the Rothorn to Gornegrat. In addition, to the dismay of locals, it is probable that the Stockhorn cable car will cease operation from May 2007.

Klein Matterhorn / Schwarzse

Near the southern end of the Zermatt village, the Matterhorn Express gondola speeds passengers up to the interchange station at Furi. From here a there is access to the Schwarszee via a gondola to the right, a cable car that leads on to the Trockener Steg mid station (and then on to the Klein Matterhorn), and a brand new gondola, opened on the 18 December 2006, links Furi to Riffelberg on the Gornergrat mountain. This lift addresses one of the most persistent criticisms of Zermatt: that it is very difficult to ski the two sides of the valley without a tiresome trek through the village between the Gornergratbahn and the Matterhorn Express at opposite ends of the town.

Testa Grigia at the top of the Theodulpass servers as a connection to the Italian ski-resorts of Cervinia and Valtournenche. From the Swiss side it is only reachable by skilift, but from the Italian side by a chairlift and by a cable car. There are customs offices here as well as a small alpine museum.

Zermatt is marketed as an all year skiing resort, with summer skiing limited to the Theodulgletscher behind the Klein Mattehorn. Whilst strictly true, during the off season in May and June there will only tend to be one or two runs open, and the main glacier area does not open until July.

In operation since 25 October 2003

The article above is reprinted from www.wikipedia.org