Saturday, December 22, 2007

Zermatt Has A Sensational Start To Winter

Vehicle free Zermatt, which has Europe's highest ski lift (at a lofty 3,899 metres) has just had the highest amount of snow, about 100cm, of any ski resort on the planet.

It is currently minus 11 C and there's 24 of 34 ski lifts and mountain transport (including the very effective quintessential Swiss cog railways) open at Zermatt which is a very good early season scenario.

The mountain is gigantic with skiing on both the Swiss and Italian sides. With such a good start you will rarely ski the same pistes and the off-piste powder skiing is limitless. There's a gigantic array of glaciers, bowls and chutes to choose from.

Zermatt is one of those rare ski resorts that has it all! Particularly when you add the most photographed snow-capped mountain in the world into the equation, the Matterhorn.

Skiers and boarders from around the world relish the opportunity to ride the world's second biggest lift-served vertical terrain and having their picture taken with the Matterhorn in the background.

...... oh and i was getting excited about our Christmas Tree ....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

don't you just wish you were in Europe ?

Here's a report from our mates at

European Alps
November 2006 may have been the warmest on record in the Alps, but November 2007 has provided Austria, Germany and parts of Switzerland with the best early season conditions for at least 30 years.

Even before last week's snow storms a number of Austrian ski resorts had already opened as much as six weeks ahead of schedule - Schladming-Dachstein opened its doors on 26 October and Kitzbuehel on 2 November. On Thursday night, heavy snow falls saw thousands of drivers left stranded on a highway outside Vienna - up to 50cm of snow fell and about 5,000 cars were involved in a 21km jam along the highway. This low altitude snow followed two days of heavy snow at higher elevations and overall accumulations at ski resorts were much higher.

120cm of snow fell around Davos and Klosters, and as much as 2.5m has accumulated on the glacier at Kaprun. Low temperatures ensured that the fresh snow stayed dry and powdery through the sunny weekend and several more resorts opened early to take advantage including Badgastein, Zell am See, Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Mayrhofen. The German part of the Alps also saw very heavy snow - deep fresh powder conditions where enjoyed by huge crowds at Garmisch-Partenkirchen last weekend.

Bitterly cold temperatures at high altitude (below minus 15C at 3000m) rendered the snow on higher pistes sticky but off piste conditions were excellent from top to bottom. In Switzerland, The Jungfrau resorts of Grindelwald (45/115cm), Wengen (40/80cm) and Muerren (40/80cm) have impressive snow depths for the time of year too.