Zermatt longest run

jmsjms

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Hi everyone,
I read few discussions here about Zermatt, but it didn't fit the criteria of my interest. My particular interest is to ski one of the longest runs they have (and in the world too): 20 km/13 miles, Zermatt to Matterhorn... and that's what I would want to be doing all day long when I am there. Most important, just making sure, this is a mid-level groomer, right? Also, I've been looking at the trail map, and it appears that once I get to the bottom I have to take a bunch of lifts to go back up: Is that correct? Or, I have to take a shuttle from Matterhorn back to Zermatt and take the gondola back to the top?
 

Nathanvg

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I think you are referring to a run that goes from the highest point to Valtournenche. This run requires skiing run numbers: B2, B8, 7, 35, 11, a short lift, and 1. It's marketed as being about 13 miles long but my my measurement it's closer to 8 miles long. European ski areas often have odd justifications for the elongated measurements such as assuming skiers ski across a run when turning so add 50% to the distance.

To answer your question, it's a long run and is typically groomed. It also requires riding a lot of lifts.

That said, I want to caution you that the run isn't as cool as it sounds. Like you, I love long runs but I want those to be quality runs. The issues I have with this run are:
  1. It's really flat and much of it is long roads. The average grade is 18% which is on par with an easy green. The pitch is not uniform which means there are a few short steeper bits followed by a lot of flat parts that require polling
  2. The lower part of the run is low elevation which results in poor snow quality
  3. The snow in Europe is generally worse than western North America and the runs are typically busier. Be prepared for icier conditions.
  4. The lower part of the run is a lot of skiing by roads and houses
To be clear, other European ski areas that have very long runs have the same issues as Zermatt.

My advice:
A. Skiing Europe is a lot of fun and you should go, especially if you never have in the past. When you go, explore all over but I think you will have the most fun higher up and choosing runs that have a decent pitch.
B. If you want to ski long runs that also have good quality, there are many good options in Western Canada and a few big vert US ski areas (e.g. Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Jackson Hole, Telluride). People often quote Whistler's peak to creek which has much better grade at 29% but often suffers from bad snow conditions on the lower half. When conditions are good, it's a great run though. One of my favorites in Panorama which has good conditions throughout (base at 4k vs 2k for whistler). It has lots of runs with nearly 4k vert, 32% pitch (mostly blue groomer, one part black groomer). These runs are about 3 miles long which is shorter than Zermatt but Zermatt would only be better if you value a lot of miles of polling and slowly creeping along skiing.
 

4ster

Now with more photos!
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Davos, Klosters & tons of other great terrain here!
We stayed in the village of Kublis & would ski the Parsenn run from the top of Weissflujoch back to the hotel every night. The run is 12km long & 2000 meters vertical.



DOWNHILL ON EUROPE'S LONGEST RUN
https://nyti.ms/29wHwSO

Another one in North America is Revelstoke, top of Stoke chair to bottom of Gondola groomed run is over 5K’ vertical.
 
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Jim McDonald

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Haven't done it to Kublis, but Weissflujoch to Schifer is a lot of fun. And you can wind your way down to Klosters or Serneus though it wound up in a muddy trek when i did it.
 
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jmsjms

jmsjms

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Thanks Nathanvg, very informative. That run turns out not as expected and not as many websites have been advertising it when I search for "the longest ski runs." If it's too slow of a ride then it wouldn't be that much fun, and going back to the top would take too much time and transferring.... I am having second thoughts about it now.
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
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Another one in North America is Revelstoke, top of Stoke chair to bottom of Gondola groomed run is over 5K’ vertical.
^^^ The Last Spike at Revy is a Green, wide cat track that switchbacks down the mountain for 13kms (8miles) and ends up at the very low elevation (1680'asl) Revy base with the accompanying often poor quality snow near the bottom. It cuts across the fall line following runs about every 500' of vertical. 2 gondola rides and the Stoke chair get you back up top.

BTW, Just west of Revelstoke at Craigellache B.C. is where in 1885 the "last spike" in the Canadian Pacific Railway's Trans Canada Railway Line was pounded into the ground.

Sun Peaks has a Green run called The 5 Mile (8kms long). It starts out as a cat track, then becomes very wide where a half dozen runs feed on to it. The last 1.5 miles is a cat track to the slow Burfield chair, which climbs 2894' vertical, and 22 minutes later drops you off at the Top of the World. You can skip the last 1.5 miles by skiing into the SP Village.

Snowmass has the hike to the start Long Shot run that is a Blue run with over 4 miles of continuous fall line. I did it once with shin deep very cut up fresh snow, although there were some powder turns to be had near the clumps of trees scattered occasionally along the run. It was tiring.
 
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Jacob

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If you want a long run that you can lap easily in Zermatt, then you’re probably better off going up to Rothorn (far-left part of the trail map). It doesn’t look big on the map, but it’s about 1500 m of vertical, so nearly 5000 ft. And, it only takes 3 lifts to get back up to the top.
 

SkiMore

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Hi, I also have a question about Zermatt for @Jacob and @Swiss Toni and anyone else who may know Zermatt. I was there several years ago and have been trying to remember the name of a ski run that as I recall was a mogul field and was a dialect name for something like "it will toss you to the ground" (as in what the run would do to the skier). I have in my mind that the run was called something like "hau dich" (maybe the contraction for "Es haut dich hin"). Looking on a trail map I am unable to find a run with that name. But maybe my memory is not serving me well. I see the run Triftji. Is that a dialect contraction for "es trifft dich"?

Thanks for any help.
 

Swiss Toni

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The run from the Klein Matterhorn down to Zermatt is supposed to be 25 km long with a vertical drop of 2200m, the actual length is probably around 16km. Most of it is pretty easy, but there is a tricky section about a third of the way down the black run (62) from Furgg to Furi, it’s quite narrow, usually mougled and has some tight bends, it also gets busy in the late afternoon. If you ski the red run (50) from Furi to Zermatt late in the day you should keep an eye out for skis and drunks on the piste around the Hennu Stall.

You only need to take 2 lifts to get back up to the Klein Matterhorn, the Matterhorn Express to Trockener Steg, (there are several intermediate stations just stay in it until you get to Trockener Steg) and the new 3S lift to the Klein Matterhorn.

The run from the Klein Matterhorn down to Cervinia is around 13km with a vertical drop of 1860m and is a nice cruisy red run.

SkiMore, The run you are thinking about is probably Trifti, they used to hold a mogul skiing competition, the Triftji Bump Bash on it in spring http://ski-zermatt.com/mattnet/pics/april2000/BumpBash/index.htm Unfortunately the glacier has receded and the permfost is melting, which has resulted in the lift being taken out of service because of the danger of rock fall. It’s named after the Triftji glacier.
 
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jmsjms

jmsjms

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Swiss Toni, the longest run still remains the Matterhorn top to Valtournenche, right? Nathanvg wrote about, and I first saw it when I made web search for, "longest ski runs in the world." Then I have to take a bunch of lifts or a bus to go to Breuil Cervinia, right? That black run (62) I probably wouldn't enjoy, especially if it's icy.
 

Swiss Toni

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The run from the Klein Matterhorn down to Valtournenche is not a continuous decent, you have to take a short chair lift (Du Col) to get to the Valtournenche sector so it doesn’t count. There are buses from Valtournenche to Cervinia, but they only run approx. once an hour. I would just take the lifts back up. To get an idea of the lie of the land have a look at the open snow topo map: https://opensnowmap.org/?zoom=12&lat=45.96746&lon=7.74002&layers=snowbase&marker=false

If you want to get a head start and ski before the lifts open you could book a night in one the mountain huts at Testa Grigia http://www.rifugioguidedelcervino.com/ or https://www.caitorino.it/rifugi/teodulo/.

I don’t think anybody enjoys the twisty bits on run 62!
 
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jmsjms

jmsjms

At the base lodge
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To avoid the 62, can I take the 55 - 53 - 52 - down to Furi? Makes a longer ride.
Also these two from seem to be pretty long:
Rothorn - 14 - 15 - 9 - 1 - 3 to Zermatt
Rothorn - 19 - 26 - 27 - 40 - 41 - 42 - to Furi

And if we are not talking about length (of the run), which ones are the best mid-level groomer runs?
 
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fatbob

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Hmm long runs are never really a thing to aspire to- there is a black in Alpe D'huez called Sarenne but most of the length is poleing along a very flat valley floor cat track.
 

SkiMore

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Thank you @Swiss Toni That must be the run. It looks like the mogul competition is every 4 years and that coincides when I was at Zermatt. Sad news to learn about the melting glacier.
 

Swiss Toni

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To go via 55, 53 and 52 you would need to use a lift so it wouldn’t be a continuous decent, but on the whole it’s a pleasant run. 52 (Stafelalp) runs below the north face of the Matterhorn which is spectacular, it’s pretty flat from the Hirli chair lift to Furi so you might have to do some poling.

There are long runs back to Zermatt from all the high points, but as you approach the tree line the snow quality deteriorates markedly. Zermatt doesn’t get a lot of snow and is heavily reliant on artificial snow, so the snow on the lower slopes can be a bit on the hard side. I don’t ski below 2000m if I can avoid it.

Nearly all Zermatt’s pistes are what you might call mid-level groomers, in the Sunnegga sector I particularly like Tuftern (9) and Kumme (14) - Tufternkumme (15). At Gornergrat all the runs served by the Gifthittli chair and in the Matterhorn sector the Furggsattel (72) - Theodulgletscher (71) - Matterhorn (69) - Hirli (55) - Oberer Tieifbach (53) - Stafelalp (52) run.
 

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