Ken Baldry's Zermatt pages

Zermatt in Winter - 3

Alpine Home Page

First Zermatt page

First Zermatt skipage

Previous page = UnterRothorn

Ken & Avis' Home Page

Skiing to Italy & the Trockener Steg to Schwarzsee areas

Let's start at the Klein (Little) Matterhorn!

To the frontier

Very easy skiing down from the back of the Little Matterhorn but when you see the Theodule Pass ahead (Italian cable car station at Testa Grigia), take the first left turn or you go back across the glacier (dead easy) to Trockener Steg.

Into Italy

There are two ways into Italy:

1. Straight ahead after the first turn left to the Theodule Pass for generally blue & unexciting but long skiing down to Breuil (Cervinia). You have to walk through the village to the cable car station to get back up.

2. Turn left again well before Testa Grigia onto the Ventina Run (no. 7), a mild red & a glorious trip down with splendid views & the feeling of travel, which brings you right to the valley station of the three lifts back up. You buy return tickets at a hut left of the steps up (alas) to the cable car station. However, the Ventina is more likely to be closed that the Theodule run.

You can get an extension ticket to your Zermatt ski pass to ski all day in Cervinia but don't start back too late! If you get the last lift, you have to ski directly back all the way to Zermatt but using the rather unpleasant Furgg-Furi run, see below. From Testa Grigia (the top Italian cable car station), observe the long glacier run towards Trockener Steg. You need to schuss some way down this &, if you see people walking in the distance, start the schuss higher!

Ventina (marked) with Gran Paradiso

Dent d'Herens & Matterhorn from Ventina

Breuil from Ventina

Trockener Steg

There are drag-lifts from here up towards the Theodule Pass, which is how one got to Italy before the Little Matterhorn cable car was built.

Furggsattel. There is also a chairlift, set in the ice, to the right up to the frontier on the Furggsattel, over which you cannot go. (Walk & look to see why!)

1. From Furggsattel, you can either run back towards Trockener Steg on a blue run & carry on the a chairlift (Garten), which gets you back up to where you can cross to the Trockener Steg station (for lunch, perhaps). If you carry on past the lift to Furgg, the run gets a bit red but you can take the cable car back to Trockener Steg.

2. The alternative goes off left after the first drop from Furggsatttel towards the Big Matterhorn. This is easy for miles & then a run from the Hornli lift below Schwarzsee joins in. After that, there is a red drop down the waterfall. This is not as hard as it looks but terrifies beginners. Then, you go on down to Furgg.

Right: Mischabel from the Waterfall Run

G=Gugla, Du=Durrenhorn, H=Hohberghorn, S=Stecknadelhorn, N=Nadelhorn, Do=Dom

Immediately before the Waterfall
Riffelhorn (the thumb)


Stuck in the valley between Trockener Steg, which can be reached by cable car from Furi or Trockener Steg (why?) or from the Matterhorn area at Schwarzsee, which can be reached by a funny multi-gondola lift, this nowhere place has one run out downwards - the steep, narrow & often stony and/or icy black run to Furi. Do it once for the record or if you have missed the last lift but normally, go up to Schwarzsee. Furgg does have a café.

Schwarzsee runs

Apart from the thing from Furgg, the gondelbahn from Zermatt via Furi arrives here. One can eat at the Schwarzsee Hotel. There are seven runs down from Schwarzsee:

1. A red back to Furgg from behind the hotel - just a connector down a boring path. (Useful for walking up in the Summer).

All the other runs start by going towards the Matterhorn past the lake (frozen in Winter but you can see the chapel).

2. A blue to the middle station between Furi & Schwarzsee. Lots of schusses. There is no blue run back down all the way. Don't miss the middle station, as the next part is Aeorleid, which is very, very hard.

3. A red (White Pearl) which goes on a long way & eventually turns down to a long wood path back towards Furi.

4. Of this to the left, another red (Stafelalp) goes even further under the North Face of the Matterhorn but can involve you in some walking.

M=middle station, F = Furi.
The runs down, from the left, are
Aroleid, Tiefbach, Mamatt
& White Pearl (goes off right)

Runs 2-4 go past the Hornli drag lift, which has a red run over the top to the Waterfall or another back but which can get very hard & icy - difficult.

The last three runs are "routes" (Black+, according to Mark Heller) which make your hair stand on end:-

5. Aroleid (the old name for Furi) carries on from the blue run (2) over very steep meadows & into the woods above Furi on a very bumpy traverse. This goes straight to Furi. There are cafés at Furi.

6. Tiefbach. Where the blue run does a sharp right turn, turn left instead & follow a very easy gully until you reach the pit of Hell. This gets steeper & narrower until a little way above the wood path from White Pearl. Painfully schuss the last three moguls or you have to walk up a bit of the wood path. There is 'one choice' turning at the narrowest place & Zermatt says it is the hardest run in the Alps. When well packed, this is the best short cut home from Schwarzsee.

Tiefbach in Summer.

Tiefbach's pit of Hell. It gets worse.

Zermatt from Tiefbach

7. Mamatt. This is off the White Pearl to the right & also deceptively easy at first, then steepens to a traverse left, another vertiginous gully & a bumpy ride right to the last gully above the White Pearl path. Sometimes harder than Tiefbach. (I have always found it so).

Furi to Zermatt

After the hard-earned coffee break in Café Aroleid or one of the others at Furi, one resumes the journey back to Zermatt. Beginners take the gondola! Just before Furi on the wood path, a run goes left onto some dodgy red turns in the wood before the home run from Furi joins from the right. Then, there is a schuss towards the village of Blatten (more cafés). Keep going fast past the village, as there is a down-and-up ahead but watch it, as you will only see anyone coming out of the cafés at Blatten at the last minute. Then past yet another café, there is turn right & left towards a bridge. You have to schuss this, usually in company, as this cuts the amount of walking one does to the bus stop.

That's it.

Alpine Home Page

First Zermatt page

First Zermatt skipage

Previous page = UnterRothorn

Ken & Avis' Home Page

Contact: Ken Baldry, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him URL:
Last revised 2/6/2012 © 1998-2012 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.