Ski Trip 2008 to Zermatt

With the majestic Matterhorn constantly watching over us and some of Europes biggest glaciers around, noone could disagree that this place is one of the most beautiful and spectacular resorts we've been to.
Typical for a magnificient mountain, we also experienced very shifting weather conditions, from snowstorm with temperatures below -20 C to hot melting sunshine.
The snow situation was not exactly ideal this week, but we always found good snow a bit higher up - taking the train to Gornergrat, or crossing the valley for the slopes above Furgg, where also some of the few mogul fields were found.
Some of us also enjoyed the famous off piste skiing that was just on the right level for keen beginners, wow!


Che Susanne Ken Kevin Willy
Ralf Rachel Gordon Graeme Nick


The spacious apartment Ski rental. On the Gornergrat train to the top.
The gondola to Riffelberg. Ralf is very happy to start skiing. Willy is also excited about the first run to come.


Matterhorn from the opposite side of the valley. Matterhorn from the Furgg side.
Matterhorn and lamp. Matterhorn has a relatively sharp top. Matterhorn handicraft.
Matterhorn look-alike. Matterhorn from the Igloo. All restaurants have a compulsary Matterhorn view.


Ken coolly conveying the proximity of the avalanche. A cold and grim Matterhorn awaiting the epic adventurer Che.
We were seeking shelter against the terrible wind in a bivouac. Some were desperately trying to catch the
warmth of the sun...
...but only Ralf managed to get it...

The resque helicopter was busy collecting VIP,
and just left us there, alone and exposed.
Then, after all this suffering and hardship, an igloo was spotted - and a bar!
Regulating our body temperature with a good mix of hot and cold drinks
brought us back to life!


Zermatt is one of the most famous resorts for off-piste skiing, so of course we wanted to try that. Although we didn't get fresh powder snow during the week, we found spots with light untouched snow, just deep enough to give us the right off-limits freedom without us having to struggle too much with the turns. Simply fantastic!

Susanne recalls:
"We were out on the most fantastic off-piste run, when Ken abruptly stopped and performed some strange exercises." (See pictures here below). "I tried to ask Ken what he was doing, but he was mumbling and I got the impression that I disturbed him. However my theory is that hes testing the snow quality":
"Testing the powderous surface layer of the snow flapping
his wings."
"Testing how much weight the snow can support
by sitting down on it."
"Checking the diagonal snow depth with his ski."
Che, on the other hand, was more willing to share
some of his know-how in off-piste skiing.
This is lesson 1, with which he mainly wants to
show that it's just to get out there!
Willy and Che setting off with speed. Susanne edging the skis. Rachel in deep powder.
Rachel and Nick trespassing the warning sign. Zermatt's New Mogul Stars. Ken in best ski teacher style.


The after-ski often already started by the slopes (here at Furgg). Nick and Ken gladly entertained themselves with some physiotherapy...
...but a more popular after-ski place was the Snowboat.


Evening starts with
Ralf and Che - Che content about having finished his
six course Spaghetti Festival menu.
Susanne and Gordon also enjoyed numerous pasta dishes.
Graeme and Kevin flushing it down
in the Casa Rustica bar.
Che toasting. A number of beers later.


View from above Furi. Mountain ridge.
Chapel at Riffelberg. Canny lads doing the dishes. Ken, uuoor canny laad.
The Gorner glacier. Sunset behind Matterhorn.

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