With Switzerland’s greatest vertical drop and skiable terrain at altitudes as high as 3,900 meters, the highest winter sports area in the Alps has a lot more going for it than just a pretty face. But having that iconic landmark as a backdrop puts Zermatt and the mountainsides behind it on the top of most skiers’ wish lists. Not only does the Matterhorn provide the scenic setting for the town, its distinctive profile is visible from much of the 350-kilometer trail system connected to Zermatt.
The southern face of the Matterhorn is in Italy, and experienced skiers can ski both countries in one day by skiing over the Theodul Pass and down into the Italian trail system. Zermatt is known for its long runs, some of which end right in the village – you can literally ski home. The world’s highest 3S Lift, now under construction, will carry skiers to the Matterhorn glacier, at a 3,883-meter altitude, where it is possible to ski year-round. To make this immense trail network more accessible and safe, skiers can download a free app that uses GPS and adjusts for ability, weather, and snow conditions as well as lift operations to guide skiers safely between locations. For less experienced skiers, Wolli’s Park, at the top of the Sunnegga funicular, offers gentler terrain with the same smashing views.