It’s hard to beat this scenery.

I’ve never been anywhere with mountain scenery as stunning as in Zermatt. When we were first here, two years ago, it was snowing hard and I feared we’d leave without a glimpse of the Matterhorn. But it made an appearance later that day, and the next day was brilliantly beautiful. Today we are back, and the results are just as incredible. Read on.

A view of the Matterhorn from the high ski slopes; Zermatt is deep in the valley where you see brown cliffs.

So when Andy and I needed to choose a place to catch a little skiing as part of our return visit to Switzerland, it was clear where to go. We left Zürich behind to muddle through another foggy day, and hopped the IC8 to Visp via Bern. We enjoyed a seat in the restaurant car the whole way, taking in our breakfast and tea. This route is impressive because it goes under the Alps for 35km, via the Lötschberg Base Tunnel. After perhaps twenty minutes of total darkness, we popped out into a totally different world… one with bright sunshine and brilliant white snow.

We dashed from this train to a smaller train heading for Zermatt, and wound our way up a narrow valley, in and out of small tunnels, to reach Zermatt before noon. Our hotel is located up on the hillside, with its own tunnel & elevator – so you can walk from town into the hill, and ride the elevator into the interior of the hotel. How cool is that?

We ate a quick lunch, rented skis, bought a lift ticket, and rode the underground train to Sunnegga, mid-way up the slopes. From here the Matterhorn is beautiful.

The Matterhorn, seen from Sunnegga above Zermatt.

We skied for a couple of hours, always in the open, nearly always in view of the Matterhorn and the other incredible alpine peaks that surround us. Don’t miss the gallery, with more photos!

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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