Head up the Matterhorn Expresss 8-man gondola to access this side of the mountain. The first stop on the Matterhorn Express is Furi. When Summit instructors meet guests on this side of the mountain we usually suggest meeting at Furi as there are so many options where to go next. From Furi you can head up the Riffelberg Express to access Gornergrat, stay on the bubble to get up to Schwarzsee or head up to Klein Matterhorn and even over to Cervinia.
In the busy weeks you can also jump on the cable car directly from Furi to Trockener Steg to get up to the glacier quickly.
The final stop on the Matterhorn Express is Trockener Steg. Up here are you starting to get up to the altitudes that Zermatt is famed for, at almost 3000m you have spectacular views out over the valley and town. The skiing is on a glacier and is enjoyably cruisy. The Gandegg t-bar accesses one of Zermatts best and easy blue runs (wide and open the whole way). To the right of Gandegg, the Furgsattel 6-seater chairlift is the perfect next step and also gives you access to the Snowpark.
When you are looking for bumps, but are not necessarily wanting to ski a long yellow run we would suggest skiing the moguls on the piste on the side of the red run down to Furgg.
Some of the best skiing on this side is up at Schwarzsee. Right under the imposing Hornli ridge of the Matterhorn and with open ski pistes that take you under the North Face of the Matterhorn, these pistes are often super quiet and in great condition. The quick turn-around on the new Hornli 6-seater chairlift (winter 2015/16) is a bonus too. If off piste is your thing, your instructor will likely head this way to ski the glorious Schwarzsee trees if the snow is good.
Zermatt’s snowpark has improved massively in recent years and is beginning to make a name for itself. Completely inclusive, as long as you can ski the red run down to it there will be something to enjoy: from the banked corners in the skier cross to the easy boxes, rollers and kickers.
The Summit freestyle instructors are always super keen to help introduce you to the park and build confidence. If freestyle is really your thing, there are plenty of massive kickers and funky rails to challenge.
Klein Matterhorn restaurants
You don’t have to worry about missing out on the fantastic Zermatt lunches if you are up around Schwarzsee, you can ski the piste furthest right of the piste map to get over to Stafelalp, for an excellent lunch sitting looking right up the north face of the Matterhorn or up the long valley to the Vallpoline and Tete Blanche. Or, head on down to Furi where there are a number of good restaurants from the smarter Les Marmottes to the relaxed pizzeria, Farmerhaus.
The piste from Furi down to town is nothing to get too excited about skiing wise (watch out it can get busy from 3pm as everyone heads down at the end of the day) but if you are heading to lunch at Zum See or Blatten you are in for a foodie treat. Towards the bottom of the piste from Furi you will also ski past the Hennu Stall, one of Zermatt’s most lively apres ski bars (just bear in mind the rest of the ski down while you dance the afternoon away in your ski boots).