The Station of Superlatives
Just when it seemed like we had to get used to brown winters, the 2017-2018 winter
season proved us wrong. Snow still knows how to fall in great, generous quantities,
to the extent that it can still cut stations like Zermatt off from the rest of the world.
And in that precious moment of isolation only the falling snowflakes matter.
Time is of no importance as the roar of the outside world is silenced beneath a thick,
white glaze that spills like a flood in every direction, as far as the eye can see.
Last winter was extraordinary, and while we can only hope for more of the same this winter,
Zermatt does not seem to be worried. Its high altitude shields it from the risks
of late snow or early melting. The mountain resort is surrounded by a multitude
of Alpine peaks, including 38 that are over 4,000 m, which dip and flow into one another
to create an almost otherworldly tapestry- the very incarnation of timeless Switzerland.
Here, far above the damp, lonely valleys is where the magic happens.
The ambiance in this exceptional Alpine setting reflects many past achievements.
Zermatt is not just a (gorgeous) postcard village to be savored from a beautiful balcony
lounge chair. It has a long, storied past pieced together by many individuals, from adventurers to farmers, who have had their feet on the ground and their eyes on the mountains for centuries. Every local family here has at least one guide, renowned skier, alpinist, rescue worker, or distinguished athlete amongst their ranks. In some cases they become all-stars,
like Andreas Steindl and his all-consuming love for the Matterhorn, racking up achievements with as much modesty as vigor, all in the name of that “intense feeling of being alive.”
Many of these families are the same ones working together to define the future
of the village with insightful (and classically Swiss) moderation. Their goal is to preserve Zermatt and its unique car-free atmosphere, maintaining its cherished position
on the outskirts of society while also ensuring the village takes its rightful place
amongst the luxuries and zeal of the future. Many of these families are also the ones
who made the recent inauguration of the Klein Matterhorn T3 tramway possible –
it’s the highest elevation tramway of its kind (3,883 m), bringing Zermatt ever closer to Italy. Today, the Matter Valley is much more than an accidental cul-de-sac on
one’s journey- Zermatt has become a destination (the destination) in of itself.
Publisher & Editor-in-chief