Zermatt is one of the few ski areas around the world where it is possible to ski on 365 days in the year. Even in the height of summer, more than 20 kilometres of runs are groomed on the glacier. With an altitude spanning between 1,524m (Valtournenche) and 3,899m (Klein Matterhorn), Zermatt is among the highest ski areas in Europe. Nevertheless, the operators do not want to leave anything to chance. As a result, up to 75% of the trails can be artificially prepared with snow cannons if required. The grooming teams get to work as early as the first week in October, installing the first of 900 snow makers and cannons. As this artificial preparation begins in autumn in Zermatt, it is often already possible for guests to enjoy the full trail network of 360 kilometres as early as the start or middle of December.
Snow made in Israel
In order to avoid a lack of snow even in late autumn, the lift operators in Zermatt invested in a very special machine in 2008: a snowmaker from the Israeli company IDE. This 11-metre-long and 30-ton snow machine makes it possible to produce snow without chemicals at temperatures of up to 30°C. The machine is primarily used to artificially prepare the last 500 metres of the glacier run.