Zermatt has always been a place of vision and pioneering spirit. “Visionary ideas have a long tradition here,” says Franz Julen, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Zermatt Bergbahnen AG. “Without vision Zermatt would not be what it is today: one of the best-positioned and most successful tourist destinations in the world.” The ‘Matterhorn glacier ride I’ and ‘Matterhorn glacier ride II’ carry this tradition forward. Expectations of the new cableway connection between Zermatt and Cervinia are high: “We believe it will provide even greater added value for our ski resort and enhance the appeal of the Matterhorn glacier paradise peak for excursions,” Franz Julen affirms.
Across the Alps from Milan to Zermatt
For travellers in Europe, the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing opens up new route planning options. From the airport in Milan you could take the train and bus through the idyllic Aosta Valley in the direction of Breuil-Cervinia, where the spectacular cableway journey across the Alps starts. At the very top of the Klein Matterhorn, at 3883 metres above sea level, a unique view of 38 four-thousanders opens up. The two lifts, “Matterhorn glacier ride I” (the highest 3S cableway in the world) and “Matterhorn glacier ride II”, take travellers on to Zermatt. The area is famous for sporting activities such as hiking, mountain biking and skiing, and offers a wide range of opportunities for eating out and shopping.
Skiers not cars on the Theodul Pass
The Theodul Pass lies at an altitude of 3295 metres and forms part of the border between Italy and Switzerland. For centuries, the pass was an important transport and trading route between Zermatt and Breuil-Cervinia. Its significance began to change with the rise in popularity of skiing: it became probably the most travelled pass in the Alps – not by cars but by skiers.
Milestones in the history of the skiing area shows how:
|1935 to 1939||Construction of the Cervinia-Testa Grigia aerial cableway in several stages|
|4 March 1939||Plan Maison - Plateau Rosa (Testa Grigia) cable car begins operation|
|1939||Testa Grigia - Gandegg - Riffel cableway project is launched. The outbreak of World War II puts an end to the project|
|1946||New attempt to build a link to the Zermatt ski area|
|1956||First section opens: from Zermatt to Furi|
|1957||Second section opens: from Furi to Schwarzsee|
|1979||Trockener Steg - Klein Matterhorn cable car opens|
|1980||The following ski lifts open: Testa Grigia 2, Gobba di Rollin, border lift (Ventina) and Plateau Rosa 1|
|1982||Furi-Trockener Steg cable car opens|
|1991||Plateau Rosa 2 ski lift begins operation|
|2002||Zermatt Bergbahnen AG formed (merger of Matterhornbahnen AG, Zermatter Rothornbahn AG, Zermatt-Sunnegga AG funicular railway and the sports area owned by the Gornergratbahn|
|2003||Furggsattel glacier lift opens|
|2018||Matterhorn glacier ride I 3S cableway begins operation|
|2023||Matterhorn glacier ride II 3S cableway begins operation, completing the once-in-a-generation project known as the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing|