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BAHNHOFSTRASSE 5 - TEL. 027 967 11 18
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Daniel Luggen Director, Zermatt Tourist Office
Welcome! What would Zermatt be without the Matterhorn? Let’s face it: the king of mountains is the ultimate attraction, the star of the show of our small mountain community. It draws visitors from the four corners of our world and even casts its spell on those here since the dawn of time. Zermatt without the Matterhorn? It would be like Swiss chocolate without the milk, or Emmental cheese without the holes. But Zermatt would also not be Zermatt without the people who live in its vale and who have built it into a mountain resort that is both modern and idyllic, a refuge where guests can relax, luxuriate in a long tradition of hospitality, and enjoy a wide diversity of experiences and encounters. People from around the world flow into this 6000-strong village which offers accommodation for an additional 14,000 souls. Zermatt rhymes with pleasure. Small, high-quality restaurants invite you to savour local specialities or haute cuisine. From charming and cosy, to modern and trendy, its hotels satisfy the full palette of tastes, offering a pleasant stay to all. Whether it’s winter or summer, you can make your way along trodden paths while drinking in an exceptional view of the Alps. Zermatt also rhymes with quality. With a cutting-edge ski lift system, even the least athletic can reach nearly 4000 metres altitude in no time at all. At the highest skiable area in Europe, great snow is guaranteed. Way up there, daily groomed runs blend into an immaculately white landscape. Welcome to the kingdom of thrilling ski, inspiring peaks, big sky, and beauty that takes your breath away. Above all, Zermatt rhymes with hospitality. A smile, a warm welcome, a lending hand by local volunteers. For “Zermatteers”, hospitality and community are elemental and inseparable. Proof? 80% of guests are regular clients. So join in their joy and let yourself be seduced by Zermatt and the magic of the Matterhorn, its excellent services, and most of all, its inimitable spirit. We are delighted to welcome you, and we wish you restful holidays in the shade of the Matterhorn, now and always.
KJUS. uncompromising. kjus.com
KJUS LADIES SNOWRAY JACKET
Photo: Stefan Schlumpf
KJUS MEN SNOWBANK JACKET
EDITO -RIAL Z
ermatt is a memory. An image. A marvel. I was 10 years old. The summer sun was scorching the alpine pastures, the smell of hay filling up my senses, riding bells tinkling alongside our footsteps through the quiet, traffic-free roads. Far above us, a stunning crown of gleaming peaks wooed the village below. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I remember the Matterhorn, aloof, making me feel even smaller, the glaciers sweeping down the slopes, the mirror-like waters of the Black Lake. I discovered the mountains in Zermatt. It was love at first sight. Thirty years on, the charming village has hardly changed: it remains a quintessential icon of the Swiss mountains. Yes, new ski lifts and cable cars have sprung up on the slopes, making it ever easier to access its stunning peaks and the vast playground they have become; once hostile, now full of promise. Yes, the birthplace of mountaineering‘s aura attracts increasingly more visitors. But Zermatt is still itself. Zermatt is a resort with a soul, where image hasn‘t overthrown authenticity, where old families keep a watchful eye, where
mountaineers have not been ousted by the jet set. “Christmas is not a time, nor a season, it‘s a state of mind”, said the American President Calvin Coolidge. For me, Zermatt epitomizes that state of mind. The promise of happy times, relaxation, skiing, challenges, shopping amid sparkling fairy lights, snowflakes floating on the breeze or falling gently like silver raindrops. Zermatt is Christmas all year round. Like numb fingers warming by the fire, the nostalgic smell of burning wood, a cocoon where you see the winter chill from a new perspective, and delight in it. I wouldn‘t want to spend the winter anywhere else. This first 30° special issue on Zermatt is allencompassing. It is as much for regulars as for the uninitiated; for urbanites as for mountain goers; for sports lovers as for pensive types. It conveys a passion, in the hope that it will awaken others. Perusing these pages, you will be awestruck by the sheer beauty of its summits - and there are more delights in store with our multitude of web and iPad bonus features. Zermatt, always and forever...
C h r i s t i a n b u g n o n _ Publisher & Editor-in-chief www.30degrees.tv
contents 88 NEWS
EXCLUSIVE Exceptional chalets
SKI TOURING Beautiful expeditions around the Matterhorn
INTERVIEW Adolf Ogi
THE CERVO A hunting cabin, deluxe
SWATCH SKIERS CUP The battle of the giants
“CHEZ VRONY” Eating at the foot of the Matterhorn
AIR ZERMATT Flying to the rescue
INTERVIEW August Julen
THE HÖRNLI HUT Getting a face lift
ZERMATT ALPIN CENTER A history of passion
ZERMATT Skiing in the heart of 4000 meter peaks
UNPLUGGED FESTIVAL Acoustic music at its hippest
MONTE ROSA The hut which has transformed alpine architecture
FRANÇOISE JAQUET Passionate dedication
Patrouille des Glaciers The world’s toughest race
SPORT How do you train for the PDG?
HISTORY Zermatt to mark 150th anniversary of first Matterhorn ascent
SKI TEST From freeride to ski mountaineering
THE ANTHAMATTEN SAGA A new first
THE ZERMATTERHOF A tradition of excellence
GASTRONOMY Hotel-Restaurant “Le Terminus” in Sierre
DELUXE SPECIAL WINTER ISSUE 2013-2014: ZERMATT | IMPRESSUM 30° Degrees (since 2002)
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Year of jubilee: the 150 th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn In 2015, Zermatt will erupt in celebration of the mother of mountains. On July 14, 1865, British climber Edward Whymper became the first to complete the ascent of the Matterhorn. The historical event’s 150th anniversary will be marked with celebrations and activities all throughout the year. www.zermatt.ch/en/page.cfm/150-jahre-erstbesteigung?
Veuve Clicquot Metal Fridge Universally recognisable by its emblematic shape and curves, handle and shiny finish, the new “Metal Fridge” box is the latest addition to the “Fridge Collection” line inspired by the American refrigerators of the 1950s. It joins its companions, the “Yellow Fridge” (launched in 2010) and the “Fridge Rosé” (2011), all of which are designed to keep your chilled bottle of champagne cold for two hours. The design is typical of Veuve Clicquot, and showcases the innovation and modern sophistication of the illustrious winemaker from Champagne. www.veuve-clicquot.com
Sonnmatten restaurant: surprise on the menu Nestled in the hamlet of Winkelmatten on the heights of Zermatt, Sonnmatten restaurant stays true to tradition with its centenarian mazots, grilled meats, soups and stews. Under new management, the restaurant now offers a surprise menu each evening consisting of four dishes. www.sonnmatten.ch
Ski under the stars The sun has set and the moon is up. What better time to slip back into your warm ski clothes and re-enter the white and wonderful world of the Rothorn. Savour a fondue in the relaxed atmosphere of its eponymous restaurant before heading out for some romantic moonlit downhill skiing, under the reassuring watch of the ski patrol and mountain rescue services. Sign up before 3 pm by calling 027 967 26 75. The Kulm Gornergrat bears the unique distinction of being the highest hotel in Switzerland. Perched like an eagle’s nest at a height of 3100 m and set in a theatre of light and shadows before an audience of 29 four-thousand-meter peaks, it offers a new dimension in luxury. Ascend to the top via a cog railway for a delicious cheese fondue, before letting yourself be carried away by a magical evening ski run under a full moon.
Fuchs: half a century of baking tradition Since 1965, this small family business has been offering “home-made” products, made entirely by hand. There is bread, naturally, but also local–and beloved–specialities, including the Zermatt pain aux poires, the pain du guide, or the Zermatt walnut tart. It’s also worth stopping in for its excellent “Matterhörnli Nougat”, which doubles as a great local souvenir (though one that won’t go long uneaten!). www.fuchs-zermatt.ch
www.zermatt.ch/en/page. cfm/vivre/ski_snowboard/ descentes_lune/lu_rothorn_ paradise?
Destination: Freeride Zermatt is the El Dorado of many elite skiers and snowboarders. It’s not hard to understand why: 38 km of yellow runs (if we can call these runs!), under a blanket of deep, un-groomed snow, accessible by ski lift and marked off by the avalanche prevention patrol. Rothorn, the Schwarzsee and the newly accessible domain of Triftji/Stockhorn, offer a series of overhangs and corridors reserved for the more daring. In Stockhorn, riders can set out from the newly-renovated station at an altitude of 3405 m, with a magnificent 1200 m vertical drop. Those bored with the blacks but not yet up to tackling the yellows on their own, can avail themselves of the services of one of the mountain guides from the Alpin Center Zermatt, who are on a first-name basis with every rock on the mountain! www.alpincenter-zermatt.ch
Hennessy Paradis Impérial–simply divine This prestigious cognac, with its light amber hue, draws its name and inspiration from a historical order issued in 1818 by the Empress of Russia for a cognac made of “an excellent, very old eau-de-vie, gold in colour, and of the highest quality”, for her son. Le Hennessy Paradis Impérial is a sophisticated blend of rare eaux-de-vie from the 19th and 20th centuries. This is a spirit possessed with a complexity, intensity and balance that is rare indeed. www.hennessy.com
Ready for some heliski? Hardcore skiers and snowboarders have only one dream: gliding down untouched fields of immaculate powder. Beyond the runs accessible by mechanical means or those reached by long hikes or climbs, a glorious path points the way: heliski. It’s the chance to reach the top of a snow covered peak in no time at all, with nothing but you and unspoilt snow. Zermatt provides excellent heliski and heliboarding options. Air Zermatt offers no less than ten different open-space runs, in the company of Alpin Center mountain guides. The most highly coveted, Monte Rosa, starts at 4200 m and heads down a 2600 m vertical drop to Furi. Others start from Äschhorn and Alphubeljoch, Testa Grigia and Cervinia on the Italian side, Lysjoch (with a descent down the Grenz Glacier), and Tête de Valpelline. Ready for the Big Chill? www.alpincenter-zermatt.ch
An evening of fireplace raclette Every Thursday, from 5 December 2013, to 24 April 2014, Hotel Walliserhof**** on Bahnhofstrasse, hosts an evening of wood-fire raclette around a large – and always lively – communal table. Freely served, the meal includes drinks, Dame de Sion Fendant, coffee or tea, and digestif. Reservations are a must! www.walliserhof-zermatt.ch
First winter season for the new Sunnegga funicular The fully refurbished underground Sunnegga funicular resumed service in mid-June 2013, sporting a new glacier blue-and-white look. Covering nearly 700 m of vertical gain in 3 minutes flat, it carries visitors up to a height of 2288 meters, where they will find the Sunnegga restaurant boasting a terrace that basks in the sun’s rays from morning until night. Lake Leisee – reflecting the Matterhorn to perfection – is only a few steps away, and a winter path leads back to Zermatt (2 hours on foot).
A “world first” rediscovered in the warehouses of Glenmorangie Glenmorangie 1963 is as of much interest to connoisseurs as collectors. It was the first Scotch whiskey to have a “wood finish”, a second ageing process which takes place in casks that once held another spirit, thereby giving the whisky a unique flavour and hue. The precious spirit has been decanted into numbered bottles, and placed back on the market in an exquisite box. Bottle number 24/50 of this limited edition is available from Edulis SA in Geneva.
The 2 nd Matterhorn Ultraks – Skialp, 11 April 2015 The Matterhorn Ultraks covers two disciplines and is divided into two competitive events: a summer trail running event (taking place on even years) and winter ski mountaineering event (held on odd years). The next trail running event will take place on August 23, 2014, while the next ski mountaineering event will be on April 11, 2015, in the sublime presence of Zermatt’s 38 four-thousand meter peaks. Beginners to experts alike can sign up in one of three categories: “1K” (20 km), “2K” (30 km), or “3K” (36 km). All routes are marked and cordoned off. www.ultraks.com
Slightly Windy - Pure emotions Reuge, the maker of music boxes from the Jura founded in 1865, has teamed up with young talents at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne to give birth to a next-generation music box, designed by José Ferrufino, crossing the boundaries of craftsmanship and art. Ears of wheat gently sway when the musical mechanism is triggered, giving the impression of a gentle breeze carrying the melody to listener’s ears. Moments of pure relaxation. And certainly a better omen of a romantic evening to come than the TV! www.reuge.com
The SwiSS MounTain experience of a LifeTiMe Into the trees and a little above. Dinner in the corner seat, le Chef knows how. In the family for years and years. Lumber has settled down. Private spa and a cosy chalet. Where the slope ends, you are home. Roomservice knocks with a picnic box. Terrine with brioche and local wine. A last glance of red covers the Matterhorn. www.cervo.ch
Grand Hôtel Zermatterhof: new arrivals 2013-2014 This high-end 5-star hotel, which has recently renovated six suites, will be opening a new smoking lounge next to the Stars Bar in time for the Christmas holiday season. The Zermatterhof family is growing in tandem, with three new members, Sissi, Pepe and Manu – white horses who will pick up guests from the train station in a carriage! www.zermatterhof.ch
Dom Pérignon Limited Edition by Jeff Koons The Jeff Koons Limited Edition for the Dom Pérignon 2004 and the Dom Pérignon Rosé 2003 reproduces the American artist’s famous Balloon Venus, inspired by a prehistoric figurine. This goddess of love, revisited in a contemporary kitsch, stands out against a stark background, while the Dom Pérignon lettering is set to the champagne’s hue–pink for the Vintage Rosé, and gold for the Vintage Blanc. The design is underscored by the artist’s signature. Inside the gift box, the bottle’s emblematic label reflects the iridescent interior of the original sculpture.
www.backstagehotel.ch www.walliserkanne.ch www.montcervinpalace.ch
A peek into the kitchens First introduced last year, the “kitchen around” concept has been very well received. Taking a break from interminable suppers seated at the same table, diners can now embark on an itinerant meal, where they visit the kitchens of three of the resort’s famed restaurants, and become acquainted with their chefs and pots! Enjoy a starter here, a main course there, and a desert elsewhere! The four restaurants participating in the adventure are the Mirabeau, Walliserhof, Cervo and Holiday hotels. This gastronomic tour is available in summer and winter.
BonbonniEre Glass Black Both practical and aesthetically pleasing, this clever bonbonniere with a modern design can be rocked from side to side to quickly and easily find your Grand Cru of choice for the day. This limited edition sports an all-black look that will be a perfect match for your Nespresso machine and kitchen. www.nespresso.com
Zermatt: gourmand hotspot Each winter, chefs from starred restaurants migrate to Zermatt, to the great delight of the resort’s guests. At the Backstage Hotel & Vernissage, Ivo Adam, from the Seven restaurant in Ascon (15 points by Gault & Millau) enchants patrons for the second winter in a row with his contemporary and cosmopolitan flavours based on fresh seasonal produce. Roland Kilian, from the Rebstock restaurant in Tschugg (Seeland), is back at the Dolce Vita for the third time. And at the Mont Cervin Palace, Andrea Migliaccio and his team have for some years brought in a delightful sea breeze inspired by their success at Capri Palace Hotel on the island of Capri, near Naples (2 Michelin stars).
NEWS F&R - Old Wood & Design F&R recycles and breathes new life into old wood from Alsatian timber structures, turning it into original and unique decorative objects, reinvented for contemporary use, such as cutting boards, wine racks, dressing tables, etc. It’s a lovely way to welcome into your home wood with a noble patina. If only it could speak, it would have three or four centuries of history to tell.
A slice of Japan in Matterhorn country Understated elegance, refined and relaxed. Such is the décor at the new Japanese restaurant in the Albana Real hotel, where visitors are invited to unwind in an ambiance worthy of the Land of the Rising Sun. Feast the senses on sushi, sashimi, miso soup, and an assortment of meats and fish cooked before your very eyes. www.hotelalbanareal.com
Läderach - a chocolatier in Zermatt In 2011, the family business from the canton of Glaris opened a branch in Zermatt with style - a true concept store for chocolate lovers. The bet has certainly paid off. Behind its sober windows, chocolate lovers feast their eyes on mouth-watering pralines and divine truffles–black, white, milk chocolate or striped–not to mention its freshly made chocolate whose fame extends even beyond the Helvetian borders! Time to try out the house motto: “See, sense, and savour”.
Le Vernissage Cinema Zermatt now has a cinema – and not just any cinema! Le Vernissage is a work of art in itself, designed by Zermatt architect and artist Heinz Julen – known particularly for his moveable chandeliers. In the multi-purpose room, the latest blockbusters will rub shoulders with classics and local films, including “Whympers Weg auf ’s Matterhorn” and “Menschen am Matterhorn”, both filmed in the 1950s with a Super 8 camera by Heinz’s father, August Julen. Mountain guide and ski instructor, he learned the skills of filmmaking from one of his students, none other than Walt Disney himself! Nearly all films will be shown in their original version with German, English and French subtitles, in two daily showings, at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm. Local films will be shown every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 pm. A 2:30 pm showing will be added on days when the weather is bad. More information at:
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beautiful luxury chalets
Traditional materials and surroundings combine with clean, modern lines free of undue ostentation, as some of the finest chalets in Zermatt open their doors to us for exceptional and exclusive tours.
Want to sleep under the stars? The Zermatt Peak Chalet offers breathtaking views through its facades made almost entirely of glass.
At the heart of the spa, lounge chairs sit beside a warm pool shared between the indoors and the outdoors. A masseuse is on duty two hours a day for when your muscles are sore (or even if theyâ€™re not!).
Zermatt PeAK Chalet Text_CL au d e H e r v é- B a z i n
Photos_CZ P C h a l e t Z e r m at t P e a k AG
new standard of luxury in Zermatt. The best of the best in the Swiss Alps. Overlooking the resort from the slopes, Zermatt Peak astonishes with that rare level of comfort some call “ultra-luxury” or “6 stars”. Is it really a chalet? Is it a boutique hotel? Or a bit of both? Spread out over 684 m 2, this incredible home streams sunshine into each of its six wooden floors through their fully glazed facades. Each room is bathed with light and enjoys a majestic view of the mountains. Inside, guests become one with the panoramic backdrop that fills up the living room like a gigantic screen and makes its way into every bed. The effect is uncanny – whilst inside the chalet’s sun-drenched cocoon, you feel like you’re in the heart of nature! The heated floors are made of walnut, Brazil stone and Italian marble. Its five bedrooms are ultraspacious while remaining warm and welcoming, with bathrooms and designer furniture in organic and botanical shapes, covered with (faux) bear skins. Naturally, each room has its own balcony or terrace. The topmost of these basks under a glass ceiling through which the stars look down from the Alpine firmament. Architecture meets haute couture! Come evening, we find ourselves in the multifaceted glassed-in living room, facing the village lights, adjoining an open kitchen where a famous chef – the best in Zermatt, rated 17/20 by Gault & Millau – works his magic. The service is as discreet and courteous as it is efficient. For further relaxation, the chalet houses a wellness area with a sports room, Swedish and Finnish saunas, and a steam bath with walls covered in crystal and quartz with soothing properties. Close by, a giant Jacuzzi – or is it a pool? – gives you the best of both worlds, half indoor, half outdoor. Ready to dive in?
ffMost of the beds, hovering over walnut wood
floors and fluffy white rugs, sit eye to eye with the mountain landscape.
fdFurniture from the best interior designer show-
rooms perfectly complements the clever and sleek architectural designs.
fSitting around a wood fire encased in the coffee
table, we let ourselves be carried away by the living roomâ€™s B&O sound system and the sweet pleasure of drifting softly into the night.
sThe chalet is accessed through a long entrance designed like an illuminated tunnel. ssUnderground lies a large glassed-in wine cellar, the perfect companion to meals skilfully executed by experienced and professional staff.
In the main living room of the Chalet Les Anges, mouse-grey sofas and woody tones accentuate the designer hearth set between two immense glass picture windows. Straight ahead, the emblematic peak of the Matterhorn stands proud and tall.
Chalet Les anges Text_CL au d e H e r v é- B a z i n
Photos_B a r ry M u r p h y
ising proudly over Zermatt and nestled under its snow-capped roof, the Chalet Les Anges is located in the recentlybuilt Petit Village quarter, which is reached by a private funicular railway. Overlooking the resort’s sleepy roofs, it stands eye to eye with the famous landmark watching over the valley: the Matterhorn. Guests enjoy an outstanding view from the living room, with its cathedral ceiling, through glass picture windows as large as the sky itself. Meticulously decorated by famed interior designer Magali de Tscharner, the room’s smooth lines contrast perfectly with the warmth of reclaimed timber and contemporary colours. A terrace in the shape of a ship’s bow extends the room into the sky, as if piercing through the clouds to meet the southern sun. There, a barbecue and a table for 14 with skin-covered benches reminisce of memorable sun-kissed meals. The chalet’s seven rooms, bathed in serene harmonies and bright sunlight, issue a call to the heavens. Among them we find the Archangel and its hearth, along with his companions Eros, Che rubim and Seraphim – love nests all with feathered pillows and soft down quilts, where fresh flowers harmonise with scented candles. The ground floor boasts an expansive relaxation area, centred around a Japanese fountain pool, and featuring a sauna, a Turkish bath, and a massage room. Outside, in the shelter of a terrace made of black marble, sits a heated effervescent pool, where guests can enjoy a warm view of the Matterhorn in the dead of winter. A small taste of the famed Icelandic hot springs.
fffFrom beams to balconies, benÂ ches to sleds, wood is warm, welcoming, omnipresent. ffLarge picture
windows open onto the mountain in the Eros room, where a bio-fuel fireplace warms the soul.
fdThe happy occupants of the Archangel room awake to greet the Matterhorn. fCushion-covered
sofas, burnished wood and warm lighting â€“ everything needed for a cosy evening with friends.
fNow thatâ€™s what we call a view! Thrusting
forward like a flying carpet, the main terrace meets the Matterhorn face to face for an unforgettable lunch under a mountain fresco.
sEach Les Anges bedroom has its own
balcony, most of which offer breathtaking panoramic views.
ssThree stories tall and covering 700 m 2 , the Chaletâ€™s ground floor is dedicated to relaxation (sauna, Turkish bath, massage room). Outside, a plunge pool, heated year-round, lies hidden behind the snowdrifts.
Seen from afar, the east face of the Matterhorn (4478 m) looks like a pointed, triangular pyramid defying the heavens.
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All Images by_K e y s to n e
uintessentially Swiss? Nestled in its valley, at the foot of the emblematic Matterhorn, Zermatt is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world. Its chalets, draped in white, fall asleep to the sound of bells on horse-drawn sleds, gliding along frozen streets where each step crunches in freshly fallen snow. Ski lifts, cable cars, funiculars and cog trains compete to decorate the picture perfect landscape, as captured by the sharp eyes behind the photos of the Keystone agency. The panorama is dominated by the “Imperial Crown” – summits, among the most beautiful of the Alps, upon whose conquest was founded the legend of Zermatt, the cradle of mountaineering. They stand watch over an enormous playground entirely dedicated to snow sports. Welcome to the highest, and one of the largest (360 km), ski domains in Europe.
Seen from closer up, its peak, sprinkled with fresh snow, tells another story-that of curved, almost soft, lines.
Emblematic of Zermatt and indeed the whole nation, the Matterhorn is perfectly reflected on the surface of the pinky waters of the Schwarzsee lake under the setting sun.
Perched on a rocky outcrop in Plattje at 2883 m, the new Mont Rose hut (CAS) overlooks the immense Gorner glacier.
When seen from Gornergrat (3089 m), the hut, lost in the vast frozen expanse, can hardly be made out to the left of the Grenzgletscher.
Topped by a halo of snow and ice, the Breithorn (4164 m) is one of Zermattâ€™s most emblematic peaks.
As seen from Gornergrat, the Zermatt Alps unveil their splendour in dawnâ€™s early light. To the far left we can quickly spot the Mont Rose (4634 m), and to the right, the silhouette of the Matterhorn.
Wherever we turn, we enjoy the same fantastic panorama: sleepy valleys hiding under thick blankets of snow alternating with summits peeking out from behind fluffy white veils.
Access to the Monte Rosa hut via the spur of Gorner glacier from Furi offers some wonderful surprises and enables gradual altitude acclimatisation.
BeautIful expeditions around the Matterhorn A pair of touring skis, some sealskins and a little stamina will allow you to discover Zermatt in a new light. The region, known for its wild, alpine character, is home to a number of routes for all levels.
Approaching 4000 m of altitude on the Grenz glacier, at the foot of the Dufourspitze, with the Matterhorn, the Dent Blanche and the Obergabelhorn in the distance.
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vast network of groomed slopes is not all Zermatt has to offer. Beyond its marked-out area, Zermatt extends over an alpine kingdom adored by wintersports enthusiasts for the total freedom it provides. By making use of the ski lifts or by fitting sealskins directly at the resort, the potential for ski touring is enormous. In next to no time, fans of the discipline find themselves immersed in the magnificent, at times almost intimidating, atmosphere of the upper mountains. To be safe, these excursions outside the secured paths and along glacier terrain require firm knowledge of the area, or professional supervision. With these prerequisites taken into account, next comes the question of destination. Lifting your gaze towards the Monte Rosa massif, an ascent in the direction of the Cima di Jazzi offers, for example, a great start to the day. It may not exceed the symbolic 4000-metre limit, but this 3803-metre summit is every bit as impressive as its neighbours, which are sometimes overcrowded. From the top of the ski lifts at Stockhorn there are just 400 metres of vertical gain to the summit, which can be reached in two and a half hours. Upon reaching your goal, an unbeatable panorama opens out over Zermatt valley and, on the Italian side, Anzasca valley. Also accessible from Monte
Rosa hut, the Cima di Jazzi offers several options for descent. Taking the Gorner or Findel glaciers, skiers will find themselves surrounded by a solemn calm of vast expanses entirely covered in glistening snow. Crowning the Monte Rosa massif, and indeed the entire Swiss Alps, the Dufourspitze, at 4633 metres, demands plenty of physical and technical training in advance. Reachable in two days by way of the Schwarztor, it provides a striking view of the “imperial crown” – those majestic 4000-metre peaks which make Zermatt so beautiful. Another route, accessible to a wide public, starts from the Unterrothorn ski lifts (3104m), to the east of the resort, running as far as Pfluwe peak (3314m). From there, many choose to go back down to Zermatt, but the trail can be extended to the Täsch hut. Wild and beautiful, this approach allows you to combine an ascent of the Allalinpass the next day. Be it past the Allalinhorn, over the flank of the Stockji, along the Patrouille des Glaciers route, the summits of Zermatt are always worth the effort involved. And in the centre, the Matterhorn, very much the lord of the manor, makes for a truly compelling sight. Zermatt Guides Office: www.alpincenter-zermatt.ch
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“Climbing the Matterhorn is something I’ll never forget. It’s the most stunning mountain in the world.” We interviewed former Federal Councillor Adolf Ogi, who frequently heads to Zermatt for two reasons – to see his daughter and to satisfy his long-lasting passion for mountains and nature.
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f we had to sum him up in just one phrase, it would undoubtedly be a statement along the lines of “That’s amazing!”, uttered with his inimitable good-humour. And if we had to highlight only one of his TV appearances, perhaps it would be the unforgettable year-end vows he took alongside a fir tree in front of the Lötschberg tunnel in his hometown of Kandersteg. Of course, trying to encapsulate the multifaceted Adolf Ogi in just a few moments is an impossible challenge. Nevertheless, these snippets do epitomize Ogi’s friendliness and optimism. A Federal Councillor from 1988 to 2000, Ogi went on to become director of the Swiss Ski Federation and then head of Intersport Switzerland; he later chaired the UDC and twice served as President of the Swiss Confederation, in 1993 and 2000. In these roles, this native of the mountains of Bern – who has always been proud of his humble origins – rubbed elbows with some of the leading figures of the time, including Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan and François Mitterrand. And now, at 71, the former UN Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace spends quite a lot of his time in Zermatt. Mr Ogi, what draws you to the Zermatt ski resort? For the last two and a half years, my daughter Caroline and her husband Sylvain have run the Hotel Walliserhof. Since the death of her brother in 2009, Caroline and I have been especially close, and I’ve been here for moral support. Of course, there’s also the Matterhorn. I climbed it for the first time when I was 16 years old with my father, who worked as a mountain guide, and scaled it again in 1992 on the anniversary of my first climb, when I was a Federal Councillor. The Matterhorn is the most stunning mountain in the world, and reaching its incredible summit is a moment forever engraved upon my memory. Finally, I also return to Zermatt because of its incredible slopes, which I often skied in my childhood and continue to enjoy today. When will you climb the Matterhorn for a third time? Although I would certainly still be capable of scaling the mountain at age 71,
at a certain point, you have to accept that there are some things you shouldn’t do. Along those lines, I’ve also given up on one of my dreams, scaling Mont Blanc, after one of my friends had an accident last year. Nevertheless, sports continue to play an important role in your daily life… Yes, sports are the fundamental, essential teachers in life. Thanks to my parents, I learned to respect adversaries, the rules of the game and the referee’s decisions; to win without thinking I’m the best; and to lose without feeling like my life had ended. Nowadays, I walk or jog early in the morning in summer and go cross-country skiing in Kandersteg and downhill skiing in Zermatt in the winter. Not to mention yoga, of course. You’re a child of the mountains… Mountains fascinate me. There’s something in them that was there before we got there and will remain after us. Every peak helps put our lives in perspective. When you’re hiking, you have time to ask yourself why you’re here and if you’re following the right path. In hindsight, how would you answer these very questions? My answers are mine and mine alone. What’s your favourite spot in Zermatt? The summit of the Matterhorn, of course! In the summertime, I really enjoy the views in Gornergrat, with their sublime calm and their peaks perched 4000 meters high, whereas in the winter, I love the ski slopes. But it’s not Kandersteg… You can’t really compare them. Zermatt is more international. Nevertheless, I never overlook Kandersteg, since we should never forget our roots. I always feel comfortable wherever I am, whether that’s in Kandersteg, Zermatt or elsewhere.
The Cervo a hunting cabin, deluxe
The Owners Lodge is the allnew 240 m 2 suite, the largest in Zermatt!
The Signature Spa Suite includes a charming and cosy corner with a fire.
fDaniel F. Lauber, owner of the Cervo, sits under a stuffed stag head, the emblem of this 5-star hotel resort.
dThe traditional hunting cabin is the Cervo’s guidepost, reborn in a full deluxe version!
This 5-star hotel, carefully designed as a modern reinterpretation of the traditional Swiss mountain chalet, is a lap of luxury tinged with cosy charm. Not to mention offering breathtaking views of the Matterhorn! Divine.
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ur skis are still on as the small door to this large chalet opens out to the forest blanketing the heights of Zermatt. Upon entering, the sweet smell of wood crackling in the hearth and the warmth of its fire exude an immediate feeling of wellbeing. It’s just a sampling of what awaits. We soon discover the chalet’s large terrace, which directly faces the emblem of the resort – if not that of the nation itself – the Matterhorn. Boasting all the amenities of a 5-star hotel, the Cervo (deer in Italian), nevertheless retains that charming chalet spirit from which it draws its inspiration. A strong emphasis is placed on local traditional materials (felt, stone, wood, loden, etc.), while the decor includes vintage objects and antlers hanging on the walls. “We wanted this to feel like a traditional hunter’s cabin. The idea was to preserve the look and feel of a home rather than a hotel, while at the same time providing a high international standard of service. Luxury with the charms of home.” Thus Cervo is described by its owner, Daniel F. Lauber (together with his wife Seraina), himself a hunter in his spare time. It stands as an example of a traditional atmosphere expertly fused with modern style and comfort. The largest suite in Zermatt The main chalet declares its origins with walls of Swiss pine, and floors of oak. It houses the lobby and the restaurant, whose “refined rustico” menu scored a highly respectable 13 from Gault et Millau. Surrounding this central building are 6 chalets designed by local architect Roman Mooser, built between 2009 and 2012. These house a total of 36 rooms and suites, ranging in size from 22 to 86 m 2, including the recent addition of an all-new 240 m 2 suite, the largest in Zermatt! But large or small, with a fireplace or without, all the rooms exude that cosy je-ne-sais-quoi that invites you to relax in a welcoming, elegant setting. “Our aim has been to reinterpret the mountain chalet in the spirit of our modern times,” explains Daniel F. Lauber. “For example, it was for this reason that we designed the hotel so guests must leave their chalet to reach the main building.” On the other hand, each chalet has its own spa with a sauna, sanarium, beauty care and massage rooms. It almost makes it hard to venture back out onto the slopes! But the outdoor Jacuzzi beckons us to once more cross over into the magical world of one of the most beautiful ski resorts in Europe, before returning to again nestle in that quiet warmth that awaits behind the small wooden door! www.cervo.ch
Perched up at the top of the face, the riders from both teams of the Skiers Cup survey the playing field as shown to them by Samuel Anthamatten, head of event safety and organization. Let the duels begin. May the best win!
Swatch Skiers Cup
the battle of the giants
No holding back for Swedenâ€™s Kaj Zackrisson during the Big Mountain event.
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Team Europe (left) and Team Americas (right).
For the second consecutive year, this team competition event will take place at the foot of the Matterhorn. Next January, the riders of Team Europe will launch a defence of their 2-1 lead over their peers from across the Atlantic.
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Party town After choosing the Nevado valley in Chile for the first two Swatch Skiers Cups, the event’s organizers headed for the northern hemisphere. A world-class ski domain, Zermatt and its crown of 4000 meter peaks will be welcoming the Swatch Skiers Cup for the second winter in a row. It’s a windfall for the resort, which pulsates to the rhythm of the skiers throughout the competition. A village specially created for the occasion lets visitors watch clips of the performances as well as meet the pros at a signing event. A likely less formal event will be the official closing evening of the competition, where skiers and spectators alike will take to the dance floor!
Photos : Semaphore - Marc Daviet
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ast year’s event in Zermatt was a clear cut victory for the Europeans, who finished with a commanding 21-11 win over the American team. As they ski down the Big Mountain terrain and compete in the Backcountry Slopestyle event, the European riders will be working hard to defend their title at the 4th Swatch Skiers Cup, to be held next January 4–10. The rules of the competition remain unchanged. Drawing inspiration from golf ’s Ryder Cup, the Swatch Skiers Cup pits the best European riders against the best Americans. Each team is made up of eight skiers, led by a team captain. The latter is responsible for selecting their team members with an emphasis on versatility, since to win, each team member must shine both in freeride as well as freestyle. Nicolas Vuignier, a native of Crans-Montana, will be the only Swiss rider. Julien Regnier from France, former captain of French mogul ski team, will head up the European team. His opposite number on the American team will be Canadian freestyler JP Auclair. Coincidentally, these two professional skiers have faced off before, at the 1998 ski moguls world cup. Today, a spirit of camaraderie rules-though it doesn’t fully quench the burning desire to see one’s team take the day! Before the start of the event, the two team leaders will have to map out their strategy and decide which skiers from each team will confront each other. They will have to deal with some unknowns. The Big Mountain event will take place on one of the many faces of the Zermatt ski domain, but the skiers will only know which one 48 hours before the start of the competition. As for the freestyle event, called Backcountry Slopestyle, it will take place near the ski runs in order to give the public a better view of the duels.
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Eating at the foot of the Matterhorn “Chez Vrony” Accessible by foot or on skis, Vrony and Max Cotting-Julen’s restaurant has a long and rich fa mily history. It is as heavily frequented for the view as for the food. After all, as the saying goes, the best broths are made in the oldest pots!
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itting at an altitude of 2100 meters, “Chez Vrony” is much more than just another restaurant on the slopes. This establishment on the alpine pastures of Findeln is a testament to the history of the Julen family and the development of Zermatt’s tourist industry. In 1900, Vrony’s grandfather built a modest mountain hut in these parts. Half a century later, in response to the resort’s growing reputation, Vrony’s parents opened a small restaurant, whose fame has continued to grow to this day. Managed by the Cotting-Julen couple for the last 18 years, the tables are always full. Famous guests include Pirmin Zurbriggen (Vrony’s brother-inlaw) and Robbie Williams, whose photo graces the wall. The original structure has naturally been enlarged and modernised, and the kitchen chef now works his magic behind the stoves. But the warm family atmosphere remains, in the shadow of each of the three Julen generations. We spoke to its owners. Vrony Julen, what sets you apart today from other restaurants on the slopes? First, the setting. Our guests eat here facing the Matterhorn-an undeniable advantage! And then there’s the food, with a variety of local dishes. We raise our own cows, so we serve our own home-made cheese, beef jerky and sausages, all 100% organic. We mostly use produce from the Valais and the Val d’Aoste, while delighting our guests with surprisingly tasty combinations. Our guests also enjoy our establishment’s tradition and family atmosphere. Additionally, all of the restaurant’s furniture was designed by my brother, Heinz Julen, an architect. What’s your favourite dish on the menu? Personally, I love the Valais style breaded lamb entrecote, served with green beans and Philadelphia mashed potatoes. But the Vrony Burger is also a favourite among our customers. The beef comes from our own cows, raised
on the Findeln alpine pastures. Also very popular is our house beef jerky, and to top off the meal, our house Vrony coffee flavoured with Valais Williams pear brandy. A classic! What’s your secret to meeting your customers’ expectations? Other than the specialities on our menu, there’s no big secret. Quality is key; it must be beyond reproach at all times, both in terms of the products we use as well as the service. Winter is our busiest season; during that period we serve about 170 people twice a day - that’s roughly 500 dishes coming out of our kitchen daily. At that pace, we have to take steps to ensure our guests don’t have to wait. This is critical. In order to ensure high quality of service, we expand our team to 30 people in winter compared with 10 in the summer. Vrony et Max Cotting-Julen, Findeln, Zermatt email@example.com
A Bell 429 HB-ZSU rescue helicopter on approach in the Rothorn.
flies to the rescue An expert in helicopter mountain rescue, the Valais company has a long tradition and a re足 putation that goes far beyond the Alpine skies. We spoke with its director, Gerold Biner.
Preparing for use of the winch on the Hohliecht glacier, with a Bell 429 HB-ZSU rescue helicopter.
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t all started in 1968, with just one helicopter, one pilot, and one mechanic. 45 years and tens of thousands of flight hours later, Air Zermatt has become a world leader in mountain emergency rescue! Operating from three bases (Zermatt, Rarogne and Gampel), the company today employs nearly 55 people, including 10 pilots, and operates a fleet of 9 aircraft. A pioneer in their field, it also contributes to the establishment of international standards for equipment used. The company has also just selected some new partners for equipment and safety: the brands Scarpa et Mountain Hardwear, specialists in footwear and high quality outdoor equipment. But beyond the numbers and technical data lies a remarkable story about the dedicated men and women who demonstrate sheer devotion to their company and pride of the unique expertise they have acquired over the years. Having faith in a higher power is almost essential when working for Air Zermatt, given the highly perilous nature of some of the 1600 rescue missions flown each year. The company has won three Heroism Awards, in 1972, 1976 and 2010. “We are not heroes,” counters Gerold Biner, pilot and company director for the past two years, as well as president of IKAR, the worldwide platform for the exchange of mountain rescue know-how. “We’re just passionate about our jobs, and do the best we can.” “Piloting a helicopter has always been my dream”, adds Gerold. “When I was a child, I spent hours watching them take off and land. My happiest memory is the day when I finally piloted my first solo flight, in Canada. Being completely alone at the controls was an incredible feeling. Today, I’m privileged to not only fly, but to help save lives as well.”
Harsh realities While Gerold Biner has been living a dream since 1983, the year he joined Air Zermatt, he hasn’t forgotten to keep his feet on the ground. And despite his 12,000 hours of flying time, reality sometimes bites hard. “I’ve experienced a lot of critical situations where I was lucky to come out alive. Other experiences have been difficult to accept or handle psychologically, such as in the case of the Sierre bus accident in 2012. My helicopter was the first to arrive on the scene, and it was horrible to see the injured children. Our young patient died on the flight to the hospital,” he emotionally recalls.
Gerold Biner, pilot and CEO of Air Zermatt, and president of IKAR.
Thankfully, such tragedies are extremely rare, and the pilots also have stories with happy endings to tell. Not only does Air Zermatt operate rescue missions, the company also plays a role in delivering goods. 60% of the time, when the red and white helicopters – painted in the colours of the Valais – take off, it is to move equipment, particularly for construction (snow fences, shelters, lifts, etc.) Part of the business also involves transporting tourists by helicopter, such as on flights through the Alps or around the Matterhorn, airport transfers, or heliski flights in Switzerland, Turkey and even the Himalayas. In 2010, Air Zermatt built a rescue station in Nepal, where helicopter pilots and rescue personnel are trained for complex rescue operations at up to 7000 m above sea level. There, like here, Air Zermatt is above all a story of high-flying people. www.air-zermatt.ch
Air Zermatt relies on Mountain Hardwear and Scarpa Three partners committed for your safety and comfort on the mountains! NEW ROCK SA 路 VIA PONTE DI VALLE 9A 路 CH - 6964 DAVESCO T +41 91 935 14 00 路 FAX + 41 91 940 19 88 INFO@NEWROCKSPORT.CH 路 WWW.NEWROCKSPORT.CH
Julen mountain guide, ski instructor, film maker
At age 92, August Julen, Vrony’s father, knows the resort and surrounding mountains better than anyone. Camera in hand, he has been a witness to the region’s development and the booming popularity of mountaineering. We sat down with a local celebrity. Text_S o p h i e D o r s a z
August Julen, what drove you to take up the job of a mountain guide? I grew up in a family of farmers, surrounded by 6 brothers and 4 sisters. After the war, times were hard; there wasn’t enough work in the countryside for everyone. So I turned to the mountains, which I had always loved. I started my career as a ski instructor before becoming a mountain guide. Do you have a favourite route in the area? It’s hard to say. I think not. Each peak has its own appeal, considering the different ways they can be climbed. I’m of course particularly attached to the Matterhorn, which I’ve climbed over a hundred times with clients, by all possible routes. On the other hand, if there’s a place in Zermatt that I cherish above all, it’s the alpine pastures of the Findeln! I spent my summers there while my parents worked in the fields. Later, I opened a restaurant there, presently run by my daughter Vrony. You’ve witnessed how the resort has changed over time. What do you think about it now? Today, Zermatt is unquestionably the best
ski resort in the world. Whether people come here for the skiing or the mountaineering, it has everything they need, in an unbelievable setting. The heavy stream of visitors doesn’t bother you? Not at all! I helped with the construction of a ski lift in 1956. So I’ve contributed to the development of tourism in Zermatt. Get people to come – that was always our goal, at a time when there was no work to be found here. During my first winters as a ski instructor, I had to travel to Gstaad, Davos or St-Moritz to pay the bills. Now, people come to us. You also did some film making in Zermatt in the 1950s? Yes, I created my first film in 1954, “Whympers Weg auf ’s Matterhorn”, which traced the first ascent of the Matterhorn. Super 8 camera in hand, I also filmed life in Zermatt, the work in the countryside, and the local people. In 1958, I worked with Walt Disney on the “Menschen am Matterhorn” documentary, which looked at the dedication of the mountaineers. You can still see those films today, at the Zermatt theatre. Something for the tourists to enjoy when the weather is bad!
hut gets a face lift
The Hörnli hut undergoing a makeover for the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 2015.
In preparation for the 150 year anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, in 2015, the legendary mountain shelter at its base is getting a full makeover to meet its infrastructure and ecological needs. A glimpse of what’s ahead.
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or hikers and climbers, the Hörnlihütte shelter is almost as famous as the mountain it has hugged since 1880. Perched up at a height of 3260 metres, it offers climbers a welcome break before pushing on to the final ascent of the Matterhorn. The mountain has long lost count of the number of mountaineers who have stopped off at the Hörnli hut or its adjacent structure, the Belvédère, added in 1911 to welcome the growing throngs of mountain aficionados. Both have enjoyed long, rewarding lives. Having now lived well beyond their years, the two centenarians are showing their age, and lag far behind modern standards in terms of infrastructure and ecology. The time has therefore come to prepare them for a new future, with an architectural design worthy of their storied name! And so they will be all nice and pretty for 2015, in time to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper. “Since the first time I stayed there, at age 16, Hörnlihütte has remained engraved in my memory,” explains Adolf Ogi, former federal councillor and president of the Hörnlihütte 2015 patronage committee. “But this modernisation was a necessary step.” Built to last Over the next two years, the 2015 Hörnli Hut Foundation and its climbing partner the Zermatt Bourgeoisie (who has managed the two buildings since 1987), will transform the two alpine structures into a new single entity named the Hörnli Hut. The work, estimated to cost 8 million Swiss francs, will result in a long-lasting building with a light ecological footprint, including better energy management using photovoltaic cells, an eco-friendly water collection and waste system, etc. “The model we have taken for the transformation of the Hörnli hut is the mountaineer himself, as he or she is an efficient selfcontained system,” explains its architect, Hans Zurniwen. “A climber is a sturdy human who reaches his goal and returns to his starting point despite crossing difficult terrain under extreme weather conditions. In this sense, the materials used for the building structure, the construction techniques, and the means of energy production, cannot simply be taken individually. Our
primary goal is to build an ideal unified whole, taking into consideration the interdependencies and interactions between the various elements.” The consolidated unit will take the form of a two-tone building with straight, clean lines. The ground floor will house the reception area and a wooded dining room (which will be expanded to seat 142 instead of 90 people), with a stunning panoramic view of the mountain landscape. The bedrooms will be able to hold up to 151 people, down from the current 170. Less beds for more comfort, and an even more pleasurable stay! www.hörnlihütte2015.ch
Declare your support for the Hörnli hut! Interested in supporting the Hörnli hut? A novel campaign will be launched next year, where those donating at least CHF 300.- will be featured on a poster in the town of their choice, openly declaring their passion for this legendary hut, and, more broadly, their relationship with Zermatt. The funds collected during this unusual awareness and promotional campaign will be used to finance the reconstruction project. Details of the operation will be available, as soon as it is launched, on www.hörnlihütte2015.ch, where donations to the project can also be made.
Zermatt Alpin Center A history of passion
Matterhorn and Monte Rosa are home to Bettina, as she has been taking guests on tours around the alpine world of Zermatt for almost 17 years. She finished her education in 1995 and became the first woman working as a mountain guide in the Swiss canton Wallis. Today she remains the only woman in the team working in the Alpine Center of Zermatt.
The Zermatt mountain guide association, now a cooperative, boasts a membership of nearly 90 professionals. Some are part-time, others full-time, but all share the same unwavering passion for their mountains.
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ountaineering pioneers have been exploring the Swiss Alps since the early 19th century. The first climbs led to the conquest of the Dufourspitze in 1855, the Eiger in 1858, and the Matterhorn in 1865. While the history books record the names of Anglo-Saxon conquerors, such as Hudson, Barrington, and Whymper, it was the locals who accompanied and guided them. As Zermatt’s fame spread among mountain climbers, the forerunner to the Alpin Center
was founded in 1884. Over the years of ascents and rescue operations, some guides grew into heroes, legends, or sometimes both. Among them, Rudolf Taugwalder (1867-1953), who led expeditions in the Himalayas, Caucasus and the Andes. But no one has left more of an imprint on minds and hearts than Ulrich Inderbinen, the “king of the Alps”. Born into a family of farmers, the famed mountain guide, who passed away in 2004 at the ripe old age of 103, climbed the Matterhorn 371 times. His last climb was at age 90 (in only 4
Skiing in the heart of 4000 meter peaks
Sparkling like a star in a firmament of high altitude resorts, Zermatt offers a world apart. So leave your car and troubles behind in Täsch, and enjoy the village on foot, open and ready to soak up the spirit of the highest ski domain in the Alps. Bathed in sunshine 300 days a year, and surrounded by 38 peaks over 4000 meters high, Zermatt is a snow sports paradise.
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30 km trip takes you from the valley of Mattertal to the village of Zermatt itself, nestled at the feet of not only the Matterhorn but a full third of the highest mountains in the Alps. While Zermatt may be the Holy Grail of mountaineers, it’s also a renowned ski resort, blessed with a skiable area that has few equals. It’s not hard to understand why: 360 kilometres of ski runs in winter, and 365 days of snow sports a year! In summer, the Théodule glacier provides a training ground for the country’s national ski teams; 21 km of runs are also available to amateurs. In winter, skiers and snowboarders can tour the Matterhorn in pursuit of the sun or the best snow while hopscotching back and forth between Switzerland and Italy. A total of 54 lifts, on every possible landscape, provide a quality of ski without equal at that altitude. At the very end of the village, ski lifts and cable cars whisk visitors up to the Schwarzsee (2583 m), the Trockener Steg (2939 m), and further on to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn), the highest point in the ski resort at an altitude of 3883 meters. The arrival will take your breath away-quite literally, as you carve your first turns down the slope-but also figuratively, as your eyes feast on open views of the majestic pyramid that is the legendary Matterhorn. From Rothorn to the Cimes Blanches Pass, through Gornergrat and the Testa Grigia, skiing the Matterhorn Ski Paradise in a single day can be a daunting challenge. The most tenacious skiers can cover up to 12,500 meters of vertical drop without ever taking the same lift or going down the same run twice! Those who prefer a more moderate approach can enjoy some of the 75 kilometres of blue runs and 220 km of red runs spread out between its different sectors. Both family- and sports-friendly, this is a ski resort that knows how to meet the demands of all skiers. Early risers can also experience the thrill of first tracks; between Trockener Steg and Furi, skiing is possible before the runs open to the public. Gliding over immaculate snow while watching the mountains awaken is guaranteed to provide an unforgettable start to your day. www.zermatt.ch
Their name may mean dawn, but it was at dusk that Norwegian band Madrugada raised the rafters of the Sunnegga venue with their feverish rock, reminiscent of R.E.M. and The Velvet Underground.
Unplugged Festival acoustic music at its hippest
Founded in 2007, Zermatt Unplugged is the only festival in Europe devoted to acoustic music. There are no electronic sounds or artifice here – just the unadulterated sound of instruments and vocals echoing in the pure air of the Valais peaks.
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non-stop set at the Vernissage Club through till four in the morning. The dates have already been finalised for edition number seven: 8-12 April 2014. While the programme has yet to be confirmed, tickets are already available for the Trockener Steg cable car on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. The highest stage in Europe will be set up on the Gandegghütte, at a record altitude of 3,030 metres, where the adventurous London jazzmen of Ronnie Scott’s All Stars will perform every lunchtime during the festival, with their piano being lowered into place by a helicopter. www.zermatt-unplugged.ch Marc Kronig
he figures speak for themselves: a five-day event featuring 45 concerts held from midday to midnight on ten indoor and outdoor stages, six of them free (first come, first served). Blessed from on high by the late Jon Lord, an original member of Deep Purple and an adopted son of Zermatt, and Claude Nobs, the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, who respectively passed away last year and this, the sixth edition of Unplugged fulfilled all expectations, attracting a total of 20,000 visitors, with no fewer than seven concerts playing to full houses. The tone for the week was set by the Italian cantatori Gaetano Curreri and Umberto Tozzi (a regular skier in Zermatt), German rap pioneers Smudo, Die Fantastischen Vier and their 30-odd musicians, Fanta4 and young Swiss star Stefanie Heinzmann, who has been taking the charts by storm in Switzerland, Germany and Austria non-stop since 2008. Her family, who have ties with the Mattertal Valley, were on hand to hear her perform with Irish singer Rea Garvey. After Faela raised temperatures on the Thursday with their mix of Latin sound and Balkan Beat, British jazz singer Bryan Jones appeared on stage with his orchestra to bring the Roaring Twenties back to life. He was followed by Mando Diao, who performed their latest album for the first time outside Scandinavia, and the Valais performer Célien Schneider, newly returned from Paris. Female voices rang out around Zermatt the following day, as the spotlight fell on Skye Edwards, Swedish singer Birgit Bidder and Rolling Stones muse Marianne Faithfull – husky yet fragile of voice. On Saturday, last but not least came UK rockers Skunk Anansie, who played their entire back catalogue and enjoyed it so much they went and recorded a live acoustic performance in London a few days later. The band’s singer Skin – a Grace Jones lookalike on vertiginous platforms – then showed off her DJ skills, playing a
The Bryan Ferry Orchestra instruments stand silent, soon to roar back into life performing old hits with a vintage jazz twist.
© Stöckli Outdoor Sports
NEWS Traverse immaculate mountain snow on snowshoes Early snowshoes were made of wood and branches woven together and fastened with animal tendons. These days, snowshoeing fans have access to ultra light gear on which to cross the quilted silence of winter. Zermatt has four marked snowshoeing trails which allow you to fully enjoy the region’s winter landscapes through fields of sparkling powder. A meditative experience for all ages.
First Track How about getting a jump on the day and skiing down untouched runs stretching from Trockener Steg to Furi? Every Thursday, from December 26 to April 24, early risers can meet up at 7:40 am, before the official opening hours, at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise departure station. Experience the mountains awakening in surreal silence, and revel in the boundless freedom of carving first tracks in virgin snow! After a few runs, enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Marmottes de Furi restaurant before taking to the slopes once more, geared up and ready for the day’s action! Equip-
Discover your inner child... on a sled! Zermatt’s younger residents nickname them “Doc the Bob”or “Üz the red horse”. Glorious mounts indeed! The steeds in this case are sleds, which let sparks fly as they speed down local routes. The Rotenboden-Riffelberg descent on a sled takes five to ten minutes, and is a joy for all ages. Trains from Gornergrat Bahn leave about every ten minutes to take riders to the top. Sleds can be enjoyed on other routes as well, though never on ski runs. Equipment rentals:
ment rental: http://www.bayardzermatt.ch
FLY & DINE The experience begins with a flight in your own private helicopter. Soar over the most stunning 4000-meter peaks in the Alps before touching down on a glacier summit. There, an aperitif awaits in the presence of the majestic Matterhorn. As the engines die down, a sublime silence fills the panorama as you sip a flute of champagne while enjoying a selection of petit fours. Oh time, suspend thy flight! www.stokedexperience.ch
Now lookiNG for beaUTifUl ProPerTies iN ZermaTT To add To oUr reNTal PorTfolio. coNTacT: iNfo@brambleski.com
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The Monte Rosa Hut, owned by the Swiss Alpine Club, perches above Zermatt. It is unlike other refuges, both from an aesthetic perspective and in terms of its energy use, as it is almost selfsufﬁcient. Come with us on a guided tour.
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hut in name only! The Swiss Alpine Club’s new Monte Rosa Hut, overlooking Zermatt, bears little resemblance to other refuges intended for visitors to the mountains. As one of Switzerland’s most complex wooden constructions, it may even be referred to as a turning point in Alpine architecture. Its shape, like a rock crystal reaching for the sky, sets the tone from the outset. Its silver facade, covered in an aluminium shell, contains photovoltaic panels on its southern side, providing it with its own electricity. The building sits at an altitude of 2883 meters, and has the almost crystalline purity of many such buildings constructed around the concept of sustainable development. This “hut from the future”, which opened in March 2002, generates over 90% of its own energy needs! Water (in particular that required for the building’s four showers) is heated using solar collectors, as is the air introduced by the ventilation system, which ensures a stable indoor temperature. Meltwater, available for a few months of the year, is collected and stored for future use. A bacteria-based micro-filtration facility also treats waste water, which can then be re-used to flush toilets and for washing. Finally, a computer system, developed and administered by Zurich ETH, provides optimal management of all energy parameters in accordance with visitor numbers. The Monte Rosa Hut has a maximum capacity of 120 prized places during the summer season (until September). Inside, an abundance of light wood provides straight, clean lines. Outside, the mountainous surroundings, with a view of the Matterhorn, provide a stunning context for this little architectural gem. It may be a hut, but only in name…
which has transformed
françoisE Jaquet passionate dedicatioN An interview with the president of the Swiss Alpine Club
Starting last July, the Swiss Alpine Club (Club Alpin Suisse, CAS), has been presided over by a woman, marking a major step forward for the largest sports club in Switzerland, which only first opened its doors to female members in 1978. 30º sat down with the woman who has taken up this challenge with grace and determination. Françoise Jaquet shares her impressions of her first few months in office, reflects on the club’s storied 150 year history, and unveils its goals for the future.
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Looking back at your first six months at the head of the CAS, what is your reaction? It certainly hasn’t been restful! Being the 150th anniversary year, a huge number of events have been held, which I’ve tried my utmost to attend. The past six months have been action-packed, but it’s been very positive as far as the Club is concerned. Additionally, having a woman at the head of the CAS has generated strong media interest, which has led to numerous interviews. Since August 1st, I’ve reduced my work at Swissmédic to 90%, to give myself a little breathing room. I’m very much looking forward to this coming winter, which I hope will be a bit calmer so I can find time to get my ski skins on. What have been the highlights of this 150 anniversary year? From a personal point of view, the high point was the delegates’ assembly meeting in Interlaken, since that’s when I was elected president. Besides that, I would say the FIFAD, which had a major impact in French-speaking Switzerland, as well as the closing celebration in Pontresina. What are the Club’s priorities for the coming years? For the last two years we have been working on a long-term strategy leading to 2020. Our main thrusts are to continue to support volunteer efforts, improve the training of event organizers as well as participants, and more clearly define our position as regards to the mountains themselves; the line between protection and use can sometimes be hard to draw. Financing the mountain huts
is also a major challenge for the Club. We must continue to upgrade these facilities to meet current standards in terms of safety, the use of resources, and comfort. Along these lines, what is the Club’s approach to managing its mountain refuges? These days, people seek as much comfort as possible both in their daily lives as well as when on the mountain. In our huts, our aim is to provide visitors with a basic level of comfort, such as indoor toilets for example, while keeping things simple. Our huts can’t all be like the Monte Rosa hut. Furthermore, our goal is not to convert them into hotels, such as one might find in Austria. Do you have a favourite hut? The Wildhorn hut! It is part of the Moléson section, where I served as president from 2007 to 2011. I often climbed there, both in winter and in summer, and am quite familiar with the lay of the area. I also have a good connection with the hut’s keeper, whom I had the occasion to speak with frequently. What is your connection to Zermatt? I have some wonderful memories of Zermatt! My husband and I would go there frequently in times past, to get in shape for the cross-country ski season. I like the “mountain spirit” that the resort has managed to retain, with its pedestrian streets and wooden chalets. It’s also the gateway to the Monte Rosa domain. www.sac-cas.ch
fAt the heart of Haut Val de Bagnes, Patrouille competitors approach the final pass along the course, the Col de la Chaux, before beginning the descent to Verbier. dFinal preparations on the trail between the Tête Blanche and the Bertol hut, with the Matterhorn and the Dent d’Hérens in the background.
PDG the world’s toughest race The Matterhorn has barely gone to sleep when the cross-country skiing enthusiasts set off to conquer the High Route, between Zermatt and Verbier, pushing themselves to the limit, far beyond Stockje glacier and Tête Blanche.
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4 April 1943: Swiss soldiers are mobilised all along the national borders, particularly deep in the valleys of Bagnes, Hérens and Zermatt. Colonel Rodolphe Tissières, a pioneer developer of tourism in the vast sweep of pasturelands and meadows which would later become the resort of Verbier, was trying to find a way of keeping his occasionally idle Alpine troops usefully occupied. He came up with the idea of sending his best mountaineers, in teams of three, on an endurance course connecting Zermatt, Arolla and its privileged surroundings, on skis, gun slung over backpack, across the famous passes which make the high route so attractive. A Swiss myth Thus was born, seventy years ago, the Patrouille des Glaciers: a superlative race, which takes place in an environment which is certainly magnificent, but also demanding and dangerous. Indeed, the PDG was suspended in 1949 when one of the teams perished in a crevasse of the Mont Miné glacier. But the fascination exerted by this exceptional course was such that the race recommenced in 1984, once again under the guidance of the Federal military. The only difference now was that civilians were allowed to take part too. Thousands of cross-country skiers would soon take up the challenge.
The less highly-trained complete the relatively “short” route between Arolla and Verbier, while the rest take up the challenge of the “big” Patrouille, leaving from Zermatt in the middle of the night. Just imagine… 110 kilometres of exertion, 4000 metres of alternating ascents and descents, over passes, glaciers and snowy coombs, in almost all weathers... almost! In 1986, threatened by ferocious winds on the heights of Tête Blanche, the Patrouille came very close to catastrophe. And in 2012 the Zermatt-Verbier course was cancelled due to violent storms.
The ultimate challenge Held, against all the odds, by the Swiss army every even year, in the face of strong winds and budgetary restrictions, the Patrouille des Glaciers has now achieved legendary status. The whole thing is organised with typically Swiss perfection, to make it as safe as possible, under the supervision of 1400 soldiers. The PDG has revolutionised the practice of ski-mountaineering, which now sees competitors wearing tights, sucking drinks through tubes to save time, and training across the Alps from the very first snowfalls. They zip their way up steep sections, go peak-to-peak in a single stage instead of two as previously required, and cover tens of thousands of metres up and down hill - hundreds of thousands for the best of them, who have become elite athletes. These select few speed between the two key resorts of the Valais Alps in just six hours, whereas a standard cross-country skier would take at least three days to do it! Due to the weather and the increasing sophistication of training, competitors leaving the starting line at Zermatt just for the fun of taking part are more and more rare. The pros, on the other hand, come in ever greater numbers: over 2000 teams of three apply, with 1400 being accepted! When the line-up of hundreds of enthusiastic refreshment providers converges on the Couloir de la Rosablanche summit, meeting and encouraging the skiers in full flight, the special spirit of the patrol is clear to see. And long may it last! So if you’re up for a real challenge, come and join them, set your heart pounding in time with the frenetic pulse of the race, and soak up the fantastic high-glacier landscapes. This spring, it will be held between 29 April and 3 May. Grab your skis and get ready!
How do you train for the
Half in sunlight, half in shade, the racers stand out on the Castor ridge.
What is the best way to prepare for the Patrouille des Glaciers and how should you pace yourself? 30° asks Dr Pierre-Etienne Fournier for advice, Chief Physician and Sports Specialist at Suva’s Swiss Olympic Medical Centre in Sion.
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he internationally acclaimed Patrouille des Glaciers is an alpine ski race and very popular amongst ski mountaineering enthusiasts. The 2012 edition saw some 4,560 participants, or 1,520 patrols, gather at the starting line. The long route linking Zermatt to Verbier stretches over 53 kilometres, with an elevation gain of 3,994 metres, representing 110km of total effort. The route between Arolla and Verbier covers 27 kilometres and has an elevation gain of 1,881 metres, equalling 53 km of effort. So who’s able to take on this challenge and how would you go about accomplishing it? Here are Dr Pierre-Etienne Fournier’s recommendations. Who can aspire to embark on the Patrouille des Glaciers? For the shorter route, anybody who trains regularly can do it without putting their health at risk. For the long one, you need to be an accomplished sports person and train specifically for it. What are the best types of training? The method is the same for both races. Endurance, which is low intensity effort over a long time, should account for about 80% of training. The other 20% should be high intensity, such as interval training. Ideally, you should train using skis in conditions as similar as possible to the race conditions;
this will help you to hone the right movements and avoid wasting energy unnecessarily. On top of that, strengthening upper body and lower limb muscles helps to improve performance and prevent peripheral joint injuries. How should you pace your training to avoid overdoing it? There’s no specific number of hours; it’s individual. The main thing is to listen to your body and give yourself rest periods between training sessions. Treatments, massages or saunas can help recovery. You also need to ensure you eat sufficient quantities of the right foods. If you experience symptoms of overtraining, such as having trouble sleeping, loss of appetite or low morale, or a change in your resting heart rate when you get up in the morning, then you need to take it down a notch. Is it possible to calculate the energy expenditure for both races? For the short route between Arolla and Verbier, studies have shown that racers burn between 4,500 and 5,000 kilocalories. The race which leaves from Zermatt requires double the effort: figures indicate levels of between 9,000 and 10,000 kilocalories; that’s about the equivalent of an Ironman (Editor’s note: a race comprising a 3.8 km swim, 180 km cycling stage and a marathon). In comparison, energy expenditure for a main stage of the Tour de France is estimated at 6,000 kilocalories. http://www.he.admin.ch/internet/heer/en/home/themen/pdg.html
a P hilosophy of Life
terrascope Patrouille des Glaciers â€“ Limited Edition Multi-layer stainless steel case with contrasted vertical satin and polished finishings. Swiss mechanical automatic movement. Grey engraved dial with applied indexes. Rubber strap. jeanrichard.com
Hotel Walliserhof Caroline Ogi & Sylvain Stefanazzi Ogi | Bahnhofstrasse 30 | 3920 Zermatt walliserhof-zermatt.ch | firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel. 027 966 65 55
Zermatt to mark th 150 anniversary
of first Matterhorn ascent The legend of the Matterhorn is founded on a string of adventures, failures, and an intense battle between climbers â€“ especially the Carrel brothers and Edward Whymper. Whymper, leading 6 fellow climbers, achieved the first successful ascent on 14 July 1865. A series of celebrations will be held in Zermatt to mark the 150th anniversary.
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o properly retrace the history of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, you have to go back to 1857, nearly ten years before the landmark event, when the brothers Jean-Jacques and Jean-Antoine Carrel made several attempts to scale the mountain via the Lion ridge, on the Italian side. Edward Whymper had several stabs at it too, and considered giving up altogether after suffering a 60-metre fall in 1862. Three years later, however, with competition raging between the climbing parties of the day and after having learned of the departure of Jean-Antoine Carrel for another attempt from the Italian side, Whymper made a beeline for Zermatt, accompanied by Lord Francis Douglas and the two Peter Taugwalders, father and son. It was at the Monte Rosa Hotel where the quartet met the Reverend Charles Hudson, a seasoned climber, and his altogether more inexperienced friend Douglas Hadow, who together had hired the Chamonix-born guide Michel Croz with a view to making the ascent themselves. The two parties decided to join forces and set off to tackle the Matterhorn on 13 July. Early the following afternoon the seven-strong group reached its virgin peak via the Hornli ridge. On their way back down, however, tragedy struck. Hadow, who was no climber, slipped and fell, taking Croz, Hudson and Douglas with him. Whymper and the Taugwalders held on tightly to the rope to prevent themselves from being taken over the edge too, but it snapped and their four companions fell to their deaths. And so the legend of Whymperâ€™s tragic ascent was born, with the resort of Zer-
matt and the Matterhorn attracting huge attention as a result. More and more climbers have scaled the peak since then, with several landmark achievements being recorded over the years. Jean-Antoine Carrel made the first successful ascent via the Lion ridge just three days after Whymper tamed the mountain, while the Zmutt ridge was climbed for the first time in 1879. Further landmarks include the first Furggen ridge ascent, the maiden winter ascent in 1971, and the subsequent conquering of the mountain four times in the space of 24 hours, via all four routes. The speed record was also recently broken by Kilian Jornet, who ascended and descended the Matterhorn in a mere two hours and 52 minutes. Zermatt will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first ascent with a varied programme of events in 2015. During the summer months a play retelling the story of Whymperâ€™s feat will be staged in German and English. Written and staged by the Berne playwright Livia Anne Richard, the piece will see locals play supporting roles to professional actors and will feature a number of musical sequences. Much to the delight of mountain lovers, the Hornli Hut will also get a complete makeover. Sitting at an altitude of 3,200 meters, it marks the starting point of the ascent on the Hornli ridge. Erected 100 years ago, the main building will be modernised and the Swiss Alpine Club hut replaced in its entirety by a sheet metal construction. The supply of running water and electricity and the design of the renovated facility will better respond to the expectations of people frequenting the area, who can number up to 200 on days when the weather is fine.
crow’s eye view the ski camox freebird 177: mountain touring weapon blackcrows-skis.com
A – Black Crows Corvus This is the model that put Black Crows on the map. A powerful freeride ski with excellent hold on hardpack, its waist has been slightly widened for added lift and extra pleasure, without sacrificing its alpine behaviour. It has also inherited a rocker on the nose for improved handling. www.blackcrows-skis.com
B – Black Diamond Carbon MegaWatt This backcountry ski with a wood-carbon core and a 120 mm waist, is sure to delight no-compromise powder skiers. A great ski for long climbs with skins, followed by endless thrilling descents! http://eu.blackdiamondequipment.com
C – Dynafit Cho Oyu This great new ski by Dynafit has a modern shape, with a rocker on the nose and an 88 mm waist. At only 1080 g, it smokes the competition in terms of light weight. The result? Performance levels that make it a solid contender in backcountry competitions. It especially hits the mark as a ski for long races, where every gram counts. www.dynafit.com/fr
D – K2 Annex 118 Stable and easy to handle, with a 117 mm waist, this pro ski used by Seth Morrisson combines everything that a freerider could want from a ski: power, versatility, and a fun ride. From narrow corridors to long steep faces to dense forest slopes, this is a ski you can feel at ease on anywhere, on any snow. http://k2skis.com
E – K2 Rictor 90XTI An all-mountain ski, the K2 Rictor 90XTI provides the versatility you need in all conditions. On piste, it gives you enough pop when coming out of the turns to match much bigger skis, while its rocker on the nose and 90 mm waist guarantee good performance off the beaten paths as well.
swiss distribution: dac sport import sa / www.dacsport.ch / email@example.com
F – Movement shift This excellent new arrival from Movement marks the company’s entrance into the exciting field of free-touring mountain skis. With a carbon core and a topsheet for added durability, it delivers excellent performance on hardpack while staying ultra-light for uphill climbs. Its 98 mm waist makes it a joy to ride in the pow. www.movementskis.com
G – Black crows OVA The ova sports a high-octane turn radius of 17 meters matched with an attractive 85 mm waist. With a slight rocker on the nose and a flat tail, this ski has excellent handling and lets you make ultra-fast turns. It provides great directional control both on and off piste, making it a perfect companion for your next mountain adventure! www.blackcrows-skis.com
H – Zag Ubac XL This free-touring ski, with a 100 mm waist, has a rocker on the nose and another on the tail. It offers an excellent compromise between light weight, performance, manoeuvrability, and ease of use in all snow conditions, and lets you combine the pleasure of the climb with the joy of a wide open descent. www.zagskis.com
From Freeride to Ski Mountaineering The 2014 crop of 4x4 skis
There’s no better way to start the winter than by treating yourself to a new pair of skis. And to help you make your pick, 30º has tested the 2013-14 new arrivals in different categories, from freeride guns to ultra-lights. Whether you’re a powder lover or a groomed run devotee, there’s something here to boost your ride! Text_R a p h a ë l B e r s e t
In collaboration with Yosemite
reeride-king of ski disciplines-has a new ride with the Annex 118 by K2, with a slimmer and lower nose to reduce snow pressure, providing more stability at high speeds. The Annex 118 is more than a “pure powder ski”, since it’s as impressive on the hardpack in the canyons as it is on the pow in Alaska. Made in Chamonix, and designed for ski conditions similar to ours, Black Crows has also scored another hit with its new Corvus. Its new rocker on the nose makes it more pliable and manoeuvrable, while a few more millimetres on the waist provides extra lift without sacrificing performance or its alpine spirit. This is a ski that will never let you down, even during low snowfall winters. Our latest all-mountain find is the K2 Rictor 90XTI, with the same slimmed and lowered nose as its big brothers in the Annex line. Its performance on hardpack (including artificial snow), are worthy of a GS ski, while its 90 mm waist provides enough lift for a great day in the powder. This is a fearless ski that will tackle even the steepest and toughest corridors! Can be mounted with downhill or touring bindings. The choice of backcountry skis is as varied as the range of skiing styles, with influences drawing from freeriding to competition. Black Diamond has
introduced its new Carbon MegaWatt, an outstanding ski for big snow conditions. Weighing in at 1750 g in size 178 cm, with a 120 mm waist, it delivers extremely good handling and good hold on hardpack, without sacrificing high performance in powder. For those for whom backcountry skiing means freeride descents above all else, this ski is a no brainer. It’s not your everyday ski, but its versatility is amazing. ZAG, based in Argentière, has come out with a larger version of its Ubac, a well-loved ski with nothing left to prove. Lightweight and fun, mid-way between a freeride and a backcountry ski, it makes long climbs easier while promising exciting descents. In a similar vein, Movement has launched the Shift, a high-tech ski that has the chops in terms of solidity, light weight, and skiability, to make it a best seller among backcountry skiers. When it comes to long treks in the high mountains, the Cho Oyu by Dynafit takes the prize for a high-performance backcountry ski. Born from freeride technology, this ski is a true featherweight! Rockers are increasingly popular on the noses of skis used in ski mountaineering competitions, and the Fish Gold by Movement is no exception. The addition of a rocker, and the widening of the waist by several millimetres, provides better ski performance.
Simon on the southwest face of Kunyang Chhish East.
The Anthamatten Saga
A new first
In Zermatt, the three Anthamatten brothers are the stuff of legends. Simon, Martin and Samuel professional guides and renowned sportsmen alike are regularly the topic of conversation at major ski mountaineering competitions, and when talking about ascents of some of the most breath-taking mountains across the globe. In his latest feat, Simon scaled the previously unclimbed summit of Kunyang Chhish East (7400 m). Text_c l au d e h e r v é- b azi n
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urrounded by legends and hemmed in by glaciers, the remote Karakoram (“black gravel”) mountains in Northern Pakistan are home to 4 of the world’s 14 eight-thousanders, including the famed K2. Below them, numerous lesser-known granite giants remain unconquered, one of which is Kunyang Chhish East. The Kunyang Chhish forms a massive amphitheatre with three peaks encircling the Pumari Chhish glacier: the Main Summit (7852m), first ascended in 1971 by a Polish team; the South Summit; and the East Summit, a colossus with a challenging approach on all sides and no obvious path of descent. In fact, it had sometimes been referred to as “one of the last major challenges of Karakorum.” Until now, the best attempt at conquering this mountain came in 2006, when Americans Steve House and Vince Anderson scaled most of the intimidating 2500-meter southwest face yet were forced to turn back just 300 meters from the peak. Simon Anthamatten and his climbing partners, the Austrian brothers Hansjörg and Matthias Auer, got off to a rocky start. From a political point of view, the situation in Pakistan was difficult and dangerous, with the Nanga Parbat attack taking place during their stay in the country. To top things off, Matthias was injured just before the expedition, and was only able to join the team later on. During his absence, Simon and Hansjörg had already chalked up two failures. In the first, an unforeseen storm forced them to turn around at 7000 meters when they had hoped to reach the peak the next day; during their second attempt, they only made it to the 5600-meter mark. Capricious weather made it hard to find the right window for the ascent and descent, which would take four to six days. To make matters worse, the Auer brothers had never climbed so high and struggled to acclimatize.
Finally, the skies cleared. The three climbers set out again, only to find themselves buffeted by terrible winds at 6700 meters. After taking shelter in a crevasse for 48 hours, they came to a decision: one way or another, the next day, they would move. The following morning, they were greeted by a small miracle: the sun came out and banished the penetrating cold. The trio set off for the peak. The mixed terrain was steep, but the ridge proved easier than expected. And on July 18th, the team reached the summit, where they fell into each other’s arms. An incredible panorama opened up before their eyes: K2, the Gasherbrum and a handful of other peaks peering out from among the clouds.
Self-portrait: Simon and the Auer brothers atop Kunyang Chhish East.
a tradition of excellence
the Zermatterhof Built by the townspeople of Zermatt 135 years ago, the Zermatterhof still stands as a beacon of excellence in today’s contemporary hotel landscape. 30º sat down with the hotel director, Rafael Biner, himself – naturally – a son of Zermatt.
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owering over the town centre, the Zermatterhof has witnessed the rise of tourism from a privileged vantage point. Standing before this 5-star hotel, one can’t help but travel back through time to when the people of Zermatt laboured to build this impressive structure. The task took three years, from 1876 to 1879. Encouraged on by the local priest, Josef Ruden, the villagers decided to donate their time to build this exceptional hotel. Thus begun a communal effort, born of a desire by the villagers – mostly farmers – to develop the economy of their region. In exchange for their efforts, they were given the right of usufruct, a right they enjoy to this day. The hotel, which remains the property of the Zermatt burghers under the banner of the Matterhorn Group, has for the past eight years been managed by Rafael Biner, himself a “Zermatteer” through and through. Rafael Biner, how did you come to be at the head of the Zermatterhof? I’ve been immersed in the restaurant and service industry since my childhood. My parents owned a restaurant and I learned to interact with cus-
tomers at a very young age. Even then, I understood the satisfaction that our guests felt when experiencing high quality of service. I joined the Zermatterhof team in 1994 as head receptionist and assistant manager. Four years later, I left the valley to broaden my knowledge of economics in Lucerne. When I heard that the position of general manager was open, I applied immediately. Since 2005, I’ve been devoting all my efforts to upholding the appeal of this historic 5-star hotel and its excellent quality of service. Is being from Zermatt a job requirement? I think not. The most important thing is to value service and love the hospitality business. But it is true that being from Zermatt myself, I feel a particular attachment to the Zermatterhof; after all, my great-great-grandfather took part in its construction. The place this hotel takes in my family history makes me incredibly proud of managing it, and I find it admirable that even in times of crisis, the town never tried to sell it. Also, I have noted that our clients like being served by someone who is from here; it complements the authentic character of the hotel. What is your most memorable moment so far as general manager of the Zermatterhof? On one occasion, a woman, somewhat advanced in years, reserved a suite for the full month of December. She loved it so much that she stayed the entire winter. In April, when it came time to close the hotel, I did not want to ask her to leave – it had, in fact, become a home to her. Together with the cook and a few employees, I came up with a plan to continue to provide the woman with the necessary services. In the end, she was obliged to leave for personal reasons. Later, I learned that the woman was in fact the Countess of Genoa. www.zermatterhof.ch
A Royal Gala puff pastry delight, â€œcandied flowers and legumesâ€?, pistachio cigar with black sesame and ice cream flavoured with nutmeg and clove.
Wild sea bream tartare, dried figs, lemon and mangoes, lightly-cooked scallops with black fleur de sel and broccoli.
hotel-restaurant Le Terminus, IN Sierre honouring the traditions and artisans of the Valais
A pat of fresh peppered venison on a praline cookie, black elderberry juice and slices of candied quince.
Located in the heart of Sierre, the Hotel Terminus restaurant, masterfully guided by its chef Didier de Courten, is an evangelist-by-example of a cuisine that rejects chemicals and extravaganzas in favour of a back-to-the-basics focus on the earth’s natural produce. It’s a savoir-faire which has been rewarded by two stars from Michelin and a rare 19/20 score by Gault & Millau.
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idier de Courten has come full circle. The forty-something native of Sierre got his start here, as an apprentice in this very same restaurant at the Hotel Terminus. Passionate about cooking as a young boy-introduced to the art by his mother-by age 14-15 he was already juggling pots and pans for the simple pleasure of browning, poaching, roasting, and enjoying shared meals around large and friendly tables. His parents may have doubted his calling, but for him, there was never any question: he would be a chef. “At first I didn’t know anything about haute cuisine”, he confides. His passion drove him to experiment, guiding him step by step up the ladder of expertise, until in 2005, he was awarded Chef of the Year. Didier de Courten takes a simple approach to cuisine, following in the footsteps of a family with Valaisian roots that stretch back to times long forgotten. Didier De Courten, how would you describe your cuisine? It is a cuisine that seeks to “rediscover its link with the earth” and emphasizes the ingredients over the hands that prepare them. It is a cuisine that
takes what the earth gives and transforms it, magnifies it. No additives, no intellectual approach-just good, hearty food. It is largely sourced locally, including meats, fruit and vegetables, rye bread, etc. The attention to detail is what makes the difference-and takes quite a team to deliver! Any special favourites? I own my own herd of Heren cows, in the Anniviers valley. So meat, milk, cheese and butter are particularly dear to my heart. I also purchase the entire harvest of saffron from the historical Venthône plantation, which was revivified by culinary lovers some years ago. Saffron is a bit like wine-it has its vintages, and its flavours develop over time. I use it in buckwheat risotto, I marinate barley in it, I add it to deserts-in fact, it pairs particularly nicely with white chocolate. Any particular trend for your winter menu? The hunting season ends in early December. Chamois and white truffle will give way to black truffle, Mallemort green asparagus (outstanding!), Salers beef, hare, and grouse. Firmly rooted in the Valais, you live your work-life balance through sports. I’m a passionate and frequent runner. Among others, I train with Jean-Yves Rey, from the Patrouille des Glaciers. My record on the Sierre-Zinal is 2 hours, 58 minutes. I also do cycling and backcountry skiing, both in the Anniviers valley-naturally, since I trace some of my roots on my grandmother’s side from there-as well as in Verbier and Zermatt from time to time. It’s a way for me to stay in shape as well as a great stress reliever. Head out with problems, come back with solutions! www.hotel-terminus.ch
by_C h ri stian B u g n o n
TAG Heuer Carrera calibre 36 The latest addition to the TAG Heuer family boasts more than one exciting feature. For the first time ever, the legendary calibre 36 is set in a Carrera case. Its flyback hand lets you stop the chronograph, reset it to zero and start it again in one easy movement, turning complex time measurements into child’s play. Its sandblasted titanium case gives it a racing car look and feel, set off nicely by the perforated black leather strap. This is a timepiece with a bright future. Can be found in Bucherer jewellery shop - Zermatt. www.tagheuer.com
Tissot T-Complication Squelette Tissot unveils the inner workings of its expertise with the Tissot T-Complication - an absolute gem for fans of precision watchmaking. Time ticks by in unerring beauty and in the greatest detail beneath the scratchproof sapphire crystal, with an elegant skeletonized hand-wound mechanical movement. Its design is a careful blend of tradition and modern styles, completed with luxury finishes. www.tissot.ch
Parmigiani Fleurier Pershing Tourbillon Abyss It has Parmigiani‘s signature all over it: midway between art and technology, the Pershing Tourbillon Abyss oozes the contemporary, racy and elegant style of this well established range of sports watches. It has a titanium case (45 mm) and a rose gold screw-in crown surrounding the dial decorated with ocean coloured waves in a nod to the brand‘s partnership with Italian yacht builders Pershing. The stunning, detached tourbillon at six o‘clock is a poignant reminder of the Val-de-Travers company‘s savoir-faire. The blue alligator bracelet is signed by Hermès. This is a limited edition of only 30 numbered pieces. Can be found in Schindler jewellery shop - Zermatt. www.parmigiani.ch
Hublot Big Bang Shiny Ever loyal to the intrepid look which inspired its range, Hublot presents the Big Bang Shiny. Its hands and dial are displayed in a 41 mm black ceramic case, surrounded by a bezel set with 114 diamonds (0.14 carats) to sparkle like the stars right through the night. It has a black calfskin strap with a rubber in-lay of the same colour. Can be found in Stäuble and Bucherer jewellery shops - Zermatt. www.hublot.com
Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727 Jam-packed with innovations, this timepiece is the fruit of years of research in the fields of high frequency, magnetism and new materials. Its case (41 mm) in rose or white gold, with finely fluted edging, is set with a silvery gold dial and hand engraved with six different patterns upon which the hours tick by in Roman numerals. Subsidiary seconds at twelve o’clock and 10th of a second at one o’clock indicate the five hour power reserve (60 hours autonomy). Can be found in Stäuble and Schindler jewellery shops - Zermatt. www.breguet.ch
Jeanrichard Terrascope An exceptional race should have an exceptional watch. Watchmaking partner and official timekeeper of the legendary Patrouille des Glaciers race, JEANRICHARD celebrates the 30th anniversary of this ski mountaineering competition with the launch of a 100-piece limited edition of its emblematic model, the Terrascope. Ready to accompany extreme adventurers, it comes with a dark grey rubber bracelet and an exclusive grey face featuring an engraved relief that evokes the ascents and descents to be conquered throughout the race. Its steel case houses an automatic movement. www.jeanrichard.com
Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate Petite Seconde Rétrograde Nestled in a 40 mm red gold case, the ultra-slim calibre has a three-day power reserve. This new self-winding movement displays hours and minutes, with a serpentine date hand in the centre and the second retrograde feature at six o’clock. The sapphire base features an engraved Guilloche weight, the hallmark of the collection. Can be found in Schindler jewellery shop - Zermatt. www.
Cartier Tank Anglaise leather Born in 1917, the Tank revolutionised the Roaring Twenties watchmaking, leaving behind the round faces of the past for the rigour of four lines and two parallel shafts. The Tank transcends the ages, embraces new tastes, experiments with new geometries. The latest model features a streamlined design that reinterprets its traditional form with a white gold case, flinqué face, large Roman numerals and diamond-encrusted parallel brancards, matched with a bright fuchsia alligator skin bracelet. Can be found in Schindler jewellery shop - Zermatt. www.cartier.com
Photo 2000 © Cartier 2012
Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono Since 1919, American watchmaker Hamilton (now part of the Swatch Group) has been perfecting its expertise in creating aviation timepieces Admiral Byrd wore one when he circled the South Pole in the 1920s! The same mix of pioneering spirit and technological innovation is clearly pinpointed on the brand’s radar with the Khaki Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono. This self-winding chronagraph which blends style, robustness and accuracy with a sleek, white on black design, was inspired by the Hamilton watches made for the Royal Air Force in the 1970s. Like its predecessors, it is protected by a notably curved antireflective sapphire crystal.
Alpina Heritage Pilot Boasting a 50 mm diameter, this watch has been inspired by the original Alpina Pilot watch designs from the 1920’s and 30’s. With technical features upgraded to today’s watch making standards, the accuracy of the calibre is improved and protected by a curved sapphire glass, and the case is manufactured in stainless steel. Open the cover on the back of the watch to admire the mechanism. Limited edition: 1883 pieces. Can be found in Matterhorn Boutique - Zermatt. www.watches-alpina.com
trends sport By_C h ri stian B u g n o n
Mammut – Protection Airbag System This system represents another step forward in the field of innovative avalanche safety. Thanks to its large volume, the Protection Airbag considerably reduces the risk of getting buried deep under the snow. Its special shape also provides effective protection for the head, neck and chest against potential injuries from rocks, trees or ice. www.mammut.ch Kjus - Blending premium style and amazing looks Zug based company Kjus vows to design the best ski clothes in the world. To achieve this, they have three criteria; their products must be innovative, ergonomic and lightweight. Their classic but stylish Snowbank (for men) and Snowray (for women) ski jackets are living proof of this. Designed for maximum breathability, they offer optimal protection from the cold thanks to their Kjus hybrid insulation concept made using premium goose down, PrimaLoft® One and Kjus Fast Thermo®. Ideal for wearing on the slopes or around town! Available from Bayard Sport & Fashion – Zermatt. www.world.kjus.com
Suunto Ambit2 S – GPS for athletes The Suunto Ambit2 S is an athlete’s constant companion. Sporting an elegant design, it combines the latest in GPS technology with advanced functions specific to running, cycling, swimming, and other sports. Plus, thousands of free Suunto apps allow users to add extra functionality to their watch to help them track and manage their training sessions. In short, it’s the perfect watch to help you do your best – anywhere, anytime. www.suunto.com
Frauenschuh: luxury outdoors fashion Based in Kitzbühl in Austria, Frauenschuh has been focusing their efforts for almost 50 years on making their products unique, authentic and high quality. Wool, leather, skins and other quality – fair trade – fabrics are (in some cases) combined with high tech fibres to produce a prestigious ski and mountain wear collection. Frauenschuh garments are exclusively made in small workshops in Austria and Italy using artisanal craftsmanship to ensure on-going quality control. Due to the limited production capacity, the Frauenschuh Luxury Sportstyle Fashion brand is available in limited quantities from selected outlets. Available from Bayard Sport & Fashion – Zermatt. www.frauenschuh.com
Mountain Force – Women’s Traverse II Jacket This model, which made its mark among the favourites last season, has had a refresh and is now better than ever. While providing a rare level of comfort, excellent breathability and top-flight insulation, this jacket also gets high marks for style, with a slim cut that is both feminine and sexy, highlighted by asymmetric coloured patches that draw attention to the shoulders and accentuate a trim, toned figure. Available from Bayard Sport & Fashion – Zermatt. www.mountainforce.com
Icebreaker – Ski+ Lite OTC Men The collection of Icebreaker PLUS socks offers separate left/right models that are perfectly shaped to fit each foot, with strategically placed padding for unrivalled comfort. The toe area is seamless, reducing chafing and preventing the dreaded appearance of blisters. Zones in breathable knit improve ventilation and avoid excessive heat. Highly breathable and odourresistant merino wool fibre guarantees to keep your feet healthy and dry all day long. www.icebreaker.com
Scarpa – Freedom SL Thermo This four-buckle freeride boot has been fully refreshed and upgraded. Designed for demanding freeriders looking for increased comfort on the way up and excellent support on the way down, it features a thermoforming inner liner wrapped in a carbon core that adds rigidity to the base of the shell for improved energy transfer to the skis. Total weight: 3600 g (approx.).
Stöckli - Spirit Otwo The makers of the Stöckli collection present their new skis sporting a sleek urban look, designed for easy handling, higher performance and easier carving. Flexible and made primarily from sustainable raw materials, they are sure to attract jealous looks on the slopes! The Spirit Otwo was awarded the “Gold Winner” prize in the “On-Piste Ski” category at the 2013 ISPO. Available from Bayard Sport & Fashion – Zermatt.
Mountain Hardwear – Ghost Whisperer © down II This hooded jacket beats all records for light weight: a mere 212 grams! Its revolutionary insulation made from Q.Shield© 850 down is moisture resistant and retains its considerable expansive puff qualities even when wet, guaranteeing warmth in any weather.
Brillian ce mee ts
march 27 â€“ april 3, 2014
The 23 rd Zermatt Horu Trophy Zermatt welcomes one of the biggest outdoor curling tournaments in Switzerland: 76 teams will face off on 19 different rinks, from January 16 to 19, 2014. It’s certainly one of the most special events of the season, since the rinks provide an uninterrupted view of the Matterhorn! Beyond the event’s sporting aspect, organizers seek to promote the camaraderie and friendly atmosphere which curling embodies. Teams will seek to deliver, sweep and guide their stones to victory in best-of-five match sets. www.cczermatt.ch
Zermatt from the skies What better place to live your Icarus-like dreams? A few steps in the snow and you’re off! Taking off from Rothorn (3103 m), paragliders can soar into the crisp morning air, circle like an eagle, and glide over the ski runs, before making their descent towards the white roofs of Zermatt for a soft (hopefully!) landing in the snow, or on the ice rink for those who dare! www.alpine-adventures-zermatt.com
The mysteries of the Palais de Glace An elevator takes you directly from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise station. Perched on the summit of the Klein Matterhorn (3883 m), the highest glacier palace in the world lies 15 meters below the surface, burrowed into the glacier itself. Its four meter high rooms, bathed in bluish light, are decorated with imposing sculptures – all ice, of course – and carved-out seats covered with skins. A new slide (also ice!) whisks visitors into this wonderful world with a whoosh of adventure, before being engulfed into a genuine gaping crevice on the return to the entrance! www.matterhornparadise.ch
Avec IRL plus SA, des couleurs plus nature Les IRL plus SA n’ont pas ﬁni de faire bonne impression! D’autant plus avec leur nouvelle structure, leur nouvelle équipe et leur nouvelle identité IRL plus SA. Dès à présent, vous pouvez compter sur un équipement plus récent, des moyens de production uniques en Suisse romande, des conditions plus avantageuses et des partenaires plus motivés que jamais. Vous voulez déjà en savoir plus? Téléphonez à Alain Bassang, Philippe Delacuisine ou Kurt Eicher. A plus!
Chemin du Closel 5 CH-1020 Renens
Tél.: +41 21 525 48 00 Fax: +41 21 525 48 01
In the cab of a grooming machine “Snow-covered slopes stretch out endlessly in the moonlight. I am alone, in this vast expanse, far from civilisation. My sole companion, a 340 hp grooming machine.” The life of a Ratrack driver has its upsides too! It takes a considerable amount of work at night to ensure skiers can enjoy perfectly groomed runs in the morning. Ever wondered exactly what this entails? Ever wished you could roll over a snow-covered mountain in a monster machine? Now’s your chance to sit in the cab of a grooming machine for a totally unique experience. Available by reservation for ages 16 and up (from 4 pm to 8 pm). firstname.lastname@example.org
Igloo village Who hasn’t ever dreamed of spending the night in an igloo? Or maybe even building your own? No other dwelling is viewed with as much romanticism as these ancient homes of ice. Zermatt’s igloo village is located at an altitude of 2727 m, between Riffelberg and Gornergrat, with a spectacular close-up view of the Matterhorn. Besides igloos – naturally! – which come in “standard” and “romantic” variations, guests will also find a bar, and can enjoy a wide variety of activities including night snowshoeing, fondue, ice wellness, sauna, etc. There are even “warm igloos” – rather like a Canadian trapper hut – for those sensitive to the cold. www.iglu-dorf.com
A new digital information system The 2013-14 winter season will be the setting for the launch of a new digital information system covering the entire south of the Zermatt domain (Furi, Schwarzsee, Trockener Steg and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise). It will provide vital information to visitors on train and cable car transportation, as well as the day’s ski conditions (weather, lifts & runs open, special offers, etc.). All data – images, text and video – will be updated in real time. The system will later be extended to the domain’s northern section (Sunnegga and Rothorn).
Matterhorn Ski Paradise Trophy Interested in winning an all-expenses paid ski trip for two to Zermatt in the 2014-15 season (and many other prizes)? All you have to do is ... ski this year! Step one: Create your personal profile on skiline.cc and enter your Zermatt ski pass number. You’re now signed up for the Matterhorn Ski Paradise Trophy. Collect badges in over fifteen different categories, or try your luck to win the main prize, by taking on each challenge. Your first “mission” includes: skiing the largest total vertical drop at the ski paradise throughout the season – each run being automatically recorded on your skiline.cc profile via your key card. Other challenges include having your photo taken at a Photopoint (see above) and posting it on skiline.cc, challenging the best riders on the moguls of the Stockhorn freeride piste, and more. www.matterhornparadise.ch/trophy
Guided tour of Zermatt If you’ve ever wondered why the mazots (traditional dwellings) of the Valais are built on rock, how the inhabitants of Zermatt earned their keep before the advent of tourism, or how many times the legendary mountain guide Ulrich Inderbinen – who passed away in 2004 at the ripe old age of 103 – climbed the Matterhorn (371!), book a guided tour from Zermatt Walking Tour (also available in English). You’ll see the town in a whole new light! www.zermatt-walkingtour.ch
trends design By_C h ri stian B u g n o n
Louis Vuitton SC Bag While visiting the Asnières workshops in 2009, Sofia Coppola dreamed of a bag. She wanted it to be both rare and discrete, with subtle undertones reminiscent of the legendary designs of the Speedy and the Keepall. Taking its place among the venerable firm’s constellation of iconic creations, the SC Bag is now available in “mini” and “small” formats that say charm and distinction. In addition to black and white, the SC Bag also comes in range of zesty colours, from prune to orange, to complement its rounded curves. www.louisvuitton.ch
Nikon 1 AW1 Designed for adventure, the new Nikon 1 AW1 screams ruggedness and great design. Whether it’s a sailing regatta, an underwater expedition, an evening on the town, a day on the slopes, a weekend in Milan, or an African safari, this camera will be ready for action at all times thanks to its solid water-, ice-, shock- and dust-resistant build. www.nikon.ch
Caran d’Ache Zivago Limited Edition The fine writing design house pays homage to Doctor Zhivago, the Nobel prize winning masterpiece by Russian author Boris Pasternak, with this exquisitely elegant 18 carat gold fountain pen (also available as a roller), coated with Chinese black lacquer and engraved with the writer’s signature. The cap is sprinkled with tiny white stars, like snowflakes evoking the famed novel’s Siberian setting. www.carandache.ch
Hierba®: the taste of the Alps The youngest addition to the Morand family is a spirit made from citrus fruits and Alpine plants. This liqueur (31.5% alc.) was originally created in response to an exclusive request from the Caprice Festival in Crans-Montana. It was an instant hit, with over 30 litres sold during the two-day event! That success spawned a new line of herb-based products. In addition to Hierba®, a Genepi (wormwood), and a liqueur called Matterhorn will be launched soon. www.morand.ch
Audi A8 With the new A8, Audi joins the ranks of global leaders in terms of luxury automotive innovation. New features include Matrix LED technology with a refreshed and upgraded design. The dipped-beam headlights include 25 diodes per side which can be individually activated or deactivated, allowing the brightness level to adjust automatically and intelligently to match road conditions. Top that off with directional lighting when turning, newly designed daytime running lights, and dynamic indicator lights. www.audi.ch
30 ° degrees, the Swiss magazine of sports and recreation, 10 years of reporting, news, interviews, in 3 languages F / D / E, also availab...
Published on Jan 6, 2014
30 ° degrees, the Swiss magazine of sports and recreation, 10 years of reporting, news, interviews, in 3 languages F / D / E, also availab...