Mr LL and I arrived Sat for 3 weeks - we were here for the first time 5 (yikes!) years ago.
Firstly many thanks to all the regular posters on this forum for all your most helpful advice. I would like to add a few comments of my own:-
- We used the Swiss Rail checked luggage from Zurich train station to Zermatt - worked like a dream - beats struggling with ski bags etc. (The fly-rail option did not work for us as we had a few days stopover in Frankfurt and Lufthansa in Frankfurt had no idea what we were taking about.). Since we were staying in an apartment we needed to go back the Zermatt train station to collect our luggage - but we just left this until the following day as we did not need our ski-bags and gear bag on Sat evening).
- We asked the person in the Zurich baggage office if he could validate our Swiss Rail transfer pass and he said it was already validated - so no need. Now I'm not sure why this was but we had Swiss Rail courier the tickets to us in Sydney when we bought them on the web site.
- For some reason the mad-house at Visp when changing trains (around 4pm on Sat) did not eventuate - almost everyone got a seat.
- We rented an apartment in Winklematten with some advance concern about the location but it has turned out to be just perfect - right at one of the ski bus stops (the one before the chapel) and only a 10 minute walk to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise gondola station. (It's about 15 minutes walk into town). The apartment itself is also perfect for our needs - newly renovated.
- We hired ski/boot/helmet storage at the ski shop at the base of the gondola - absolutely fantastic - no walking in ski boots, carrying skis etc. All for 12CHF per day for a double locker in a very nice clean and heated room with padded benches. This service does not seem to be advertised - you just ask at the ski shop.
- Some of the advice on this forum on the cost of electric taxis seems to be out of date - it costs 26CHF one-way from the train station (say) to our apartment in Winklematten.
- The extension of the gondola all the way to Trockner Steg is fantastic - it really helps "open up" the whole area for those skiers who want to start their day at the gondola.
- I bought a pair of those slip-on anti-skid "things" for my hiking boots (I use hiking boots as apres-ski boots) - an excellent investment.
So here's to 3 weeks of sunny days and snowy nights.