Because Zermatt Switzerland is such a popular destination for skiing and other winter sports, the ski lift system in Zermatt must be excellent. The ski lifts serve the Zermatt ski resorts and the surrounding Matterhorn ski slopes. Because Zermatt weather is suitable for year-round skiing, most of the ski lifts operate throughout the year to accommodate avid skiers who enjoy both winter and summer ski seasons.
Zermatt has approximately 70 lifts including 40 gondolas and trams and 30 surface lifts. It also has the highest ski lift in Europe – – the Klein Matterhorn (Gobba di Rollin) that travels to a height of 12,830 feet. Zermatt ski lifts can transport over 90,000 riders each hour and typically open each morning at 8am to accommodate early morning skiers. With nine of the ten highest mountains in Europe and the largest summer skiing area in the Alps, the Zermatt ski lifts seamlessly connect all ski areas making it convenient to ski several areas in one day. One benefit of Zermatt ski lifts is most travel up the mountain instead of being simply horizontal link-lifts.
In recent years, the Zermatt Lift Company has made major improvements and additions to the ski lifts serving the Zermatt area including:
- An 8-seat gondola extension of the Matterhorn Express cable car from Schwarzsee to Trockener Steg. Constructed for the 2009/2010 season, skiers can now reach Trockener Steg from Zermatt in about 25 minutes without changing cable cars.
- Installation of 6-seat chair lifts with hoods at Gifthittli and Furggsattel Gletscherbahn.
- A 6-seat chairlift and an 8-seat gondola at Sunnegga Paradise.
- A new ski lift at Stockhorn.
- Construction of a new lift at Riedweg to the Stollen of the Sunneggabahn.
New projects are planned for the next several years that will bring new tracks, chairlifts and cable cars. When purchasing your ski lift passes, make sure you only purchase what you will need, as they can be quite expensive. The Zermatt pass serves most of the ski areas surrounding Zermatt and is usually more than sufficient for most recreational skiers.