If you’re planning a December ski trip, you need to be confident that snow is guaranteed…and in Zermatt it will be!
The snow in Zermatt can come as early as October or as late as the end of November. But in Switzerland’s most famous ski resort – open 365 days per year – there is always skiing to be had in December when many resorts are still waiting to open.
Let’s look at the facts and evidence to help give December skiers the confidence to book an early-season trip to Zermatt…
Zermatt Snow Depth: December
Over the past five years, Zermatt has opened its slopes at the beginning of the season with an excellent snow base.
The average for snow depth in December is 159cm on the upper slopes, and it also boasts a 50cm average on resort level pistes.
Zermatt Snowfall: December
Historically, the snow fall in December is impressive – since 2007 the average weekly December snowfall is close to 30cm.
That means that in an average December Zermatt receives 120cm of new snow, with the odds of a powder day on a December trip high at around 45%.
Zermatt Temperatures: December
Traditional snowmaking requires a temperature of -2°C or lower. Although new technology will eventually change that, it will take a while for even big investors like Zermatt to introduce this.
For now, it has to be below freezing to produce artificial snow to top up existing snow.
The average December temperature in Zermatt is between -1°C on the lower slopes down to -13°C at the top of the mountain.
These consistently low December temperatures guarantees snow can be made by all of the 1200 snow cannons in the area.
Zermatt Resort Height
There is a direct correlation between mountain height and low temperatures. This, in turn, will affect the quality of the snow and how long it will last.
The magic altitude for optimum snowy conditions is over 1800m and around 90% of Zermatt’s skiable area is above 1800m. At this height the temperature remains consistently low and helps maintain the quality of the snow.
The town of Zermatt is 1620m, and the top lift station in ski area tops out at 3883m on the Matterhorn Paradise glacier.
Zermatt Snowfall: November
Zermatt is unusual in that the historical snowfall record has seen even more snow fall in November than in December.
Up to 200cm of snow can fall in Zermatt before most ski resorts are even open.
The average snowfall in November is two-thirds higher than the December average, which means that by December there is already a good base in place.
Serviced Chalets and Self-Catering Apartments in Zermatt
You can contact Ed from Matterhorn Chalets on +41 79 247 15 88 to find the right property for you and your group.
Snowfall Statistics: www.snow-forecast.com/