Back in Switzerland

This week I’m back in Switzerland; in fact I’ve been here a bit more than a week and am not leaving until Sunday. I figured I’d be in need of a good holiday after a busy term and the Institute of Physics Spring Meeting (see previous post) so I booked myself 10 days skiing in Zermatt, the famous little town just below the Matterhorn.

The Matterhorn

On piste at the Klein Horn

The snow is fine both on- and off-piste, if a bit icy in the mornings and a bit slushy in the afternoons (I quite like variable conditions).The Ski Club of Great Britain are here in force with two different reps and I’ve been doing plenty of skiing with them on off-piste days. Such a joy to ski with experienced skiers, thanks Alaistair and Chris! (For ski bores out there: I’m trying the K2 Public Enemy twin-tip skis and find them superb for the variable snow, although the plume they kick up in spring snow drives some people nuts). I like the way free-ride technology can work it’s way into the mainstream…

Off-piste at the Stockhorn

Zermatt itself is drop-dead gorgeous, the archetypal Swiss ski resort, with superb restaurants, no cars and unbelievable views. Did I mention the world’s best apres-ski, rockin to an outdoor live band in the serious sun half way up the Matterhorn?

Zermatt Hauptstasse


It snowed all night on Wednesday. Snow conditions were excellent on Thursday, but visibility was poor.  Today, the sun came out and the conditions were fantastic. Best powder I’ve ever experienced, particularly off-piste. In fact possibly the best skiing I’ve ever had, despite witnessing the best skier of our group take a serious tumble on hidden ice off-piste at Stockhorn – no less than six somersaults on the way to the bottom. Happily, no serious injury resulted…photos to follow!

More ski cronies are arriving late tonight – the Frankfurt Ski Club are due in at midnight on their ski bus (if past trips are anything to go by, most of them will be hammered before they even get off the bus). I have some very good friends in this club; although the actual skiing can be a bit chaotic due to varying levels, the craic is mighty.The Frankfurters are staying until Monday, but yours truly has to finally return to Ireland on Sunday. Ah well, I expect some serious partying on Saturday, my last night in Zer…

And then it’s back to a hysterical week at WIT. The last week of term for the students (and all that entails) + Prof Joan Centrella of NASA’s Goddard Space Centre is giving a talk on Black Hole formation and gravitational waves on Wednesday + Peter Woit of NOT EVEN WRONG is arriving in Ireland on Friday. Jesus. I need a beer…


Filed under Skiing

11 responses to “Back in Switzerland

  1. DB

    Nice pictures. I was just the other side in Cervinia last week.

    you can never have too many pictures of the Matterhorn!

  2. cormac

    Hey DB, my skipass allows me to ski to Cervinia but I *still* haven’t made it to Italy – there is just so much off-piste on the Zermatt side..

  3. db

    Was the second picture taken from the runs that run alongside the T-bars just below plateau rosa? It looks very similar to a couple of mine :)

  4. cormac

    Ahem! It could easily be, these are just generic pics from google – I hope to put up some of our own off-piste photos if I get them soon…

  5. Jackson

    Dr. C,

    I am jealous … but hope you have a great time … love your blog …

    a friend of a friend

  6. cormac

    no need for jealousy Jackson, I’m back in my overcrowded noisy office now, coping with worried students and visitng speakers! thanks 4 the comments

  7. HoosierHoops

    The news of Dr.Hawkings Health today was very disturbing.
    Please say a prayer for him tonight..
    May God spare his life tonight..He has been a great inspiration to me..
    Get better Steven!

  8. Hoosier

    The news of Dr.Hawkings Health today was very disturbing.
    Please say a prayer for him tonight..
    May God spare his life tonight..He has been a great inspiration to me..
    Get better Steven!

  9. HoosierHoops

    soory about the double post..browser is freaking out..
    Hope you had a wonderful vacation

  10. HoosierHoops

    Doc: This is why we need you to stand up to craziness..Phil at Bad Astronomy has taken a principled stance on creationism.

  11. the best ski resorts are always equipped with a good sauna bath and entertainment package ”