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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post

    If you want to party and hang out in crowds, there's better places like Verbier or St. Anton. But for a variety of just good solid skiing with lots of good snow and comfortable lodging do mt-lodge.

    I like Andermatt-Disentis because there's so much great skiing that doesn't require a guide or harnesses or ropes and it's lots lower key, less expensive and fewer obnoxious people than more major destinations. I've been to a few places in the Alps and for my money and time, it's one of the best.

    Thanks Buster.

    We have long discussed a Euro ski trip (we've extensively skied N. America). While good skiing is always preferred, our trip is weighted more towards experiencing the European mountain culture and euro ski town vibes. At face value, Zermatt and the Matterhorn have mystique to them, especially to the unacquainted. Given it's popularity, Zermatt also has endless amounts of eye candy on youtube.

    Does Andermatt-Disentis still stand as the go-to, if I somewhat de-emphasize challenging skiing and focus on euro town/village charm?

    I checked on the Mt-lodge.... They don't have availability for part of the window we are looking at.

    Thanks again,

    P.S. planning this trip has given my wife good cause to be check out the forums. She finds good humor in it.

  2. #52
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    There are better places to ski, but Zermatt is awesome. You'll enjoy your trip. I wouldn't hesitate in the least bit to recommend anyone to go there. Sure, it gets a lot of hate, but it's stunningly beautiful and I find the town charming. It's a gem with decent skiing. If your friend wants to go there, go there. You won't regret it. I didn't find it as expensive as everyone makes it out to be and there's cool mountain architecture. Be sure to go to Chez Vrony for lunch. If your buddy gets a boner for traveling and skiing in Europe, that's a great place to start and then you can start getting more adventurous and start exploring other parts of the Alps. Check out Lech at some point in the future. You'd super dig it too.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by gedmeyer View Post
    Thanks Buster.

    We have long discussed a Euro ski trip (we've extensively skied N. America). While good skiing is always preferred, our trip is weighted more towards experiencing the European mountain culture and euro ski town vibes. At face value, Zermatt and the Matterhorn have mystique to them, especially to the unacquainted. Given it's popularity, Zermatt also has endless amounts of eye candy on youtube.

    Does Andermatt-Disentis still stand as the go-to, if I somewhat de-emphasize challenging skiing and focus on euro town/village charm?

    I checked on the Mt-lodge.... They don't have availability for part of the window we are looking at.

    Thanks again,

    P.S. planning this trip has given my wife good cause to be check out the forums. She finds good humor in it.
    Zermatt is amazing, but I've never met anyone that's actually from there. It. like lots of the big resorts, can be pretty touristy.

    The SkiArena is bookended by Hospental on the West and Disentis on the East with Andermatt, Tschamut, Dieni and Rueras in between.

    Hospental is the real thing, check out this place: http://www.hotel-gotthard.ch/en/aktuell/ , it's been there since 1722 and rarely is English spoken. It's the terminus for one of the sidecountry runs from the Gemsstock at Andermatt where one takes the train back to Andermatt/Rueras/Sedrun/Disentis.

    Andermatt has gotten more glitzy since Sawaris invested and the Chedi was built, but it retains some of the old charm at the Sonne Hotel as well as others. The main street past the Apotek bar and RiverHouse is a classic cobbled street. There's a great espresso bar that's been there forever: https://www.kiosk61.ch/ . Walking through the old car free town riverwalk is great at night with the church lit up and the river gurgling.

    Tschamut-Selva is on the train between Dieni and the Oberalp Pass. I think the last little hotel closed there, but it's as genuine Swiss as there is. It's the end of the road in the winter. There's a super safe and well travelled tour up to the Maigels Hutte from the Oberalp Pass that ends at Tschamut. https://www.maighelshuette.ch/

    mt-lodge is in Rueras. On the way between the hotel and the train station (about 600 feet) there's 2 little farms with cows, sheep and goats with all the attendant bells and smells. Again, genuine. The town church chimes every morning, sometimes more loudly and earlier than you'd like.

    The walk from Rueras over to Sedrun (you can take the train to Sedrun to access Disentis to ski) is cool, lined by barns, farms and little hotels. There's a chocolate shop next to the coop in Sedrun (the coop has a decent scotch selection). The road narrows between old buildings in Sedrun like nowhere in N. America.

    One place I've suggested that people have liked is Luzern. It has an old medieval town center that's comprised of big stone buildings from the 15th century that have outrageous painting on them. The old bridge across the river has scenes from the Spanish Armada on it. It's a great option for an acclimation day or end of trip. Views around there are gorgeous. Lots to do.

    Another genuine Swiss town is GŲschenen down below Andermatt. It used to be the N. end of the tunnel connecting to Italy before the new bigger Gotthard tunnel. It's dark, down in a valley with old trains and transport infrastructure with the residential part of town along a crashing torrent.

    Personally, I found I didn't like the big, famous resorts as much because they're overrun by tourists and expense despite the amazing skiing. That's part of the reason I've liked Andermatt/Disentis. Other places I've really liked include Briancon/Monetier Les Bains (Serre Chevalier), La Grave, Montgenevre/Claviere and Cesana Torinese in the Milky Way, Alagna/Gressoney/Champoluc on the Monte Rosa is huDge and authentic, but a pain to get to/from. Exceptions to that rule include Klosters (below Davos) and St. Moritz which are extremely spanky international but have kickass skiing because the poofy, wealthy types don't rage the pow. One more I liked is Murren, part of the Jungfrau group. Tom and Jeannette here are awesome: http://www.alpenblick-muerren.ch/ .

    But mt-lodge is still tops.
    Last edited by Buster Highmen; 12-05-2022 at 07:43 PM.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post

    But mt-lodge is still tops.
    They only have availability for about 75% of our trip. Do you have any alternate lodging recs? What about splitting our 5 ski days between 2 "regions"? Somewhere else for a night or two then to mt-lodge?

    Again, we are train only, on a 6 night trip. so don't want to be crushed with travel.

    Looks like Andermatt, Sedrun, and Rueras give us 3 little villages for dining, walking etc.? Are any of these too sleepy/small if we don't have a car?
    Last edited by gedmeyer; 12-06-2022 at 12:57 PM.

  5. #55
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    Klosters for a couple days then to rueras?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by gedmeyer View Post
    They only have availability for about 75% of our trip. Do you have any alternate lodging recs? What about splitting our 5 ski days between 2 "regions"? Somewhere else for a night or two then to mt-lodge?
    Ping mt-lodge, tell them some clown named Buster is pointing you there.

    https://wynegg.ch/en/front-page/ as the sagcious bw* suggests above. As mentioned above, it's a second favorite, the restaurant there kicks ass, be sure to get a reservation. The train trip is about 2.5 hours between Klosters and Rueras. Note that the trains departing after 17:00 from Klosters stop in Disentis and one has to take a regularly scheduled Swiss post bus the last 5 miles, otherwise it's a train all the way to Rueras.

    The skiing around Klosters/Davos is fantastic (the bases are: Madrisa, PIscha, Klosters/Parsenn/Davos, Jakobshorn, Rinerhorn, connected mostly by trains, PIscha requires a 5chf bus ride). The trains interconnectivity there will blow your mind. It's gorgeous. Davos is over the top where you can hemorrhage money, Klosters is more elegantly quiet. The Wynegg is a flat 5 block walk from the train/Gotschnabahn tram station. Hitsch and Uli there know me as Arthur Scopic. You can party late around Davos/Klosters or walk down the lane from the Wynegg, cross the little river into a valley full of farms.

    Use the blue map button to get a hint of how big Davos area is: https://www.bergfex.com/davos-parsenn/ . Maximize it and zoom out a couple click to see all the lifts.

    One thing is that you're travelling during the Euro winter vacation, so prices and reservations will be tight. It's better to go mid to late January or mid to late March.


    Again, we are train only, on a 6 night trip. so don't want to be crushed with travel.

    Looks like Andermatt, Sedrun, and Rueras give us 3 little villages for dining, walking etc.? Are any of these too sleepy/small if we don't have a car?
    Rueras is the smallest, but it's a very short walk to Sedrun, they sort of merge. google "sedrun switzerland restaurants" to see the number of locales. Stiva Grischuna and La Cruna have mentions. the mt-lodge kitchen is run by an Italian and his truffled pasta is celestial.

    Trains run Andermatt<->Disentis on the half hour up until 19:28, so dining in Andermatt will have to be done early.
    Trains run Rueras<->Disentis on the hour through 22:00.

    Swiss train resource:
    https://www.sbb.ch/en/timetable.html
    Last edited by Buster Highmen; 12-06-2022 at 02:28 PM.
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by gedmeyer View Post

    Does Andermatt-Disentis still stand as the go-to, if I somewhat de-emphasize challenging skiing and focus on euro town/village charm?
    No!

    As an American $ tourist visiting Europe and not overly bothered by backcountry skiing or chasing pow Zermatt is a miles better choice than Andermatt in just about every way.

    Andermatt is the sort of place you go with a mate for a hard charging pow weekend.

    Zermatt is where you take the wife for million dollar views, the best mountain restaurants in the Alps, superb hotels, coffee over the border in Italy and more. Itís expensive but itís unique.

  8. #58
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    bob is entitled to his opinion. I beg to differ is all.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by angler99 View Post
    There are better places to ski, but Zermatt is awesome. You'll enjoy your trip. I wouldn't hesitate in the least bit to recommend anyone to go there. Sure, it gets a lot of hate, but it's stunningly beautiful and I find the town charming. It's a gem with decent skiing. If your friend wants to go there, go there. You won't regret it. I didn't find it as expensive as everyone makes it out to be and there's cool mountain architecture. Be sure to go to Chez Vrony for lunch. If your buddy gets a boner for traveling and skiing in Europe, that's a great place to start and then you can start getting more adventurous and start exploring other parts of the Alps. Check out Lech at some point in the future. You'd super dig it too.
    Was in Zermatt for Xmas 12 years ago. Great place for that time of year. Not busy, as the Euros start showing up around the 26th-27th of December for New Years. I think every form of transporting skiers up a mountain that has ever been invented is available in Zermatt. Chair lifts - Check. Gondolas - Check. Trams - Check. T-bars/Rope tows - Check. Funiculars - Check. Trains - Check. I think you can probably even hire someone with a sleigh and horses too.

    2nd the Chez Vrony recommendation. Make reservations. This was the hotel we stayed at. https://www.hotel-couronne.ch/welcome.html Nice and easy access to the bus across the river. Good breakfast. Nice central location.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  10. #60
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    So Davos/Klosters and rueras is a decent way to spend a couple weeks in that part of the world? Originally had planned to be there now, but some work stuff got bumped around for a time when the skiing might be better (late Jan/early Feb) anyway. Excited to see the Swiss Alps regardless!

  11. #61
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    Andermatt is a small, somewhat underwhelming town in a cold, shady valley. Until the Sawaris pumped in a bucket load of money a few years back it was really only popular with powderhounds and known as an army base. There are a few nice places like the Riverhouse, but the Chedi is a monstrosity and that whole area with the Radisson is soulless. Iím sure Mt-Lodge is great but itís in Rueras which is a small village.

    They are not comparable with Zermatt.

    If they have availability, check out Cúur des Alpes in Zermatt, family run, decent value, great location, you will love it.

    Of course, just my opinion.

  12. #62
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    Going to Zermatt

    Quote Originally Posted by bobinch View Post
    Zermatt is where you take the wife for million dollar views, the best mountain restaurants in the Alps, superb hotels, coffee over the border in Italy and more. Itís expensive but itís unique.
    The women of TGR dirtbag as well or better than the men do.
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  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by gedmeyer View Post
    They only have availability for about 75% of our trip. Do you have any alternate lodging recs? What about splitting our 5 ski days between 2 "regions"? Somewhere else for a night or two then to mt-lodge?
    Don't do this. Nothing against the mt-lodge, but 5 days is not enough time to warrant burning even a second swapping hotels.

    And I'm with Bob on this one. Zermatt and St. Anton seem tailor-made for what you're after. Of course, that's just my opinion.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWFlow View Post
    So Davos/Klosters and rueras is a decent way to spend a couple weeks in that part of the world? Originally had planned to be there now, but some work stuff got bumped around for a time when the skiing might be better (late Jan/early Feb) anyway. Excited to see the Swiss Alps regardless!
    Chamonix, Zermatt, Verbier, Trois Vallees, St. Anton/Lech/Zurs, St. Moritz, Davos etc are each great places with amazing views, skiing and resources. But they are expensive, overrun with tourists and culturally not what I think of as representative of the "Alps". They meet what a lot of people want for their vacations. That's great.

    I used to travel with my wife before kids and after kids I mostly travelled alone. I've been fortunate enough to know people who lived in some of these places and in a few instances actually met one who posts here. Outside of that, I did not meet any locals or make friends at any of those places. It's probably unreasonable to expect to make friends at any of those places, but I made friends elsewhere, in what some people would think of as second tier locales. Like La Grave and Andermatt. So, I prefer the places that still have a little of the friendliness, respect and authenticity left. If anything, the Swaris investment is changing Andermatt into another heartless place.

    Make no mistake, one of the most memorable trips I've ever done passed through Zermatt on the circuit of the Monte Rosa (Alagna->Col de Lys->Gorner Glacier->Zermatt->Cervinia->Champoluc->Gressoney->Alagna) and I stayed there one other time. The views are among the best, up there with Chamonix and the Jungfrau. But I didn't find Zermatt authentic and that was a key word in gedmeyer's query. I may have misunderstood. My bad.

    (edit)
    fyi: this is a view from the middle of the SkiArena looking towards the Gemsstock in Andermatt. jackattack is one of the people I'm very glad to have met there.
    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    The women of TGR dirtbag as well or better than the men do.
    Last edited by Buster Highmen; 12-06-2022 at 03:56 PM.
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  15. #65
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    Davos end of the trip is solid for work. Looking for somewhere to book off to afterwards for few days prioritizing 1) quiet, 2) public transport, 3) snow quality. Can also just stay in the Davos/Klosters area if the snow's good or head to the EU where at least i won't rack up a nasty phone bill.

    I've done Chamonix traveling alone and am looking for the opposite of that experience if that makes sense.

  16. #66
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    Buster has great insight on the Euro ski experience but for me Zermatt is the Mecca of skiing. If you don't go there at least once in your lifetime you are not a true pilgrim.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWFlow View Post
    Davos end of the trip is solid for work. Looking for somewhere to book off to afterwards for few days prioritizing 1) quiet, 2) public transport, 3) snow quality. Can also just stay in the Davos/Klosters area if the snow's good or head to the EU where at least i won't rack up a nasty phone bill.

    I've done Chamonix traveling alone and am looking for the opposite of that experience if that makes sense.
    If the snow is good in Andermatt, go to https://www.mt-lodge.com/.

    If storms come up from the central south, try Madesimo. They get a ton of snow and are way off the radar with a decently sized area that can keep one busy for a week. The train goes from Klosters, through St. Moritz, Tirano, then Chaivenna (cool old town) in about 6 hours and you have to take a bus up to Madesimo.

    https://www.bergfex.com/valchiavenna/



    There's a clear dome yurt under the Larici gondola at the top in Madesimo that's run by a super cool Italian guy, Robbie.


    Other options take a whole day to travel by train from Klosters like Bad Gastein/Mallnitz in Austria or Oulx/Via Lattea along the Italian/French border.
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  18. #68
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    That's amazing info, thanks!

  19. #69
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    The wife (she's reading too) and I appreciate the feedback. I owe you all a beer.

    Small kids make trips, particularly international ones, difficult. We've called in all of the favors to pull off this anniversary trip.

    If it helps, we are more Alta/Red/Stevens than Whistler/Park City/etc. That's not to say we haven't skied many of these tourist destination resorts. Maybe it's the soup. We like trees and steeps and find bowls boring. I agree Zermatt is a bucket list destination. ("...but it's THE MATTERHORN").

    My big concern with Andermatt: is it too small? Jumping between small villages seems like a hassle after a long day of skiing and apres skiing. We live in the suburbs, so we're used to driving everywhere on our own schedule -- public transportation just isn't natural to us.
    Does cost savings of Andermatt enable more guided days or fancy dinners?

    Murren? Grindlewald?

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by gedmeyer View Post
    The wife (she's reading too) and I appreciate the feedback. I owe you all a beer.

    Small kids make trips, particularly international ones, difficult. We've called in all of the favors to pull off this anniversary trip.

    If it helps, we are more Alta/Red/Stevens than Whistler/Park City/etc. That's not to say we haven't skied many of these tourist destination resorts. Maybe it's the soup. We like trees and steeps and find bowls boring. I agree Zermatt is a bucket list destination. ("...but it's THE MATTERHORN").

    My big concern with Andermatt: is it too small? Jumping between small villages seems like a hassle after a long day of skiing and apres skiing. We live in the suburbs, so we're used to driving everywhere on our own schedule -- public transportation just isn't natural to us.
    Does cost savings of Andermatt enable more guided days or fancy dinners?

    Murren? Grindlewald?
    The Andermatt-Disentis SkiArena is connected by a train that runs (at least) hourly. It's part of your lift ticket if you specify (everyone does). It's easy, like a subway with a view.
    The only caveat, as I mentioned above, is that the last train from Andermatt to Rueras/Sedrun/Disentis leaves Andermatt at 19:28.

    This is all connected by train on your lift ticket, about 20 miles across:



    Full size direct link: https://vcdn.bergfex.at/images/resiz...5a9f6b6@2x.jpg

    The Gemsstock, which is what most people mean by Andermatt, is North facing. Everything else is South facing.

    Regarding the purported darkness of the area, take a walk here, starting at mt-lodge to your left in the view: https://www.google.com/maps/@46.6759...7i13312!8i6656

    If you're more into the less developed ski areas like Stevens and Red, and authenticity, that's why I suggested the SkiArena. Plus, you're only going to be there 6 nights. The SkiArena has much less expensive options than other places in CH.

    After a day of skiing around the connected areas of Andermatt/Oberalp Pass/ValVal/Dieni or Sedrun/Disentis, I generally just have a drink, dinner, maybe an ankle around town, then dinner. Personally I'm an Alpental/Crustal/Silverton/Snow Basin guy.

    Otherwise, go to Zermatt or Verbier.

    Murren is quieter with better skiing than Grindlewald. Wengen is in between.
    Last edited by Buster Highmen; 12-07-2022 at 12:23 AM.
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  21. #71
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    Buster sounds like a guy who has been the leader/guide of many past and future Euro gatherings.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by alias_rice View Post
    alias_rice is the guy who will be the leader/guide of many future Euro gatherings.
    fify
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  23. #73
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    Its worth mentioning that Zermatt is on the Ikon Pass and if you wanna ski into Italy for the day, you have to pay 20 or 30ish Euro for the Italian side lifts.

    No doubt that Zermatt can be glitzy and glamourous, but the Matterhorn is the most iconic peak on the planet, and it's right there. Also, over 7,000' vertical at the end of the day with some of the greatest slope side bars make it pretty awesome. If you wanna impress the wifey, upgrade to the diamond encrusted tram car with glass floor. Also the Ice Palace is worthy of a visit.

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  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toadman View Post
    I think every form of transporting skiers up a mountain that has ever been invented is available in Zermatt. Chair lifts - Check. Gondolas - Check. Trams - Check. T-bars/Rope tows - Check. Funiculars - Check. Trains - Check. I think you can probably even hire someone with a sleigh and horses too.
    You forgot helicopters (the drop off points are just over the Italian border because of Swiss regulations).

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobinch View Post
    Andermatt is a small, somewhat underwhelming town in a cold, shady valley. Until the Sawaris pumped in a bucket load of money a few years back it was really only popular with powderhounds and known as an army base. There are a few nice places like the Riverhouse, but the Chedi is a monstrosity and that whole area with the Radisson is soulless. Iím sure Mt-Lodge is great but itís in Rueras which is a small village.

    They are not comparable with Zermatt.

    If they have availability, check out Cúur des Alpes in Zermatt, family run, decent value, great location, you will love it.

    Of course, just my opinion.
    Small wonder you hang out in verbier. Which makes me wonder why you don't like sawiris verbieriasation of andermatt?

    I've been to Zermatt in the 90s and it still felt like a posh Version of ischgl with a MC Donalds in the mountains.
    Brrrr......


    I didn't have the money to hang out in fancy places as a Student so what do I know.

    If the op wants a ski trip with the wife, I wouldn't go.
    If he wants a glitzy place in the alps, it's the right choice.
    And the weather is usually good because it never really snows there.


    And I rarely disagree with Buster, but madesimo is not worth the trip becsuse the terrain is just not it except the top tram.

    On the other hand: Chiavenna(down the road) is one of the most beautiful alpine cities I've ever visited.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

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