The trains out of Zermatt were meant to restart today from 11.15am and head to the nearby town of Täsch, but this was delayed due to the extremity of the clear-up process, leading to the restarting of an air-evacuation in the area.
A statement from the rail company said: “Contrary to a previous report from 9.20am, the Täsch-Zermatt shuttle can not be re-opened from 11.15am. During the clearing work large amounts of snow were found in the portal area of the gallery “Unnerchriz”, which made the clearing much more difficult.”
“Heavy snowfall dropped two metres of snow on European ski resorts in 48 hours…”
Mainstream newspapers around the globe reported on the situation in Zermatt, with helicopters being brought in to evacuate people who really needed to leave Zermatt and take them to Täsch, from where they could take a replacement bus service.
Zermatt is a car-free town and it’s actually not irregular for the routes out of the resort to be shut – because of the steep faces that surround the town, storms can often ‘strand’ tourists there. This time around though, the closure was longer than normal.
Helicopters were said to be carrying around 100 people per hour away from the nearly three feet of snow which fell on an already deep snowpack, though spokespeople in the area were keen to emphasise that it wasn’t an essential evacuation and there was no immediate danger to those still in the town.
There was actually a charge of 70 CHF (around £53) for those wishing to take the helicopter transfer.