Heavy Snowfall Leaves Thousands Stranded In Alps


The Zermatt police department official said the air bridge would be provided to tourists requesting an exit by the 3-minute helicopter flight from the town at the foot of the Alpine peak down to the nearby village of Taesch.

All hiking paths, cable cars, ski slopes, roads and train service at the Zermatt Matterhorn, a popular Swiss ski resort near the famed mountain, are closed as a result of the heightened risk, the resort said Tuesday, as snow and wind have created ample conditions for avalanches.

"After nearly two days that Zermatt was cut off from the rest of the world, the destination is now reachable by train", it said in a statement.

Local officials said no lives were ever in danger and the situation was calm, with cafes open and many streets walkable. "It's a bit romantic", Imesch said, adding, "there is no panic". Elsewhere in the canton of Valais the villages of Gondo and Saas were also cut off after landslides on the roads, while the road between St Luc and Zinal in the Val d'Anniviers was closed on Tuesday morning due to the high avalanche risk.

By Tuesday afternoon, about 31.5 inches had dumped on the town of Zermatt in the past 24 hours, according to Switzerland's WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research.

British skier, John Bromell, age 39, from Willingham by Stow near Lincoln, went missing on Sunday at the Tignes ski resort in France Alps.

Fresh snowfall Monday created an avalanche hazard leaving roughly 13,000 tourists stranded in Zermatt, Switzerland, for the second day in a row Tuesday.

Luckily, there is no risk of heavy snowfall at the Matterhorn in Disneyland for the foreseeable future.

More than a meter of snow fell in parts on Monday alone.

Snow and broken branches filled the building's corridors and staircases, but the 29 people who were inside at the time escaped unharmed.

Swiss authorities said they expect weather in the area to improve on Wednesday.