Until now, it has only been possible to ski from Zermatt in Switzerland to neighbouring Breuil-Cervinia in Italy and back in winter. The construction of a new 3S cable car from the Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn) to Testa Grigia completes the continuous cable car link between Switzerland and Italy and makes it possible to cross the Alps without skis and without getting your feet wet. The one-hour journey offering stunning views from Switzerland to Italy, or vice versa – the Alpine Crossing – will cover over 4,000 metres of altitude, making it the cable car link with the greatest altitude difference in Europe.
The new cable car to Testa Grigia uses the same type of construction as the Matterhorn glacier ride that opened in 2018 between Trockener Steg and the Klein Matterhorn. Construction costs are estimated to be around CHF 30 million and the route is scheduled to open at the end of 2021.
On the 1.6-kilometre route, the cabins will cover an altitude difference of 363 metres in four minutes. As this route is comparatively short, the cables between the stations can be built without any supporting pillars. Two out of the ten cabins – the Crystal Ride cabins – will be decorated with thousands of Swarovski crystals, similar to those on the Matterhorn glacier ride. The Crystal Ride cabins will also offer spectacular views of the scenery below, as the glass floor uses smart laminated glass that changes from milky-white to translucent.