Expansion of the skiing area
In 1942, the Gornergrat Railway extended its railway line up to the Gornergrat. This not only expanded the timetable, but also the entire skiing area. This made a big difference for tourism.
Six years earlier Paul had visited Zermatt for the first time and spent his skiing holidays there (link to Story 36). In 1942 he returned to the Valais mountain village again, this time as a newly-wed with his wife Marianne. Like Paul, Marianne was an enthusiastic skier and enjoyed exploring the slopes. When they arrived at the station, they noticed that the Gornergrat Railway now covered the entire stretch up to the Gornergrat. Paul remembered that in 1936 he had had to get off at Riffelboden and was now looking forward to the extended route.
The new skiing resort
The next morning, the couple was greeted by a blue and cloudless sky. Perfect weather to spend the day on skis. Paul and Marianne made their way to the Gornergrat. The train ride was breathtaking and offered spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Paul was delighted by his wife’s glowing eyes. When they arrived at the Gornergrat, they were overwhelmed by the panorama.
The skiing resort had grown considerably since Paul’s last visit. There were now several descents on the Gornergrat and the skiing pleasure between Gornergrat and Riffelberg has been extended by around 500 new metres in altitude. Paul was in his element and was skiing better than ever. His wife was also a skilled skier and they enjoyed the rest of the day on the slopes.
New friends and a love of skiing
When Marianne and Paul walked back to the hotel in the evening, they were exhausted, but overjoyed. They enjoyed great descents and even met another married couple from the Bernese Oberland over lunch. However, the meeting over lunch was not to stop there. The two couples became friends and also spent their future winter holidays together in Zermatt. A year later, with the opening of the ski lift from Zermatt to Sunnegga, they were now able to explore an even larger ski area. The beauty of the mountains and the fascination of skiing had brought them together.