Zermatt and the Matterhorn

By Bill Anderson

Zermatt, what an incredible place. At first however, I wasn’t convinced. We arrived late one evening and were told that we couldn’t drive to Zermatt itself as no cars are allowed there so we ended up finding a campsite in the nearby town of Tasch.

We were awoken in the night by a huge thunderstorm that seemed to go on forever. On getting up the next day the valley was full of low cloud and it was till raining. We got the train up to Zermatt and things weren’t looking good. Zermatt is a big ski resort in the winter and is famous really for one thing, the Matterhorn. This towering rock stands alone on the skyline over looking the small town. There are pictures of it everywhere, on shops, on trains, menus anywhere you cared to look. However, the big disappointment was that we couldn’t actually see it ourselves.

We were to spend four days in the area mostly hiking. The first few days we hiked in continuous rain with few breaks in the cloud and got absolutely drenched. On our last full day in the area though we woke to glorious sunshine and decided to make an early start and headed for the ski lifts which would take us up to Schwarzsee Paradise. From there we walked up to Hornlihutte at the base of the Matterhorn. This provided us with beautiful panoramic views over the whole valley and stunning views of the Matterhorn itself. It’s clear to see now why it attracts so many people. One thing I was very grateful of was having my Alpkit down jacket with me. It was real cold at the top and that helped keep me warm during the all important lunch stop! One bit of advice though, if you ever walk this route yourself, make sure you buy a return cable car ticket! Almost 2000m of decent was knackering.

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