Zermatt (with Simon) As this was my eleventh (I think) trip to Zermatt and I have taken many, many photos there (mainly of the Matterhorn), I'm going to try to keep this gallery brief (for me) and just document the places we went (and maybe one or two interesting things we saw along the way).
Apartment Monday - Flight to Geneva, train to Visp, another train to Zermatt, taxi for one mile to the end of the road nearest our apartment (CHF 26 - about £21!!!), then probably about a 300 meter walk (with our cases) up a gravel/dirt track to our apartment.Our apartment was on the first (middle) floor of the building in the middle of the photo and was 108 meters above Zermatt's high street (where the supermarket and most of the bars and restaurants are) so we were going to be doing a fair bit of walking up and down that hill.
Balcony View Still, it was worth it for the view from our balcony.
Edelweiss We also had a great view of Edelweiss from our balcony (barely visible right in the middle of the photo).
Edelweiss Speaking of Edelweiss, as we had spent most of the day travelling, we decided to pop up to Edelweiss for a look at the view on our way to the supermarket (strictly speaking it was somewhat out of the way). The view was excellent as usual.
Zermatt Beer On our trip to the supermerket we discovered that there are now three different types of Zermatt Beer.Distance walked today - 2 milesAscent today - 330m (1,080 feet)Descent today - 330m (1,080 feet)Note that I'm counting distance walked as distance walked on mountain trails, not just walking about to, in and from town.
Walking Tuesday - I had optimistically decided that we should ease ourselves in to the walking with a trip to the Schonbielhutte, which is several miles up the valley from Zermatt.
Schonbielhutte After a couple of hours, using the full zoom on my camera, I was able to get our first view of the Schonbielhutte, just visible right in the middle of this photo.
Waterfall I always take a picture of the waterfall.
Valley View With Simon in the distance and the Matterhorn being very imposing just across the valley.
Valley View With me in the distance (photo courtesy of Simon).
Approach Approaching the Schonbielhutte, on the punishing steep bit, right at the end.
Schonbielhutte Arrived. Time for a well earned beer and some lunch.
Schonbielhutte With the Matterhorn visible across the valley (apart from the top couple of thousand feet or so, which have disappeared in the clouds).
Back Heading back to town along the glacial morraine.
Rain On the way back, a few rain showers swept down the valley (exactly as predicted in the morning's weather forecast), which was a bit of a palaver as we had to keep changing into and out of our waterproofs (as it was too warm to walk in waterproofs when it wasn't raining).We got back fairly late so went to the Brown Cow Pub for dinner and had excellent burgers.Distance walked today - 16 milesAscent today - 1,090m (3,580 feet)Descent today - 1,090m (3,580 feet)
Clouds Wednesday - The weather forcast for the day was good, but there was low cloud (just above Edelweiss) first thing in the morning.
Tasch We got the train to Tasch, where the weather was lovely.
Trail to Arigscheis Simon on the trail up to Arigscheis. This was supposed to be an easy walking day after our efforts yesterday, but the trail up to Arigscheis was more challenging than I remembered.
Arigscheis Still, the view was magnificent when we made it to the top.
Down Simon setting off on the train down, which was technically very much more straightforward than the trail up.
Down Me on the trail down (photo courtesy of Simon).
Weisshornhutte On the peak ahead of us we could just make out a hutte silhouetted against the sky. The map indicated that it was the Weisshornhutte. This is what it looked like at full zoom on my camera.
Weisshornhutte Zoomed out a bit, you can see its precarious looking position.
Weisshornhutte Zoomed out more, can you still see the hutte? It's on the skyline in the middle of the photo.
Rainbow A rainbow in the spray from a sprinkler watering a field.By the time we got back to Tasch nowhere was serving food (with it being 4pm). So we got the train back to Zermatt, where we went to the Brown Cow Pub again because hardly anywhere was serving food in Zermatt either.
Matterhorn View Back at our apartment I took some photos of the Matterhorn, which was looking awesome in the evening sunshine.
Matterhorn View This is just the top bit, with my camera on maximum zoom.Distance walked today - 7.2 milesAscent today - 809m (2,650 feet)Descent today - 809m (2,650 feet)
Thursday Matterhorn View Thursday - The forecast was for cloud and a few showers, but it was looking pretty nice out when I got up.
Funnicular We first went to the Gornergratbahn to buy some Peak Passes that would allow us to use all of the cablecars and trains for the next seven days (CHF 241 [about £196], even with our Half Fare Cards!!!) before heading for the funnicular railway to Sunnega.
Funnicular Here we are in the tunnel to the funnicular station. It was jolly chilly in there.
Tufternen to Blauherd From Sunnega we took the trail across to Tufternen before undertaking the short climb to Blauherd. This is a view on the trail to Blauherd.
Fluhalp From Blauherd we followed the trail to Fluhalp...
Fluhalp ...where we had a beer and a very nice rosti.
Funny? Well I thought it was.
Down After lunch we walked back to Blauherd with the intention of getting the cablecar up to Unterrothorn for a look, but that turned out to be closed for maintenance. So we got the cablecar down to Sunnega and walked down through Findeln back to our apartment.
Flowers There were very many flowers out. I took so many photos of flowers that I've gathered them all together at the end of the gallery, so you can look at them at the end after you've seen all of the other photos if you like that sort of thing.
Zermatt View On the way down I felt compelled to make the slight detour to the fabulous viewpoint, which is apparently now part of an official bike trail. We actually saw someone try to ride their bike along that! The opportunity for disaster and death seems significant.Distance walked today - 9.1 milesAscent today - 523m (1,720 feet)Descent today - 803m (2,630 feet)
Friday Matterhorn View Friday - Another good weather forecast so we decided to get some value from our Peak Passes and get the cablecar up to Klein Matterhorn, a trip that would normally cost CHF 100 (about £80) on its own!
Matterhorn Express So we hopped on the Matterhorn Express, which took us to Schwarzsee, then Trockener Steg...
Trockener Steg ...where we hopped on this brand new cable car up to Klein Matterhorn.
Trockener Steg There was a nice view of Trockener Steg when we were leaving on the cable car.
Klein Matterhorn And that's where we were heading - the sticking up bit on the left. You can just see two cable cars passing each other on the middle of the big patch of snow in the middle(ish) of the photo.
Klein Matterhorn View Unfortunately, by the time we'd reached the top the visibility had reduced to not very far at all. So we had a bit of a wander about before heading back down.
Down On the plus side, there was no one in our cable car on the way back to Trockener Steg so we were able to admire the views unimpeded.
Trail From Trockener Steg we headed up the trail to the Gandegghutte. This was the view of Trokener Steg (on the left) and Zermatt (in the far distance on the right) from the trail.
Gandegghutte We soon made it to the Gandegghutte, where we had a spot of lunch in the sunshine.
Beer CHF 9 (about £7.50) for that can of lager! Still, it made for a good photo.
Snow Here's Simon negotiating a bit of snow on the way back to Trockener Steg after lunch.
View Me on the trail from the Gandegghutte to Trockener Steg (photo courtesy of Simon).
Trail We reckoned we had just enough time to walk down to Schwarzsee before the cable cars stopped for the day.
Matterhorn View I reckon the trail from Trockener Steg to Schwarzsee has the best views of the Matterhorn, mainly because it's just so jolly close for most of the way.
Alpine Trail On the way down to Schwarzsee we passed the trail up to the Hornlihutte, which appears to have been upgraded from a mountain trail to an alpine trail. This means it is considered extremely hazardous and should not be tackled by mere mortals such as ourselves. Which is a bit of a blow given that I've been up there a few times already and it didn't seem that bad.
Schwarzsee Before long we got our first view of Schwarzsee and arrived a whole 15 minutes before the last cable car of the day departed. Phew. It's a long walk back to town if you miss the last cable car.Distance walked today - 5.8 milesAscent today - 349m (1,150 feet)Descent today - 680m (2,230 feet)
Paraglider Saturday - Walking up Wisshorn to Trift today. We saw a couple of paragliders landing next to the train station just after we'd passed the train station. They would have almost landed on our heads if we'd been five minutes later.
Helicopter I always think it's quite exciting being higher than the helicopters.
Zermatt View Me on the trail a few hundred meters above Zermatt (photo courtesy of Simon).
Nice Trail View
Goats Ever get the feeling you're being watched?
Sheep There were about thirty sheep huddled around this massive rock, which seemed a bit weird as it wasn't particularly hot/cold/windy/etc. They just all fancied being in the same place at the same time.
Trift View Our first view of Trift. It's almost right in the middle of the photo, but rather small.
Trift View And here it is from much closer up. It was well windy out, but quite a few people were braving the elements. We decided to sit inside.
Flag A Swiss flag outside Trift. (It took me eight attempts to get that photo of the flag in just the right position!)
Edelweiss From Trift we headed straight down the valley, past Edelweiss and into Zermatt.It was pretty hot in Zermatt by this time (about 25C).Distance walked today - 7.9 milesAscent today - 897m (2,940 feet)Descent today - 963m (3,160 feet)
Sunday Matterhorn View Sunday - I woke up early so decided to get in a quick walk before breakfast. When I left the apartment the Matterhorn was in the sunshine, but the valley was not and it was rather chilly out.
Edelweiss Forty five minutes later I was at Edelweiss and thirty five minutes after that I was back at the apartment for some well earned breakfast.
Trockener Steg As there wasn't a cloud in the sky, we decided to head back up to Klein Matterhorn. First stop, Trockener Steg, which we're approaching in the photo.
Klein Matterhorn Then onto the big cable car up to Klein Matterhorn.
Snow Hikers There were loads of people out on the snow...
Breithorn ...walking up Breithorn...
Breithorn ...which, at 4,164m, is pretty tall indeed.
Matterhorn The Matterhorn looks very odd from up here because it's got a big bit poking off the back that you can't see from Zermatt.
Glacier Paradise Our Peak Pass included entry to the Glacier Paradise, which is a set of man-made tunnels and caves dug into the glacier at Klein Matterhorn.
Glacier Paradise There are lots of ice sculptures and that sort of thing in the Glacier Paradise.
Gornergrat A couple of hours later we had made our way, via two cable cars, a bit of walking and a train, to Gornergrat.
Gornergletscher Having had a look about and a bite to eat at Gornergrat, we got the train down to Rotenboden, where we picked up the Gornergletscher trail, which we intended to follow until it became the alpine trail to the Monte Rosa Hutte.
Gornergletscher Panorama Here's Simon at the point where the hiking trail becomes the alpine trail.The photo in no way captures the epic scale of the glaciers and the mountains.
Marmot On the way back to Rotenboden we saw this marmot peeking out of its burrow.
Marmot We stood quietly for a bit and it came out for a look around. This was the first marmot we'd seen all week that was close enough to get a photo of.
Dark Skies The sky got progressively darker as we walked back to Rotenboden, but thankfully the rain held off until we made it home. Phew.Distance walked today - 8.3 milesAscent today - 685m (2250 feet)Descent today - 685m (2,250 feet)
Monday Matterhorn View Monday - There was no Matterhorn view, which was a shame as it would likely have been white over with snow as it appeared to have been snowing during the night (at higher levels at least).
Snow Snow was definitely visible not far above Edelweiss.
Schwarzsee So we shelved any walking aspirations we may have had for the day and jumped on the cable car to see what was occurring higher up. Here we are approaching Schwarzsee.
Trockener Steg And here we are approaching Trockener Steg, although it's hard to tell with all of the cloud.
Klein Matterhorn We didn't bother continuing on up to Klein Matterhorn as it's always snowy up there anyway. And it looked like visibility was going to be pretty poor.
Snow Simon walking in the snow at Trockener Steg. There was about four inches of snow on the ground here.
Schwarzsee Having rapidly got bored of not being able to see much of anything at all at Trockener Steg, we jumped back on the cable car and went down to Schwarzsee, where visibility was much improved. There was also very little wind so there were some pretty good reflections on the lake.
Schwarzsee Broadly the same picture as the last one, but in black and white (and taken with my Panasonic camera instead of my phone).
Schwarzsee Last one.
Gees A while later, back in Zermatt, we popped into Gees for one of these very nice bottles of Guinness and some lunch (the chicken satay curry is very good).
Edelweiss As tempted as we were to stay in Gees for a second bottle of Guinness, we decided to walk up to Edelweiss as we hadn't done much activity so far on this day. We had a beer in Edelweiss before heading home.Distance walked today - 2.0 milesAscent today - 330m (1,080 feet)Descent today - 330m (1,080 feet)
Tuesday Matterhorn View Tuesday - Still sunny! I was up fairly early again so decided to have a "sprint" up to the view point above Winkelmatten (which is the "suburb" of Zermatt that out apartment was in).(This photo appears to be slightly blurred for some reason!)
Winkelmatten View Point Thirty minutes later I was up at the view point watching the shadow of the mountain retreat across the valley.
Gornergrat Rail Bridge Twenty minutes after that I discovered that it's possible to walk across the Gornergrat rail bridge (which is probably meaningless to you, but it was interesting to me).Then it was back home for some breakfast.
Randa Today we had decided to get the train to Randa and go and have a look at the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge (which is the bottom arrow on this signpost).
View Here's Simon on the trail up to the bridge. Great views.
Bridge And here's the bridge. It's pretty long.
Bridge We'd brought a packed lunch, so we ate that before crossing.This is Simon on the bridge.
Europaweg After the bridge we were following the Europaweg trail back to Tasch, from where we intended to get the train back to Zermatt.
Europaweg Parts of the trail were rather challenging.
Tunnel When it was no longer possible for the trail to cling to the side of the mountain (because it was too steep), it disappeared into a tunnel
Tunnel Simon emerging from the tunnel.
Europaweg However, there still wasn't much of a trail on the other side!
Europaweg This bit was exciting. In several places the concrete ledge that's protecting us from rock falls was thoroughly smashed in.
Europaweg Still great views though.
Tunnel Even this bit of the trail occasionally ducked into tunnels. Here's Simon walking into the light.
Tasch Descent When we were level with Tasch we turned onto a side trail to descent through these lovely peaceful woods.
Shuttle Before long we were at the station and on the train back to Zermatt.
Gees Having popped home to shower and change, we thought we'd pop back to Gees for another well deserved bottle of that lovely Guinness West Indies Porter.
Bar 55 On the way back to our apartment we also popped in to Bar 55 at the Firefly for a Dunkel Weissbier. However, shortly after we arrived a load of noisy American "youths" (they were probably in their mid-30s) turned up and ruined the ambiance. Doh!
Stars The sky was fairly clear when we got home so I took a few star photos, but the almost risen full moon was making the sky altogether too bright for good star photos.And so ended a jolly good day.Distance walked today - 12.8 milesAscent today - 1,323m (4,340 feet)Descent today - 1,264m (4,150 feet)
Wednesday Matterhorn View Wednesday - The sun is still shining! I can't believe this is our ninth day in the mountains and we've only had our waterproofs out once! It's also our last full day in Zermatt so we've decided to chill out a bit rather than go for a long walk.
Gornerschlucht It was a short walk to the Gornerschlucht, a gorge on the edge of town.
Gornerschlucht Quite interesting and not bad value (for Zermatt) at CHF 5.
Edleweiss After leaving the gorge we had a speed run up to Edelweiss to see if we'd got any fitter during our time in Zermatt. It appeared that we had not. Doh!
Waterfall The waterfall on the trail up to Edelweiss.
Fuchs Bakery We were going to walk to Zmutt for lunch but reckoned we'd probably get there just after everywhere stopped serving food, so we headed back to town to have a light lunch (and a beer obviously) in the Fuchs Bakery...
Balcony ...before heading home to relax on our apartment's balcony for a while...
Street Party ...before heading back into town, where they appeared to be having a bit of a street party along the narrowest bit of the high street. However, as most people seemed to be out in the street, we easily got a good table in Grampi's, which was nice.Distance walked today - 2.0 milesAscent today - 330m (1.080 feet)Descent today - 330m (1,080 feet)
Thursday Matterhorn View Thursday - Still sunny, but it's going home day. Doh! The weather has been consistently brilliant and we've had a great time.Total distance walked - 73.1 milesTotal ascent - 6,666m (21,870 feet)Total descent - 7,284m (23,890 feet)
Flowers The rest of the gallery is just photos of flowers that I took while we were out walking. So stop now if you're not that interested in pretty alpine flowers.
Flowers The End!