Hey you there!
I am sorry it took me so long, but here it is the second part of my experience in Zermatt with my buddy.
Last post ended with us being back at the hostel and this was pretty much what happened the first day. Well, ok, we went out for dinner, but it was already around 21:00 so we ate these amazing burgers at the Brown Cow Pub. Really good beers and more so delicious burgers. Check it out, if you get a chance …
So after kind of a sleepless night for my buddy and a stone-rock sleeping night for me, we woke up, grab a coffee and took the cable car towards the Matterhorn. Name of lift: Zermatt – Furi – Schwarzsee (Check out the maps for Zermatt in the maps folder). This is basically the only way you can get close enough to the Matterhorn without hiking all the way from the city. It brings you up to 2 583 m above sea level. This is by far the highest I have ever ended with a cable car until that moment. But it’s nice … Let’s forget about my fears and continue the story. 🙂
There is a trail that goes all the way to the Hörnli hut – 3 260 m above sea level and is the last mountain hut before the climb on the Matterhorn starts. This is the place where climbers come to sleep over before they try to climb this magnificence. And I really mean it – it is magnificent to see it that close and to be able to sort of touch it. I consider this my greatest accomplishment so far in hiking that I’ve done. And it’s really huge!
But let me tell you how we got there … There is a path that connects the cable car station to the mountain hut and it is pretty obvious to spot. It is quite steep, so bring good shoes! That’s not an advice – more like a command. You can really get hurt out there. Especially if you are as clumsy as me … And one more thing: for those of you with asthma and that sort of conditions – bring your pills and inhalers, cause the air up there is quite diluted and it’s hard to breathe. But the view … Amazing!
The path goes in an upwards trajectory with high risk levels, since you are basically walking on the mountain range and sometimes it is narrow. There are several lathers and you can hold on to the ropes on the sides. It says in the website that it takes 2 hours to reach the hut, but it took us around 3, because I needed to stop from time to time – heavy breathing and all … But with a lot of persistence and my buddy’s encouragement, I made it all the way to the mountain hut.
On the way up there, we saw two young guys hiking up with their bikes. First thought – really insane! Second thought – are they nuts???! What are they going to do? Climb the Matterhorn and go down with the bikes??? Nope! They hiked up to a point, which was quite close to the mountain hut, but from it there was a clear path down the hill – possible for mountain biking. We got a video of them riding downwards – don’t worry! I will upload it! So we asked them if they do these sort of stuff often and they said yes. They apparently go around with their bikes, find mountain bike paths, hike up and bike down. Pretty cool! A little insane if you ask me and super dangerous. But hey – adventure tourism is something I admire and especially the people who are actually brave enough to do it.
As always, we had hot chocolate and we enjoyed the sun. After the tea we needed to make a photo session right underneath the Matterhorn (check out the Gallery). Next stop – glaciers! We went down the same path almost all the way to the cable car station. The path then goes upwards but it turns left and that is where the glaciers start. The path continues to Trockener Steg – a cable car station at a height of 2 939 m above sea level. We had to hurry up now, because it was getting late and we would have missed the last gondola up to Gletscher-Palast (3 883 m above sea level). We got lucky! We got on the gondola up to the highest point and back. We had a few minutes up there, just enjoying the snow and the cup of tea in our hands. My buddy was super excited and went to play in the snow. Me on the other hand – I was freezing and hugging my tea to get warm. We made a small photo session and ran back to get on the last gondola all the way down to Zermatt (Gletscher-Palast – Trockener Steg – Furi – Zermatt).
So about the glaciers – it is basically a massive amount of ice, covered with snow. You can walk on it – just bring ice skates. Or your ski/snowboard… I have never been so close to a glacier before and it was quite an adventure! A bit cold too. The path to the cable car station is not that bad. It takes around 3:00 -3:30 hours and is quite flat, but rocky. Out there the nature is scarce and plants are just here and there. No trees or forests or such sort of things. Which is kind of bad when it’s 25 degrees an more and you don’t have a hat. So bring one, if you are doing this in the summer. And lots of water too!
After going down to the city, we went to the hostel, took our stuff and got on the train back to Chur. Funny thing about that! Our pre-paid tickets were not valid, since we wanted to go from Zermatt through Bern and Zurich and then Chur, instead of Zermatt – Disentis – Flims/Laax – Chur. So we needed to pay extra. Which was ok, but bare in mind when you buy tickets like that. They are only valid for the route you buy them for. Late in the evening we were back in Chur, sad that it was all over and a promise to come back one day and see it all again!
We loved it so much! The first real Swiss hiking experience, where we saw the most magnificent peak and admired lakes, glaciers, snow in summer and even got jealous of the skiers and snowboarders, who were enjoying the snow in the mountain in August! Just amazing! But you need to see it for yourself and experience it all. And don’t take like us – just two days, not even that much. Take a week, hike, climb and eat. It’s totally worth going there. And it does offer you a true Swiss experience! Like they say – you can’t come to Switzerland and not see the Matterhorn! It’s like you haven’t seen anything…
So this is the story about the best adventure so far. I hope you enjoyed it! Leave a comment, like or whatever … I am just glad when people read it!
This is from me for now! Have god one and see you for my next adventures!