A Tryst with the Matterhorn in Zermatt

13 Mar

Our second day in Zermatt was completely packed with numerous activities with a lot of “first time” and “must try” items of my travel list. But the two things that I was most excited about were – up-close and personal views of the Matterhorn and my first step in actual snow. 🙂 We met with Tanya in the morning and she gave all of us our all-inclusive ski passes that included trips on the gondola and ski lifts, a visit to the glacial palace, actual skiing and even  a train ride to Gornergrat. And with these passes in our pockets, we all embarked for our epic day trip up to the Klein Matterhorn.

Views from the gondola

Views from the gondola

Now per wikipedia, the Klein Matterhorn or the “Matterhorn Glacier Paradise” is the second highest peak of the Zermatt-Cervinia ski area in Switzerland, and the end point of the highest cable car in Europe. The peak delimits the area of the Plateau Rosa glacier and is at 3,883 metres (12,740 ft), with the cable car terminal at 3,820 metres (12,533 ft)”. And since it is at such a height, it takes quite a while to reach too.

The Swiss Gondolas

The Swiss Gondolas

For our own trip – as the gondola kept moving up, our excitement levels kept going up, especially once we started seeing fresh patches of snow. This was the first time that I and Sonali were seeing actual snow (outside of pics) and hence we kept behaving like two kids on a sugar rush, with all the gawking out of the windows, pointing to newer sights that kept coming up or generally talking and laughing in excitement. There are quite a few stations in between too where the gondola stopped and we stepped out to see how much above Zermatt town you had come.

Views from the Gondola

Views from the Gondola

Tanya also told us that every year there is a food festival that is organized where they keep tables in the centre of the gondola and keep serving a new dish at every station. I loved this concept and would love to experience it sometime too. 🙂

Snow covered trees

Snow covered trees

After a long ride we reached the final gondola station. This is quite a big station with shops, food stores etc and you can take a quick break here before starting the final ascent on a ski lift. We however were too excited to stop and hence just took the next ski lift going up to the Klien Matterhorn. Now this lift reminded me of traveling in a Mumbai local train, it was as tightly packed with people in their ski gear and once we reached our destination, everyone literally jumped out like they do from trains. And once out, all the skiers immediately started gearing up for the actual skiing. Within minutes we saw all of them zipping down the slopes and they all just seemed to be tiny specks of red , yellow, orange etc (the color of their gear) moving in curves all over the slopes. It was a quite a sight. There was a small section for learners and kids too, where we saw quite a few learners practicing.

Ski Lifts

Ski Lifts

As far as we were concerned we didn’t ski but enjoyed the gorgeous panorama of French, Italian and Swiss Alps all around us, took pictures of the Matterhorn and Breithorn, and indulged in every childhood fantasy involving snow. We threw snow balls at each other, rolled in it,  made a small snowman, even ate it etc etc. Sorry no pics of that as we were all very busy and no one remembered to take pics 🙂

And today I am sharing some of these snowy sights captured by my camera lens with you 🙂

Me and Snow

Me and Snow

Skiers zipping down the slopes

Skiers zipping down the slopes

Snow covered Alps

Snow covered Alps

Ropes, Poles and Snow :)

Ropes, Poles and Snow 🙂

Mountain Springs

Mountain Springs

Alps - up close and personal

Alps – up close and personal

The Briethorn

The Breithorn

Scaling of the Matterhorn, Switzerland :)

Scaling of the Matterhorn, Switzerland 🙂

Tips for the Trip –

  • For Ski Passes, there are quite a few options available and you can select one that works best for you.
  • The gondola ride is pretty long and the gondola tends to move quite a bit. So if you suffer from motion sickness, then keeping medication with you is advisable.
  • Since Klein Matterhorn is at a significant height, air tends to get pretty low. Hence you can experience dizziness, nausea etc.
  • The temperatures at this height drop significantly, hence be suitably attired.  When we visited this place in November, the temperature was negative 12 degrees C and it was super cold.
  • If you intend to walk and play in snow then do wear water proof shoes and leather gloves.
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2 Responses to “A Tryst with the Matterhorn in Zermatt”

  1. Miranda March 18, 2014 at 00:58 #

    What a gorgeous & dramatic way to “do snow” for the first time! 🙂 I really wanted to visit Klein Matterhorn while we were in Zermatt a few years back, but bad weather kept the gondolas from going up. In addition to your wonderful tips, I’d recommend that visitors spend at least a few days in Zermatt- just in case stormy skies get in the way!

    Like

    • getsetandgo March 18, 2014 at 13:16 #

      Hey, thats a good and important tip, & I’ll update the post to include this. Thanks 🙂

      Like

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