Long hikes in the Zermatt region of Switzerland

During the time I lived in Switzerland, going out for hikes was a habit to freshen up my body and mind. So far, the hikes around Zermatt that is situated in the southern part of Switzerland and famous for the impressive mountain Matterhorn, have been my favorite. A few of the long hikes that I did in that region were quite impressive, and are worth spending a day or two just for this purpose. There are a number of hiking trails categorized in terms of difficulty listed in the Zermatt website (www.zermatt.ch), but I think most of us like to make personal choices irrespective of the detailed descriptions available in the websites. In this post, I suggest a few challenging and fruitful hikes that can be done in the Zermatt region.

Relaxing near the restaurant-hut in Fluhalp after a day's hike; Matterhorn in the background

The hike from the village of Täsch all the way to Fluhalp is a very impressive and challenging hike, especially for people like me who are experienced only with hikes of medium levels of difficulty. The entire hike that I did with a group is a combined one (Täschalp-Fluhalp, Nr. 46 and hike to the Täsch Hut, Nr. 45 in the website). Our group ascended from the village of Täsch, crossed Täschalp and the Pfulwe Pass and finally reached Fluhalp after roughly eight hours of hiking.  One should keep in mind that there might not be possible spots to take rest if the topmost portion of the Pass is covered in snow.
Taking a break while hiking across the Pfulwe Mountain Pass

Overall, the hike is a gradual but steep ascent from Täsch (ascent of around 1 km), and therefore is important to maintain your pace during the entire hike. In terms of technique, crossing the Pfulwe Pass was challenging for me due to thick layers of snow that slowed down my pace, and also scared me at times when my legs went all the way down the snow to get wet. At this point, sturdy alpine hiking shoes are necessarily required for crossing the Pass. Just after reaching the top of Pfulwe, a glimpse of Matterhorn towering over the other mountains is visible. The last part of the hike involves a comparatively easier trail until Fluhalp, where the mountain hut/restaurant (https://www.fluhalp.swissis located. 

View of Matterhorn after crossing the Pfulwe Pass

Fluhalp is a picturesque mountain stop that gives the experience of a postcard landscape. This stop is accessible also by cable car on the other side of the mountain (Zermatt to Sunnegga or Blauherd), after which a short hike takes you to the mountain hut. As many tourists go here to enjoy the view of Matterhorn and some local food, the mountain hut/restaurant here has all the necessary amenities for a good stay overnight or for a day more. There are even nice showers, but you get hot water only for a few minutes! However, the fresh alpine water gives a great feeling especially after a good hike 😀. The place is nice to enjoy in summer, but due to increasing popularity among tourists, I would suggest to visit the place either in early or late summer.

View of Matterhorn from lake Stellisee, close to Fluhalp mountain restaurant

Yet another time, I decided to hike all the way to Täsch Hut (Hike to the Täsch Hut, Nr. 45), of which not many pictures were taken during the hike. However, the hike up to the hut gives a nice experience of alpine wildlife. A stay in the hut is recommended and can be reserved beforehand (https://www.taeschhuette.ch), but it is important to know that the place has amenities that you normally expect from a mountain hut. Though a view of Matterhorn is hindered from the hut, even larger mountains such as Weisshorn (4505 m) are visible. Due to the close experience with nature, I recommend taking this hike for a stay in the alps.

View of the mountains from Täschalp

Hike to the Hörnli hut, also known as the Hörnli Trail (Nr. 27 in the Zermatt website) is comparatively short in distance, but challenging at the same time. This one is strictly an alpine trail, which requires the use of hands at times to find the way through and courage not to look down at some tight spots that give you the feeling of hanging over a cliff. The hike starts from Schwarzsee, reachable also by cable car.
The ascent from Schwarzsee to Hörnli

The Hörnli hut/restaurant is situated at 3,260 m above sea level, and gives you a close view of the towering Matterhorn. Most of the hikers who stay at this base camp also have their next day planned to climb up the Matterhorn peak. Due to the steepness of the peak, it is necessary to be experienced in rock climbing. However, reaching until the basecamp is something to be proud and happy about!

View of Matterhorn at 3,260 m a.s.l

There are many more interesting hikes and places in the area, which are definitely not possible to be covered in limited time. However, I would encourage anyone to do and see as much as they can, as this place will surely remain in one's memories for a long time!

No comments:

Post a Comment