Wednesday 16 October 2013

Under the Matterhorn

One fine day in mid-September, the Swiss Family Lady Traveller set off on the Hohbalmen walk from Zermatt.  The walk is about 19km, starting at a height of 1620m and climbing to 2741m at the highest point.  So: steep, but all the while you walk you get the most glorious views of the Matterhorn and the Alps bordering Switzerland and Italy.

The first stretch of the hike, up to the Trift Hotel, didn't leave much breath for photography, but every now and then I stopped to smell the Alpine flowers.

Ro lifting her eyes to the hills.

We arrived at the Trift Hotel around 9, just in time for second breakfast: Apfelkuchen and coffee.  For any would-be wanderers I'd just note that the food is brought in by helicopter and the prices reflect this.  (Though the cake was excellent.)

Soon, though, we left our picnic table behind and pulled up another steep slope.  Here's one last look at the Trift Hotel before we turned a corner and arrived at the Hohbalmen meadow.

And the views ...!

Please note that over the left-most peak in that photo, is what appears to be an alien spaceship hidden in cloud cover.  It stayed there ALL DAY.  Just saying.

We were grateful for the wooden benches placed at strategic intervals along the path, many of which bore humorous plaques.

And here she is: the Matterhorn, kindly pointed out by Lady Traveller's Little Sister.

Many photos were taken of us + Matterhorn.  (Matterhorn + us, that should probably be.)

From this point, the walk is mostly a gradual descent through alps and valleys.  LTLS spotted an edelweiss and I spent quite a long time lying on my belly on the path taking photos of it.

Mid-afternoon, we reached Zmutt, which is a hamlet of sorts - a collection of chalets and an inn about 45 minutes walk from Zermatt.

My family, striding purposefully towards Zmutt.

We decided a cheeky beer wouldn't be a bad idea and, indeed, it was good.  From a cold start, the day became very hot, which is why I'm wearing my scarf around my head.

A sign to point us to the last stretch of the way:

And a mountaineer to greet us back at Zermatt, eight hours after we'd left.


  1. Pleased to see I have been credited with my edelweiss-spot and also that the conflict beer (Konflictbier? Sturmunddrangbier?) made the cut

  2. Check your sums. I reckon it was 10 hours including the beer hour!

  3. Dear readers, please note the snarkiness of my beloved family, as exemplified by these comments. And yet - miraculously! - nobody pushed anybody else off a cliff.