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Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn

Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn


Postby maxie23 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:51 pm

Date walked: 03/09/2019

Time taken: 6

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 700m

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First trip to Switzerland.
Spent three days at Grindelwald at the foot of the Eiger.
Weather was very kind, blue skies and gentle winds, views were fantastic.

Image
North Face of the Eiger

On the last night in Grindelwald the weather turned and I was treated to a thunder and lightning show on the peaks high above, it was very impressive.
The next morning I travelled down to Zermatt by train, cracking journey, three changes and a 20 mile tunnel through the Alps.
The highlight is the final stretch up the valley from Visp to Zermatt, sit on the left of the train for the best views.
Day three in Zermatt and I awoke bright and early to be greeted by this view from my hotel balcony.

Image
Morning Matterhorn

Ate as much as I could at the breakfast table and made the short walk up to the Matterhorn cable car station and bought a return ticket to Schwarzsee, 25 CHF with a Swiss Travel Pass. The ride only takes 12 minutes. If you are feeling fit you can always walk up.
Once you get off the cable car the scenery is fantastic, helped by the good weather.

Image
Matterhorn towering over Schwarzsee ( Black Lake in English )

Image
Mist in the valley, Gabelhorn and Zinalrothorn behind

I've tried my best to identify mountains in my photos, sorry if I've got them wrong or not been able to name them.
Any corrections would be appreciated.

Image
Klein Matterhorn ( right ) and Breithorn

Image
Zermatt in valley, Dom and Taschhorn behind

Image
Resturant at Schwarzsee

I wandered round to the side of the restaurant and I saw this gang lying in the shade
I seriously thought they were statues until they began to move.

Image
Schwarzsee sheep

Once I had taken about a hundred photos it was time to go.
The area is very well signposted and there are plenty of people heading up the path to the Hornli hut.
As soon as you begin to climb the altitude affects your breathing, take it nice and steady, why would you want to rush anyway.

Image
Black lake and Maria zum Schnee ( Lady of the snow ) chapel.

Image
Path up from Schwarzsee

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Happy chap ( check out the W.H. badge )

Image
Dom range over Schwarzsee

Image
Path up

Image
Nice place for a seat

The first part of the walk is fairly straightforward.
It consists of two grassy rises with a fairly flat section in between.
A series of switchbacks means that you gain height quite quickly.
Then you come upon a ski lift station out of use for the summer season I assume.
Good place to have a break and take in the surroundings.

Image
View from ski lift station above Schwarszee

Then its along the scree slope on the south side of the ridge proper.
A metal walkway and stairs take you safely over the most eroded sections.

Image
Metal walkway, south side of ridge

Across the scree slope again and then more switchbacks take you up to the top of the ridge.
Bit more exposure on this section.

Image
Path, south side of ridge

Image
Bit of exposure

Then the path switches onto the north side of the ridge and there is a long flat section to the bottom of the final steep pull up.

Image
View from north side of ridge

Image
View from ridge.

Then the fun really begins.
A series of metal stairs.

Image
Stairway to heaven

Then more switchbacks with roped handrails at the more exposed sections.

Image
A long way down

If you have a problem with heights then this might not be the walk for you, but it was great fun.
Felt a bit short of breath on some of the steep bits.
I have never taken as much go pro footage.

After the scary section, you catch sight of the hut and a last set of switchbacks takes you onto a set of stone steps and then onto the terrace.

Image
Hornli hut, almost there

Image
Hornli hut

Look whats behind the hut.

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Matterhorn from Hornli hut

Fantastic.
A wooden staircase takes you up from the hut and along a short ridge to the base of the Matterhorn.

Image
Matterhorn

I had to do this.

Image
Me in front of rock wall

I sat for a while here and was lucky to see three climbers coming off the Matterhorn and giving high fives all round.
It looked like a guide and two climbers, boy were they happy.
If only.

I took some more photos of the views.

Image
Panoramic view 1

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Panoramic view 2

Image
Dom and Taschhorn view

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View to Monte Rosa

Image
Panoramic view 3

Apologies again for not knowing more of the mountain names.

Then it was time to head back down.
I took my time and really enjoyed the walk.
You are really aware of the exposure on the way back as you are looking down most of the time.
Very busy route as well, lots of people on the way up.
You could tell the serious climbers making their way up to the hut before scaling the Matterhorn the next day.
They were carrying a serious amount of kit and taking it very slowly.
Good luck to them.

Image
Zermatt from descent route.

You could walk all the way down to Zermatt if you want.
I took the easy option and got the cable car back from Schwarzsee.
Bit of a reward at the hotel.

Image
Zermatt beer


My hotel was next door to the mountaineers graveyard at Zermatt.

Image
Zermatt church and mountaineers graveyard


I walked round it a couple of times and shot some footage.
Every grave has a story to tell, all nationalities and all ages, mostly young people though.
I had tears in my eyes reading some of the inscriptions and poems.
It really was a very moving experience, maybe because so many were buried here, its hard to put into words.
I will post this photo.
This is the grave of the unknown climber and it is to remember those who died on the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains and were never found.


Image
Unknown climber grave

The attachment $matches[2] is no longer available


Schwarrszee to Hornli Hut 1.jpg
Schwarszee to Hornli Hut 1
Last edited by maxie23 on Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:38 am

Brilliant TR, wonderful photos!

I love the Swiss Alps, especially Zermatt and Saas Fee - sadly not been since my knee op.

Those photos brought back a few memories - and the climbers' cemetery at Zermatt is such a moving place.

Matterhorn is so intimidating, not one I ever fancied! The menace of its huge rock peak looming overhead is captured so well in your photos.

My TR, a bit ancient now - https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=58747

TIm
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Re: Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn

Postby larry groo » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:33 pm

Absolutely fantastic.

Cap doffed.

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn

Postby maxie23 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:37 pm

8)
HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Brilliant TR, wonderful photos!

I love the Swiss Alps, especially Zermatt and Saas Fee - sadly not been since my knee op.

Those photos brought back a few memories - and the climbers' cemetery at Zermatt is such a moving place.

Matterhorn is so intimidating, not one I ever fancied! The menace of its huge rock peak looming overhead is captured so well in your photos.

My TR, a bit ancient now - https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=58747

TIm


Tim.

Thanks mate, it's appreciated. I think I struck it lucky with the weather.

Fantastic area to visit, wish I could have stayed longer.

I've always been fascinated by the Matterhorn and its climbing history. Seeing it up close was fantastic and yeah, it did look intimidating.

I had a look at your report, great stuff as usual. You have certainly done some interesting peaks.
Re your walk up the Breithorn from the Kleine Matterhorn. I did consider doing this at one stage but never really looked into it properly, maybe I should have. I basically had a weeks holiday in Switzerland with a few easy walks, albeit very enjoyable and with fantastic scenery.

Regards.

Robert
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Re: Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn

Postby maxie23 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:42 pm

larry groo wrote:Absolutely fantastic.

Cap doffed.

:clap: :clap: :clap:


Larry groo.

Thanks for that mate, it really is appreciated.

It was a great day out and I am glad that I done it, highly recommended walk.

Regards.

Robert
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Re: Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn

Postby Riverman » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:26 am

Fab report and photos. Thanks for posting. I've been a couple of times to the Swiss Alps but never to this iconic corner of them. You've definitely motivated me to go have a look!

I really liked your picture of the Monte Rosa. I was up there a couple of years ago and it's really cool to see what the massif looks like from a distance.
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Re: Schwarzsee to Hornli Hut, Matterhorn

Postby maxie23 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:11 pm

Riverman wrote:Fab report and photos. Thanks for posting. I've been a couple of times to the Swiss Alps but never to this iconic corner of them. You've definitely motivated me to go have a look!

I really liked your picture of the Monte Rosa. I was up there a couple of years ago and it's really cool to see what the massif looks like from a distance.


Thank you for your comments Riverman.

Just had a look at your two reports for Monte Rosa, looks fantastic, great pictures.

You have certainly had some great looking trips in the Alps
.
Regards.

Robert.
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