walkhighlands

The Hörnli hut from Schwartzee

Date walked: 03/08/2019

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Ascent: 700m

Pictures are from several occasions - though mostly in 2019
When I did the Matterhorn 19 years ago, https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=58951
I'd been charging around 4000m mountains for a whole month, and my fitness and acclimatisation were such that I hardly noticed the walk up to the Hörnli hut where you stay overnight - climbing the mountain the next day. I also took almost no photographs - maybe I was out of film :(
A new hut was inaugurated in 2015 - 150 years after the first ascent - and the "flow" of climbers is strictly controlled - see details here. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/reise/neu-eroeffnete-hoernlihuette-schlaflos-unterm-matterhorn-1.2554522 - Click to get the English translation.

This year I thought I would walk up to it from the Schwartzee lift station, descend the North side to Zermatt and take the photos that I had omitted on my first visit
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The Hörnli ridge of the Matterhorn really starts at Schwartzee (2581m) and the path follows it, but the serious climbing only starts above the hut at about 3300m
If you can ignore the ugly ski paraphernalia, Schwartzee is a superb viewpoint for almost all the big mountains which surround the head of the Mattertal.

Views from near Schwartzee

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Looking North East to the Dom, Taschhorn and Alphubel
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A wider view
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Allalinhorn (far L), Rimpfischhorn, Strahlhorn and Addlerhorn
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Monte Rosa and The Liskamm with the Grenz glacier between: this joins the Gorner glacier further down,while the small lump on the L is the Rifflehorn - where there is good rock climbing
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A wider view - Klein Matterhorn and Breithorn on the R
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North across the Zmutt valley: to the Höhe Balmen. Ober Gabelhorn on the L, Zinal Rothorn among clouds, while the Weisshorn pops up further R
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Dent Blanche and the Ober Gabelhorn
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Zoomed view of the Dent Blanche
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The Matterhorn towers over everything
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The Schwartzee - black lake: all the little lakes are full of tiny "minnows". I guess their eggs were originally carried in on the feet of birds
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The little chapel at the Northern end of the lake
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Inside: there are no plaques commemorating fallen climbers - there simply wouldn't be room for them all
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The Schwartzee from outside the chapel

Walk to the hut

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After a short downhill section the track goes up over a couple of grassy mounds to a ski lift station at 2775m - a good viewpoint. The ridge then climbs to a red rocky tower Hirli (2889m) which can clearly be seen from Zermatt
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The Hörnli ridge from Zermatt - with Hirli prominent
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The Matterhorn from the ski-station - ski runs in the foreground
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East across the remains of the Theodule glacier
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North to the Höhe Balmen
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Hirli looks quite dramatic from here :D
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At the end of the obvious section across the scree, the track climbs the first of many staircases :(
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and continues upwards by a number of zig-zags to reach the crest
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Views from the slopes leading up to Trochener Steg show that the ridge is almost flat for some distance beyond here

Further views from this area

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A closer view: beyond the flat section there is quite a steep climb to the hut. (top L)
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Cloud billowing from the mountain
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The hut and the start of the serious climbing just to its L
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A wider view of the whole ridge and the mountains beyond
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looking down the North side from just beyond Hirli: on the flat section, the path stays on this side of the ridge - but is quite exposed in places
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The Dent Blanche seems just across the valley: In front of it with gendarmes silhouetted against the cloud is the 3789m Pointe de Zinal
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Looking up and across to the rapidly decaying glacier beneath the North face
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The track is narrow and quite exposed in places - the large number of people going in both directions necessitated "one way traffic" at times, but eventually I arrived
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The (new) Hörnli hut
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Sundeck with splendid views to the East

Views from near the hut

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North - to the Dent Blanche and Ober Gabelhorn: the lateral moraine of the Tiefenmatten glacier below
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Dent Blanche
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Ober Gabelhorn - and Rothorn far R
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This used to be the Theodule glacier :(
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And this the Findeln glacier - RIP :(
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Looking up the hole that used to contain the latter :( :( :(
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And walking down it in 2002 : :D

Descent
I retraced my route down to the "flat" section, where a path heads off down the scree - apparently into nothing :lol:
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Looking down from near the top
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The path descends around 300m of featureless scree :lol:
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From the top - looking across to the Höhe Balmen and the Mettelhorn
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Looking back up from about halfway down
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Looking back up from much lower: Where the official track turned L at the 2645m point, I traversed these grass and scree slopes to below Schwartzee and followed a ski slope down: the rock is a mica schist, so the screes are very easy to descend

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Activity: Mountaineer
Mountain: Weisshorn
Place: Torridon
Member: FRCC, AC, John Muir Trust
Camera: Lumix G6
Ideal day out: remote mountain where i'm unlikely to meet many people

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 84
Grahams: 27
Donalds: 6
Wainwrights: 159
Hewitts: 146
Sub 2000: 3



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Statistics

2019

Trips: 9
Distance: 75.8 km
Ascent: 6535m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 4

2018

Trips: 10
Distance: 39.3 km
Ascent: 2088m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1

2017

Trips: 10
Distance: 29.75 km
Ascent: 2766m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 2

2016

Trips: 16
Distance: 210.95 km
Ascent: 12449m
Munros: 3
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 5

2015

Trips: 16
Distance: 143.9 km
Ascent: 10590m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 8
Donalds: 1

2014

Trips: 6
Distance: 80.6 km
Ascent: 5180m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 1

2013

Trips: 5
Distance: 42.9 km
Ascent: 3887m
Munros: 3
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 2

2012

Trips: 1

2011

Trips: 3
Distance: 32 km
Ascent: 2397m
Corbetts: 1

2010

Trips: 2

2009

Trips: 2

2007

Trips: 2

2006

Trips: 2

2005

Trips: 1

2004

Trips: 3

2003

Trips: 8
Distance: 37 km
Ascent: 2586m

2002

Trips: 4

2001

Trips: 5

2000

Trips: 7

1999

Trips: 2
Distance: 35.7 km
Ascent: 1768m
Munros: 2

1998

Trips: 1
Distance: 36 km
Ascent: 1760m
Munros: 4

1996

Trips: 1
Distance: 70 km
Ascent: 3700m
Munros: 8

1995

Trips: 2
Distance: 29 km
Ascent: 2548m
Munros: 3

1994

Trips: 3
Distance: 43.1 km
Ascent: 3739m
Munros: 7

1993

Trips: 2
Distance: 47.5 km
Ascent: 3050m
Munros: 4

1991

Trips: 1
Munros: 2

1990

Trips: 2
Distance: 16.5 km
Ascent: 1108m
Munros: 4

1989

Trips: 3
Distance: 48.5 km
Ascent: 3780m
Munros: 9

1986

Trips: 1
Munros: 2

1972

Trips: 1
Distance: 29 km
Ascent: 1230m
Munros: 1

1969

Trips: 1
Distance: 7.3 km
Ascent: 962m
Corbetts: 1

1960

Trips: 1


Joined: Apr 24, 2013
Last visited: Sep 19, 2019
Total posts: 635 | Search posts