Marmots shrieked in derision. After walking along the crest of the moraine for a while, we descended to Grindjisee, where the views were not really worth recording. It's a shame that clouds obscured much of the mountain view. A long woodland descent down virtually deserted paths crossed the Gornergrat railway above Findelbach Station. Our waves generated a generous response from the passengers on a long train, though the squirrels didn't sound too pleased with our presence. Housing in the pretty suberb of Winkelmatten seemed to be competing for the best floral display, mostly in a deep shade of purple.
An excellent walk, and as noted earlier, we got home before it started to rain. Another roast chicken dinner was concocted, preceded by avocado salad, with baked peaches and ice cream for dessert. Another lovely sunny day and a fine walk. These days we aren't averse to using whatever means there may be in order to gain a bit of early height.
Nick impressed us yesterday with his tale of staying overnight at the top of the Gornergrat railway so that he and Daniella could watch the sunrise from over metres. Today we simply caught the 'Matterhorn Express', a gondola ride, from Zermatt to Schwarzee, via Furi. We enjoyed coffee and cake with a German couple from near Nuremberg whilst studying the route taken by climbers up the Matterhorn. There were plenty of people on it in today's superb conditions. After a sharp initial descent, we left the throngs to return to Schwarzee and their easy trip back to Zermatt.
Having accomplished today's 'Project ' tasks, we took a path to the left north that led eventually to Stafel and an easy valley path back to Zermatt via a dam crossing and the hamlet of Zmutt. It was great to be able to enjoy lunch in a deserted meadow with fine views to the summit of the Matterhorn and to numerous other peaks that litter the horizon in all directions hereabouts.
There was just a handful of other walkers about, some of whom we later discovered had come this way from Schwarzee by mistake, and a few mountain bikers. After stopping for a while to finish our tea and biscuits just above Zmutt, we continued our amble back to Zermatt, past fields full of Autumn Crocuses, and past a bench on which the unmistakable form of John Burt was perched.
John is a stalwart of the TGO Challenge, having completed that backpack across Scotland some 18 times. I first met him on the Challenge my first in a restaurant in Drumnadrochit. He was covered in tick bites. Today he was covered in smiles.
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It was good to know that his tiresome feet had recovered from May's backpacking stresses. We spent a good half hour with John, and will see him again tomorrow. We had just about enough time to cook and consume our dinner, master the intricacies of the house's laundry facilities, and catch up with admin, before adjourning to the basement cinema for the weekly showing of Josef's amateur film of the local wildlife over the period of a year, featuring eagles, ibex, chamois, black grouse lecking, foxes, ptarmigan, snow finches, a plethora of flora, and much more.
All set to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It was lovely, despite being narrated in German. Well done Josef. You can see the Breithorn, metres, on that bottom picture. I've been up it! Posted by Phreerunner at 5 comments: Links to this post. Cloud free skies encouraged us to get a reasonably early start, before the Matterhorn inevitably attracted some cloud. Sue nipped out for croissants etc and we had our day sacks packed in time to arrive at the bookshop just as it opened at 9 am. My maps of the area date from , so the acquisition of a more up to date version seemed appropriate.
We settled for a 1: 33, scale offering on waterproof paper, dating from Then we scooted across to the Gornergrat railway station and hopped on a train that whisked us and many others up to Gornergrat, which at metres is nearly twice the height of Zermatt. We were here to try to replicate some photos. Doris ran a chip shop in Droylsden. They had no children, and the album passed into the hands of Doris's niece, Christine. She and her husband Rodney were encountered on our trip to New Zealand, following which I was given the album after doing a favour for Rodney.
There are 36 black and white photographs, sized 8" x 6", plus 16 postcards. Our plan is to try to identify some of the places where the pictures were taken and take pictures of the same views. Our host here, Josef, was helpful yesterday in identifying some incorrect annotations in the album.
That could really have confused us! So today we spent a while snapping at Gornergrat before slowly making our way back down to Zermatt via Riffelsee, Gagenhaupt and Gletschergarten. The lower section of this splendid walk that faces the Matterhorn was adorned with information boards about the massive Gorner Glacier. There are photographs of settlements that were destroyed by the advancing ice.
The glacier only started to recede around , and since then it has receded by more than 3 kilometres. My map shows the tip of the glacier, named Boden Glacier, reaching much closer to Zermatt than on our new map, on which all reference to the Boden Glacier has disappeared. We returned via the supermarket, after walking about 13 km with maybe metres of ascent. A roast chicken dinner in our apartment satisfactorily rounded off the day.
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Today's pictures: Looking across the Gorner Glacier to a variety of summits The Matterhorn, with Riffelsee 2 A Matterhorn view Zermatt from above Furi Wildlife report: I finally got to see some red squirrels - playing chicken with the train. Lots of nutcracker birds on the descent. The top picture, taken from our apartment in Scuol, shows the extent of the improvement in the weather after we finished our ride.
Sod's Law! A leisurely breakfast and departure saw the end of our sojourn with Richard, who went off to the station for a scenic train ride to Zurich and a flight home. Thanks for your company Richard, we hope you enjoyed the trip despite the weather. Meanwhile, Sue and I pottered gently along the Swiss roads for nearly miles, skilfully avoiding motorways as we have no vignette for Switzerland. It's quite pricey as you have to buy a pass for a whole year even if, like us, you only need one for two days.
Three high mountain passes were negotiated before an easy run down to Brig and Visp got us on to the road to Tasch, where car borne visitors to Zermatt are obliged to abandon their steeds and complete the last five miles of their journey by train. We had booked the car park and train in advance.
Day 8: Traveling from Mürren to Zermatt | LE Travels
It all worked very smoothly. I have a vivid memory of completing this traverse with Markus in the other direction some years ago on my first TransAlp mountain bike ride. It was pouring with rain but the descent from the pass was brilliant. Today we continued over the Oberalppass, where there's a rather out of place lighthouse, and a railway station, before picking up some lunch from a supermarket in Andermatt and soon afterwards stopping at a pull in place with a bench.
This was the road to the Furkapass, and a sign in the pull in place said 'James Bond Str. We enjoyed some sunshine today, as well as passing through some showers and encountering cloud below some of the passes. At one point we were descending a pass next to a tourist there were open carriages train.
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Everyone on the train returned Sue's waves, including the driver. The train journey to Zermatt from Tasch only takes a few minutes, and the walk to our apartment was mercifully short. Just as well, as we were quite heavily laden. We are in an Airbnb property - Apartment Dolomit Zermatt number Josef welcomed us to his house and helped us with 'Project ', then we popped to the supermarket and sourced ingredients for a rather simpler meal than last night's.
A wander around town at dusk was pleasantly warm, with views of a nearly out of cloud Matterhorn, and crowds of tourists littering the streets. Posted by Phreerunner at 2 comments: Links to this post. Labels: Alps ' Where are we now? After days of cloud, the sun is now beaming down on us again. Posted by Phreerunner at 4 comments: Links to this post. Yesterday: was Day 38, not Day 37 that was Friday The missing statistics - Sta Maria to Luleta: 39 km, metres ascent, 7 hours including stops Today's statistics, in case I forget later: 63 km, metres ascent, 7.
It wasn't raining! However, having set off in dry weather at 9. Frustrating after having received a message from Markus suggesting it would be sunny.
The drizzle lasted until about 2 pm. Luleta, for all its quirkyness for example our breakfast coffees were served in a Moka pot clearly designed for one person's expresso , was on the cycle route out of Livigno.
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As we set off, a large group made its way past us. We caught up with six of them at lunchtime. They turned out to be the now fragmented group of 21 sanitary ware company employees on their annual bonding trip.
I can understand why they split into several groups - had there been more people in our own group Richard would have been in the fast set and I would have been at the back. As there were just the two of us, Richard was obliged to wait for me at regular intervals. To his credit, he never complained despite getting a bit cold. After a couple of easy kilometres past curious marmots we reached the start of the metre ascent to Pass Chaschauna metres , the high point of route The climb is achieved in the space of about three kilometres.
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Very few mountain bikers can ride up that gradient. We walked. It's quite hard work pushing a mountain bike up such a steep path. The cloud didn't help. It engulfed us in wetness from about to metres, at which point we emerged from that cloud below the ugly concrete of Rifugio di Cassana, which we knew from previous signs would be shut. It looked as if it had been boarded up for some time. A grey place on a grey day.