Finding Matterhorn I

Still in the same Euro Trip at Fall 2009, one of my main mission on this trip is to see the Mount Matterhorn, I don’t know why.. I think it’s really looks great and it will be fun to visit, but some friends tell me that I got fetish on mountain |:

Thanks again to Cessy & Hedi for making this trip possible, and help me to plan the journey on searching the Matterhorn. All I know is I need to go to Zermatt, but I never really plan more detail on how to go higher, get better view of it and arrange the accommodation.

Zermatt,  a small city on Swiss alps ( population : 6000, or 20000 during peak season ), surrounded by mountains with Monte Rosa as the highest peak in Switzerland ( 4632m ) and Matterhorn ( 4478m ) as the most famous one.  Is a free-car city, everybody just walk there, with some electric small car operated by hotel. ( or you can take the horse carriage ) The city was really good for living, no traffic ( because no car ), no pollution, everybody seems happy there ( until they realize that the living cost there are one of the highest in Switzerland ) Frida Lyngstad of ABBA is enjoying her retirement life in Zermatt right now.

Around 250 km away from Geneva, can be reach by car ( around 4-5 hours drive, this is how we reach it ) or By train ( around 4 hours, more info on train : http://www.sbb.ch/en/ ). Private car can only reach Tasch, a small city around 7 km from Zermatt, then continue by the shuttle Train. More detail info about Zermatt can be found here : http://www.zermatt.ch/en/

From Zermatt, there’s a lot of way to access the Alps, you can walk, take cable car, ride train, etc and we can reach different peak / place, there’s also skiing route, summer hiking route, winter snow hiking route, it’s very complicated. Because of the time constraint Cessy and Hedi help me to choose a scenic route, where we can spend a night in a cabin on the mountain, and see the Matterhorn when we hike through the 5 lakes.

So our plan is to go to Sunnegga Paradise using the funicular, continue with cable car to Blauherd, then hike to Fluhalp ( a cabin / restaurant : http://www.fluhalp-zermatt.ch/ ) Then we will spend a night in Fluhalp, before we will hiking down pass through the 5 lakes, back to Sunnegga Paradise and then Zermatt.

And the main attraction? Of course the Matterhorn! This mountain is the most famous peak in Swiss Alps, because of the unique form and is the last peak of Alps to be conquered by climbers and also the deadliest.  It called Cervin in French, Cervino in Italian. The name Matterhorn itself is from German. The form of it inspired the logo and the shape of Toblerone Chocolate. It also become an icon for Swiss Alps.

We hope we can catch the Matterhorn from different angles and time, and enjoy the scenery and the beauty of Swiss Alps. So this is my story in the “expedition” on finding Matterhorn!

Photos time (;

On the way to Zermatt, the weather was nice, but you can see that the Matterhorn is covered by thick cloud );

Tasch, gateway to Zermatt, we need to left the car here and take train to reach Zermatt.

Entering the Zermatt shuttle train…

Inside the train to Zermatt, the journey takes about 15 mins, and cost you around 15CHF for return ticket. I’m going with Cessy, Hedi, Yasmin ( the daughter ) and Rayhan ( the son ) It’s quite empty that day, so we take the freedom to sit anyhow we want (;

Zermatt! With Matterhorn at the background, too bad it still covered by the cloud.

The train to Gornergrat, a more popular destination because you can reach it only by the train. But since we aiming for the cabin stay & lake so we choose for other route, I’ll keep this one for my next visit (;

The funicular station, with the map explaining the whole nextwork between Zermatt, and other places on the Swiss alps. Many of them only works during winter for the ski resorts, while some will be closed during winter. We need to rush to get the funicular to Sunnegga paradise which will be connected to the cable car to Blauherd. We are a bit late and the last Blauherd cable car time has passed, lucky the operator guy make a few calls and they help us to arrange an extra cable car for us.

The funicular,  the journey takes about 3 mins ( and cost you 23 CHF for return trip ), it was running inside tunnel  so we can’t see anything. This will bring us to Sunnegga paradise. When we reach there, we run to the cable car station, and the last car for the day already waiting for us.

Thanks again to the operator that provide an extra ride, if not we will need to climb all the way to reach Blauherd ( and I think we will die on the process ) The ride takes about 5-6 mins, and cost us 14 CHF one way, we plan to hike down tomorrow (;

The view below, Matterhorn still on cloud ( you will find me keep repeating this line, because It will be very sad if you go all the way here, but you can’t see the Matterhorn )

We reach the top and nobody was there and the machine stop to operate after few minutes. From here we will continue our journey to the Fluhalp by feet.

So we start to hike for Fluhalp, the website and the road marking said that we will reach it by 45 mins. LIESSSSSSS !!! it took us nearly 3 hours to reach there >_< Then I just realize that everytime you see signage at the mountain telling you this certain place can be reach by x mins, you need to multiply it by 4x at least, and that’s the real time you needed ( or maybe it’s just because we walk too slow >_< )

Seems like a long journey isn’t it… and light running shoes that I wore doesn’t really works well on the stony pathway. After around 45 mins walk, It’s getting colder and darker,  but we haven’t manage to see our destination.

During the walk, we saw some civilization on the way, but all looks like very farrr away… ( there’s a white building in the centre of the frame )

And the weather condition is getting worse, and it started to drizzles..

And when we started to feel hopeless, you start to see a small cabin at the end of the rainbow… It’s the Fluhalp! (;

But even after we see it, it still seems that we never gonna reach it… All we see is another “full of lies” sign… I’m having fun on keep blaming the signage (; while we fully realize that we walk too slow, and we do too many “facebook profile” photo shoots on the way…

Like this one ((; got small cabin, got signage, got mountain, got rainbow… perfect facebook profile pics! It said Fluhalp 20 mins… yeah right…

Another facebook photos material, reaching higher level of my kungfu by meditating.. at the background the clouds still covering my Matterhorn…

But the weather is a bit brighter on the other side of mountains… so still got hope…

All my friends walk faster than me ); maybe because they didn’t take photo as much as me… ( lame excuse )

15 mins to Blauherd it said… another  lies, we’ve been walking for at least 1.5 hours to reach this point >_<  But at last we reach the Lake Stellisee..

View from the lake, the rainbow stays longer than we thought… (;

Just beside the lake, we found an alien space pod architectural installation called Evolver, it’s done by a 2nd year architecture student from a polytechnics in Lausanne. More info on this in here and it has blog in here. The blog shows you on how they transport and install this “building” in the middle of nowhere ( by helicopter.. cheat! hehehe ) I  thought it just a temporary structure, but when I do some survey to wrote this blog entry and found out it was still there until now.

A closer look on the structure, i’m amazed that the wooden structure can last in this kind of environment.

View of the lake Stellisee, not long after we passed it. And the Matterhorn is still nowhere to be seen );

And at last, seems like we are really going to reach the Fluhalp… tired, hungry, and lil bit wet. So this is the end of the rainbow, no pot of gold but there’s pot of soup (;

This is where we will have dinner and rest for the night (;

One last view to the Matterhorn and the lake before we enter the cabin.

I really likes the old fashioned wooden cabin interior, give us a really homey feeling. Cessy & Hedi already booked some beds at the dorm for us. It costs us around 60 CHF / person including a 3-course dinner and breakfast (;

The staircase that bring us to our dorm room at 3rd storey, full of happy guests photos..

The dorm room is very comfortable.. consists of about 20 beds, and we shared with a big family from Germany with their noisy talkative kids ( who never stop talking until they fell asleep… too bad i can’t understand their language )

We take a seat at the restaurant that has a window view to Matterhorn… ( and as you guess I still keep checking whether the cloud has gone away ) The dinner was some kind of Beef soup with a lot of meat… I don’t really recall the details >_< it’s been nearly 2 years since the trip.

To my horror, after the dinner… it started to rain heavily… so the chance for us get a clear sky to see the Matterhorn is getting lower. Oh nooooooo… That night I can’t sleep really well, not because of the german kids are keep talking, but because I keep waking up to check whether the sky is clearing up… I’m planning to do a star trail before, but it seems impossible now… );

To be continue to this post : Finding Matterhorn II

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2 thoughts on “Finding Matterhorn I

  1. Nice writing, Ling. Your photo in the dorm can be used for your facebook profile too, with title “Waiting the cloud clear out from Matterhorn” 🙂

  2. Pingback: Finding Matterhorn II | I Need (more) Holiday

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