Zermatt and the foot of the MatterhornA nice walk to the Matterhorn's refuge... that pretty much lit the flame of mountaineering for me
How to get bitten by the mountaineering virus : start with a few months of indoor climbing with a friend, for old time’s sake. When you’re starting to feel good about it, just figure you should go get a taste of how it’s like climbing in the real world. As far as places-with-lots-of-large-rocks go, Zermatt is a great place to start!
The first day, upon arrival, it’ll be absolutely vital to start acclimatizing to your surroundings with a cheese fondue… Vital!
The next day, go do one of the via-ferratas that are close to the edges of the city. Before setting eyes on it, you’ll think you’re ready because you’ve tried one a few weeks earlier in a holiday club in Belgium… HA!
Right, so, just rent a safety harness, hook up to the mountain and try your best not to think too much about the signs that are posted right next to the first hook, urging you not to trust the safety lines too much, that’ll show you if you have a fear of the heights and if it’s manageable 😀
Then the perfect ending for that kind of little sojourn is the Hörnliweg, the path that leads right up to the refuge (Hörnilhütte, 3260m) one would spend the night in before climbing the Matterhorn (Cervin in French).
If you’re idiots, you’ll get up too late, you won’t bother looking at the cable car’s hours (valuable information if you don’t want to walk the 8km back towards Zermatt at the end of the day) and you’ll be carrying way too much photography gear.
Don’t worry. At the end of that day, you’ll be fine. Exhausted, but fine. Better than fine, you’ll fall in love with those bloody mountains and the experiences they have to offer.
Guess what! It turns out that when you plan on taking a 17km hike that implies going up 712m and down 1687 (*) it’s pretty important to actually… plan the damn thing!
The equipment mentioned below is perfect if you want to be prepared for any photographic situation, but it weighs quite a bit when climbing mountain paths 3200 meters above sea level…
- Travel / Hiking
- Date(s) : end of August 2016
- Location(s) :
- Zermatt, Switzerland
- “Hörnliweg”, the hiking trail that goes from the Zermatt-Schwarzee cable car to the Hörnlihütte, the Matterhorn’s refuge.
- Canon EOS 5d mkIII
- Canon EF 17-40 f4 L
- Canon EF 24-70 f2.8L
- Canon EF 200 f2.8L II
- … and the good old Gorillapod Focus
* yeah I know, these two numbers should be equal. That’s what happens when you don’t look at the cable car’s hours and miss the last one.