05 October 2011

Skiing and hiking around Zermatt

Skiing in early September, yeah baby! Admittedly, that was a first for me. Usually I wait with the skiing season until late October. :) But this year I found myself on a short, three-day trip to Zermatt, Switzerland. After driving through the night for 8 hours we arrived at Täsch, a small town 6 km from Zermatt, at 5 a.m. As Zermatt is a car-free town, you need to leave your car in Täsch and take a train - yes, with all your luggage and skis and ski boots and everything.
We wanted to go skiing right away, but the cable car wasn't running due to strong winds, and the weather prevented me from taking lots of photos that day, too. Some people spend a week in Zermatt and never see the famous Mt. Matterhorn!
Mt. Matterhorn on the first day in Zermatt. Some people stay here for weeks and never see the peak!

The following morning looked more promising.
The second morning was far more promising!

Getting to the cable car station meant going down a steep path:
The town of Zermatt is idyllic and car-free.

It's funny being dressed in your skiing clothes, carrying your skis on your shoulder, when the grass around you is so green. :) Not to mention it was very warm. But - the cable car takes you to almost 4000 meters above sea level.
Taking the cable car to the mountains.

I was busy taking photos through the glass of the cable car:
Nearby mountains.

From the top Mt. Matterhorn looks completely different.
Ski slopes at 4000 meters above sea level.

The couple of ski runs that were open were full of alpine skiing teams from various countries training for the coming season.
Ski runs.

Me and Ivica Kostelić, the best alpine skier in the world. :)
Me and Ivica Kostelić, the best alpine skier in the world. :)

Did I mention that skiing at the altitude of 4000 meters leaves you breathless after a couple of turns? Oh boy, I felt like I had asthma!

By 1.30 p.m. the snow was so soft it was better to call it a day. On the way back to the valley I had to take more photos:

Zermatt in the valley.

Looking towards the Gorner glacier.

After a hearty lunch back in Zermatt I walked around town a bit. Electric cars, narrow roads, picturesque houses. :)
Typical houses in Zermatt.

Stone roof.

Matterhorn in late afternoon light.

The third day was a perfect cloudless day from the beginning. Well, a few puffy clouds would actually be nice.

This was my hiking day. I took an underground funicular and a cable car up a mountain on the other side of the valley from Mt. Matterhorn. The views of the surrounding mountains in the morning were spectacular.
Klein Matterhorn.

But my primary goal was Stellisee, a beautiful lake in an even more beautiful setting.


I hiked down the mountain past some more lakes and streams, with the omnipresent Matterhorn always in view.
Hiking around Zermatt.

Backlit trees.

Back in Zermatt, it was a 30-minute hike back uphill from the cable car station to the hotel.


As if the trip hadn't been gorgeous enough, I was met with great light on the drive back home.
Magical light on the way back home.

More photos can be found here.


Schmoo said...

Wow! The first and last have got to be my favorites, but what an amazing place.

Jure said...

tole je pa prelepo. materhorn najbolj slikana gora na svetu. am tistale kmpozicije me spomne na slemenovo špico ko dobiš jalovec v jezerce.

Ana said...

Schmoo, thanks! Yep, pretty amazing, and I was lucky with the weather.

Jure, Matterhorn je sicer krasen, ampak tudi Jalovec ni od muh. :)

Rok in Klemen Markuš said...

Sapo mi je vzelo!!! Res enkratne fotke!

stella said...

Te planine, pa ne samo te... ampak to visokogorje te resnično fascinira. Včasih prej napašem oči, potem kaj zamudim in šele potem začnem škljoc, škljoc in upam da iz tega nekaj nastane...
Tisti odsevi v jezeru so greha vredni!
Super serija.

Ana said...

Rok, Klemen, hvala!
Stella, jaz pa najprej fotkam, si vmes ogledujem, pa spet fotkam ... ker me preveč skrbi, da bi kaj zamudila. :)