Sunday, July 6, 2008

Zermatt Climbing

I just wrapped up a fun 4 days with Mark from McCook, Nebraska. He's got one of those great attitudes that just makes it fun to be with. Even if things don't go quite as planned! After missing his first flight to Geneva, Mark made it to Switzerland, but his bags didn't. After collecting them and making his way to Zermatt we took in the unique Gorner Gorge Adventure. This is a super fun course of ladders, zip-lines, and tarzan swings through the scenic Gorner river gorge. It would be perfect for the Ouray Ice Park in summer. OCRA are you listening!
The next day we took the trams up to Kleine Matterhorn, traversed the Breithorn Plateau and climbed the classic Southwest Ridge of Pollux. This is a great mixed ridge route and excellent training for the Matterhorn. As you crest the main rock difficulties you are greeted by one of the many Madonnas guarding over the Alps.The next day was our scheduled day to head to the Hornlihutte in prep for the Matterhorn. The forecast wasn't stellar, but we kept our fingers crossed and hoped it wouldn't be too bad. Unfortunately it was. Just as we stepped in the hut, the skies opened and dumped a few inches of hail and snow on the Matterhorn. Knowing that the next day's conditions would not be too good for attempting the 'horn we opted to cut our losses and head back to Zermatt.

On our last day we climbed the Breithorn, and got some good photos for Mark's local newspaper travel section.
Before heading back down the trams to Zermatt, we stepped into the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, where a frozen Buddha statue greeted us!

With a bit of daylight left we decided to have one more adventure on the Klettersteig Schweifine above Zermatt. This is a true via ferratta course with plenty of exposure and lots of fun!Berg Heil! CC