Sunday, August 5, 2012

Return To Zermatt

We hadn't been to Zermatt in recent years, although we did visit the other, Italian, side, Breuil/Cervino, in 2010. Zermatt hasn't always been our favorite nor most successful mountain visit. In 1979, we shivered through a couple nights and days hoping to get a glimpse of the Matterhorn. The summit finally and briefly peaked through the clouds just as we were stepping into the station to leave. In 1989, I got within a couple hundred meters of the summit (the guide said) but then had to retreat in deteriorating awful weather. But our road to the Mont Blanc area lead right past Visp/Tasch/Zermatt, the weather was improving, and we decided just seeing the mountain again would be worth the time and effort. We found overnight parking in Tasch and took the train up to Zermatt early the next morning.
Indeed the great mountain was out, and we enjoyed a whole
day of glorious views from all over the Mattertal

Main drag Zermatt, early in the day

Camping Matterhorn, where we stayed in 1979, and probably
some other years too

It's a pretty place, as a playground of the super-rich should

In an older part of town, a garden adorned by lost ski and
hiking poles

"Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever..."

Still in old town; old structures

They keep a few of the old shacks around
for "heritage" reasons, I suppose, so present
residents and visitors can see how their
maids' and tour bus drivers' forbears lived

Outside the Monte Rosa Hotel, where the fateful meeting
took place, and from which the Matterhorn was finally

Virtually next door, the house of the Taugwalders, father
and son, the Swiss guides who along with Whymper
alone survived the first descent

Looking back to Zermatt from my attempted first (for me)
ascent of the Mettelhorn, abandoned at the first sign of rain
and after noticing my pedometer already had 18,000 steps
that day

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