Well it was an unplanned trip from Saas Fee during our holiday in July 2004 that brought us back for a day trip to Zermatt. The weather was perfect we had 7 hours and I knew exactly which walk I wanted to do - the five lakes tour!
We took the underground funicular to Sunegga again, then the cale-car to Blauherd and another to the Rothorn. From here we gradually walked all the way down to Zermatt and enjoyed most of the 5 lake views :-)))
The Stellisee (2536m) must be one of the most photogenic places to capture the Matterhorn. A few ripples on the lake meant not quite a reflection but it was so beautiful here I did not mind and couldn't complain with such a picture postcard landscape.
An easy broad path from Stellisee leads to Grindjisee (2334m) another of the mountain lakes where a reflection of the Mattenhorn can be found on a clear still day. Its an idyllic lake fringed with pine trees and is a wonderful place for a picnic and bathe - be warned water is icy! These mountains lakes are easily reached just a short hike from the Blauherd or Sunegga mountain transport systems so don't miss them.
On one of our hikes we found the Thomas Woodbine Hinchliff Monument by chance. It is neither located near one of the main hiking trails nor did we see any signs.
Thomas Woodbine Hinchliff was born in in 1825 in England and died in 1882. He was a mountaineer, writer and president of the Alpine Club from 1875 until 1877.
The Monument to Thomas Woodbine Hinchliff can be found somewhere northwest of the Riffelalp, just inbetween the Riffelalp and the tracks of the Gornergrat train.
After the hike around the lakes we'd planned to take the sunegga funicular down ..but we still had plenty of time before the mini-bus was due to take us back to Saas Fee. So we walked through the village of Findeln where some of the best views of the Matterhorn can be had and down through the forest to the centre of Zermatt (another 1.5 hours) What a contrast to the previous year -so glad we extended our hike here. The village is so quaint and picturesque and worth a vist in itself.
Explore the Gorner Gorge between Furi and Zermatt with its impressive rock formations (holes in the rock formed by glaciers, polished rock faces) pounded by enormous masses of rushing water is a unique spectacle of nature.
The passage through the gorge is over a distance of about 1 km and takes approx. 3 - 4 hours. The highlights of the climb through the gorge are: three sections which are rappelled, three sections of pulleys (the longest approx. 80 metres), the secured climbing routes over rock faces polished over the centuries, and also the holes in the rock formed by glaciers in the depths of the gorge. Your feet stay dry throughout the climb.
You will be secured for the entire duration of the climb through the gorge, which cannot be undertaken without a mountain guide with good knowledge of the area. The route passes in part over natural rock formations, fixed iron steps mounted into the rock and metal platforms.
Reservations can be made up to the day before the hike at the "Alpin Center" Zermatt.
Duration: 3 -4 hrs. / Price: CHF 120.-.
Would you like to go skiing or snowboarding right in the middle of summer? Visit Saas-Fee or Zermatt summer ski area on high altitude glacier.
These two biggest and attractive summer ski areas are for the first time offering combined ski-passes during the summer season from 2 July to 31 October.
Saas-Fee and Zermatt are a 40 minute drive apart. 41 km of groomed carving and mogul runs as well as summer parks with a half-pipe and obstacle courses for freestylers provide the ultimate snow experience on hot summer days.
Have a quick look to my Swiss deals about Zermatt to get special package...
A "carnotztet" at the Klein Matterhorn: what an unusual location for a wine tasting.
There a fine selection of local white wine as Fendant, Petite Arvine, Johannisberg, Muscat,... is waiting for you. You could be sure the wine will be at the perfect temperature as the tasting is located inside the highest glacier grotto (3'800m).
If you feel a little dizzy after some glasses, you could still arguate that is due to the high
When: each Friday from 10th June 23rd September 2005
Where: Ice Grotto at the Klein Matterhorn, access by the Matterhorn Express and the Klein Matterhorn cable car (40 min of ride from Zermatt).
The Grunsee lake is a bit of a detour from the the other lakes on the lakes hike, its across the valley. We decided not to actually go right up to it - it was a long enough walk down from Rothorn to Zermatt town itself - so settled for a picture from distance. The terrain around it is more barren anyway, not as picturesque as the alpine meadow ones and it didn't look as if there was a reflection there either.
The Moosjesee (2140m) completes the 5 lakes - Stellisee, Grunsee, Grindjsee and Leisee being the others. Again this was a bit of a detour below our target of Findeln so just another shot from up above it. It looked more like a man-made dam lake to me and judging by the turquoise colour of the water would not be reflecting either :-S. So the Stellisee or the Grindjsee are best options for the scenic views and good spots for an alpine picnic on the 5 lakes walk.
The walk from Findeln to Zermatt was through a shady larch forest. A bit of a zig-zag path down at times and of course the views are not as stunning as those seen higher up. At the lower edge of the forest we met with the gornegrat railway line and then followed a path contouring round above and eventually down into the centre of Zermatt - the steps down here were quite tiresome by this stage. We did see some some wildlfe - marmotts can be seen by Blauherd and the lakes there and we manged to snap this deer which shot across our path (surprisingly as we neared Zermatt) and down into the grassy fields.
Always a great stop to get a (very) fresh drink ;-)
The Igloo Bar Zermatt is located right next to the Igloo Village, which is situated on the ski piste from Gornergrat to Riffelberg at Rotenboden. This snow temple, ornamented with artistic sculptures, offers unforgettable pit stops with a wide selection of cold and hot beverages as well as original Swiss cheese foundue.
Part way up the Gornegrat trail, just near the Riflesee station - a great place to have your pic taken with the Matterhorn in the background - just a shame it was clouded over by then, oh well thats mountain weather for you ;-/ Some day we will be back yet again I think for that perfect reflection of the Matterhorn in the lake near here!
The Leisee was a short detour UP off the path from the Grindjisee to Findeln. You could easily reach the Sunnegga funicular in a few minutes from here and ride the easy way back down to Zermatt. This pic in July is so different from the view we had in August of the preceding year. What a difference the weather can make!
It was quite an overcast day....so didn't want to go too high. We opted for the Sunnegga funicular which goes underground. The village of Findeln, a short walk from the funicular summit, is quite scenic for the Matterhorn....but we didn't see the Matterhorn that day.......hiding in the cloud somewhere.
At the far end of Zermatt not far from Furi you can enter the glacier gorge for a small fee - much like the one at Grindelwald. A series of boards around this ravine will enable you to see the rushing water cascading down from the glaciers safely.