Oh gosh … it has already been a few days since I last did any sharing. My apologies to everyone … but it is always harder for me to do any blogging during the weekends (especially when there are dozens of photos to share) … because I usually have less time in front of the computer than I have during the week! Anyway, here is the second part of the hike that we did along the Matterhorn trail.
And so from the village of Zmutt … we then crossed a wooden bridge, went up the slope and then went through a tunnel to reach a dam that is located a few hundred metres away. Although the dam was not very large … it was impressive enough in size. We stayed long enough to walk across the top of the dam in order to get some nice shots from there … before making our way up the mountain slope to try to reach the shelter hut of Hörnli. Unsurprisingly, we were also hoping to admire a mountain lake, the famous Schwarzsee (black lake), in keeping with past mountain trip destination objectives this year (Pizol, Casanna, Le Grammont, Aletsch) 🙂
Unfortunately … we did not see even a tiny glimpse of any lake during our hike! Errr … nor did we manage to reach the shelter, either! 😦
Hörnlihut, the last-stop shelter for mountain climbers before their ascent of the Matterhorn, was still a looong way to go from the point where we decided to stop and then made our way down back to Zermatt. Maybe … just maybe, if the cable car to Schwarzsee had been operating and we would have thus managed to get a ride whizzing up the mountain slopes … that would have helped cut down on the time it would have taken us to reach the shelter! And for sure, we would then have definitely got to see the lake! Oh well, no point lamenting too much about it lah.
Anyway, as usual … no trip is a wasted trip even if we did not get to reach the places that we wanted to go to … because … it was still a nice hike up the mountain … and we did get to see the Matterhorn pretty close from where we stopped! So we were still happy to have made the hike … 🙂
The dam that was located not far from Zmutt … some 74m high and some 144m long (for the half circle that is closest to Zmutt) … and which can hold up approximately 30,000 cubic metres of water from the glacier of Gorner plus from the surrounding mountains and other glaciers.
The glacial water catchment behind it … quite pretty, no?
The dam as seen from each end … on the other side (that is facing towards Zmutt).
… with a view of the narrow gorge running from below it … including a structure cutting across below.
Leaving the dam with a nice view of Findelen glacier in the background to make our way up the mountain slope … in order to try to get to Hörnlihut.
From there, we passed through a forested area before coming out onto a road .. and then hopped back again into the forested area (called Inneri Wälder)… before finally coming out onto a clearing.
We continued to follow the mountain trail for a while … but as you might have come to know about the hubby … he lurvesss taking short cuts! So he suggested us doing so and so we ended up hiking across what appeared to be a skiing slope in winter instead of following the proper but slightly longer trail through the trees … so as to cut down on the time taken to reach the top of that slope.
There were some icy and slippery patches across certain parts of the slope … but we were able to make our way up safely. The views from the slope were awesome, however …
… especially that of the glacier of Findelen! But of course it cannot be compared with the view we saw when we got even higher!!
The peak of the Matterhorn looked quite close, here … from the point where we joined the trail once again. But again … impatient to get to the top of the slope that we were climbing … the hubby suggested taking another shortcut, this time across even steeper incline!! However, with my short legs … the hubby naturally had to help me along lah … either by pulling me up … or pushing me from the back! hehehe … 🙂
But when we finally reached the top of the slope, we realised that the building that we saw when hiking up the slope was not a shelter … but a lift cabin which was closed. Ai sey man … what a let down!!
Since I was feeling quite tired with the steep climb that we had to do … I decided that it was time for me to rest again … and enjoy the view of the surroundings from this area (called Momatt) with the houses furthest out of Zermatt far, far down in the valley (the tiny white dots on the right)!
I have to say that the view from Momatt … was worth the climb, though! It was really beautiful! The Findelen glacier as seen from Momatt with Zermatt down in the valley.
The tail of the glacier of Zmutt (Zmuttgletscher) as seen to the left of the lift cabin. The ‘tail’ is the part in grey which looks a bit like a dune of sand.
While I was resting … the hubby as usual … decided to go further up the slope to do a bit of reconnaissance of the area (well, he was hoping to catch at least a glimpse of Schwarzsee!) and some photo-taking, of course. Can you spot him somewhere towards the middle of the picture?
As you can see … we were getting pretty close to the Matterhorn (we were at 2,330m, according to the map) … but unfortunately, still quite far from the Hörnlihut … the shelter used by mountain climbers before their ascent of Matterhorn from this side … and which was our destination goal for this trip.
A shot of the Matterhorn taken by hubby further up the slope. Unfortunately, with the sun shining from behind the mountain … it was difficult to get any good shot of the Matterhorn while we were in Momatt … what a pity!!
See what I mean? But still must try and take some lah … for keepsake … to remind us that we have been up there … even though it was not where we were thinking of going! hehehe … 🙂
Another view of the Zmutt glacier from further up the slope where the hubby did his reconnaissance mission.
And this is the view of the mountain top where most people tend to go on ... if they decide to take the easier way to see the Matterhorn … by taking the train to Gornergrat (Gorner Ridge)! If you peer very, very closely you will be able to see the railway track up the mountain slope and the Gornergrat train station as well as the hotel at the top of the middle peak (beside the snow-covered peak on the right).
Okay … here is a closer look of the hotel known as 3100 Kulmhotel (because it is situated at 3,100m and which we visited last year with my family from Singapore) and the train station (just below the hotel) on Gornergrat.
The dam that we had visited earlier … as seen from Momatt … somehow it looked more impressive-looking from this height! 🙂
And just across from where we were … at the opposite mountain slope … we saw a white building jutting out of the rocky slope. I could not help but wonder what it was for but the hubby claims it is something to do with the water catchment system for the dam.
After realising that we would not be able to reach the Hörnlihut in time to make it back down to Zermatt for our train back to Visps … we decided to stay a while more in Momatt before starting on our descent back to Zermatt … to enjoy our sandwich. But since it was quite chilly up there … we did not stay very long lah!
Making our way down the slope heading back towards the dam and the Zmutt valley.
And as usual, the hubby was carrying a plastic bag where he had put the rubbish from our lunch … as well as those that he had picked along the way! … so that he could throw the litter into a proper garbage bin! 🙂
By the way, we saw plenty of these up the mountain slope on our way up to and down from Momatt. Nope, these are not big headlights to lit up the slope at night … but are artificial snow-making machines. I guess that given how warm the weather has been (with no snow to be seen yet in most places), the machines will come in handy for this winter season! However, in many parts of Switzerland, the hubby says, they are currently of not much use because temperatures must remain below zero at night for artificial snow to not melt away during the day.
And … we also saw these … which we think might be something that are put in placed to protect the skiers as they ski down the mountain slope in winter … (if we are not wrong lah!)
Approaching the dam, once again … which meant that the village of Zmutt was not that far away. And true enough, we soon arrived at Zmutt village.
The signs at the village of Zmutt (the first saying ‘good-bye’ and ‘thank you’, two French words used in some Swiss German dialects) … as we passed through it 🙂
Leaving Zmutt village behind as we made our descent towards Zermatt.
A couple seen following a different trail … going up instead of going down towards Zermatt as we were doing.
A beautiful view of snow-covered mountain top rising above the trees in the evening as we were making our way down the Matterhorn trail.
Yet another view of Findelen glacier … in the evening.
Passing by the hamlet where I had taken a rest earlier on after making our way up a steep incline … this time without any rest stop since it was downhill all the way!
Typical stone roof of the area … and more sheep … seen along the Matterhorn trail!
And just before we reached the end (or rather the start) of the trail in Zermatt … the hubby decided to take a snapshot of this information panel showing an interesting picture of one of the most extravagant projects which had been thought up to ferry people to the summit of the Matterhorn in the nineteenth century. Needless to say, had this project materialised there would have been no point of having a nicely kept Matterhorn trail to walk along … except probably for die-hard trekking enthusiasts!
And so … that was another of our excursions to the mountain top … where we did not quite manage to get to the destination that we had intended to go! hehehe …
But then … I believe I had heard and read somewhere of a saying that says … “what matters more is not reaching the final destination but the journey to reach it” … well something like that lah! Sooo … I guess you could say that we … are strong believers of this wise saying!! muahahaaaa … 🙂
Until our next journey!!! 😉
Related entries on Zermatt…
- Matterhorn trail… from Zermatt to Zmutt…
- Zermatt sleepover…
- Autumn run near Zermatt – part I (hubby’s entry)
- Autumn run near Zermatt – part II (hubby’s account of his run to the Riffelsee area)