Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Switzerland: Trift Gorge, Zermatt

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Zermatt

Arrived in Zermatt the previous day, and when having dinner in Nelly's Restaurant, we asked about a remote hut we could see a couple of hundred metres up the mountain. The waitress told us of a path that went up to it, and further up the Trift Gorge to a mountain hut where climbers could base before tackling the 4000m peaks surrounding it. So that was decided then, our walk for the next day would be the Trift Gorge.

A steady 300 metre climb out of Zermatt to the Alterhaupt where the hut we saw the previous evening was perched on the edge of a precipice.

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Trift Gorge
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The path up to Alterhaupt
The going now got easier physically, but I could sense I was going to have some problems returning the same route on the narrow paths. We continued winding our way up the gorge, to the Trift Hut. 

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Trift Hut

This wasn't so much a hut but a grand old hotel, in a beautiful spot, nestled below the Gabelhorn and Trift Glaciers. Diane wanted to take another route down, but I took a look at the map and didn't like some of the drops, so better the devil I knew, we returned the same route.

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Trift Gorge looking to Gornergrat


As it turned out, the only point I felt a little uncomfortable was when we stopped for a break and sat on a bench looking down into the gorge and up to the Gornergrat on the other side of the valley where Zermatt sits. Perception can be a funny thing and I made more of an effort to look up when descending the rest of the route, take in the surroundings, breathe deeply and try to overcome my fear.