If you might be considering of doing considered one of the lengthy distance mountaineering trails in the Alps subsequent summer season, then there’s a little recognized route that may be finished in simply over per week of a vacation whereas nonetheless visiting a few of the most spectacular mountain surroundings in Europe.
The strolling route linking two of Switzerland’s greatest recognized mountains, the Eiger and the Matterhorn just isn’t but an official lengthy distance path, however after I hiked the route myself, I discovered good, nicely marked paths for many of the approach and fewer individuals than one would encounter on the established trails reminiscent of the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt or the Tour du Mont Blanc.
The route from the Eiger to the Matterhorn does, I guarantee you, not contain the ascent of both of those two peaks – neither of that are famend for ease of ascent – however as a substitute begins and ends with the strolling trails related to every mountain – the Eiger Trail above Grindelwald and the Matterhorn Trail linking Zermatt with the tarn of Schwarzsee at the foot of the Matterhorn. Though not a household stroll, the route is appropriate for walkers of reasonable skills – there being no tough floor or glacier crossings – and but it passes by some little visited areas of Switzerland and crosses excessive passes reaching a most altitude of virtually 10 000 toes.
In brief the route is appropriate each as a substitute to a few of the longer Alpine treks the place time could also be restricted, or as introduction to multi day mountaineering in the Alps.
My personal alpine journey started in Switzerland’s idyllic Jungfrau Region on the path immediately beneath the North Face of the Eiger. The Eiger Trail footpath, excessive above the village of Grindelwald is nearly as good a begin to a stroll I can consider anyplace in Switzerland.
The subsequent couple of days noticed me passing by the villages of Wengen and Murren – higher recognized to snowboarding fans for his or her winter actions – and leaving the snowy peaks of the Jungfrau Region by a excessive cross by the a lot remoter nation to the west of Murren. My route was following a bit of the Alpine Pass Route which travels alongside the size of the Bernese Oberland to Gsteig in the west, however on reaching Kandersteg, I left this lengthy distance path to head South over the crest of the Alps at the historical crossing of the Gemmi Pass.
Down to the vineyards of the Rhone Valley in the canton of Valais – Switzerland is split into cantons or areas – and again in time as my approach led up by the Turtmanntal which is considered one of Switzerland’s least populated and most unspoiled areas. From the idyllic higher reaches of this distant valley the route joins one other of the established lengthy distance mountaineering trails – the Haute Route – which additionally goes to Zermatt however from Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc in France.
Climbing excessive above the Turtmanntal and up over the Augstbordpass, which at 2871 metres is the highest level of the Eiger to Matterhorn route, the return to civilisation is made at St Niklaus in the valley of the Mattertal. From now on our path stays with the Mattertal following the valley up to the south in direction of the snow and ice of the Pennine Alps – the highest mountains in Switzerland.
With the 4000 metre Breithorn to information me forwards I adopted the the valley paths by sleepy villages and funky woodlands beside the speeding river of the Mattervispa. After a simple day, the climbing begins once more as the route leaves the valley to ascend by the forest to the place the first views of the Matterhorn are seen by the timber, journey’s finish in sight.
The Europaweg is a spectacular 2 day excessive stage route from the decrease Mattertal to Zermatt and is arguably the greatest route into Zermatt. The closing part of our route joins this path simply after its mid level and follows all of it the approach to the excessive Alp hamlet of Findeln earlier than the final stretch again down by the forest into Zermatt.
The major a part of the route is absolutely finished as soon as you’ve got reached Zermatt however seeing as I started with the Eiger Trail from Grindelwald, the Matterhorn Trail appeared a becoming finish to the stroll. The Matterhorn Trail is signposted from Schwarzsee – accessible by cable automobile from Zermatt and is a simple downhill stroll again into city with fantastic views all the approach.
So – when you’re heading for Switzerland this summer season together with your mountaineering boots, here’s a doable various to a few of the extra well-known Alpine treks – particularly if time is brief. You will not be lacking out on something the Alps have to supply both – nicely solely the crowds!