As Christmas approaches and you gorge yourself on mountains of chocolate take a closer look at those Toblerone triangles and the mountain etched on the side of the packet. It is the Matterhorn and is one of the most iconic mountains in the world.
As you ease the belt buckle another notch do yourself a favour and make a New Year’s resolution to lace up your boots and head to Switzerland to get in the Shadow of the Matterhorn. Not only will you enjoy high mountain scenery, the buzz of Zermatt, the whistles of marmots and glimpses of chamois, but you’ll also be doing your waistline the power of good with six days trekking.
This is a fantastic trek, some of the days will be tough. The ascent to the Rothorn hut is incessant but the reward will be spectacular views towards the Monte Rosa massif and the Matterhorn with a glacier just metres away. The Matterhorn stays with you all week. It can be perfectly framed in your balcony window from the Zermatt hotel, reflected in the waters of the Riffelsee lake or looming over you as you replenish with an Edelweisse at the Schonbiel hut. A keen pair of eyes will see mountain climbers carefully descend in the morning light after successful summit attempts. However, a sombre stroll though the climbers’ graveyard in Zermatt will highlight that the beauty of the mountain has taken many a life.
For those that want to finish the week with a challenge, sign up for a Breithorn ascent. This 4164m peak is the closest peak to the east of the Matterhorn and allows you to develop crampon skills as you plod to the summit. It’s a satisfying finale to the week as you rise out of the shadow of the Matterhorn and enjoy the panoramic views. Just remember to take a Toblerone to enjoy a well earned chunk at the top!
Dave went on Exodus’ The Shadow of the Matterhorn trip in July this year.