Matterhorn

Matterhorn

Dispatch by Delano Lavigne
Photos by Jimmy Martinello

The Matterhorn, a picturesque mountain shrouded by tragedy, towers far above Zermatt and casts a long shadow over the valley that is as ominous as it is auspicious. Originally believed to be a broken piece of God’s walking stick, the Matterhorn has been at the heart of local lore, culture and history for centuries.

As the birth place of modern mountaineering and the driving force behind a prolifically successful tourist industry, the mountain continues to be revered by those who climb it and by those who choose to stare up in awe at it.

 Matterhorn
Delano in awe of the Matterhorn

Today Robert, Andrew, Jimmy joined hikers and climbers to the base of the mountain. Under splitter-blue skies and summer-worthy temperatures we hiked along high mountain valleys, choss-covered slopes and well maintained trails until we reached Hörnli Hut at 3,260 m (10,700 ft).

The hike was moderate in difficulty and if we had been climbing the Matterhorn to its summit at 4,476 m (14,686 ft) the approach would have proved to be a rather perfect warm up.

When we arrived at the Hörnli Hut it was a sight to behold, as if we had walked on to the patio of a bustling Friday evening happy hour at a local pub. There were no less than 50 people drinking beer and eating fresh made soups, salads and Rosti’s (a local’s favourite).

Matterhorn
The team feasts!

The Hut, impressively fastened to the side of the mountain and virtually teetering over open crevasses and caving seracs, is more of a restaurant/hostel than it is a hut. We were, to say the least, impressed.

There we were enjoying food and drink at the very foot of the Matterhorn. I am happy to have made the journey to the foot of a mountain that has captured the attention of countless climbers, both famous and obscure.


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