Switzerland: Trift Gorge, 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.

At the top of the Trift Gorge
At the top of 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. 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.

Hotel Trift
Hotel Trift

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.

Trift Gorge looking to Gornergrat
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.

Overlooking Zermatt
Overlooking Zermatt

Published by Moorland Walker

Paul is a backpacker, tor bagger, Bibbulmun Track End to Ender and West Ham supporter. He moved down from London to live in Okehampton in 2016, after realising he was spending most of his weekends on Dartmoor and it just made sense to make it permanent!

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