Paradise of Valais Alps

Tripoto
1st Jul 2011
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 1/109 by Amit
Interlaken-Brig-Visp commute
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 2/109 by Amit
Brig by lake Thun
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 3/109 by Amit
Matterhorn Gotthard railway
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 4/109 by Amit
River Vispa
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 5/109 by Amit
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Täsch
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Gornergrat
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 8/109 by Amit
Theodul Glacier
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 9/109 by Amit
Breithorn-Schwarz-Zwillings-Grenz glaciers.
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 10/109 by Amit
Gorner and Grenz glaciers.
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 11/109 by Amit
Gornergrat panorama
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 12/109 by Amit
Cairn for hiking direction
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 13/109 by Amit
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Free fly
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 15/109 by Amit
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Liskamm (4527 m)
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 18/109 by Amit
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Täschhorn
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 20/109 by Amit
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Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 22/109 by Amit
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Rifelsee lake
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 25/109 by Amit
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Matterhorn and Riffelsee
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 27/109 by Amit
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Riffelberg to Riffelalp hike
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Train to Zermatt
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 30/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 31/109 by Amit
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Bakery
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Chocolate shop :)
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 40/109 by Amit
Up above the clouds
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 41/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 42/109 by Amit
Weißhorn
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 43/109 by Amit
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Zermatt under the clouds
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 45/109 by Amit
Panorama from Trockener Steg
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 46/109 by Amit
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 47/109 by Amit
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Towards Breithorn
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 49/109 by Amit
As good as it gets :)
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 50/109 by Amit
Mt. Blanc
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 51/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 52/109 by Amit
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Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 54/109 by Amit
Weißhorn
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 55/109 by Amit
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Matterhorn south face
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 57/109 by Amit
Mont Blanc
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 58/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 59/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 60/109 by Amit
Skulptures in glacier palace
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 61/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 62/109 by Amit
Panoramic stretch
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 63/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 64/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 65/109 by Amit
Breithorn
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 66/109 by Amit
Mt. Blanc going inside clouds
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 67/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 68/109 by Amit
Over the Furgg glacier
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 69/109 by Amit
Ride to Heaven
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 70/109 by Amit
Summation of glaciers
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 71/109 by Amit
Matterhorn Glacier Trail
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 72/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 73/109 by Amit
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Birth of river Vispa
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 76/109 by Amit
Schwarzsee
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 77/109 by Amit
Schwarzsee Paradise
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 78/109 by Amit
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Stafelalp
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 81/109 by Amit
Klein Matterhorn
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Monte Rosa Dufourspitze, 2nd highest peak in Alps
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 83/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 84/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 85/109 by Amit
Stafelalp
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 86/109 by Amit
Sunset from Zermatt
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 87/109 by Amit
Dusk falls in
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 88/109 by Amit
Matterhorn in morning
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 89/109 by Amit
Leisee Lake with Matterhorn and Weißhorn
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 90/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 91/109 by Amit
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At the end of Ober Rothorn hike
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 93/109 by Amit
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Stelisee Lake
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 95/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 96/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 97/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 98/109 by Amit
Grindijsee Lake
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 99/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 100/109 by Amit
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 101/109 by Amit
Grünsee Lake
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 102/109 by Amit
Moosjisee Lake
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 103/109 by Amit
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Zermatt
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 105/109 by Amit
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Randa
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 108/109 by Amit
End of the ridge
Photo of Paradise of Valais Alps 109/109 by Amit
Coming back to ground.

Zermatt

Do I fear death or I expect more from life? Not really, while I have seen, lived and dreamed with open eyes in paradise!

This trip dates back in 2011, but has a permanent entry in memory, from its natural beauty, diverse culture, exquisite cuisines and exceptional hiking trails. It was back then, when I was planning a fortnight-long solo hiking trip with many in-promptu improvisations, I came across the name Zermatt that people in the web were vigorously telling about. I loved the snaps when I first saw them, also when I bought my Canon DSLR, I was thrilled to note "night at Zermatt" inscribed in the back cover of that. I was certain that if the weather permits, then I'll be back with surprises, a new life, a new vision and new energy, for sure this place appealed heavenly.  Zermatt, which means "Zur Matterhorn" in German or towards that infamous mountain, which we know of since the mouth-watering Toblerone Swiss-chocolate. This is the last part of Switzerland at the border of Italy and France, where 41 highest peaks of Alps surround the village Zermatt. It's very similar to the Khumbu valley in Himalaya, however the altitude is just right to avoid altitude sickness & spend good time in Alps. The mountains also have many lakes atop and on a pleasant day with calm water, the mirror reflections of snow-capped peaks on the still water do appear like a picture postcard. They say, "pictures don't lie only in Zermatt", so the Swiss have named them as "Scwarzsee Paradise", "Rothorn Paradise", "Sunnegga Paradise" and so on. And, after staying and experiencing Zermatt for 3 days, I would say, there is no exaggeration to these names... they literally are God gifts!

Gornergrat and Riffelsee

My journey started from Wengen in Bernese Oberland (BO) (see my earlier travelogue: "Heaven on Earth - Bernese Oberland") as I came down to Interlaken OST and boarded onto a BLS train that took me to Brig by the side of Lake Thun. It was a short half-an-hour journey and while I needed to wait an hour for my connecting train, I decided for a morning troll along the town. There is nothing in particular to mention, other than repeating that BO is something to experience! But Zermatt had all it's wonders ready to sweep out my BO experiences - thank God I planned my itinerary like that. An ICE train brought me then to the Valais Alps at Visp by the river Vispa. From there, I got a red-coloured "Matterhorn Gothard Bahn" with big glassy windows. The journey through various stations like "St. Niklaus", "Randa", "Täasch" is extremely scenic, while it passes inside the Valais with Vispa river flowing on right side. I could see Gornergrat from the train itself, which is my first destination in Zermatt. After the train reached Zermatt, I left all my luggages in the luggage room and only took my backpack/DSLR and bought the mountain train ticket to Gornergrat. As the train started to ride the ridge, the aerial view was started to initiate dramatic presence, with all of a sudden the big surprise of Mt. Matterhorn appearing on right side. At Gorgnergrat, I saw summation of many many glaciers which is almost impossible to describe in words. There is a church and an observatory (God has no option there othen than adjusting with science) up in there. I did a quick hike up in the next trail which was fairly easy and nothing more to offer than less crowdy atmosphere.  After having lunch at the mountain restaurant (that was quite expensive), I went back to Riffelberg and left the train. Then starts my solo-hike, down to Riffelalp station by the side of Riffelsee lake. I knew that Matterhorn used to give stunning mirror image snaps at this, but I was naive about the time. So around 2 or 3pm on the day, I could only see violent breeze and cloudy Matterhorn without much luck about mirror-reflection. However, everything has it's pros and cons, the Mattertal valley with the broken clouds were looking like a boliling steam that seldom is seen. Finally I went down to Zermatt by the same train, found my way to chalet (which was really beautiful) and then walked in the village till the night fell in. I slept early that day, due to exhaustion as well as to prepare myself for the next day hikes.  

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise & Schwarzsee Paradise

The very next morning, I could see Matterhorn to shine from my Chalet. Without wasting much time, by 7.30am I was already bought tickets for my next destination: Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (MGP). MGP was on top of the glaciers in the mountain, so one cannot imagine how beautiful it can be if not have seen it for himself/herself. The mountain lift took me from Zermatt to Furi, then to Schwarzsee Paradise, then to Trockener Steg and finally to MGP. The choice of early morning ascend was right, while the clouds were still much down and I could easily see all the breathtaking panorama of the Alps around, with even Mt. Blanc on that day (which usually stays inside clouds for almost all the time). While people who came with me went for skiing, I decided for a roam along the foot of Mt. Breithorn which was next to it. The walk was risky, however I didn't cared much about risk with calculative steps & not-overconfident attitude. I also timed my walk so that I can safely reach back to the summit station, it's almost impossible to return alive if not extremely cautious about the clouds, trails and nature of snow (hard, soft or powder). White-shadowing is very dangerous, especially on these tracks there were crevasses, which I had to take care of while returning back. I was lucky in that way, because there were few groups who started their climb to Breithorn and they were all tied with ropes. So while they walked through the ridge, I was sure that trail is safe to go and come back. After a total of 2 hours of snow-hiking bliss in risky route, I came back to summit station to go inside one of the glaciers. Swiss have made a cave inside the glacier (which of course never melts), where they had made ice-sculptures (similar to Jungfraujoch in BO, but it's much much better). I went to the upper deck of the mountain from which the 360 degree panorama of Zermatt was a lifetime moment. Having spent a great morning, I came down to Trockener Steg and left the gondola. Then started my next hike, i.e. hiking through the Matterhorn glacier. The glacier didn't have snow at that point (that's why people usually do this hike in summer) and other than wondering about natural beauty, this hike also tells about the natural minerals in the soil as well as how glaciers merge and flow, like rivers do. I also saw the birth of river Vispa and I ended my first part of the hike at Schwarzsee Paradise. This is a beautiful mountain lake with a chapel at the shore, which reflects nicely on the water of the lake. The lake also contains small fishes that, if you put your leg inside, will try to take away the dust. I didn't do that but rested for an hour by that lake, finished my late-lunch and then started the last part of hike almost around 3pm, which is back to Furi via Stafelalp. It was nothing stunning to mention here, other than that I saw the Rothorn glacier welly on that route, which I was supposed to go on the next day. The hike was long, so from Furi I took the gondola back to Zermatt, had my afternoon tea in my chalet and slept that night well with tired legs.

Rothorn Paradise & Sunnegga Paradise

It was actually an idea of the smart waitress at the reception, whom I asked for a recommendation. The people in Switzerland I've seen to be very generous and she was no exception to that - she informed that "5-seenweg" trail from Rothorn is her favourite, which is quite doable for a moderate hiker like me. She also kept my luggage in the reception, so I could start early for the hike. I took again another mountain train that took me to Sunnegga Paradise. I left the train only to reach Leisee lake and the result was out-of-the-world! I saw that perfect mirror reflection which I was worrying that I won't be able to see, from this lake. Then I took another train from there to Rothorn Paradise. That place is actually on top of a mountain, from where the panorama is very beautiful, one can see Gornergrat, Matterhorn and glaciers more beautifully. I also went on a hike to the next hill called Ober-rothorn and then came back to Rothorn to go down to the next station. Blauherd was the starting point of the 5-seenweg trail where almost around noon I started. 5-seenweg actually means 5-lakes trail. The first lake, Leisee I've already seen at Sunnegga and was my end point of hiking. From Blauherd I went to Stelisee lake to watch it's panorama. The trail is immensely beautiful with many flowers bloomed all over. After passing through all lakes, finishing my sandwich-lunch, I came back to Sunnegga paradise around 4pm. I took the mountain train back to Zermatt, made a few shopping for souvenirs and bed Goodbye to Zermatt to leave for Milan. The pictures say more than words, but I would say even pictures don't justify the beauty. With the mountain cowbells ringing and slow breeze (mildly cold) in the summer at that altitude is something to be felt rather than viewed. So I do recommend this to any hiker who opts for several dayhikes with stay at Zermatt.