The Matterhorn is an iconic mountain. As you walk through Zermatt, it appears suddenly in full view between the wooden houses. Yet when seen from the ski slopes on the Kleiner Matterhorn it is just one of 6 similar shaped 4000+ metre mountains, and quite frankly not the most impressive of the bunch. Yet the panorama is all the more impressive because of it.
For some reason I had been putting off going to Zermatt. The logistics of a long drive, a train journey and then a long walk followed by 3 cable cars was daunting. Yet on the 27th September it was a dream of a journey. There was a clear blue sky, no traffic to speak of and the underground carparking next to the station at Tasch was typical Swiss efficiency. Even the train waited for me as I struggled through the barriers with skis, poles etc. The walk through the village put me in a great mood and warmed up the muscles.
The slope are at 3800m (and a little bit more). It was T-shirt weather in the village, but seriously cold up top. In fact it was just like skiing in January, with snow to match – squeeky new powder. In short it was fantastic. This is the summer skiing I never dreamed of.
The runs are long, and of the cruising type. Yet after about an hour and a half the altitude started taking its toll, and I developed a slight headache and a feeling of sickness and lack of energy. It took me a quarter of an hour to figure out what was happening, but the snow was so good that I couldn’t give up. The ski teams had packed up early and the slopes were empty so I kept going….
I will be repeating this day for years to come.