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Should you crawl (or get hauled) up the Matterhorn?

If you're tempted to follow in Whymper's footsteps, here's what you'll need:

  • At least some climbing experience.
  • Proper equipment (i.e., boots and clothing).
  • A week of preparation, preferably under the supervision of Zermatt's mountain guides.
  • SFr 700 or more to cover the cost of a licensed guide and related expenses.

A better alternative might be one of the various hikes and excursions offered by the Zermatt Tourist Office and the local Bergführerbüro, or mountain guides' office. These range from "Walking and Painting in Water-Colors" to "Matterhorn Trekking."

"Take the cogwheel train and leave the climbing to us"

Another option is the Gornergrat mountain railway, which hauls more than 3,000,000 tourists to an elevation of 3,135m (10,256 ft.). At the upper station, you'll enjoy a great view of the Matterhorn and neighboring Monte Rosa--assuming that the weather is cooperative. You can also take the cableway from the Gornergrat station to the Stockhorn for an additional fee. And if you're an avid hiker, you can buy a one-way ticket to the Gornergrat and walk back down to Zermatt. (Allow several hours for the descent, plus another hour if you decide to have lunch at the Findeln Glacier Restaurant along the way.)

Related Web sites and articles

Winter Resort Report: Zermatt
An illustrated article with
links to ski pages about Zermatt.

Gornergrat Bahn
Zermatt's GGB takes you to Matterhorn views and mountain hotels.

Riffelalp Resort
Why get all sweaty and dirty climbing the Matterhorn when you can enjoy a view from your balcony at a five-star mountain hotel?

The resort's official tourism site has information on hotels, restaurants, mountain guides, events, etc.

Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis
Don't miss this fascinating history museum during your Zermatt stay. Its exhibits include photos, models, and historical objects (such as the rope that broke after the first ascent of the Matterhorn, sending two climbers to their deaths).

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