Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

'Summer in the Alps' - Day 41 - Zermatt - A Walk from Gornergrat

Cloud free skies encouraged us to get a reasonably early start, before the Matterhorn inevitably attracted some cloud.

Sue nipped out for croissants etc and we had our day sacks packed in time to arrive at the bookshop just as it opened at 9 am. My maps of the area date from 1968, so the acquisition of a more up to date version seemed appropriate. We settled for a 1: 33,333 scale offering on waterproof paper, dating from 2013.

Then we scooted across to the Gornergrat railway station and hopped on a train that whisked us and many others up to Gornergrat, which at 3090 metres is nearly twice the height of Zermatt. We were here to try to replicate some photos.

'Project 1949' involves a photograph album of a holiday in Zermatt taken in 1949. The album was created by Frank and Doris Sale, who I understand were keen Peak District walkers. Doris ran a chip shop in Droylsden. They had no children, and the album passed into the hands of Doris's niece, Christine. She and her husband Rodney were encountered on our 2008 trip to New Zealand, following which I was given the album after doing a favour for Rodney. There are 36 black and white photographs, sized 8" x 6", plus 16 postcards.

Our plan is to try to identify some of the places where the 1949 pictures were taken and take pictures of the same views. Our host here, Josef, was helpful yesterday in identifying some incorrect annotations in the album. That could really have confused us!

So today we spent a while snapping at Gornergrat before slowly making our way back down to Zermatt via Riffelsee, Gagenhaupt and Gletschergarten. The lower section of this splendid walk that faces the Matterhorn was adorned with information boards about the massive Gorner Glacier. There are photographs of settlements that were destroyed by the advancing ice. The glacier only started to recede around 1864, and since then it has receded by more than 3 kilometres.

My 1968 map shows the tip of the glacier, named Boden Glacier, reaching much closer to Zermatt than on our new map, on which all reference to the Boden Glacier has disappeared.

We returned via the supermarket, after walking about 13 km with maybe 100 metres of ascent.

A roast chicken dinner in our apartment satisfactorily rounded off the day.

Today's pictures:
Looking across the Gorner Glacier to a variety of summits
The Matterhorn, with Riffelsee (2)
A Matterhorn view
Zermatt from above Furi

Wildlife report:
I finally got to see some red squirrels - playing chicken with the train.
Lots of nutcracker birds on the descent.
Many flowers, including Fringed Gentian and German Gentian,  as well as swathes of Autumn Crocuses - list to follow.

5 comments:

wuxing said...

Nice photos from Gornergrat - we saw marmots from the train on the way up and stayed the night to take sunrise photos in the morning, along with all the other tourists. Still, a very impressive spot.

Jean O’Tipe said...

Fab. Rowena asked if I was jealous, then declared you must be faking the pics. Pointing out that Sue was in the foreground.. “Photoshop” she said.
Trump has a lot to answer for
Cary

Phreerunner said...

Thanks - no photoshop here, and i agree about Trump.
So many marmots I didn't mention them. Lots of mountain bikers as well.

Humphrey said...

This is a great project!

AlanR said...

Stunning.