martedì 12 gennaio 2010

Arolla to Zermatt Part 2 - Dent d'Heren and Cervino

The next day would be the most beautiful part of our tour. Starting early in the morning we traversed again the glacier leading back upwards towards the Tete Blanche, however now instead of gaining it’s broad summit we deviated to the east and began heading towards the Dent d’Heren. Having reached a magnificent crest we have spent the best hours of the morning skiing slopes in front of a magnificent backdrop of the Dent d’Heren while Marco shot off rolls of film. Here is a photo of Robi during one of the descents.
After having whetted our skiing appetites we have moved on, skiing further down the glaciated valley before traversing up again to find ourselves in front of the magnificent north face of the Matterhorn (or Cervino in Italian). The next series of photos do not make any sense since they were taken purely for photographic purposes and do not document our movements. However they show the beauty of our surroundings so well that they have to be included.
Our sojourn in front of the Matterhorn was finished off with a series of skiing photos, one of which I have included here showing Robi attacking a steep slope in fresh snow.
We were having so much fun that we didn’t want to leave but we had to reach Zermatt before the evening so we continued skiing down the large morenic valley, the Matterhorn on our right hand side but slowly being left behind.
Finally we reached the locality of Biel and from there we skiied easily down to Zmutt on snow covered lanes. At that point it was only one kilometer to Zermatt but we had to load our skis on to our rucsacs and walk it in.
In Zermatt the Swiss tourist bard had agreed to put us up in the Gornergrat hotel. This magnificent eighteenth century hotel is nestled up in the mountains way above Zermatt at 3090 metres and also hosts one of the most famous European astronomical laboratories where many Italian, German and Swiss astronomers study and live for much of the winter season. To get there we have to take the cog wheel train which winds its way up the flanks of the mountain before depositing us in the small station in front of the hotel with a n incredible view of the Breithorn range. This would be our objective for the next day and our last ascent before returning home.

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