Sunday, 11 October 2015

Zermatt September 2015: Day 1

Zmutt & Furi from Zermatt

12.57km / 732m Ascent / 635m Descent

We woke early after a good night’s sleep to find ...... rain. Not just a bit of it, but heavy and sustained and seemingly entrenched, which was something of a disappointment given the beautiful weather of the afternoon before.

We had arrived in Zermatt at around 3.00pm in glorious sunshine after a smooth Swiss Rail transfer from Geneva Airport, and managed a little potter round before picking up some supplies, including the fixings for meatballs in tomato sauce with penne pasta – not bad for a quick dinner rustled up on two electric rings in under 15 minutes!

So this morning’s deluge came as something of a surprise, but we idled away a couple of hours unpacking gear and planning some routes before setting out around 11.30am.

A wet morning above Zermatt

We decided to walk a circuit linking Zmutt and Furi. A skein of paths contour the hillside, but leaving town first requires a steep-ish climb up to Hubel at around 1950m. One of the reasons this is a good first day walk is that it is a chance to ease back into climbing mode and test the altitude.

Hubel in the rain

After the first half hour or so, the rain relented from heavy to just steady then ceased altogether, and we arrived in Zmutt in sunshine. After crossing the Zmuttbach by the footbridge, we came out onto the road and turned for Furi. A couple of logs in a sunny patch made a good lunch stop, and gave us the chance to dry out a bit - a nice little spot with a view across to Zmutt and the towering cliffs beyond.

Zmutt in the sunshine

Walking down the road we picked wild raspberries. Furi was in full festive mode, as it day was the day of the annual sheep festival. Special guest/mascot Wolli was supposed to have been around, but didn’t seem to be in evidence.

On the fringe: typical sheep of the region

We had a look round, then set off back to Zermatt. This time, we picked an unfamiliar route - a mix of road and woodland path that first brought us into Winklmatten beside the Findelbach, then into town proper. A sneaky bakers waylaid us, and persuaded us to part with 9CHFs for some Biren brot (pear bread) - expensive, but worth it!

Heading back to the flat, we had dinner - same as yesterday - then tidied ourselves up before a quick evening trundle to the top of town and back (3.70km). 

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