Thursday, 15 October 2015

Zermatt September 2015 - Day 10

Blauherd, Fluhalp, Riffelalp & Blatten

17.41km / 496m Ascent / 1454m Descent

Our last full day began with an early start and a trip up to Blauherd, the second stop on the Rothornbahn lift system.

At almost 2600m above sea level, the promised sunshine hadn’t yet taken effect, and there was a distinct chill in the air as we set off towards Stellisee. Apart from these guys, we were about the first there, although they didn’t seem to feel the cold quite as much.

Goats beside Stellisee

From Stelisee, it is a fairly short walk up to the Bergrestaurant at Fluhalp. We had coffee on the terrace, and chatted to the owner for a while: he was staying open until early October before closing until the winter season. The food here is good, if the cake we had last time is anything to go by, and you can overnight here – a fact we filed away for possible future reference.

Coffeetime view, Fluhalp

We set off again in the general direction of Grindjisee, hoping to take the moraine-top path. We’ve walked it before, and it’s an interesting if slightly insubstantial path. However, gravity and erosion are two relentless forces acting on the landscape in these parts, and the path had succumbed. At moments like this, it is perhaps best not to dwell too long in the vicinity – or on what might be happening underfoot!

Time to turn back

So a hasty retreat was made, and we followed the lower path down to Grindjisee. In the right circumstances – a sunny day and still waters – this is one of the spots where classic reflection views of the Matterhorn can be photographed. In fact, we’ve done it ourselves in the past, but today conditions were not conducive, although the view was still more than acceptable.

Matterhorn from Grindjisee #1

Matterhorn from Grindjisee #2

For the next while, our route took us along paths walked a few days earlier – past Grunsee and the Berghaus, and on along the contour path to Riffelalp. Here, we decided to use our lift pass for a quick trip up to the Gornergrat and back, mostly to check the views that were hidden by cloud when we walked from there four days ago. There was so much sunlight reflecting from the snow and ice, it was difficult to see properly, even with sunglasses.

Back at Riffelalp, we passed through the village – less busy today, as the season there finished two days ago – and began to descend towards Furi. Approching the bottom of the descent, we stopped at a pleasant-looking café for drinks.

Drinks break in afternoon sunshine

By now, the sun was fully out, and it was a warm afternoon. But that was not the only reason to stop for a drink: lingering enabled us to spend a little more time out in this wonderful area, on what was the last full day of our holiday, and we were determined to soak up as much in the way of fresh air, sunshine and views as possible.

From here, we took the path towards Blatten, stopping to look inside the little chapel before continuing down to Zermatt on a path running beneath the cable car.

After dinner, we took another stroll round the village (3.70km) then turned our thoughts to packing. 

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