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Game Watching in Zermatt Part 2

Chamois are the curious ones. Recently a chamois looked into the office of the operation controllers at the heliport and an old chamois was sighted regularly below the hotel. Many locals have stories to tell about these curious animals. Both sexes of chamois have hooked horns about 25 cm long. They live in packs, especially in the winter time. Powerful rams, weighing up to about 35 kilograms indulge in fights during the rutting season from November to December. During this time, the antagonists pursue each other in wild chase. The gestation period is a good five months, and the child, usually just one, generally is born between mid-May and mid-June. So if you want to see baby chamois, try going during this season. The best place to see these curious chamois during winter is at Matterhorn glacier paradise. You can spot them at Schafberg, from the cable car of the Matterhorn Express, after Furi to Aroleid. You can also spot them at Rothorn from the cable car, between Blauherd and Rothorn peak. You can spot them also on the piste, below the traverse before Blauherd. At Gornergrat, from the Gornergratbahn, you can spot them between Findelbach and Riffelalp but it may be more seldom than other areas. During summer, you can spot them though out the area especially in the Schweifine area.

WS000004 ibex

The majestic ibex can weigh up to 80 kilograms in male and only 35 kilograms for female. The mating season is in December and January and the gestation period is six months. A single young ibex is born in June. Both sexes carry horns like chamois and rams up to about 100 centimeters but for female just about 30 centimeters. The rams grow up to two knots per year in their horns. Ibex lives in altitudes of between 1600 and 3000 meters, so the area around Zermatt is an ideal area for this alpine inhabitants. During winter, you can spot these majestic ibex at Taschalp, usually around January, in the area where it is only accessible by skis. During summer, you can spot them at Gornergrat Klum where there are salt stones and also can be spotted from some of the restaurant terrace. You can also spot them on the hiking trail at Rotenboden in the direction of the Monte Rosa Hut, just above the lateral moraine of the Gorner glacier. At Riffelhorn, you can spot them at Chalbermatten bei Zmutt.