Almost all mountaineers love Zermatt. The high Alpine tours, ski tours or climbing, all these activities lure and challenge them allowing them to forget everyday worries and enjoy limitless experiences. But what is so special about mountains in Zermatt and why do mountaineers choose Zermatt mountain guides?
In Zermatt, there are mountains to climb for every ability. From beginners, families, intermediates to professionals, you name it and Zermatt has all those mountains. And there are many mountain guides who knows their way around Zermatt and knows about the dangers in the mountains when mountain climbers overestimate themselves. Among the more than 80 licensed mountain guides from Zermatt, Tasch, Randa and St.Niklaus, many are committed to training guides and are active in mountain rescues. They are asked to take part in the expeditions around the world, therefore their competence and knowledge are lengendary and have been for generations.
Some of those who feel experienced might wonder why you need a mountain guide if you’re in good condition. The answer is simple. The mountain weather in Zermatt changes rapidly. It may seem like a nice warm day and a perfect day to climb mountains, but once up there, you never know what you’ll be into. It may rain, snow, or get freezing windy in just few minutes. Once the weather changes, the path that seems easy will also change rapidly. Your visions will be impaired with wind, rain and snow which may lead to an accident. Not only visions, but rocks become slippery, when rain falls there is an avalanche, winds make the paths crumbly and many more dangers involve when unprepared. The mountain guides in Zermatt know their mountains well enough to know how the weather up there works and what to expect in dangerous situation such as rapid weather changes.
The most photographed mountain in the world, the Matterhorn, has a magic attraction for climbers. Climbing the Matterhorn has a special appeal for many. The tour to the top of the Matterhorn is one of the most beautiful climbs on any of the four-thousand meter peaks in the Alps. It is best done with a mountain guide and when there are not many other climbers on the mountains. Sometimes, the Hornligrat, the best known route, is over filled in summer when the weather opens larger time windows for climbing. During that season, over 150 people are underway on this famous route. However, time pressure and poor preparation, underestimating the mountain and overestimating one’s own skill can lead to major difficulties for Matterhorn climbers. It is not the difficulty level of the climbing that makes the Matterhorn dangerous. It is the difficulty of finding the correct route over crumbling rocky paths, through a labyrinth of debris in the dark. Also the weather up there can change very quickly.