Monte Rosa is the highest mountain in Switzerland and the second-highest in both the Alps and western Europe. The main summit, known as the Dufourspitze (4,634 m (15,203 ft)), is the culminating point of the Pennine Alps. Although its main peak is located within Switzerland in the southeastern part of the canton of Valais, the Monte Rosa Massif is the second-highest massif in Italy.
The Gorner Glacier descends in gentle slopes on the western side of Monte Rosa and flows towards Zermatt. On the east a 2,400 metre high wall towers above the village of Macugnaga.
Following a long series of attempts beginning in the early nineteenth century Monte Rosa's summit was first reached in 1855 from Zermatt by a party of eight climbers led by three guides.
Each summer a large number of climbers set out from the Monte Rosa Hut on the mountain's west side for the summit via the normal route. Many tourists come each year to Zermatt to see the panorama that extends over the giants of the Swiss Alps from Monte Rosa to the Matterhorn.
The Monte Rosa Massif (Italian: Massiccio del Monte Rosa; German: Monte Rosa Gruppe; French: Massif du Mont Rose) is a mountain massif located in the eastern part of the Pennine Alps. It is located between Switzerland (Valais) and Italy (Piedmont and Aosta Valley). Monte Rosa is the second highest mountain in the Alps and western Europe.
Its name is said to derive not from the Italian "rosa" ("pink") colour, as many think, but from a Franco-Provençal term meaning "glacier", variously spelled as rouese, rouja or roisa.
The Pennine Alps (also: Valais Alps) are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps. They are located in Switzerland (Valais) and Italy (Piedmont and the Aosta Valley). They are not to be confused with the Pennines.
The Klein Matterhorn (Pennine Alps) (marketed as the "Matterhorn Glacier Paradise") is the highest point in the Zermatt-Cervinia ski area in Switzerland, and the end point of the highest cable car in Europe. The peak is at 3,883 metres (12,740 ft) with the cable car terminal at 3,820 metres (12,533 ft).
The Dent Blanche is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, lying in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. With its 4,356 metres (14,291 ft) high summit, it is one of the highest peaks in the Alps.
Lyskamm (also spelled Liskamm) (4527 m) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps lying on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It consists of a five-kilometre-long ridge with two distinct peaks. The mountain has gained a reputation for seriousness because of the many cornices lying on the ridge and the frequent avalanches, thus leading to its nickname the Menschenfresser (man eater).
The Breithorn is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, located close to the Matterhorn. It is considered the most easily climbed 4,000 m Alpine peak. This is due to the Klein Matterhorn cable car which takes climbers to over 3,820 m (12,700 ft) for a starting point. The standard route (SSW flank) continues over a glacial plateau before climbing to the summit on a 35 degree snow slope. However, inexperienced mountaineers may run into severe difficulty if caution is not taken near cornices or in bad weather. For experienced climbers wanting more of a challenge, the half traverse of the Breithorn crest is another option.
The Breithorn was first climbed in 1813 by Henry Maynard (climber), Joseph-Marie Couttet, Jean Gras, Jean-Baptiste Erin and Jean-Jacques Erin.
Castor (Italian: Castore) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Valais, Switzerland and the Aosta Valley in Italy. It is the higher of a pair of twin peaks (Zwillinge), the other being Pollux, named after the Gemini twins of Roman mythology. Castor's peak is at an elevation of 4,228 m (13,871 ft), and it lies between Breithorn and Monte Rosa. It is separated from Pollux by a pass at 3,845 m (12,615 ft), named Passo di Verra in Italian and Zwillingsjoch in German.
Ascents are usually made from the alpine hut Capanna Quintino Sella on the Italian side, by means of the Felikjoch and the long and narrow southeast ridge. From the Swiss side, ascents start from Klein Matterhorn and go by way of the Italian Mezzalama glacier and the mountain's west flank. The first ascent was made on August 23, 1861.
Castor and Pollux are also a pair of summits in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA. Located in the Absaroka Range, Castor is 3,308 m, 65 m lower than its twin.
The Gornergrat (English: Gorner Ridge) is a ridge of the Pennine Alps, Switzerland, overlooking the Gorner Glacier to the south. It can be reached by the Gornergratbahn rack railway from Zermatt. The towers of the Kulm hotel at 3,089 m hosts the Kölner Observatorium für SubMillimeter Astronomie KOSMA and (until 2005) the Gornergrat Infrared Telescope.
It is located about three kilometers east of Zermatt in the Swiss canton of Valais. The Gornergrat is located between the Gornergletscher and Findelgletscher and offers a view of more than 20 four thousand metre peaks, whose highest are Monte Rosa, Lyskamm, Matterhorn, Dom and Weisshorn.
This is the last stop of the Gornergrat train, opened in 1898, which climbs almost 1500m through Riffelalp and Riffelberg. At the terminus (3,089 m above sea level) on the south-western tip of the ridge is a hotel. The station forms part of the Zermatt ski area. From 1958 to 2007 there was a cable car from Gornergrat over the Hohtälli to the Stockhorn which, until the construction of the Klein Matterhorn railway, was the highest mountain station in Zermatt. At the west side of the Gorner ridge, nearby the Rotenboden trainstation is the Riffelhorn peak.
Pollux (4,092 m) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Valais, Switzerland and the Aosta Valley in Italy. It is the lower of a pair of twin peaks (Zwillinge), the other being Castor, named after the Gemini twins of Roman mythology. It is separated from Castor by a pass at 3,845 m (12,615 ft), named the Passo di Verra in Italian and the Zwillingsjoch in German. The peak is known as Monte Polluce in Italian.
The first ascent was by Jules Jacot from Geneva with guides Josef-Marie Perren and Peter Taugwalder (father) on August 1 (the Swiss national day) 1864. Their route was via the Schwartztor, a pass first crossed by John Ball and Gabriel Zumtaugwald in 1845. The impressive north ridge was first climbed by Captain John Percy Farrar (a future President of the Alpine Club) and Wylie Lloyd with guide Josef Pollinger on 18 August 1893.
Ascents are usually made from the Rifugio Ottorino Mezzalama (3,036 m), the Monte Rosa hut (2,795 m); if traversing the peaks via Pollux's north ridge, PD+, the Capanna Quintino Sella (3,585 m), and the Cesare Volante e Giorgio Rossi bivouac hut (3,850 m).
The first winter and ski ascent of Pollux was by Dr Alfred von Martin and Karl Planck on 7 March 1913.
There are also a pair of summits named Pollux and Castor in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA. Located in the Absaroka Range, Pollux is 3,373 m, 65 m higher than its twin.
The Zumsteinspitze (Punta Zumstein in Italian) (4,563 m) is a peak in the Pennine Alps on the border between Italy and Switzerland. It is a subpeak of Monte Rosa.
The summit lies between the Dufourspitze (to which it is joined by the Grenzsattel) and the Signalkuppe (to which it is joined by the Colle Gnifetti).
The Strahlhorn (4,190 m) is a mountain of the Swiss Pennine Alps, located south of Saas-Fee in the canton of Valais. It lies on the range that separates the Mattertal from the Saastal and is located approximately halfway between the Rimpfischhorn and the Schwarzberghorn.
The Theodul Pass (el. 3301 m.) (German: Theodulpass, Italian: Colle del Teodulo, French: Col de Saint-Théodule, Walser German: Théoduljoch) is a high mountain pass across the eastern Pennine Alps, connecting Zermatt in the Swiss canton of Valais and Breuil-Cervinia in the Italian region of Aosta Valley.
The pass lies between the Matterhorn on the west and the Breithorn on the east. The Rifugio del Teodulo (hut) is located just above the pass.
The Ostspitze (4,632 m) is a peak of the Monte Rosa Massif in the Pennine Alps in Switzerland. It is the second highest peak of the massif, after the Dufourspitze (4,634 m), and the second highest (minor) summit in Switzerland.
The first ascent was by the brothers Christopher, Edmund and James G. Smyth on September 1, 1854. At the time it was unclear which was the higher summit — the Ostspitze or the neighbouring Westspitze of the so-called "Gornerhorn" or "Höchste Spitze" (in 1863 renamed Dufourspitze). The brothers Smith were convinced they had climbed the highest peak.
The first traverse of the entire summit ridge (Grenzgipfel (4,618 m) – Ostspitze (4,632 m) – Dufourspitze (4,632 m)) was by Ferdinand Imseng, Gabriel Spechtenhauser, Giovanni Oberto, Richard Pendlebury, William Pendlebury and Charles Taylor, on July 23, 1872. This party had made the first ascent, earlier in the day, of the Macugnaga face.
The Stockhorn (3,532 m) is a mountain of the Swiss Pennine Alps, located to the southeast of the town of Zermatt. It lies on the range between the Findel and Gorner glaciers, east of the Gornergrat.
The Stockhorn is part of a ski area and a cable car station (3,405 m) is located west of the summit. The mountain features several ungroomed ski runs.
The Grenzgipfel (4,618 m) is a subpeak of Monte Rosa (Pennine Alps), located on the border between Italy and Switzerland. In the German language the peak's name means 'frontier summit'.
The Grenzgipfel is the highest summit on the Italian side of Monte Rosa and the highest point of the entire border between Italy and Switzerland; it is also the culminating point of the Italian region of Piedmont and of the Ticino drainage basin.
The closest locality is Macugnaga, which is located east of Monte Rosa.
The Unterrothon (or simply Rothorn) is a mountain of the Swiss Pennine Alps, overlooking Zermatt in the canton of Valais. It is located west of the Oberrothorn, on the range north of the Findel Glacier.
The summit can be reached by cable car via Sunnegga and Blauherd. The Rothorn paradise is one of the main ski areas located around Zermatt.
The Central Breithorn is a minor summit in the Breithorn massif. It is located east of the summit of the Breithorn.
The Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt is a cultural-natural museum whose main theme is the Matterhorn. The museum is in the form of a reconstituted mountain village consisting of 14 houses (church, hotel, huts and granaries), and relates the history and development of tourism in the Zermatt area, including the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party.
The museum displays one of the two stones that Claude Nicollier took from the summit and brought with him on the Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-61 mission in 1993. The other stone was put back on the summit.
The Breithornzwillinge is a minor summit in the Breithorn massif.
Pic Tyndall (from French: lit, Tyndall Peak) is a minor summit below the Matterhorn (western shoulder) in the Pennine Alps, on the boundary between Aosta Valley (northern Italy) and Switzerland. Because of its small prominence it was included in the enlarged list of alpine four-thousanders. It was named in honour of John Tyndall who made the first ascent.
Jägerhorn is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the Swiss-Italian border.
Furgghorn (Italian: Cima del Breuil) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, located on the boundary between the Canton Valais (Switzerland) and Aosta Valley (northern Italy).
The Theodulhorn (3,469 m) is a mountain of the Pennine Alps, overlooking the Theodul Pass on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It lies south of Zermatt (in Valais) and east of Breuil-Cervinia (in the Aosta Valley). The northern side of the mountain is heavily glaciated and is part of a ski area.
The Theodulhorn is the easternmost summit of the range descending from the south-east ridge of Matterhorn, named Furgggrat.
The Gornergratbahn (GGB) is a nine-kilometre metre-gauge mountain rack railway, with Abt rack system. It leads from Zermatt, Switzerland (1,604 m/5,262 ft), up to the Gornergrat (3,089 m/10,135 ft). The Gornergrat is a starting point for many hikes, as it lies surrounded by 29 peaks rising above 4,000 m (13,123 ft) in the Alps and several glaciers, including the Gorner Glacier (which is billed as the second longest glacier in the Alps). At the end of the line on Gornergrat, the Matterhorn is visible on a clear day. It is also a popular skiing area.
Work on the railway started in 1896, it opened on August 20, 1898 for summer only operation. Year round operation to the summit began in 1942. The upper terminal was remodelled in 2004. The Gornergratbahn has always been electrified. The entire line is 9,339 m (30,640 ft) in length, including 3,790 m (12,434 ft) of double track, and traverses an altitude difference of 1,469 m (4,820 ft). The railway typically operates two-railcar units that can carry approximately 2,400 people per hour from Zermatt to the mountain summit. The railway is owned by the BVZ Holding and under common management with the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn.
There are several stops on the line:
The railway is notable for using three-phase electric power for the supply, requiring the use of two overhead lines, with the track work forming the third conductor.
The Monte Rosa Hut (German: Monte-Rosa-Hütte) is a mountain hut located near Zermatt at the foot of Monte Rosa (4,634 m) at an altitude of 2,795 metres. It is owned by the Swiss Alpine Club. The hut is the start of the normal route to the summit and other mountains in the area. The first hut was built in 1895. A completely new building was inaugurated in 2009, at an altitude of 2,883 metres.
The Hörnli Hut (German: Hörnlihütte) is a mountain hut located at the foot of the north-eastern ridge (Hörnli Ridge) of the Matterhorn. It is situated at 3,260 metres (10,700 ft) above sea level, a few kilometers south-west of the town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It was built by the Swiss Alpine Club in 1880. It is also known as Berghaus Matterhorn.
The hut is accessible to good hikers, from the cable car station of Schwarzsee (or from Zermatt) a marked trail leads to the ridge and then to the hut. It is used to climb the Matterhorn on the normal route. The Solvay Hut lies also higher on the same ridge, but can be only used in case of emergency.
The Gorner Glacier (German: Gornergletscher) is a valley glacier found on the west side of the Monte Rosa Massif close to Zermatt in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. It is about 14 km (8.7 mi) long and 1 to 1.5 km (0.62 to 0.93 mi) wide. The entire glacial area of the glacier related to Gorner Glacier is 57 km2 (22 sq mi) (1999), which makes it the second largest glacial system in the Alps after the Aletsch Glacier system. Numerous smaller glaciers connect with the Gorner Glacier. Its tribunaries are (clockwise on this map ): Gornergletscher (after which the whole system is named), Grenzgletscher, Zwillingsgletscher, Schwärzegletscher, Breithorngletscher and Theodulgletscher (although this one is actually disconnected now); also Monte Rosa Glacier used to be connected. The main tributary is the Grenzgletscher.
An interesting feature of this glacier is the Gornersee, an ice marginal lake at the confluence area of the Gorner- and Grenzgletscher. This lake fills every year and drains in summer, usually as a Glacial lake outburst flood. This is one of few glacial lakes in the Alps exhibiting this kind of behaviour.
There are also several interesting surface features including crevasses and table top forms where large surface boulders have been left stranded above the glaciers surface. Supported by ice that the boulder has sheltered from melting that has effected the more exposed surrounding ice.
It is the source of the Gornera River which flows down through Zermatt itself. However, most of its water gets captured by a water catchment station of the Grande Dixence hydroelectric power company. This water then ends up in the Lac des Dix, the main reservoir of Grande Dixence.
The glacier as well as the surrounding mountains can be seen from the Gornergrat (3,100 m (10,200 ft)), connected from Zermatt by a railway line.
The Mettelhorn is a mountain of the Swiss Pennine Alps, located near Zermatt in the canton of Valais.
The Mettelhorn provides excellent acclimatization opportunies, especially if one climbs its sister peaks Platthorn and Wisshorn on the same day. Hiking from Zermatt to the Mettelhorn takes about six hours uphill and four hours downwards. The summit can be reached by almost any active hiker with some mountain experience.
The climb to the Mettelhorn begins from Zermatt; hikers start on the Edelweiss path, the path goes through a forest before coming to the Edelweiss Restaurant; this section takes about one hour. The forest section ends here and a wider gorge opens as the path runs past the Triftbach river. There are also plenty of signs with photos about the wildflowers growing on the paths' surroundings. After the Edelweiss, another 90 minutes of hiking leads to the Hotel Trift; the path is easy to follow and scenery rich with a few mountain views. One can see the Unter Gabelhorn mountain on the left side with several smaller peaks. After the Hotel Trift the path veers left towards north east going towards Zinal Rothorn, Platthorn and Mettelhorn mountains. The path going on the Rothornhutte (the SAC hut at the foot of the Zinal Rothorn) turns soon towards off the main path north westwards (all turnings are well signed), and an additional path leads south east towards the Wisshorn. After one hour of ascent from the Hotel Trift the Triftchumme meadow appears, where occasionally sheep graze. At the other side of meadow is the Platthorn. Eventually one comes on the saddle called Furggi pass. From here one can see the Mettelhorn and decide if to climb the Platthorn or to go over the Hohlicht Gletscher glacier first. Going up on the Platthorn takes about 30 minutes. On the north side is the Unter Äschorn and also the Weisshorn can be seen. The Glacier is steep and crampons are recommended, even through the glacier does not provide major difficulties to walk over; the Glacier section takes about 30 minutes. The Mettelhorn has a steep face but can be walked up; scree can give some trouble on the way up. The views from the summit are spectacular. On the top of the mountain one can see more famous mountains like; Weisshorn, Dom, Monte Rosa, the North Face of the Matterhorn, Ober Gabelhorn and Zinal Rothorn.
The Kölner Observatorium für SubMillimeter Astronomie (KOSMA) was a 3-m radio telescope for submillimeter astronomy located at 3,135 m on Gornergrat near Zermatt (Switzerland). It was operated by the I. Physikalisches Institut (Cologne, Germany) and the Radioastronomisches Institut, University of Bonn. It was equipped with heterodyne receivers covering frequencies between 210 and 880 GHz, corresponding to wavelengths between 0.35 and 1.4mm, for observations of lines from the interstellar medium.
Because of the good climatic conditions at the altitude of 3135 m (10285 ft), astronomical observatories have been located in both towers of the Kulmhotel at Gornergrat since 1967. In 1985, the KOSMA telescope was installed in the southern tower by the Universität zu Köln and, in the course of 1995, replaced by a new dish and mount. In the northern tower, a 1.5 m infrared telescope was operated until 2005 by an Italian association of universities (TIRGO).
The telescope is now being moved to a site in Yangbajain in Damxung County in Tibet at an altitude of 4300m.
Schwarzsee (literally "Black Lake") is a lake at Zermatt in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. It is located below Matterhorn at an elevation of 2,552 m.
Its surface area is 0.5 ha. A chapel dedicated to Mary of the Snows borders the lake (Kapelle "Maria zum Schnee").
The lake lends its name to the mountain ridge (2,583 m) above (45°59′29″N 7°42′35″E / 45.99139°N 7.70972°E). It can be reached by cable car from Zermatt.
Media related to Schwarzsee (Zermatt) at Wikimedia Commons
The Findel Glacier (German: Findelgletscher) is a valley glacier in the Monte Rosa massif east of Zermatt in the Pennine Alps. It has a length of 8 km (5.0 mi) and covers an area of 19 km2 (7.3 sq mi).
The starting point of the Findel Glacier is on the Cima di Jazzi at 3,803 m (12,477 ft) above sea level, on the border between Switzerland and Italy. From there the glacier flows to the west between the Rimpfischhorn and Strahlhorn on the north and the Stockhorn on the south. The end of glacier tongue is located at 2,500 m (8,200 ft) above sea level.
In October 2009, a group of Swiss scientists from the University of Zurich carried out an experiment to measure the length of the glacier, comparing their results with a previous experiment in 2005. Their results showed that the glacier had lost 49 million cubic metres of ice, and has lost a quarter of its surface area since 1850.
Trockener Steg is a minor summit in the Pennine Alps, situated near Zermatt in Switzerland, at the foot of the Matterhorn. A cable car station lies on the summit and gives access to Klein Matterhorn.
The Adlerhorn is a mountain of the Swiss Pennine Alps, located east of Zermatt in the canton of Valais. It lies west of the Strahlhorn.
The Hohtälli is a mountain of the Swiss Pennine Alps, located southeast of Zermatt in the canton of Valais. It lies on the range that separates the Findel Glacier from the Gorner Glacier, between the Gornergrat and the Stockhorn. Its summit has an elevation of 3,273 metres and includes a cable car station. The Hohtälli is part of a ski area and features several ski runs leading down the mountain.
Riffelsee is an alpine lake above the town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. It lies below the Riffelhorn at an elevation of 2757 m, and has a surface area of 0.45 ha. The lake can be reached from Rotenboden Station (2819 m) on the Gornergratbahn mountain railway.
The Solvay Hut (German: Solvayhütte) is a mountain hut located on the north-eastern ridge (Hörnli Ridge) of the Matterhorn, near Zermatt in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. At 4,003 metres (13,133 ft) it is the highest mountain hut owned by the Swiss Alpine Club, but can be used only in case of emergency. The Hörnli Hut lying on the same ridge is the starting point of the normal route to the summit.
The Grünsee ("Green Lake") is a small lake near Zermatt, Switzerland, which is fed by the Findel Glacier. It is quite remote and is only accessible by foot, a small hub of the many footpaths in the area. There is a small hamlet nearby of the same name.
The Schönbiel Hut (German: Schönbielhütte) is a mountain hut located north of the Matterhorn. It is situated at 2,694 metres (8,839 ft) above sea level, north of the Zmutt Glacier, a few kilometers west of the town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. The actual hut was built by the Swiss Alpine Club in 1955, after the demolition of an older hut, built in 1909.
The hut is accessible to hikers, from the cable car station of Schwarzsee with a marked trail. It is used to climb the Matterhorn on Zmutt ridge and many other high summits in the area (Dent d'Hérens, Dent Blanche, Ober Gabelhorn, Tête Blanche).
Die Matter Vispa ist ein Fluss im Kanton Wallis. Sie vereint sich bei Stalden mit der Saaser Vispa zur Vispa.
Der Fluss entsteht durch den Zusammenlauf des Zmuttbach und des Findelbach vor Zermatt. Von dort aus fliesst er durch das Dorf in Richtung Täsch. Hier mündet der Täschbach in die Matter Vispa bevor, weiter nach Randa und St. Niklaus, bei letzterem Ort der Jungbach hinzufliesst. Bei Stalden fliesst sie dann mit der Saaser Vispa zusammen und bildet die Vispa.