8/20/15 – Matterhorn Glacier Express

As promised, our two heroes sallied forth to the Matterhorn Glacier Express gondola, which took them eventually to the top of the Klein Matterhorn. Klein in German means small and indeed the Klein (note from the editor, the spelling of Klein may be a bit off) Matterhorn is shorter than the real Matterhorn.

As noted in earlier posts, our heroine M, is much better at heroics that are closer to the ground, height being a form of Kryptonite. Needless to say, flying over glaciers and up to a tiny point at the very top of a mountain was quite frightening, but being a true heroine, M conquered the beastly tram, filled with the usual monsters known as, “ski teams,” and “crowds”.

Evidently, many of the world’s ski teams train on the glacier because it is open year round and with the recent snow, the conditions were quite marvelous. It was a spectacularly sunny day, but the temperatures at the top were in the high 20’s to low 30’s. Our heroes were quite glad they had warm enough clothes and mittens.

The views of the surrounding 4000m peaks were fantastic and gave a better understanding of what exactly surrounds Zermatt. That is to say it is surrounded by many huge, snow covered mountains. Some of the pictures below will provide a little perspective.

The first picture is of the always impressive Matterhorn, looking towards the Italian side. The second picture, which the camera cannot do justice to, is of our heroes and is also aimed towards Italy. The top of the mountain where the pictures were taken is only a few hundred yards from Italy, which is important to know in case escape from Switzerland is deemed necessary. This writer suspects this fact has nothing to do with geographic location and all to do with being able to say that one skied in 2 different countries in single day.

The third picture is of the ski area on the Italian side and if while viewing the picture the viewer has the capability to enlarge the photo, they will see many skiers on the slopes.

The fourth picture is of a massive peak on the Swiss side called Breithorn and once again, if one has the capability to enlarge the photo, the tiny dots are people hiking up to the top of that peak.

The fifth picture is just for perspective. The peak in the picture is where the tram stops. The viewer cannot see this no matter how much the picture is enlarged because the tram actually goes into the mountain a bit before it stops. In reality it is most likely a hideout for the world’s greatest evil villain, because who else puts a theater, restaurant, shops, bathrooms, access to escape routes, etc., inside the peak of a mountain. Very sneaky. The peak also contains a secret lair, called the Ice Palace which said evil villain has the gaul to charge 8 CHF per person to view. The Ice Palace is located down a secret elevator at least 100 feet into the mountain, and is basically a honeycomb of tunnels with various ice sculptures. Our hero Chris surreptitiously photoed some of these sculptures and hopes to transmit them for study at another time.

While viewing the various sights, our heroes discussed the silly notion that during the winter, a person could ski all the way from the top down to Zermatt. Both heroes agreed that a normal person’s legs would likely fall off before accomplishing that feat however, being as its on the order of 5 or 6 miles straight down.

That concludes today’s episode. Stay tuned tomorrow for more rambling thoughts.