Mt Blanc to Matterhorn – day 6

Hiking trip report by site editor Rick McCharles. Day 6 of 7.

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | info

Out of bread, as usual, I wanted to stop in the quaint, quiet town of Gruben for supplies.

Gruben

There was only one stale loaf of bread left in the small hotel shop. What! This is Europe. The grocery stores are terrible. But you can always get good fresh bread! (subsidized by the National government)

Turned out that these blokes had tented by the river in town. And then bought up all the bread first thing in the morning.

U.K. hikers

U.K. hikers

Here are manly men, even the 2 wearing skirts. They were the first to pass me on the trail since I started this hike.

Amongst the 7 friends they were fluent in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Nice.

We hiked the same day towards a challenging goal, Augstbordpass. It was high. Well above the helicopters.

above-helicopter

above-helicopter2

In fact, Augstbordpass is the last high pass before the Zermatt valley. Many are excited to cross it. I was less so having opted to do the high, long and difficult 31km Europa Way traverse to finish.

But it was fun to drop down and down towards the valley far, far below.

Jungen

Jungen

A hiker walking the other direction tipped me to the fact that Ibex were posing on the rocks.

Ibex

Ibex-horns

We assumed they’d been staked there by the tourist industry. What a photo op!

When we finally got to the valley floor, I dashed around like a madman trying to resupply with food. And still catch the bus up the other side to the trailhead. I wanted to get up high so I could start the long traverse to the finish first thing in the morning.

… the U.K. hikers passed me again! Waving from another bus.

Blast.

Pushing hard, I did manage to climb back up to 2300m to greet St. Bernard at dusk.

St-Bernard-statue

Kev Reynolds:

The satue of St Bernard … commemorates the opening of the Europaweg in 1997. This patron Saint of mountain travellers was … Bernard of Menthon, who had spent many years caring for travellers and pilgrims in trouble after crossing the alpine pass named after him…

Bernard died in the 1080s and was beatified shortly after. In 1923 Pope Pius XI conifrmed St Bernard as patron saint of the alps. …

I could just see the top of the Matterhorn in the distance.

sunset-Matterhorn

The goats were my only companions up there.

goats-Europa-Weg

My best tent site of the trip.

See the rest of my photos from day 6.

on to day 7

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | info

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