Switzerland & Matterhorn 2019

Since watching Thomas Heatons Youtube vlogs on his hiking trip to Switzerland and to photograph the Matterhorn back in 2017, I knew this would become a goal of mine to achieve as soon as possible.

I quickly became obsessed and heavily focused on the idea and was soon researching hiking routes, shoot locations and accommodation etc. Before I knew it I had a rough plan of what I wanted to do and was booking my flights for July 2019.

Going into this trip I had one fixed goal in mind. To stay in a mountain hut (away from civilization) and photograph the Matterhorn at sunrise. Anything else achieved in this process, was a bonus.

July 16th, 2019 rolls around and I am landing in Zurich, then quickly making my way to Zermatt. This is a small town buried in the Swiss Alps, and its a such a magical place thats full of character.

From the train window, heading to Zermatt
Entering Zermatt
Seeing the Matterhorn for the first time
The Matterhorn had this overwhelming presence

After spending just a little time in Zermatt I quickly found it apparent that the Matterhorn is almost always in your view if you’re willing to look around for it. It has this huge presence which simply cannot be ignored.

With no time like the present, I made my way up to a spot I had previously scouted out on Google to catch the sunset on both the Matterhorn and also the town of Zermatt, here is what I got.

Sunrise light catching the tip of the Matterhorn
Zermatt just after sunset

This view was…was breathtaking. It was everything I hoped for, and more. And really enjoyed just taking it in…it was an amazing first day of the trip.

The next day I went on my first “real” hike of the trip. I went for the Glacier hike, which takes us into the crevasse where the Glacier used to exist. More info can be found here

Start of the trail, Matterhorn in view
Panoramic of the lake at the entrance and view of the alps

I didn’t take too many photos for the rest of the hike. It was my first time so I was more concentrating on making sure I didn’t lose the path which I imagine could be easily done. Fortunately the path was well marked out and I had GPS with Offline maps on my phone as a backup, but its something to very aware of. Stay safe people!

Nice lake reflection at the end of the trail
Cable car back to Zermatt

This concluded an amazing first day.

The next day, I embarked on journeying to Fluhalp which is a Mountain hut restaurant where you can also stay. I wouldn’t go as far to say it is a hotel though. More like a bed and breakfast đŸ™‚

To reach there I had to take 2 cable car journeys deep into the alps and then a 45 minute hike to the hut. There are no roads here, just rocky pathways. Getting there was an adventure of its own.

Taken on my phone – Fluhalp

After arriving at Fluhalp, I waited for a friend to arrive and we went for a really close to Fluhalp just to soak in the view while we waited for the sunset.

Stellisee Lake with the Matterhorn in the distance

The main reason I wanted to specifically stay in Fluhalp, is due to the potential unbeatable view of the Matterhorn while at Stellisee lake and the reflections during sunrise and sunset, in the photography world they are without a doubt world reknowned.

Angela soaking up the view!

Pretty soon, Sunset arrived, so it was time to setup at the Stellisee to capture the Matterhorn. I will let the pictures do the talking

The Matterhorn as seen from Lake Stellisee
The Matterhorn as seen from Lake Stellisee
Another photography completely accidentally posed in the absolute perfect position for this shot.

After this, the sun went down and it was too dark to capture anything else for the time being. So we ended the day there, went back to Fluhalp for a hearty dinner, and got an early night as wanting to get up for sunrise the next day. Praying for good conditions

And good conditions we received….

As far as conditions go, I could have only dreamed for something as clear as this.
Sunrise of the Matterhorn

Now, while these conditions were truly amazing, it did not give me “the” photo I was looking for. But I had another shot the next day. So I was not panicking.

For the rest of the day, Angela and I did the “5 lakes” trail – more info here

Grindjisee Lake
GrĂ¼nsee Lake

The views as we went were continuously breathtaking.

Matterhorn in the distance

The flowers coming into bloom, so beautiful

Swiss Alps Flowers

To be honest, the remaining 2 lakes from the trail were not the most photogenic so I did not photograph them. But instead, photographed the trail and scenery as we proceeded.

Lake Stellisee is one of the 5 lakes, and here are 2 shots from the sunset of that evening.

The Matterhorn
Panoramic of The Matterhorn

The next day was the final day in Switzerland and mostly a day for travelling home, it was also the final sunrise for Fluhalp and the Matterhorn for me, so I was praying for “the” shot…

Final sunrise – The Matterhorn

I got lucky, VERY lucky. And was so delighted and happy at this….it was the best possible way to bring the journey to a close.

Thank you Switzerland, I will be back…

Jake

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