Summer Holidays 2009

Matterhorn Bike Adventure

It was time to introduce the bikes to the Matterhorn! This was the second mountain of the trip on the tick list of 'must see'! We travelled to Tasch, which was a small town down the valley from car free Zermatt. The campsite was a little crowded!! At one point I could not open the driver door for a tent! However these are small issues when surrounded by such stunning scenery!

The tourist information in Zermatt provided an excellent set of route maps for MTB in the area with lots to choose from! You do have to ask for these though! We decided to ride up to Schwarzee Paradise just below the Matterhorn and then take an interesting technical trail back to Zermatt. The climb up was awesome, everytime your legs and lungs felt as though they were going to give up you gained strength from the sight of the ever imposing Matterhorn or the odd friendly tourist egging you on!!

At the top there were a few cable car stations and restaurants full of tourists sunbathing and excited in the shadow of the Matterhorn. The view was stunning!

After a quick sunbathe and lunch stop we bravely navigated our way off the side of the mountain! Having climbed 900m we knew we were in for a treat on the way down! As soon as H expertly took the picture below we instantly knew it would be a good contender for MBR readers pics (MTB magazine).

The descent was awesome, it was mixture of technical singletrack and loose steep ski pistes!! Ever ridden down a red run with huge boulders? Nerves and bones are shaking at the end!! We even saw a marmot while holding on for dear life on the piste!

We approached Zermatt having had yet another excellent adventure. It was down the road to Tasch for another well earned dinner and excited discussion about the days events! It was also time to plan the next ride!

The Gornergrat 3090m

It was the final day of the holiday and we decided not to waste a second. We had to leave the campsite for 14.00, it was going to take some planning to get to the top of the Gornergrat and down for just after lunch ! We caught the first train to Zermatt and managed to catch the first train to the summit of the Gornergrat. We were amongst a large group of American and Japanese tourists who took a photographic interest in our bikes!!
We arrived at the summit at 8.44am little did we know that 24 hours later we would be in South Wales talking about our adventures!

The view from the top was stunning with a vista littered with 4000m giants! It was certainly worth the early start!

The visitor centre was full of shops and tourist information alike. We decided to tackle the morning alpine chill with a quick hot chocolate before departing around the mountain to Schnegga Paradise. We can see why paradise features so much in the place names around here! Whilst drinking our hot chocs and admiring the view we watched endless tourists having photographs with a set of St Bernards! The dogs were not phased by the altitude or the number of tourists fussing over them !

It was time to depart and head for the next paradise stop! The trail started out loose and technical before we realised we were on a footpath rather than the trail on the map! This however turned out to be a blessing although Kath did worry that we may be told off !


The view just got better and better being once again watched by the ever imposing Matterhorn! The trail was exciting too!

It was not long before it was time to stop and savour the view. We spotted a great snack break stop with a view to be savoured forever.

Time to make tracks and weave our way around the mountain getting lost many times along the way! It was not long before we were traversing in and out of small valleys and hidden gems.

The ride finished with a visit to Schnegga Paradise. This was another cable car station and restaurant with many tourists. We decided to have a quick break and be on our way back to the camper and our ultimate destination of South Wales.

We were sad to say goodbye to the Matterhorn having had the pleasure of it's company for the last few days but on reflection this was just the perfect end to a perfect Holiday! It was time to go back to work for a rest!!

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