Top Ten Switzerland Classic Adventures

Experience Matterhorn Magic
By Mark Honan

The most photographed mountain in the Alps, the 14,780-foot Matterhorn, attracts mountaineers, hikers, and just plain old sightseers. The view of its triangular peak is already breathtaking from the valley village of Zermatt, but it gets even better as you go higher. To climb this giant, you need plenty of mountaineering experience and preparation, though merely hiking its lower reaches can be demanding. Looking for an easier alternative? Hike up one of the adjoining mountains, which vary in technical difficulty. If you're just after a classic view of this famed peak, head to Grindjisee Lake, about a 50-minute trek from Sunnegga toward Riffelalp.

And to ski the area, head to Klein Matterhorn, Europe's highest cable station at 12,530 feet. From there, you can ski north to Zermatt, south to Cervinia (in Italy), or just stay put and gaze at some of the most spectacular peaks in the Alps, including the mighty Matterhorn. This world of constant whiteness yields skiing year-round.


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