A few weeks ago I published a post about my last summer hike… The photos from this post are from last July, but that day was so cold that it didn’t feel like summer then… Now in November, when I have edited them, it feels more appropriate to post them 😛

This was one of the three hikes I did when I was in Zermatt last July. The first day I did the 5 lakes hike, a beautiful trail with amazing views of the Matterhorn (and Alpine flowers like edelweiss and funny encounters with marmots and deer). The second day I did the Matterhorn Glacier trail, an impressive route along the remains of two old glaciers at the east side of the Matterhorn. The last day I went to see the Gorner glacier.

I was very excited about this route. The day started with a bright blue sky and finally the Matterhorn was totally visible, there were no clouds around the mighty mountain. I took the Gornergrat Bahn, the mountain trail that links Zermatt and Gornergrat (from 1604m to 3089m above the sea, the Gornergrat Bahn is the second highest mountain railway in Europe!), to Riffelalp (2211m) and started walking from there. The views were impressive. From this part of the valley, the Matterhorn looks even greater that it already is. But those weren’t the only views. Along the way, I passed along three little alpine lakes and incredible views of all the glaciers that flow into the Gorner glacier. At the top is the highest peak in the Monte Rosa massive and the highest peak of Switzerland, with 4634m of altitude. And flowing at both sides of the Monte Rosa massive, the Gorner and the Grenz glaciers… I stayed in Gorgergrat for a while, enjoying the views. It was already cold at the summit, with about 9ºC… and suddenly, the weather started to change. Dark clouds started to cover the sky, the temperature dropped and a freezing rain started to fall… I ran down the mountain to Riffelalp station, taking a few quick photos along the way, and took the train to Zermatt village again… Funnily, when I got to the village, the sun reappeared and it was again a warm summer day… so I decided to enjoy the rest of the day spoiling myself in my hotel Spa 🙂

I learnt a few lessons that day. The most important: be always prepared when you go to the mountain, weather does change fast. Even on a summer day, you can get freezing cold and soaked! Since that day, I always carry extra layers and waterproof clothes in my bag, because you never know what can happen in the mountain! I also invested in a new backpack with raincover… 😛

So, here are some photos of this “not very summer” hike from last July. Editing them now has made me dream again with Zermatt and the Matterhorn… I hope I can go there again soon and explore more this beautiful part of Switzerland! It’s worth a second trip, don’t you think? I hope you like the photos!

Matterhorn. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/14 1/400sec. ISO200
Gorner Glacier. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/13 1/640sec. ISO200
Matterhorn, Gornergrat Bahn and Riffelsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 39mm f/13 1/640sec. ISO200
Gorner and Grenz glaciers and Monte Rosa massive. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/13 1/640sec. ISO200
Summer storm. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 30mm f/13 1/320sec. ISO200
Summer storm at Riffelsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 50mm f/14 1/80sec. ISO200
Summer storm at Riffelsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 28mm f/11 1/160sec. ISO200


  1. Me encanta la entrada Mer

  2. What an amazing experience and photos. I’m glad you decided to edit and post.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a million, Anne!! I wasn’t very sure about this post… And it took me a lot of time to find the right way to edit these dark shots!! Hehehe. So I’m very happy you like them, even if they are from warmer days…. Here it’s already winter, hiking time is over til next year and we saw today the first snow flakes…..
      How is everything there? I read horrible things about the fires in California!! I hope Sacramento area is safe!

  3. I think your photos would make perfect desktop backgrounds… :)) Especially the one with the flowers, and one with the train. Looks so easy but at the time one sees the job you have put in each photo to work it out with your camera (and later with your editing). Taking off my hat, Mercedes.
    Nice summer :)) Doesn’t feel summerly from those pictures, especially the snowy ones :)) But oh so beautiful.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil for you comment, Marina!! 🙂
      Well, it took me some time to prepare this post… the photos are from July and I spent a lot of time thinking how to edit them!! Sometimes it’s very straightforward, but other times I edit and re-edit the photos a thousand times before I’m happy with the results, hehehe. These ones were from the second group!! I think they now show the cold of these altitudes, even if it was in summer, hehehe
      Anyway, it feels really good when someone appreciates that these photos are not just point-and-shoot and then upload to the internet!! In fact, it’s a longer job: the planning, the hike itself, finding the composition, and then coming home and edit the photos (and discard a lot of them too!! Hehehe). People usually don’t realize… I guess it’s because these days everyone has a camera in his pocket and is a photographer, right? You put a big smile on my face today, Marina!! 🙂

  4. Your photos are very breathtaking!
    Thank you for sharing and telling the detail about taking your photos.
    Riffelalp is a bit of reach.I’m an amateur photographer who got a new travel camera from http://www.pirt.org/best-travel-camera/
    If I can travel there I wish I can take many stunning photos like you., but No storm summer could be better. LOL.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a million, Emma! I’m also amateur, all I know about photography I’ve learnt by myself, hehehe
      All the area around Zermatt is stunning! The glaciers, the Matterhorn, the little alpine lakes… it’s such a great place to hike, explore, take photos… it’s like a dream! Even under summer storms, hahaha… The weather in the mountains is totally unpredictable! But I guess that’s also the beauty of nature, right? 🙂

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