Gornergrat view of train and Matterhorn

Gornergrat view of train and Matterhorn

The Gornergrat is a rocky ridge of the Pennine Alps, overlooking the Gorner Glacier south of Zermatt in Switzerland. It can be reached from Zermatt by the Gornergrat rack railway, the highest open-air railway in Europe. Between the Gornergrat railway station (3,090 m) and the summit is the Kulm Hotel (3,120 m) hosting the new Project “Stellarium Gornergrat” and until 2010 the Kölner Observatorium für SubMillimeter Astronomie KOSMA and before that (until 2005) the Gornergrat Infrared Telescope.

Gornergrat is located about three kilometers east of Zermatt in the Swiss canton of Valais. The Gornergrat is located between the Gornergletscher and Findelgletscher and offers a view of more than 20 four-thousand metre peaks, whose highest are Monte Rosa, Lyskamm, Matterhorn, Dom and Weisshorn.

This is the last stop of the Gornergrat train, opened in 1898, which climbs almost 1500m through Riffelalp and Riffelberg. At the terminus (3,089 m above sea level) on the south-western tip of the ridge is a hotel. The station forms part of the Zermatt ski area. From 1958 to 2007 there was a cable car from Gornergrat over the Hohtälli to the Stockhorn which, until the construction of the Klein Matterhorn cable car, was the highest mountain station in Zermatt. At the west side of the Gorner ridge, nearby the Rotenboden trainstation is the Riffelhorn peak.

I’ve been to Zermatt a couple of times, never as the loaded tourist that make Zermatt and San Moritz key stopping places on the Grand Tour. In Zermatt the dominating feature is of course the Matterhorn. The trip up to Gornergrat, the view of the peaks, and glaciers, makes this a truly memorable visit.

Location: 04-G6