5.13 mi

Elevation gain

2,257 ft

Technical difficulty


Elevation loss

2,260 ft

Max elevation

10,690 ft


84 4.8

Min elevation

8,423 ft

Trail type





August 16, 2015


August 2015
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10,690 ft
8,423 ft
5.13 mi

Viewed 38206 times, downloaded 805 times

near Stafel, Canton du Valais (Swiss Confederation)

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IBP = 101 HKG (733 m accumulated ascent).

All of us who like the mountains, sooner or later, we must try to visit Zermatt to be able to contemplate "the beautiful profile" of the Matterhorn (name that is given from the Swiss slope, from the Italian side is called Matterhorn).

Ascent to the Hörnli Refuge taking advantage of the stay in Zermatt. From the Zermatt itself you take a gondola lift that leaves you at Schwarzsee (2.583m) and from here, well signposted, you climb up to the refuge (you can also walk up from Zermatt, it is well signposted and you have to add 3h and 1,000 m of accumulated ascent more).

The ascent has no technical difficulty, you walk on a very well marked path. Even in some places without risk fixed ropes are installed as a handrail (I suppose to open even more the possibility that people not accustomed to the mountain can visit the refuge -in tourist attraction plan-). I, in no time, needed these ropes (in case of rain they can be useful to avoid some slip that another one).

Another thing is the respect that must always be had to the High Mountain. No matter how busy the route, no matter how many gondola and mega-refuge it is, we are at high altitude in the Alps and this mountain is "prone" to sudden storms. At any time you can change the weather and give yourself a scare (fog, rain, snow even in summer, thunderstorms ...). So the same prudence and equipment in the backpack that always on the mountain.

It is from our point of arrival, the Hörnli refuge, that the true ascent begins for climbers to the Matterhorn (4,478m). But, even without having the level and preparation for it, it is exciting to be able to get inside this mountain and climb its first slopes of the beautiful and aesthetic Swiss edge. You feel a little part of the epic first ascent of the British Edward Whymper. This summer celebrates the 150th anniversary of this first ascent, being able to enjoy several commemorative events, including the illumination at dusk of the route that followed the first 7 pioneers (see photos) ... spectacular!

Practical information:

- A Zermatt can only be reached by a shuttle train that leaves Tasch, the last town where you are forced to leave the car in a terminal - parking (airport type). These trains leave every 20 minutes.
- Zermatt is a small Swiss town, exclusive and world famous. Result of the equation: prepare the credit card because everything is very expensive (to pay in cash both accept euros and the local currency, the Swiss franc).
- If you go to sleep in Zermatt, it does not matter where you get to the hotel, being so small in 20 minutes on foot you go from side to side (that is, do not pay more for a hotel "central"). Either you are closer to the shuttle train station or you are closer to the gondola lift that leads to Schwarzsee, but everything can be covered without problems. Interesting, if possible, take a hotel on the eastern slope to have better views of the Matterhorn and more sun at sunset.
- The cable car station is reached in 5 minutes from the center by the street that is on the left (looking at the Matterhorn) of the river. No need to queue. Price: € 25 in 2015 to Schwarzsee station (watch because this gondola continues higher towards the foot of the Breithorn). Journey time: 20 minutes. In summer the last descent is at 5pm.
- The cable car, like any in the Alps, allows you to have incredible views of the valley and the mountains that surround us.
- In Schwarzsee there is a restaurant with a spectacular terrace. From this point come multiple routes, all well indicated. The road to the Hörnlihütte has no loss, starts down a little and is the widest (it is well signposted, indicating on the poster a duration of 2: 10h).
- We took 2: 00h to climb (we were very calm but no stops) and 1: 40h to go down (at a rapid pace).
- In the refuge you can eat perfectly (expensive, but not more expensive than in Zermatt); If you have a good day on your spacious terrace, it is a true luxury. I recommend visiting its interior after the construction of the modern extension, especially the dining rooms-lookout.
- If you have brought binoculars, from the terrace you can follow the evolution of the climbers along the route to the top.

To finish, say that the Matterhorn is really an isolated, spectacular and beautiful mountain. Its image from the Swiss side is a universal icon (changing the point of view, for example from Italy -Cervino- the mountain does not look so slender or geometrically so perfect.

I was surprised and delighted to also discover the views from Schwarzsee and also from Hörnlihütte to many other "cuatromiles" that flank it, especially the Monte Rosa massif (with its geometric shelter), Castor and Pollux, and the Breithorn.











Schwarzsee - Hornli Hutte 3.260m


Schwarzsee - Hornli Hutte 3.260m1


Schwarzsee - Hornli Hutte 3.260m2


Schwarzsee - Hornli Hutte 3.260m3


Schwarzsee - Hornli Hutte 3.260m4


Schwarzsee - Hornli Hutte 3.260m5


Schwarzsee - Hornli Hutte 3.260m6


  • Photo of Iszart

    Iszart Aug 22, 2015

    Celebración de los 150 años de la primera ascensión al Matterhorn (14 de julio de 1865) realizada por Edward Whymper, Francis Douglas, Charles Hudson, Douglas Hadow, Michel Croz, Peter Taugwalder padre y Peter Taugwalder hijo. (Fotografía tomada desde Zermatt, cada anochecer del verano de 2015 iluminan foco a foco la ruta que utilizaron para esa primera ascensión -muy similar a la actual normal desde Hörnli-).

  • Photo of roberpower

    roberpower Sep 27, 2015

    Muchísimas gracias por esta explicación tan completa,tomo nota y en cuanto se pueda a por ella. Un saludo!!

  • Photo of Iszart

    Iszart Sep 29, 2015

    Gracias roberpower, esa es la intención, ser útil a otros montañeros. Suerte!!

  • juanjo.chaki Feb 9, 2016

    Gracias por tu completa explicación!! Sabes cómo está la ruta para hacerla en invierno?? Ahora en febrero. Gracias!

  • Photo of Diegogismero2

    Diegogismero2 May 12, 2016

    se puede dormir en el refugio entiendo? hay que pagar=? cuanto?

  • Photo of paki58

    paki58 Aug 7, 2016

    Que compartieras tu experiencia ha sido de gran utilidad para mi ruteo

  • Photo of roberpower

    roberpower Jan 22, 2017

    Hola Iszart!!! como lo prometido es deuda, en dos semanas me voy para alla lo q pasa es q vamos de esqui. Sabes que tal está para hacerlo en invierno aunq sea con raquetas de nieve?? algun consejillo?? muchas gracias de antemano!!!!!

  • Photo of Karolinina

    Karolinina Feb 15, 2017

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Hice esta ruta en verano, siguiendo las indicaciones de una guia de excursiones de Zermatt. Realmente no necesitas muchas instrucciones para subir al refugio pues el camino es evidente y esta bien indicado. Como dice Iszart esta preparado para que puedan subir muchas personas sin necesidad de que tengan preparación o sean habituales de montaña. Un poco de físico para la subida y calzado adecuado. Hay alguna parte que sin tener ninguna dificultat técnica puede dar algo de reparo a algunas personas no acostumbradas a la altura o con algo de vértigo. Pero nada exagerado y las vistas durante todo el recorrido son maravillosas! El Matterhorn es una montaña preciosa, y tiene un punto emocionante subir al refugio y ver a los que la van a subir, observarlos con prismáticos, acordarse de las historias de las primeras ascensiones... En definitiva, un "must" si se visita Zermatt. Vale la pena!

  • karla_amelburu Jun 9, 2017

    Hola, quería preguntar que tal está la ruta para hacerla con perros, gracias!!

  • Photo of Lourdes Vazquez

    Lourdes Vazquez Jul 9, 2018

    Buena descripción de la ruta.
    Es un lugar espectacular que tengo que visitar

  • joseleitorman Sep 2, 2018

    Muchas gracias por ese pedazo de descripcion tan detalla y entusiasta que sin duda me servira de gran ayuda para mi visita a Hornli en breve.

  • Photo of Juan Desnivel

    Juan Desnivel Mar 2, 2021

    Estupenda descripción e impresionantes fotos.
    Pronto nos acercaremos por allí para ver de cerca el Cervino.
    Un saludo,

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