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Monday, April 9, 2012

Things To Do Whilst In Zermatt Switzerland

Matterhorn (4478m) from Klein MatterhornMatterhorn (4478m) from Klein Matterhorn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Ben Pate

When it comes to unique climbing experiences in Europe one of the most enchanting is that of the Matterhorn Peak located in Zermatt, Switzerland. This is one of the most famous mountain peaks in the world; they soar over the border between Italy and Switzerland. The bottom of this peak features a very unique layout that resembles the four points of a compass. This climb is for series climbers only. So grab your U.S. passport and head to the great peaks of Zermatt, you may want to look into add pages to passport services in case you'd like to venture to Italy as well. Be sure to bring your hiking gear and enjoy the Matterhorn.

Passport Needs

Anyone who has ever traveled overseas before knows the importance of keeping a passport safe. If you lose your passport while abroad, you will have to obtain a replacement passport before you will be allowed to reenter America. Passports allow their holders to travel anywhere in the world. Every single American citizen is eligible to get a United States passport. All you have to do is fill out the add pages to pass port forms, submit a picture, and prove to authorities you are a citizen. You can show a birth certificate or social security card as proof of citizenship.

The Town Of Zermatt

Zermatt is a gorgeous town to visit and offers a lot in the areas of skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing. Zermatt is located at the foot of the highest peak in the Alps. It has a primarily German speaking population of 5,800. It is about 6 miles from the Theodul Pass which borders Italy. This village is known as a mountaineering and ski resort for the Swiss Alps. Zermatt was founded as a tourist industry around 1865 following the first ascent of Matterhorn. Now it is primarily a tourist village that features many hotels and resorts and over half of the apartments are vacation apartments.


The Alos have a summit of 4,478. The four steep faces that rise above the nearby glaciers actually face the four points of a compass. The first ascent of this peak marked the end of the 'golden age of alpinism'. Its first ascent was successful yet tragic. A party led by Edward Whymper a professor made it to the top before a rivalling Italian crew. However, upon descent four members of the party fell to their deaths. Although beautiful and enticing, the Matterhorn is one of the deadliest peaks within the Alps. From 1865, its' first ascent, to 1995 upwards of 500 alpinists perished while attempting a climb or descent. This is why only experienced climbers should attempt this peak.

Visiting Zermatt

In addition to the Matterhorn Museum, there are some petroglyphs and an ancient prehistoric grinding stone that are located nearby that are listed as one of the Swiss heritage sites of national significance. In addition to climbing the famous peak, or maybe only climbing some of it, there are many other activities when visiting Zermatt. Many of the resorts offer mountaineering activities as well as skiing, and there are great lifts available that let you see the entire village. In addition, there is also the Matterhorn Museum.

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