SWITZERLAND 2016 Zermatt, Matterhorn

Zermatt and its Matterhorn: A place of magic and enchantment, despite the throngs of tourists on the main drag. Just go two hundred metres from the shops and you’ll have lost 99% of these people. Sometimes, in fact, I was “too alone”: I would have liked it if someone else was climbing some of the icy, slippery, clouded-in mountains I chose to ascend. I felt unnerved up there lest anything go wrong, and was pleased to descend unscathed. I am not as brave as might appear to be the case. Our world is so beautiful I don’t want a forced early exit. The scenes from the tops of the mountains I climbed were so murky they are not for public viewing.

The shots I will share with you are taken by the lovely Stellisee, which put on a varied and beautiful display for me. I hadn’t meant to stay there two days, but had accidentally let my battery run down, so had to spend a morning descending to Zermatt (on foot) to recharge it and then climb back up for lunch. After that, I couldn’t be bothered moving, so just did more exploring in the local area. Note, I didn’t say “waste” half a day. I regard a silliness like that, and the need to drop and gain 1300 ms in a morning, not as an inconvenience, but rather as an alternative workout. “OK. I’ll recharge my battery and have my workout that way rather than some other way”, is the way I see it. I want to do something waiting for the next lot of light, so it might as well be that.

Below are some shots of my reluctant, final descent. My whole holiday was drawing too rapidly to a close. My yearly dose of peace and mountains was almost at an end, but in scenery like this, it’s hard to have a heavy heart. Besides, I wasn’t quite finished yet!

As I dropped down the narrow path, passing endless stanchions in the process, I thought about how tourist bureaus and other such bureaucrats and edacious money-makers seem to destroy the very object that they want to use to make their guilders, and yet never quite understand what it is they’re doing. At our own Cradle Mountain, they are wanting to build some kind of cable car thing to take the tourists into the area, not understanding for one moment that in seeking to give them a “wilderness experience” they would be doing something that redefines the area to be non-wilderness in any true sense of the word. Those who actually want wilderness will be compelled to look elsewhere.

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