Lake Riffel with Dufourspitze, Breithorn and glacier, Zermatt, Switzerland

Expertise on the Gornergrat

Story 31

Hannelore was born and raised in Zermatt. The eighty-year-old knows the mountains and tells her daughter Katja about the three most important peaks around the Gornergrat. This is where she draws energy and the desire to set herself new goals even at her ripe old age.  

Katja’s eyes shine when the cloud cover opens shortly after Riffelberg and a bright blue sky awaits her above the valley. She is visiting her mother Hannelore in Zermatt and the two are on their way to the Gornergrat. When they set off down in the village, the sky was still bleak and grey. “The clouds are low-lying, the sun is shining on the Gornergrat,” said Hannelore when Katja was sceptical about the weather. 

Switzerland’s three most important summits 

When the two women now step off the Gornergrat Railway, Hannelore points to three of the 29 four-thousand-metre peaks, which gleam majestically in the sun’s rays. For her, these are the three most important mountain peaks in Switzerland. “The Matterhorn, the most beautiful mountain in the world, is 9.6 kilometres from here. The Dufourspitze, the border mountain to Italy, is 8.3 kilometres away. And, of course, the Dom. At 4,545 m.a.s.l., it is the highest mountain that is completely in Switzerland and is 13.7 kilometres from the Gornergrat ridge,” says Hannelore, and continues: “For me, the three mountains are like the Three Musketeers. They stand like soldiers high above the valley and protect the King, here the Gornergrat. From here, the distance as the crow flies to all of them is 31.6 kilometres in total.” 

Mountains as a source of energy 

The two women sit down and look at the mountains. “The Three Musketeers give me strength and energy,” says Hannelore. “Who knows, maybe we should climb them together,” the eighty-year-old says to her daughter with a grin. 

Bergpanorama mit Namen

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