4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
As one of the highest hiking routes in the Alps, the Mettelhorn is as stunning as it is challenging.
Check the weather and conditions before beginning as this trail climbs some serious vertical metres, contrasting from the cosy village of Zermatt to high alpine terrain within a few hours.
Ensure you’ve got some warmer gear for the top.
It also helps to bring microspikes for the short glacier crossing that can be icy on the edge of the seasons.
Start from Zermatt and set your goal for the summit of Mettelhorn, a 3400m peak on the west side of the Mattertal.
Sister peaks Wisshorn and Platthorn can be bagged along the way.
For a shorter day out, continue down to Trift from Wisshorn.
After a few hours of relentless ascent, you’ll cross a small snowfield, and then it’s a short and steep rocky climb to the summit.
From here, soak up the panorama of famous peaks, including the Weisshorn, Dom, Monte Rosa, Obergabelhorn, Zinal Rothorn, and the north face of the Matterhorn.
We recommend to set off before dawn for extra optical magic as the sun rises.
After the hard work on the way up, be ready for the fast descent that flows down zig-zagging single trail past the Trift hut.
Stop here for food and drinks before letting yourself go on the final downhill back into town.