Destination – Mettelhorn (3406m / 11,174ft)
Route – Hornlihut - Stafel - Hohbalmen - Trift -
                Mettelhorn  - Trift - Zermatt
Time taken – 11hrs (including breaks)
Distance – 26 Km approx.
Altitude variation – 1969m ▲ / 3607m Map -
The sound of the helicopter at around  3.30am (a wake up call for the climbers!) above the hut
stirred up my senses. Sneaking outside the window it was dark but the uneven white silhouettes
of the mountains were pretty much in view.
As soon as I left the hut it started drizzling. Nevertheless, it didn’t dampen my spirits and I
continued with my day’s plan of traversing two ends of the valley  with prolonged altitude
variations along the trail.
From Hornlihut I  descended  to Stafel, a steep thoroughfare of rocks and scree which I grasped
only after losing 1060m in an hour or so.
The hike from Stefal trailed through the morainic path of
zmutt glacier (Dents d’Hérens (4171m) hidden in clouds)
and sloped steeply upwards through the alpine pastures to
hohenweg path – a mountain terrace offering magnificent
views of the peaks and alpine flora & fauna.
The  picturesque views  like above were refreshing and
kept me going.....
Nope I wasn’t alone....after nearly two hours of
panoramic walk, the path eventually rolled
downwards to Trift, a mountain hotel . I was
starving, fuelled myself with hot Ovomaltine
and freshly baked apple cake. After the perfect
petit déjeuner, I set off for my final ascent of the
day to Mettelhorn.
En route….Mettelhorn extending its peak in the
background.  
The snow field  on the way was a welcome sight after the
steep rocky terrain of Triftchumme…..an ideal place to
cool off before setting out for the final stretch  of gradient
scree climb (protruding in the center) .   
The summit offered an exclusive
spot to admire the beautiful
panorama of peaks around and
contemplate the day’s rewarding
hike!
The descent was on the same
route which I did quicker due to
the fact that I had to go further
down to Zermatt (neglecting the
interesting  botanical path from
Trift downwards) and around 3
hours of drive back to Geneva
…phew!