Matterhorn North Face

Skiing is the fastest way to move around the mountains, and it can get you to places that would take two or three hours to walk to.

This is one of my favourite places in the Zermatt valley – Stafelalp, a good two hour walk from Zermatt. Reached in just a few minutes from Schwarzsee on a piste that is always quiet. And the view is magnificent, you see the mighty Matterhorn from an entirely different angle and in winter it is particularly spectacular. It stands in complete isolation, a stark monolith of ice and rock. There is very little colour in the view from this standpoint and removing those traces of colour accentuates the coldness of the situation.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'.
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26 Responses to Matterhorn North Face

  1. Sue says:

    Fantastic light! What a place…

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  2. Vicki says:

    Beautiful shot. Such wonderful light and shadows……..superbly captured.

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  3. Heide says:

    What a marvelous image, Andy β€” and what a treat to see this iconic peak from a different angle!

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much Heide. We are all so used to seeing the Matterhorn with its ‘classic’ lines from Zermatt. On this particular day I skied over into Italy down to Cervinia from where the Matterhorn looks decidedly ugly. Then worked my way back up to the border and then eventually skied down to this view point. Very roughly that journey amounts to a 180 degree arc around the mountain. From Cervinia SSW of the summit to a point near Stafelalp where you are NNE of the summit. The mountain changes shape with every minute. The view of the N Face is dramatic and you get a clearer impression of the line of normal ascent which is the left ridge-line. Not as steep as you think from Zermatt.

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      • Heide says:

        That sounds like rather an arduous journey around the mountain, Andy β€” but it also makes you one of a small handful of people who have seen the Matterhorn from so many angles. Very cool.

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  4. This is a STUNNER, Andy, especially when viewed full-screen. Well done. πŸ™‚

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  5. Jane Lurie says:

    Magnificent image, Andy. So good in monochrome. Love the shadows of the trees with the ski tracks in the foreground leading my eye to the Matterhorn. Nice zigzags. πŸ™‚

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  6. Pingback: Half buried but alive | LensScaper

  7. seekraz says:

    So beautiful, Andy…I love being out in that and photographing such scenes…..

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  8. bluebrightly says:

    Beautiful! Your narrative describes the scene as well as your photo. I like seeing this angle, I’m pretty sure it’s entirely new to me – of course I’m someone who’s only seen the Matterhorn in photographs, but still.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn, To get this view the tourist has to walk, or ski, or mountain bike. There are no means of assistance. The walk is not difficult but long. Out and back for the average walker (for the full view) would be about five hours. So, it’s a view for the privileged few – but what a fantastic view it is. Photographs don’t really do the mountain justice. It soars up into the sky in front of you.

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  9. A magnificent photo Andy – the Matterhorn looks stunning. Must be wonderful to ski amongst this breathtaking scenery. I’ve only ventured out on a dry ski slope here in the UK but did visit the alps when I was a teenager. Would like to return one day.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Simon. An image is one thing, but being there is essential to experience the scale of things. No image can really do justice to the sheer size and height of a peak like this. I feel very privileged to be able to return time and time again to this area – my wife and I think this is our 25th visit. I first came here in 1962! if you ever get to skiing the real stuff, Zermatt should be on your ‘bucket list’ of places to ski.

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