Begin today’s high traverse of the mountainside from the doorstep of the Europahutte, to cover varied terrain on this final section of the Europaweg.
A challenging yet rewarding day of walking – leave the comfort of the Europhutte behind and head out over rocky terrain following narrow paths that traverse the mountainside. The path will lead you into and out of lots of hanging valleys each with its own character and magnificent views. There are some sections of loose and rockfall prone terrain on today’s route, along with many sections of roped path, and boulder fields – if for any reason the path is closed please heed the warning signposts and do not go that way. At ~10 km you’ll descend the high mountainside onto meadows filled with alpine flowers, at the St Niklaus statue before making the long, steep descent to St Niklaus on the valley floor.
Keep an eye out for marmots on the alpine meadows and groups of chamois jumping about on rocky outcrop.
There are some stretches along today's route where you will see rockfall signposts, shelters in case of rockfall, and tunnels through the mountain to avoid the most at risk areas. Some areas outside of these signposts are also at risk of rockfall so please take care on the route and be vigilant and if for any reason the path is closed please heed the warning signposts and do not go that way.
The route can also feel very exposed in places - this route is not suitable for those suffering for vertigo or fear of heights. To help with the steep drops and on narrow paths there are sometimes rope/metal handrails, metal and wooden bridges.
Please pay attention to the safety warnings in the turn by turn directions, and if the hut custodian had advised against undertaking the route because of bad weather/rockfall please listen carefully to their advice. If for any reason you decide not to follow the route then descend to the village of Randa from the long suspension bridge bear the hut. From Randa you can either walk along the valley floor or catch a train to St Niklaus.
This is a serious mountain hike at altitudes largely over 2000 m so please bring appropriate clothing – even if it’s a sunny morning the weather can change to rain or thunderstorms in the afternoon. Bring plenty of food and water (at least 2 litres) for the day’s walk, along with waterproofs, warm layers and comfortable sturdy walking boots/shoes. You may also wish to bring poles to help with balance, and the ascents and descents.
Points of Interest
The Europaweg is said to be one of Europe’s finest walks. The route begins near Zermatt and traverses the east side of the Mattertal valley giving wonderful views of the Matterhorn and the Weisshorn, along with many other mountains. It would be difficult to rival the scenery along this trail!
St Bernard Statue
The statue situated on the Europaweg above the village of St Niklaus was built to honour St Bernard, the patron saint of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, backpacking, mountaineering in the Alps since 1923. The statue stands proudly on a outcrop with wonderful 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
Food & Drink
There is nowhere to eat enroute on this walk so we recommend buying a packed lunch of a sandwich, chocolate, fruit and juice (approximately 15 CHF) from the hut before setting off. The alternative is carrying food up with you from Zermatt.
This tour is available on the following itineraries: WSTOTM, WSTOTMN