Who would have known that two of our team members would win not only a free trip to Switzerland but also an interesting hiking adventure in Zermatt?
After seeing a post on Weibo from the Chinese team of Mammut, a Swiss sportswear brand specialized in mountain equipment, Emma and Alessandra decided to take part into a competition…let’s hear about their story!
The competition required us to take some promotional pictures wearing the brand’s clothes and I also drew some fashion figurines. The surprise arrived after a week: we were so happy to hear that we won the first prize!
After the long trip from Shanghai, we arrived in Zurich and from there we transferred to Zermatt, a very famous destination for snow lovers in winter and mountain hiking during the summer. This year is a very special year: everyone celebrates the 150 years of the first ascent on the alpine mountain “Matterhorn”, which actually ended up in a tragedy as four climbers died on the way.
Mammut had taken in charge our accommodation: a really beautiful hotel-chalet. Our room was big and all made in wood but the best surprise was when we actually went on the balcony… the Matterhorn was just right there shining in front of us! No cars are allowed and the town is full of nice little restaurants, where we had typical Swiss dinners.
August 17th 2015: this was the day. At 1PM we met Annette, the mountain guide of Mammut hiking school. To be honest, we were both a little scared about the hike, as this was a really first time for us. However, we took the challenge and, wearing all our professional equipment, we grabbed our big backpacks and our sticks and the adventure started!
The uphill hike was really nice: we firstly took a cable car and then started the trail from Schwarz See, a “black lake” with a small white chapel reflecting in the water surrounded by green land. The more we were walking up, the more the trail was steep and we had to be careful in the middle of all the rocks. The last meters were even harder as a snowstorm started right where we were! However, after 4 hours of hiking, we arrived at Hörnlihütte, a kind of guesthouse at an altitude of 3260m. We had a nice dinner and breakfast there as well as a special Mammut shared bedroom.
The morning call for the professional hikers willing to reach the top of the Matterhorn is settled at 4 in the morning everyday; on our side though, we were pleased to have some more hours of sleep and to hike back downhill. From the middle of the clouds we ended up at the bottom of a very big glacier…impressive!
I guess at this point you will want to ask about our overall impressions, so here they are.
For Emma, this wasn’t her first time in Switzerland but she never went to Zermatt before. As a girl who grew up in the South part of China, mountain hiking was definitely an unfamiliar name to her but it was a really interesting activity to go through. She thinks that from a mountain hiking point of view there are many good resorts in the world, however, because of the panorama, the mountains and the professional hiking schools like Mammut, Zermatt turns out to be just unbeatable in her mind.
On my side, the whole trip was first of all a great occasion for me to go back to my country and meet my family and all my friends after one year in China. Moreover, the hiking experience was a first time for me as well. Although I have to admit that the panoramas were really beautiful, I don’t consider myself being such a mountain girl willing to risk my life on dangerous trails.
Finally, we were both really happy and grateful to Mammut who gave us this great opportunity. Annette was very nice to us and has always believed in us: ‘Just have a try, if you don’t feel good, we can just stop and take the cable car. But I am confident in you girls. You will make it’ she said with care and in a confident tone. At the end of the adventure, we could feel that a friendship was born - not just a plain relationship between a mountain guide and the clients.
Thank you Mammut, Zermatt and Switzerland…we’ll come back!