Photography by Ira Gardner | Monte Rosa

Gornergrat Glacier & Monte Rosa Masif, 2008

I had the thrill of spending 11 days traveling and hiking in Switzerland.  What surprised me was that wherever I hiked there was a train or cable car nearby that would take tourists to the same destinations.  On one day we managed to miss the train due to bad advice.  The kindly gentleman who had given us the advice had made the same mistake himself and we ended up sharing a cab to the next stop.  As we were riding together he noted our hiking gear and asked why any Americans would want to hike in Switzerland at all?  He exclaimed, "In America you have what we do not...WILDNERNESS!"  He then talked about how much he loved the Rocky Mountains.

 

I agree with his statement about wilderness, but I thinking hiking Switzerland was still an incredible experience.  One of my favorite places was Zermatt.  I used to mountain climb and had read Edward Whympers thrilling book about climbing the Matterhorn.  When I actually reached the closest viewpoint to the Matterhorn I was actually more in awe of the glacier and the Monte Rosa massif which is the tallest mountain in all of Switzerland.  These are two of the photographs I made there.  It was breathtaking.  Not only because of the beauty but also because of the high altitude!