Route: Unterrothorn

Submitted by Kat Gregory on Sat, 07/29/2023 - 02:05pm
3.66 mi
Vertical Gain
5,023 ft

Unterrothorn directissima is a point-to-point ascent that climbs from the town of Zermatt to the summit of Unterrothorn (3,109 m): to mix units of measurement, about 5,000 ft of rise over 6,000 m of run on singletrack trail*. To maximize your climb, start at the bubbling glacial waters of the Matter Vispa, at the Sunneggastrasse bridge. The route may be broken into three main sections:

  • First, climb from Zermatt to Sunnegga via the Matterhorn Training Trail, which ascends 608m over 1250m of distance (>48% grade!). Originally used by Zermatt’s Mountain Guides to test the fitness levels of their clients before attempting the Matterhorn, signs on the trail explain that a Matterhorn hopeful should be happy with a time under 45 minutes.
  • Second, climb from Sunnegga to Blauherd via Murmelweg, which is beautiful, gentle singletrack above treeline with spectacular views of the Matterhorn.
  • Third, climb from Blauherd to Rothorn via the dramatic switchbacks carved into the mountain directly under the tram. You may share the trail with grazing goats, edelweiss, and ibex.

The Strava segment is here. If desired, a tram→gondola→funicular will take you back from the summit directly to town.

* Singletrack trail excluding the roads in town and a couple of brief intersections with a gravel road.