The Grathorn seen from Gasenried

We set off at 8.30 through Gasenried and took the Europaweg over the outlet stream of the Riedgletscher (1708m). The path is signposted Bordierhütte as well as Europahütte and Zermatt. The path climbs unremittingly steeply all the way to the Grathorn largely through forest. The path to the Bordierhütte leaves at about 1997m whilst the Europaweg continues even more steeply uphill by the side of an avalanche gully and then in a series of zigzags across the open mountainside to reach the Grathorn at 2278m. On the western edge of the flattish summit is a cross overlooking the Mattertal. Here another path drops down to Grat and eventually to the Riedbach but is reportedly difficult.

The Mattertal and the Weisshorn (behind the cloud) from the Grathorn

We had hoped to continue up the ridge towards the Mittelberg to see the Riedgletscher but the mist had come down in the valley, so we contented ourselves with the view of the Mattertal. At the Grathorn we met an American couple walking the Haute Route who had been told that they would be sleeping on either the table or the floor at the Europahütte because it was so full!


According to the Landeskarte there is supposed to be a path linking the Europaweg to Alpja, which leaves the Europaweg just below the Grathorn. It appears not to be in use anymore and there are no signposts. We could see broken sections of the path where we expected it to be, but there appeared to be no safe way to join it, so we simply descended our outward route. The path was loose in places but our boots gripped well and we rewarded ourselves with Apfelsaft at the Riedgletscher Stubli in Gasenried. Our timings matched the guidebooks of 2 hours up and 1 ¼ hour’s descent.