Phe was suddenly gone and everything was different. It was as if a malicious weather god had broken the most beautiful spike out of the top of the Alps, as if he had pulled out the sharpest tooth of the landscape and turned its uniqueness into interchangeability. The mountain was only covered in clouds and now sneakily played hide-and-seek with us, pretending to throw off his seven veils like Salome to present us in full splendor, but then changed his mind and then disappeared behind his Cloud robe as if it didn’t exist. This colossus can also be coquettish, we thought and immediately began to miss him, worse: we felt betrayed by our right to its beauty and suddenly understood why the first look of the Zermatt every morning full of humility and gratitude to her Matterhorn goes on for a lifetime, day after day. Because without their home and heart mountain, without this mountain of mountains, everything would be different in their village.
Without the Matterhorn, we were in a fantastic ski area, which gave us a white high in the high alpine terrain in the midst of three dozen four thousand meter peaks on three hundred and sixty kilometers of slopes, limitless skiing on the roof of the Alps with a difference in altitude of two thousand meters, twenty-five kilometers of descents and spectacular views of three countries France, Italy and Switzerland, Montblanc, Monte Rosa and Dent Blanche, Gabelhorn, Zinalrothorn and Breithorn. But only when the Matterhorn finally dropped its veil and took a seat on its icy throne like a king, only now did the Zermatt ski area become a place of wonder and wonder, a place like no other in the Alps from a single mountain is so triumphantly dominated and outshone – by this 4478-meter-high giant that has little in common with its brothers in the high mountains.