Nostalgic Horse Pack Train on the Mountain

14/08/2014

On 20 August 2014, there will be much to marvel at near the foot of the Matterhorn. Fifteen horses will pull a pack train to transport 10 nearly three-ton paving tiles towards the Hörnlihütte. Visitors are welcome to watch this nostalgic form of transportation.

Commandant Matthieu Landert from the Pack Train 10 explains: “We look forward to presenting the work of the pack soldiers and horses at the foot of the Matterhorn.” He will command Pack Train 10, which will move up the mountain with 15 Freiberger horses and 23 soldiers. Each horse will carry a load of 130 to 150 kilogrammes.

Counter to the general assumption that the pack trains were decommissioned, the four existing pack train units of the Swiss Army are very popular. “Train” means a wagon train, baggage train or horse carriers. The motto of Landert’s troup is: “Pack Train 10 goes where a wheel no longer turns.”

Bivouac at Furi and Safety Along the Transportation Route

The train will report for duty at Furi above Zermatt, where a bivouac has been set up next to the Hotel Silvana. Soldiers and horses will overnight here. On Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 8 am, the pack train will set out. Two trips will be made. This means that each horse will cover the transportation trail twice.

Commandant Landert appeals to the hikers and spectators for cooperation: “For safety reasons, it is important that hikers, who are using the Hörnliweg, leave the trail and allow the horses to pass.” The hiking trail is just too narrow for pack horses and people at the same time.

Tile Layers in Action in the Hörnlihütte

Thirteen candidates – including three women – for the 2014 Swiss Tile Laying Championships will make a major contribution at the Hörnlihütte. Under the direction of Ivan Vock, they will take part in a training camp in the mountains of Zermatt from 18 to 30 August and install the ceramic floor tiles professionally in the Hörnlihütte. During the period, 25 tonnes of material will be processed. The objective is to complete all of the ceramic, flagstone and stone renovation work during this time. This requires a readiness to work, team spirit, persistence and good technical skills. Afterwards, the young professionals will go to Bern to take part in the Swiss Skills Trade Championships in September.

Information

Horses 15 horses, Freiberger (Swiss breed)
Soldiers 23 people, including 1 woman with command
functions, total of 6 women in the company
Start Wednesday, 20 August, 8 am from Furi
Trips 2 round trips, 4 hours each
Load around 3 tonnes of floor tiles
Route from Stafelalp (loading station) via
Schwarzsee towards the Hörnlihütte
Interim stop the floor tiles will be stored above Hirli and
later flown to the Hörnlihütte by helicopter,
because the remainder of the path is impassable
for pack horses.