Riffelalp lies on the flanks of the Gornergrat, right on the treeline. The larches and Swiss stone pines beautifully frame the view of the Matterhorn. In the 19th century, the pioneers of alpinism passed by this historic spot on their way to conquer many of the region’s 4,000-metre peaks. The American writer Mark Twain (1835–1910) found inspiration here for one of his tales (see “Reading”, below). The antique tram, which first ran in 1899, still carries guests to the Riffelalp Resort. Inaugurated in 1884, this is now a 5-star hotel of international renown.