North Face Trail (Nr. 144)

This trail leads practically under the north face of the Matterhorn. The rock wall, dark and mighty, dominates the landscape. The feeling of wading over the snow under the iconic peak is unlike any other.

  • Type Snowshoeing
  • Difficulty medium
  • Duration 1,05 h
  • Distance 3,3 km
  • Ascent 0 m
  • Descent 384 m
  • Lowest point 2201 m
  • Highest point 2585 m


The trail leads from Schwarzsee, at the foot of the north face of the Matterhorn, through the gorgeous landscape around Stafelalp. It’s hard to believe that mountaineers have scaled the north face of the Matterhorn in winter: such as Walter Bonatti in 1965, climbing alone. The cold at the north face is almost tangible.

  • Choose time of day carefully, because the sun disappears very early here in winter
  • Palpable cold descends after sunset
  • Pink markers approx. every 100 m along the route
  • Caution: check details of current avalanche risk at lift station
  • Guided tours bookable through the Zermatters

Schwarzsee - Stafelalp

The last part of the walk follows the winter hiking trail back to Furi - snowshoes no longer required.

 (Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 30 - 2h)

We recommend:

  • Good, waterproof footwear
  • Snowshoes
  • Hiking poles
  • Warm winter clothing appropriate for the weather

Do not forget your camera, because getting a picture of the steep north wall of the Matterhorn is worth it in any case.

  • Plan every mountain tour carefully and adapt to participants’ fitness level as well as the weather and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible avoid going alone.
  • Do not leave the marked routes.
  • It is forbidden to walk on the ski pistes.
  • Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.

The snowshoe trails can be tackled without a mountain guide. Beware: they are not prepared in any way and are not controlled daily; nor are they secured from natural hazards such as avalanches or rockfalls. For safety, check the weather forecast and current avalanche bulletin.
All snowshoeing is at one’s own risk.

Tip: “Be searchable”. Equip yourself with an additional RECCO rescue reflector*. Whether summer or winter. Available in our Online-Shop or our information desk.
*The additional reflector does not replace an avalanche beacon.

Map and arrival