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Field Trip


5 to 7 July

8:30 (5 July) to 17:43 back in Lausanne (7 July)





Energy autark extreme-altitude architecture with a view of the Matterhorn and the stars

Meeting point: Lausanne main station

Transport: by train and cable car

Number of participants: 12

Registration fee: CHF 200 (includes transport, overnight stays and most meals)

Details: Wear good shoes and warm clothes; we will be at around 3000 m.a.s.l. (9,800 feet above sea level). Bring enough to drink (at least 0.5 litre) on the way up.

Organizer and Sponsor: International Foundation High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch & Gornergrat, Swiss Academy of Sciences, Swiss Alpine Club, WCSJ2019 and Matterhorn Group AG, Gornergrat Bahn

Contact: Manuela Di Giulio (

Note that the hike to the Monte Rosa hut is a challenging mountain hike and not a simple stroll in the mountains. Very good physical condition is paramount.  Professional mountain guides will accompany participants. Detailed safety instructions and instructions for the use of adequate equipment, such as ice axes, poles and crampons, will be given on site. Be aware of high altitude sickness. You will find more information on medical recommendations for high-altitude excursions here.

Participants must bring their own boots and if possible also their own sleeping bag. Sleeping bags can also be rented for CHF 5.-  at the Monte Rosa hut. Crampons will be provided by the guides.


Zermatt and its emblematic Matterhorn are home to world famous skiing and climbing. The resort’s high altitude tourism, astronomy and architectural design are equally breathtaking. From the village, you’ll ride the Gornergrat Bahn – a technical masterpiece of 19th century engineering, inaugurated in 1898 as the world’s first fully electric cog railway – up to the top of Gornergrat at 3135 m.a.s.l. (10,285 feet a.s.l.), where one one of the most beautiful mountain panoramas in the world opens up. Thanks to the clean, dry air and favourable meteorological conditions, Gornergrat is also an ideal spot for stargazing.

At the Gornergrat Stellarium, researchers share their enthusiasm and knowledge of astronomy, space research and natural sciences with the general public. The observatory is set up for educational purposes in the south tower of Kulmhotel Gornergrat and has been in operation since 2017. Its goal is to give children of school age as well as a wider public a greater understanding of these fascinating subjects. The Stellarium was made possible by the universities of Bern and Geneva and is financially supported by the International Foundation High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch & Gornergrat (HFSJG) and the community of Zermatt. The unique site at 3100 metres above sea level, combined with high quality equipment, make the Stellarium one of the best observatories open to the public in central Europe.

Close to Gornergrat, the Monte Rosa Hut is a high-altitude refuge for mountaineers. The present-day cabin with 129 beds combines striking architecture with ultra-modern technologies and is virtually self-sufficient in energy. The hut is a joint project by the Swiss Alpine Club and ETH Zurich to test sustainable construction and energy use in extreme climates. The building was digitally planned and produced with Computer Numerical Control  (CNC) cutting for wood and aluminum. Energy supply is completely renewable in good weather conditions with a photovoltaic system, a ventilation system with heat recovery, a closed water circuit for toilets and laundry as well as smart home technology. Combined heat and power technology powered by canola oil delivers energy during bad weather conditions.

Programme (subject to change)

Friday, July 5, 2019

  • Departure from Lausanne main station 8.50 h
  • Arrival at Zermatt: 11.51 h
  • 12.00 Check-in at Zermatt Youth Hostel, lunch individual
  • 14.00-14.33 h: Departure from Zermatt to Gornergrat
  • 15.00-17.00 h: Guided tour Gornergrat Stellarium
  • 18.00-20.00 h: Dinner at the Kulmhotel Gornergrat
  • 20.07 h: Departure Gornergrat to Zermatt
  • Individual evening programme


Saturday 6 July, 2019

  • 10.00 h: Meeting point Gornergratbahn valley station, guided tour to the Monte Rosa hut
  • Ride with the Gornergrat Railway and hike to the Monte Rosa Hut (accompanied by 2 mountain guides)
  • Check-in Monte Rosa hut and guided tour through hut (SAC)
  • Dinner and overnight stay in Monte Rosa Hut


Sunday 7 July, 2019

  • Breakfast in Monte Rosa Hut
  • Hike from Monte Rosa Hut and return to Zermatt
  • 14.00-14.30 h: Arrival in Zermatt
  • 14.37 h: Return journey from Zermatt to Lausanne
  • 17.43 h: Arrival in Lausanne
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