Mike and Liz, the Inghams representatives in Zermatt this summer, were lucky enough to witness the completion of the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, the Charles Kuonene suspension bridge. A jubilant crowd of about 400 people attended the official inauguration, which took place near Zermatt, on Saturday 29 July 2017.
The bridge measures 494m in length, gaining it a place in the Guiness Book of Records. It is held up by two cables, which are only 53mm in diameter yet weight 8 tonnes! The construction of the new bridge only took 3-months, making it one of the fastest mountings of a suspension bridge in the world, according to Theo Lauber, the bridge’s builder.
The bridge is named after the principal sponsor, Charles Kunonen who donated 100,000 CHF towards its construction. Theo Lauber, and his company Lauber Seilbahnen were responsible for the construction of the bridge as well as a smaller suspension bridge in Zermatt directly above the gorge.
The new bridge makes walking in Zermatt very accessible for Inghams’ guests. Keen walkers will enjoy the walk to the bridge from Sunnegga in Zermatt (5-7 hrs) or even as a part of the famous Europa Weg between Grachen and Zermatt – a two-day walk and an epic experience!
The Europa Weg between is considered one of the most spectacular two day hikes you can do in the Alps. The best direction to head on this walk is from Grachen to Zermatt as the mountainous panorama includes views of the Matterhorn. You can clearly see the Matterhorn from the suspension bridge – an amazing sight!
The walk leads from Grachen, over a ridge to Gasenried. From there your walk takes you through the Matter Valley, south onto the famous Europa Hutte above Randa. After that you climb to the suspension bridge 660m above Randa. Then the hike takes you to Taschalp where you can enjoy a hearty mountain lunch and before heading on to Sunnegga and down to Zermatt.
Another, simpler option is to take the train from Zermatt down to Tasch. From here, you can catch the special mini bus up to Taschalp and walk for approximately 3-hours to the bridge. After the bridge, it is another hour to Randa, where you can take the train back to Zermatt. This is our preferred route.
One last option is to catch the train from Zermatt to Randa, a 20-minute train journey, and from there walk for 2-hours up to the suspension bridge. The walk covers a 660m difference in altitude. For the journey back, simply walk back down again.
No matter how you choose to visit the Charles Kuonene suspension bridge, make sure you do. The bridge is a modern marvel of engineering, providing incredible access to some of the greatest natural scenery. It is definitely a fantastic new addition to the already incredible resort of Zermatt. We hope to see you here soon.