I have wanted to see the Matterhorn since I was a little kid and first learned that it was a mountain with a crooked top in Switzerland and not just a ride at Disney. My sister came into town to visit me with the sole request that we do some hiking. Channeling my childhood dreams, I suggested that we head down to Zermatt to try and catch a glimpse of the Matterhorn.
We a borrowed a book of hikes in Switzerland from a friend and off we went. The book suggested that for the best views in the shortest amount of time we take a 5 1/2 hour loop from Zermatt up one of the peaks that could be reached with minimal effort. It listed the hike difficulty as medium and the gradient as gradual. Either I am entirely out of shape or it lied. Majorly. But after 4 1/2 hours, a 45 degree gradient at times, and stopping every 15 steps because the air was so thin that we needed to catch our breath, we reached the top and I got to see the Matterhorn.
Unfortunately there were some clouds covering the Matterhorn's defining feature, but I got to see it nonetheless. The view at the top made all of the effort worthwhile.