22 Summits Stories

Sunday excursion with the Julen family

A summer day in 2000: The Julen family goes on a trip to the Riffelhorn, the 2928-metre-high climbing mountain. It is considered a preparatory mountain for bigger tours, but the Julens have other things in mind. They don't even set out to reach the summit. In the rope with Carmen and Norbert "Norbi" Julen are their children, son Nicola (8) and daughter Carolina (7). Little sister Rahel (4) is supervised at the bottom by a family friend, mountain guide Ivan Imboden. When they return from the tour, they have a picnic at the foot of the Riffelhorn.

"The children's ambition to go to the mountain with us is always quite high. They grow up with the mountains," says Carmen Julen. "Everyone in Zermatt talks about mountaineering and skiing. The children already say at school: one day I'll climb the Matterhorn."

The Julen family has produced mountain guides in the second generation: Norbert Julen, the father of Nicola, Carolina and Rahel, is a mountain guide. His brother Bernhard is a mountain guide. Grandfather Paul was a mountain guide and his four brothers. Carmen Julen was born with the name Taugwalder. Her grandmother comes from St. Niklaus. Their ancestors were the Pollingers, who distinguished themselves with many first ascents in the 19th century. As a young woman, Carmen worked in the Monte Rosa Hut and for six seasons in the Hörnli Hut. Her fascination for the mountains began at the start of the big high tours, and this is what unites her and Norbert. Since then, they have been going on tours together - also with the whole family. As a mountain guide, Norbert Julen accompanies his guests in winter - in off-piste skiing, heliskiing and on ski tours. The Julens are enthusiastic skiers and nowhere can you ski and go to the mountain like in Zermatt. That's why Carolina and Rahel have always been drawn back home and have now joined the family business, the 22 SUMMITS, in Zermatt. Brother Nicola runs the well-known après-ski hut Hennu Stall, which is also part of the family business.

Our outdoor adventure tip in summer

The most beautiful alpine climbing mountain in Zermatt! Fantastic plaisir climbing on different routes in grippy rock awaits you, whether you are a first-time rock climber, an experienced climber or want to test your skills in Matterhorn-like terrain.

The view of the Gorner glacier and the surrounding 4000-metre peaks is breathtaking!