Reports first ascent

The Thriller on the “Matterhorn”

The Matterhorn celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first ascent. There at that time: Father and Son Taugwalder. To mark the anniversary, the Zermatt open-air theatre tells the dramatic story. Centre stage this time: the fifth generation Father and Son Taugwalder.

Text by Aurelia Forrer and Pictures from David Birri
Published in the Schweizer Illustrierten, no. 11, 9 March 2015


TV star Matterhorn: Documentaries show past and present

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, several TV channels have produced comprehensive documentaries for 2015. The Swiss SRF TV channel is presenting a two-part documentary of the first ascent, while the German ARD channel has broadcasted stories from the Alpine region presented by the legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner. Futher TV channels are preparing documentaries.


All eyes are on the Matterhorn

The Matterhorn, the king of mountains, is the most-photographed mountain in the world. It is myth and emblem for Alpinists and photographers alike, as well as Switzerland’s most famous landmark and symbol. In 2015, Zermatt will celebrate its mountain in the context of numerous events, all relating to the first ascent of the famous mountain by Zermatt mountain guides and Englishman Edward Whymper in 1865, 150 years ago.


The Matterhorn was climbed from the Base Camp Matterhorn

Zermatt is getting ready for the grand reopening of the Hörnlihütte at the foot of the Matterhorn in 2015. Throughout 2014, it remained closed due to renovation work. However, thanks to the “Base Camp Matterhorn” and its “Alpine Shelters”, mountaineers were able to climb the Matterhorn via Hörnligrat during the summer 2014.


Matterhorn: First ascent in 1865

The Matterhorn was long considered too difficult to climb. On 14 July 1865, the British climber Edward Whymper reached the top together with three mountain guides and three English. Only three people survived the descent.


First Ladies: The first women to climb the Matterhorn

As with the first man, the ascent of the Matterhorn by the first woman was considered to be a milestone in Alpine history. At the time, the two most likely contenders were Meta Brevoort from the USA and Lucy Walker from the UK. The two women Alpinists met in Zermatt in the summer of 1871, just after young Lucy had won the race to the peak.


Matterhorn railway project: Some ideas never see the light of day

A comfortable way of travelling to the top of the Matterhorn – that was the idea behind a project conceived at the end of the 19th century. Heritage conservationists, however, saw to it that the project never left the drawing board. In his book “Visionäre Bahnprojekte” (Visionary railway projects), Heinz Schild describes railway projects conceived in the turbulent times at the turn of the last century.


The Hörnlihütte warden talks about everyday life at the cabin

Kurt Lauber has been the warden of the Hörnlihütte for close to 20 years. He knows the mountain and also the Alpinists who come to storm the peak, both the well-prepared ones and those who somewhat overestimate themselves. His book, which was published in March 2012, pertinently describes the usual madhouse on the mountain of mountains.


Scientific research: Matterhorn under close observation

The Matterhorn, local name “Hore”, is in motion. In 2003, rockslides from the Hörnligrat ridge attracted international attention. The Matterhorn has long been under scientific observation. Scientists state that rockslides have always been a possibility and are keeping an eye on the mountain of mountains in order to understand the mechanisms at work.


Whymper’s Way up the Matterhorn

This black-and-white documentary film was made in 1955. It was created at that time by Zermatt mountain guides, ski teachers, ski school directors and the retired mountain farmer August Julen. This film, which is also a contemporary document about that time, is regularly shown in the Kino Vernissage in Zermatt.


Total high - Euphoria on the Matterhorn.

For more than 150 years, Zermatt has been a key element in high-alpine experiences.For many people, mountaineering is a book with seven seals.


Zermatt Museum: The past as an experience

The Zermatt Zermatlantis Museum has become an important pillar of Zermatt’s alpine history and culture, with as many as 1,000 visitors flocking to the underground world of the museum on some days.


Alpine competence: Zermatt, an Eldorado for mountain climbers

Mountaineers love Zermatt. High Alpine tours, ski tours or climbing: all these activities lure and challenge them – letting them forget their everyday worries and enjoy limitless experiences. But why are the Zermatt Alps the Swiss Eldorado for mountain lovers? And why is the competence of the Zermatt mountain guides legendary?


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