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*150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn

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Tales of the Matterhorn

Legends, stories and tales of the Matterhorn.


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.

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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 woman Alpinists met in Zermatt in the summer of 1871, just after young Lucy had won the race to the peak.

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“I sat there with a rock-hard determination, because in spirit I was already wrestling with the dangers of the mountains, and my friend stared at me through his tears in adoring admiration. Finally, he threw himself onto me with a loving hug and called to me in a self-denying voice “Your Harris will never leave you. We will die together!”
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The GGB Gornergrat Bahn started operations on the 20th August 1898 – the first electric rack railway in Switzerland and the second in the world. A tourist attraction of the Extra class was created thanks to innovative pioneering spirit: The Gornergrat Bahn was the first railway in Europe to run at an altitude of more than 3,000 metres above sea level.
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