Fewer Accidents on the "Calmed" Matterhorn

31/08/2016

This summer, hundreds of mountaineers have fulfilled their dream and reached the summit of the Matterhorn over the Hörnligrat. Thanks to various measures in force since the 2015 Jubilee Summer, there were fewer accidents on the Matterhorn.

The summer of 2015 marked the anniversary of the 150 Years First Ascent of the Matterhorn. On 14 July 2015, the newly renovated and remodelled Hörnlihütte (Base Camp Matterhorn) was reopened. It now has 130 beds, 40 fewer than before the renovation. This was to introduce some Alpine calm to the Hörnligrat. Around the hut, all of the improvised camping sites were cleared, and there has since been a strict ban on camping with fines of up to CHF 5,000 for those not adhering to this restriction.

Taking Sustainable Measures

Hut warden Kurt Lauber draws a positive balance: "Because we no longer had any wild camping mountain climbers on the Matterhorn, we had fewer accidents this summer." The concerted measures therefore achieved their purpose. Just count the numbers: in 2013, still 170 overnight stays in the hut, up to 40 campers outside, which makes 210 climbers per day and each hustling up the Hörnligrat. Up to 3,000 Alpinists reached the summit of the Matterhorn. "The calming on the mountain has a sustainable effect," says Lauber. It clearly shows that mostly the campers had led to the problems and accidents on the mountain. They underestimated the mountain, dared to climb without a mountain guide, and many of them were also poorly equipped. 

2016: Perfect Conditions

"This Dream Summer will remain a positive memory in our minds for years to come," summarises Lauber. "Since the beginning of August, it was always beautiful and the conditions in the rock were ideal," the hut warden and mountain guide continues. Because there were so many beautiful days in succession, it certainly will come to a record number of successful climbs on the Matterhorn (4,478 m). "The hut was always fully booked, and on average there were between 40 and 50 mountain guide ‘on the mountain’ every day," explaines Lauber. The summer season achieves the record number of alpinist who reach the Matterhorn summit: 3000.

The Hörnli Hut is a Popular Excursion Destination

Already during the past Jubilee summer, 400 to 500 day guests hiked along the Hörnliweg every day. All together, there were around 10,000. This summer, Lauber amazingly counted about the same number of day guests as during the Jubilee year. Thanks to the restored path, the ascent is safer for hikers now and the climb up almost 750 metres of altitude in a little over two hours is less challenging. On the terrace of the Hörnli Hut (3,260 m), the spectacle is announced. Anyone with a pair of binoculars has a front row seat to comfortably watch the climbers on the mountain. 

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