Monday, July 14, 2014

Zermatt: One-year countdown to 150th Anniversary of First Matterhon Ascent

On 14 July 1865, at 1.40 p.m., the first mountaineers reached the peak of the Matterhorn. Today, Zermatt is marking this historic day with the start of a one-year countdown. Seven pyro salutes will honour the seven mountaineers who accomplished this extraordinary feat. On 14 July 2015, the 150th anniversary of the first ascent, a series of events and celebrations will take place in the Matterhorn village in commemoration of this memorable day.
Today, the Swiss clock maker Tissot is unveiling its impressive countdown clock which will show the days, hours and minutes until the celebration of the historic event commences. Integrated into a pyramid, the display will draw attention to Swiss mountaineering sports and commemorate Zermatt‘s courageous mountain guides and the mountaineers who reached the peak of the Matterhorn in 1865.
Tissot’s cooperation with Zermatt underscores the Swiss character of the brand, creates a link with mountaineers and emphasises the company’s endeavour to provide them with top-quality precision instruments.

The Matterhorn (4,478 metres) 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.
Edward Whymper was the first to reach the top. He was followed by the mountain guide Michel Croz (from Chamonix), the Reverend Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, Douglas Robert Hadow (all from England) as well as the Zermatt mountain guides Peter Taugwalder (father) and Peter Taugwalder (son). During the descent of the first climbers, the front four-member rope team (Croz, Hadow, Hudson and Douglas) fell to their deaths over the north wall while still above the shoulder. Three of the bodies were recovered a few days later on the Matterhorn glacier. The corpse of Lord Francis Douglas has not been found yet.
The tourist development of Zermatt had its beginnings here.
150 years later, the Matterhorn still stamps its imprint on the village at its base. In 2015, Zermatt will celebrate the mountain and the alpine tradition with events, experiences, festivities and special offers. The main player on this stage, besides the Matterhorn, is the Hörnlihütte, which will reopen in july 2015, as well as many other happenings.

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