On 14 July 1865 Edward Whymper reached the summit of the Matterhorn together with his ill-fated companions. 150 years later, the Matterhorn still dominates the life of the resort at its base - the Alpine Club was invited to participate in anniversary events in Zermatt
Around 15 AC members and partners travelled to Zermatt for a week of celebration and climbing. The anniversary also saw the re-opening of the Hörnli Hut, now boasting all modern comforts including a wi-fi connection. The Matterhorn itself was closed on 14 July out of respect for those who have died on the mountain since the first ascent. Two armed policemen were on hand to deter access to the foot of the climb. On the Bahnhofstrasse there is now a 'Walk of Climb' which was inaugurated with the Club's help. Our president Lindsay gave a speech at the Gala Dinner in the Zermatterhof and the audience seemed to be pleased (or perplexed?) with his English sense of humour.
On Friday 17 July the wake up call at the Hörnli Hut was 3am: time for a celebratory climb of the mountain to begin. Some 40 participants climbed the Matterhorn via different ridges, this as an act of friendship between Switzerland, Italy, France and the UK - the nations of the first ascent. At the top of the mountain this bond was sealed with a toast of 'Walliser Wein' - enjoyed by the AC’s three summiteers: Anna Lawford, Steve Goodwin and Ursula Haeberli.