Picture of the Day: The Mighty Matterhorn
THE MIGHTY MATTERHORN
Photograph by Verena Popp-Hackner, Wild Wonders of Europe
The Matterhorn (German), Monte Cervino (Italian) or Mont Cervin (French), is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Its summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the highest peaks in the Alps.
The Matterhorn was one of the last of the main Alpine mountains to be ascended, not because of its technical difficulty, but because of the fear it inspired in early mountaineers. On July 14, 1865, the party of Edward Whymper, Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, Douglas Robert Hadow, Michel Croz and the two Peter Taugwalders (father and son) were able to reach the summit by an ascent of the Hornli ridge in Switzerland.
Upon descent, Hadow, Croz, Hudson and Douglas fell to their deaths on the Matterhorn Glacier, and all but Douglas (whose body was never found) are buried in the Zermatt churchyard.
Only three days after Whymper’s ascent, the mountain was ascended from the Italian side via an indirect route by Jean-Antoine Carrel and Jean-Baptiste Bich on July 17, 1865.