If you’ve ever wanted to try climbing the world’s largest and most treacherous peaks, then the Matterhorn could well be on your bucket list. However, it’s a seriously risky trip – you really need to know what you’re doing! How much do you really know about the Matterhorn, should you wish to visit? Here are some marvelous facts about the Matterhorn to help you on your way.
1. What is the Matterhorn?
The Matterhorn is a mountain that’s found deep in the heart of the Alps range. It’s based in between Switzerland and Italy, making it a famous crossing point for some of the most adventurous tourists out there.
2. It’s seriously tall.
The Matterhorn stands at an impressive 4,478 meters (or 14,435 feet) high! However, it doesn’t even break the top ten tallest mountains in Europe – which should come as a seriously breathtaking shock when you’re done trying to climb it for yourself!
3. I’m on top of the world!
Every year, around 3,000 climbers come from all over to reach the summit of the Matterhorn! In fact, during the summer, you can come across up to about 150 climbers trying to reach the top. It takes serious bravery and skill to get up here.
Tragically, more than 500 people have died climbing this mountain. In fact, an average of about five people per year still die climbing the mountain – it’s always a good idea to train properly when climbing natural features, and if you do wish to attempt to scale the mighty Matterhorn, it’s wise to travel with a guide, or a group of friends who also have adequate mountaineering experience.
4. Air Zermatt to the rescue!
Thanks to real-life heroes, many people are also saved while climbing the Matterhorn year after year! Air Zermatt, a helicopter rescue firm based over in Switzerland, has an average of about 15 missions per year, saving climbers from potentially deadly falls. That number is decreasing, too – but it’s good to know help is at hand if you really need it.
5. Who got there first?
The first recorded ascent of the Matterhorn took place on July 14th, 1865. Seven climbers started the trip, but only three survived. Again, you should never try scaling the Matterhorn lightly!
6. Lucy Walker took big strides for female climbers everywhere.
The first woman ever recorded to climb the Matterhorn was a woman named Lucy Walker. She completed her journey back in 1871. She was also the first woman to reach the summit of the Eiger back in 1864! Guess you could say she was “Eiger” to get it done!
7. To Ulrich, age was just a number.
Ulrich Inderbinen was something of a mountaineering legend – and although he passed away back in 2004, his legacy lives on in the climbing community. He was the oldest person to have ever reached the summit of the Matterhorn – having achieved his goal when he was 89 years old!
8. Chances are, you’ve seen the Matterhorn in store…
If, upon seeing the Matterhorn in real life or in photos, you think you recognize it, you probably do! That is because the summit features on packets of Toblerone chocolate. As a side fact, did you know that there’s a silhouette of a bear hidden in Toblerone’s Matterhorn logo, too?
9. From days to hours!
It used to take at least two days to climb the north face of the Matterhorn. However, thanks to modern technology and climbing innovations, it may take you as few as ten hours! Just don’t rush the climb!
FAQs about The Matterhorn
Why is the Matterhorn so famous?
The Matterhorn is famous for being one of the most beautiful snow-capped summits in the world! However, it is also fairly infamous for being a highly deadly peak - several people die trying to ascend it every year.
Is it hard to climb the Matterhorn?
Let’s put this concisely - yes! While many people have succeeded in reaching the summit of this majestic mountain, the Matterhorn is known as one of the most challenging climbs in all mountaineering (even though there’s bigger mountains out there). In fact, it was even parodied in an episode of The Simpsons - as Homer tries to climb a peak called the “Murderhorn!”
Is it worth visiting the Matterhorn?
The Matterhorn is definitely worth visiting for yourself - however, climbing it is no easy feat and requires serious training. You should also have a professional guide on hand to ensure you remain as safe as possible on the terrain.
Do you know any fun facts about The Matterhorn? Share them in the comments below!