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Jon Platt helps fight Parkinson's Disease.

Matterhorn in Switzerland

by Jon Platt on August 17, 2017


The Matterhorn, the king of mountains, is the most-photographed mountain in the world. It is myth and emblem for Alpinists and photographers alike, as well as Switzerland’s most famous landmark and symbol.


The Matterhorn has a magic attraction, both for day-trippers who love the view and for Alpinists who love a challenge and dream of climbing the peak of the Matterhorn at least once in their lives. The most popular ascent route is the Hörnligrat.

Base Camp Matterhorn / Hörnlihütte

4,478 m

First ascent 
14 July 1865: the Matterhorn was the only remaining famous 4,000-metre peak to be conquered.

First climbed by
Edward Whymper, Douglas R. Hadow, Charles Hudson, Francis Douglas, Michel-Auguste Croz, Peter Taugwalder senior, Peter Taugwalder junior. On the descent, four climbers fell to their deaths: Douglas R. Hadow, Charles Hudson, Francis Douglas and Michel-Auguste Croz.

Tips in the village

  • Zermatlantis, the Matterhorn Museum, with Matterhorn room: exhibits include the snapped rope from the first ascent (original)
  • Hotel Monte Rosa with commemorative plaque for the first ascent. Guided tours.
  • Hotel Matterhorn Lodge: Matterhorn-themed hotel.
  • Guided tours of the village
  • Vernissage cinema, documentary film “Whymper's Weg aufs Matterhorn”, original sound with subtitles in German/English/French
  • Mountaineers’ cemetery with memorial stones to Peter & Peter Taugwalder, Michel-Auguste Croz

Tips for visitors

  • Rothorn
  • Gornergrat
  • Matterhorn glacier paradise

Tips for hikers

  • Matterhorn glacier Trail, Trockener Steg - Schwarzsee
  • Hörnliweg trail, Schwarzsee - Hörnli hut (for hikers with a sure foot and a good head for heights)
  • Five Lakes Walk, from Blauherd

Matterhorn: tips for mountaineers

  • Mountain guide necessary
  • Only for climbers with a sure foot and a good head for heights
  • Demands stamina and a good level of fitness
  • 2-day trip, usually from the Hörnli hut

Essence of the Matterhorn
Thanks to its shape and its free-standing position, the Matterhorn is considered to be the epitome of a mountain. There is no better-known mountain in the world whose natural shape is so close to a pyramid. 100 million