150 Years
  First Ascent

Matterhorn 2015

The First Ascent of the Matterhorn from Zermatt on July 14th 1865 was not exactly carefully planned. It was a chain of chance events that led to those seven climbers reaching the summit, then four perishing on the mountain and leaving Edward Whymper and Peter Taugwalder the subjects of intense speculation ever since.

Matterhorn 2015 takes the opportunity of its 150th Jubilee to re-live that epic event in mountaineering history. Follow Whymper on the journey across the Alps that culminated in the First Ascent of the Matterhorn and, along the way, work out what really led to the deaths of Michel Croz, Lord Francis Douglas, Charles Hudson and Douglas Hadow.

Read and experience the entire story via a Videobook, especially designed for tablets. A free App is available for download and enables you access to the history of the Matterhorn’s first ascent in any place and at any time.

Week by Week: A weekly Newsletter reports on the adventures of Summer 1865 ... as told by a contemporary of Edward Whymper. You can follow events “online” or pick up a printed version in Zermatt.

Day by day – Each afternoon an update on our website will be your gateway to the alpine exploits of that day 150 years ago.

As the action unwinds, we will keep you ud-todate either via our Live-Ticker or Twitter.

Become a Facebook friend of Edward Whymper, and hear what he has to say about the path towards the summit.

Exchange thoughts about the climb on our “Matterhorn 2015” Facebook community of adventure and nature lovers. Here you will also learn interesting fun-facts about Edward Whymper as well as his fellows, and reawaken your enthusiasm for wild adventures!

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Biography

 
 

Reverend Woolmore Wigram

(1831-1907)

 
 

Although he had made the first ascent of the Dent Blanche with Thomas Kennedy and Jean-Baptiste Coz in 1862, Wigram had given up climbing by 1865. He had married Harriet Mary Ainger in 1863 and they went on to have seven children. The Wigrams were a prominent family, Woolmore went to Rugby School then Cambridge University, then took Holy Orders and entered the Church. He was an expert on campanology (bell ringing), writing a series of articles on the subject.

It was Wigram who, a couple of weeks after the accident on the Matterhorn, heard from Jean-Baptiste Croz about the rumour going round Chamonix that Old Peter Taugwalder had cut the rope. Wigram wrote to Whymper to inform him of the story, then they both wrote to Jean-Baptiste to assure him that the rumour was not true.

  • Reverend Woolmore Wigram
The ringing of bells was a great enthusiasm of Woolmore Wigram. This is 1859, and the hanging of the huge new bell that became know as Big Ben. Whymper was fascinated by this feat of engineering, following the trials of its installation in his journal entries.