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

 
 

Alexander Seiler

(1819-1891)

 
 

Alexander Seiler was born in Blitzingen and his first profession was soap and candle making. You might not have predicted that he would found a dynasty of successful hoteliers. Nor that his name would be forever linked to the iconic Monte Rosa hotel, part of the infrastructure of Zermatt. But when his brother became Curé in Zermatt and spotted the lack of supply and increasing demand for hotel beds in the remote town, he alerted his business minded sibling. In 1853 Alexander took up the lease on a six bedded pension established by a local physician, and stayed for the rest of his life.

The Monte Rosa became known as the meeting place for climbers during these years of Alpine discovery. Its façade went down in history as “The Clubroom of Zermatt” in Whymper’s picture of guides and mountaineering tourists. Seiler helped the visitors source provisions and hire guides for their adventures. Conversation among climbers around his table d’hôte was legendary. To consolidate the commercial opportunity the first ascent of the Matterhorn provided, he paid to build the first Hörnli Hut in 1868. However, not having been born of a Zermatt family, he never acquired the status of a local burgher.

Seiler died in July 1891, just as the railway connection between Zermatt and Visp was completed. His coffin was transported down the Vispa valley on the return journey of the first train to make the ascent.

  • Alexander Seiler