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

 
 

Thomas Stuart Kennedy

(1841-1894)

 
 

Kennedy was an industrialist from Leeds in Yorkshire. He was a skilled engineer and mathematician, a successful business man and a keen music lover as well as a prominent alpinist. His climbing exploits were legendary, making several first ascents, of which the Dent Blanche in July 1862 was specially memorable.

His attempt to climb the Matterhorn in winter 1862 showed innovative thinking – summer’s ice might be covered by winter’s more scalable snow - even if the severe cold defeated him and his guides Peter Perren and Old Peter Taugwalder.

In 1865, he married Clara Thornton in Canterbury Cathedral, and his new wife and their adventurous dog travelled with him on that summer’s mountaineering expedition. Having made a 2nd ascent of the Aiguille Verte, he could well have been one of the first on the summit of the Matterhorn, had not the demands of business called him home.

He built the extravagantly Victorian gothic Meanwood House as his family home. In the garden, he had constructed an organ house for an instrument he commissioned in Germany. The organ house was centrally heated and could seat 800 people. Kennedy was only 53 when he died from a heart problem from which he had suffered for a while.

  • Thomas Stuart Kennedy