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

 
 

Peter Taugwalder Son

(1843-1923)

 
 

By 1865, Peter, the oldest son of a mountain guide father, was becoming a proficient guide in his own right. He was undertaking ambitious climbs around Zermatt, like the Weisshorn with John Birkbeck, and was hired to work with clients outside his home valley. After the Matterhorn tragedy, he enjoyed a successful career. His record for 1869, for example, included the Aiguille Verte, the Grandes Jorasses, the Aiguille du Midi, the Jungfrau, the Täschhorn and the Hohberghorn.

Young Peter Taugwalder married twice, first to Barbara Salzgeber in 1867, then in 1878 to Maria Lerjen. He fathered twelve children in all, so the living he could earn on the mountains undertaking ambitious climbs must have been crucial. His career was brought to an end when a falling rock badly damaged his knee in 1900.

While Whymper was largely sympathetic to Old Peter in the Scrambles footnote about his fellow Matterhorn survivors, he was more critical about the son. This does not seem, however, to have damaged Young Peter’s future prospects for employment. By the end of his life, he had ascended the Matterhorn around 125 times.

  • Peter Taugwalder Son