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

 
 

Joseph McCormick

(1834-1914)

 
 

The Reverend Joseph McCormick was a good friend of Charles Hudson. His account of the calamity of July 1865, A Sad Holiday, has provided a useful record of the accident and surrounding events. After meeting with Hudson and Kennedy in March 1865 and making plans for the Aiguille Verte and the Matterhorn, he applied for summer Chaplaincies. He got Grindelwald for the first two Sundays of July and Zermatt for the other three. But he was determined to meet up with his climbing companions, even if that required strenuous journeys to fit going up mountains around Sunday services.

He had been a student at Cambridge University, where he was known as a keen and accomplished cricketer, so this is probably where he met Hudson. There is not much further record of his climbing achievements, but his account of the Summer of 1865 suggests that the loss of his friend had a deep impact. Maybe he lost interest in mountaineering without Hudson.

After the Matterhorn tragedy, he was a great support to Whymper, and helped with the public announcements that were made to the press in the aftermath of the accident. He went on to become Chaplain to Queen Victoria, Edward V11 and George V. He remained friends with Edward Whymper, and officiated at his wedding in 1906.

  • Joseph McCormick
The Reverend McCormick was known as an athletic young man when he was at Cambridge University, and was especially fond of cricket.