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!




Charles Hudson



Hudson was held in high regard by his contemporaries, but his experience until 1865 was mainly derived from expeditions on Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc. He had visited Zermatt several times in the early 1860s, including on his honeymoon in 1862, but his ambition for the Matterhorn first becomes apparent in 1865.

At St John’s College Cambridge, Hudson was known as an impressive oarsman and a socialiser who danced into the early hours. He took priest’s orders in 1854 and seems then to have undergone an evangelical conversion. He spent the winter of 1854/5 in the Crimea, where he volunteered as an army chaplain. After the fall of Sebastopol he trekked across Armenia with the unfulfilled intention of climbing Mount Ararat. By 1865, he was vicar of Skillington in Lincolnshire and had a wife, Emily Antoinette, and two children. His friend, Joseph McCormick, described him as an easy-going, jovial character, whose activities in the Church were paramount in his life.

He often took his pupils on his Alpine adventures, to train them in the virtues of godliness and physical fitness, and would read from his prayer book at the beginning of every climb. The book was intact when the corpses of the victims of July 14th 1865 were found, and can be seen in the Matterhorn museum.

  • Charles Hudson