Matterhorn

Matterhorn Trip Report (#14854)

I would like to add some facts about my ascent of the Matterhorn accomplished 48 years ago last August 3. After returning to my army post in Rochefort from Zermatt, I read in the Stars and Stripes a news article about a young American from Denver who along with his English companion fell to their death from the Matterhorn during a guidless climb. Four years later I return to Zermatt and found their gravestones in the village cemetery at the end of a row of other victims of Alpine tragedies.

I will forever be grateful to Emil Julen, probably in his seventies by now if he is still alive. He was my competent guide who got this novice to the top and back. His fee was only forty dollars ($40). There was much less demand for guides back then.

I still have a Kodachrome photograph enlarged to poster size of me standing across the valley from the rearing "Lion of the Alps," framed between two pine trees. It was taken on August 4, a day after the climb. I was seventy pounds lighter then and far more fit than I am today. In ten days, I will turn seventy. Ah, youth! Why must it be wasted on the young?

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