Matterhorn Trip Report (#19048)

  • Signed By: Malcolm Harwood
  • Date submitted: February 14, 2006
  • Number of People Encountered:0-10 people
  • Recommend to a Friend: Highly

After training for a year with Bob Gaines, Scott Cosgrove, John Long and others, through the climbing school known as 'Vertical Adventures'. I returned to Zermatt and summited on August 23, 1989. I hiked to the Hornli Hut on the 22nd and had dinner and spent the night with about 20 other climbers from all over the world. I was 54 at the time and the oldest person in the room, I'm sure. There were only two others who could speak English, but everyone was communicating pretty well with broken Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese and a lot of body language. The dining room was supercharged with excitement. We were awakened at 4:00 AM and had a light breakfast, put on our headlamps, gathered our guides and started up the rock at 4:30 AM. Crampons were necessary for the final assault and I was glad to have taken Ice climbing lessons with Jay Smith from Lake Tahoe. By 8:30 AM we were on top and taking a short rest before heading down. The guides will tell you that if you are on the mountain much later, everything starts to melt and rock fall becomes a serious problem. We down climbed to the Hut, took a rest break, then I headed down to Zermatt. Stopped on the way to town for a Victory drink. I was back at the Monte Rosa for a shower and then off with my wife for a celebration dinner. A climb I will never forget. Even though I may never be able to climb it again, I do want to get back to Zermatt and take one more look at the Matterhorn.

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