Matterhorn is a mountain in the Alps, located on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It is a huge, almost symmetrical peak in the Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps. Its altitude is 4,478 metres, making it one of the highest peaks in the Alps. The summit of the mountain offers panoramic views of the Swiss town of Zermatt to the northeast and the Italian town of Brei Cervenii to the south. To the east of the Matterhorn is the Theodule, the main pass between the two countries and also an ancient trade route from Roman times.
The name of the mountain and its origin
The name of the peak has been created from two German words:
- die Matte – grass, meadow
- das Horn – peak.
The former refers to the large grassy valley at the base of the hill, situated in the Gorner ravine. The name was first recorded in 1682. In German, the peak has only been known as Matterhorn since 1740.
The French-speaking name of the mountain is Mons Silvanus, whose most common variant of origin can be traced back to the Latin mons – pass, mountain and silvanus – forest. One of the earliest variants, described as early as the 16th century, states that the name comes from a Roman praetor named Servius Sulpicius Galba. He crossed the Theodulus Pass on Caesar’s orders. Gradually the name changed to Mon Cervinus, finally becoming the name of the peak as Cervinus. In Italian the name is the same, only the letter O is added at the end: Cervino. Other popular names are ds Horu, Horu, which are used by locals who use a Welsh dialect in conversation.
Features of one of the world’s most dangerous peaks
Perhaps the most important feature of the peak is its shape and unique profile of an almost right triangle, which looks very much like a pyramid. The walls of the peak face in four directions at once, and each ridge has its own name in honour of mountaineers who have died on the mountain:
Even if you have not been able to see the peak in person, you can recognise it from postcards. Moreover, the peak has long been the logo of the popular Swiss chocolate brand Toblerone.
The southern slope of the mountain belongs to Italy and the northern, western and eastern slopes to Switzerland. The location is also fortunate in terms of its distance from the rest of the Alpine peaks, so that it can be admired unobstructed at the level of the low hills and plains. The summit is quite steep and rocky, which makes it difficult to climb.
A closer look reveals that the mountain has two peaks that are 100 metres apart. It is worth noting that the border between Italy and Switzerland runs between them, so the peaks are called Italian and Swiss. The former is 1 metre lower than the latter. The upper peak is distinguished from the other by the proportions of an almost regular pyramid facing all parts of the world. The north and south sides are slightly wider than the others. In winter, the summit is covered with snow; in summer, the cliffs remain clear. Its steepness often leads to rockfalls and avalanches.
All the walls of the peak are very steep, so there is always little ice and snow on the surface. They simply do not hold. The snow on the mountain slopes is constantly avalanching, accumulating at the foot of the peak, in the areas of the upper parts of the glaciers coming down from all sides of the Matterhorn. The largest glacier formation here is Tiefmatten, located at the base of the wall to the west. There is another large glacier called the Matterhorn. It is located near the wall to the north.
Reasons to try to climb the mountain
Formulate reasons to try to climb the Matterhorn:
- The Matterhorn is the most famous mountain, the climb is honoured and considered the most beautiful mountain.
- The Matterhorn is the most famous mountain in the world and is considered the most beautiful mountain in the world.
- The Matterhorn is a school of mountaineering, it is a classic. It is a technical work and interaction with a partner.
- It is a touch of history, we are going to follow the path of the first climbers, the path of thousands of people. The history must be known beforehand.
- You will go in the company of a professional guide, communication with whom formally has a price, but in fact it is priceless. We are not talking about a Swiss guide, who hardly communicates with the clients.
The Climbing the Matterhorn programme is a good way to get to know Switzerland. It is the order and beauty of nature, democracy and militarism. All in a bottle.
Location and coordinates
The Matterhorn is located in the Pennine Alps, at 4,478 metres above sea level. The peak occupies the Swiss canton of Valais and the Italian province of Valle d’Aosta. The coordinates of the mountain are as follows:
- 45° 58′ 35″ (45° 58′ 58) North
- 7° 39′ 29″ (7° 39′ 49) East
The nearest village is Zermatt, situated on the north face of the peak. On the south rampart is the Italian settlement of Breuil-Cervinia.
You may also like: