In 1865, America was at the infantile steps of recovery from a long and bloody Civil War. The Civil War ended April 9th, and President Abraham Lincoln would be shot on the 14th of the same month. Slavery would officially be abolished with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 18th. America’s eyes were focused on ourselves, and for good reason. 1865 was a rough year for the US, but for the international mountain climbing community, it saw a great tragedy and success.
On July 13th, 1865, while the USA was still chaotic, Edward Whymper left his hotel in Zermatt, Switzerland to climb the Matterhorn. Whymper, a 26 year old Brit, had been trying to climb the 14,692 foot Matterhorn since 1861. On July 14th, he would finally stand atop the ridiculously rugged peak with success and joy. Sadly, he did not celebrate long, as a few hours later he would watch a four of his climbing partners die in a horrible accident on the descent.
Despite the tragedy, the successful climb of the Matterhorn is thought to have officially ended the golden age of alpinism. The era is best known for seeing the summiting of nearly 70 of the most infamous mountains in the Alps.
The year 2015, will mark 150 years since the first person stood atop the iconic Matterhorn, and the video below, from Mammut, shows an awesome and tasteful tribute that is just one of many events leading up to the actual anniversary date. More information on the Matterhorn 150 Celebration can be found here or looking up #Matterhorn150.
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