Matterhorn, Italy/Switzerland

Prominence: 1027 m, 3370 ft

Elevation: 4478 meters, 14,692 feet

Approx. Isolation: 13.92 km, 8.65 mi
Alternate Name(s)Monte Cervino; Mont Cervin
Peak TypeFamous Peak, but not High Point
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)45° 58' 35'' N; 7° 39' 31'' E
45.976424, 7.65863 (Dec Deg)
396091E 5092303N Zone 32 (UTM)
State/ProvinceValle d’Aosta
County/Second Level RegionAosta

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Other Web Sites
     Matterhorn - Monte Cervino at

Lists that contain Matterhorn:
     Famous Peaks that are not High Points (Rank #2)
     Alpine 4000-meter Peaks (Rank #9)
     Alpine Peaks with 1000 meters of Prominence (Rank #168)
     Italy Alps Peaks with 600 meters of Prominence (Rank #62)
     Switzerland Alps Peaks with 600 meters of Prominence (Rank #30)
     Switzerland Peaks with 600 m of Prominence (Rank #30)
     Switzerland Alps Top 50 by Prominence (Rank #30)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1949-08-15 by Frederick Johnson
     1992-09-16 by Mick Stanic (Unsuccessful)
     1993-08 by Bo Belvedere Christensen
     1994-08-02 by Joe Lavelle
     1997-09-08 by Chris Upson
     2003-09-05 by Tim Benjamin

View ascents of peak by registered members (53 total)

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Matterhorn
     Elevation Ladder from Matterhorn
     Prominence Ladder from Matterhorn

The Matterhorn is one of the very few peaks whose fame has trancended the realm of the mountains; perhaps only Mount Everest has entered the public consciousness more than this sharp summit of the Swiss-Italian border.

The renown of the Matterhorn is not due to its elevation. Depending on the prominence threshold selected, it could be called anything from the fifth to tenth highest peak in the Alps. Only 14 km/9 mi away is Liskamm, a slightly higher summit, and just beyond that is the Monte Rosa massif, the second highest in the Alps, rising 156 m/512 ft above the Matterhorn's crest.

The Matterhorn is famous for two reasons. The first and most obvious is its shape, especially in the classic view from Zermatt. A tall rocky fang with a summit that appears to overhang the sheer north face, the first view of the peak is breathtaking; it does not look like any other mountain, but instead a surreal landform that just looks impossible, set among the more mundane summits around it.

Aside from its profile, the Matterhorn is legendary as the site of perhaps the most celebrated mountain climb and accident ever. Edward Whymper, on his seventh attempt, climbed this last major virgin alpine peak on July 14th, 1865, only to have four members of his seven-man team plunge to their deaths on the descent. Whymper and his two guides were saved only when their rope broke.

These days, the Matterhorn is a relatively easy and very popular ascent. I have heard that the Hornli Ridge (Whymper's route and still considered the easiest) on nice weather days is a solid queue of climbers, and that the greatest dangers are people-generated rockfall from above and tricky maneuvering while passing other parties going opposite directions. It is not a climb for the acrophobic, but a guide can take any competent scrambler to the summit without much difficulty. Other routes are harder but less crowded, and the north face remains one of the "big three" walls of the Alps, along with the north faces of the Eiger and the Grandes Jorasses.

This unusual view of the Matterhorn showcases it’s sheer east face (1993-08).
Web Map LinksBing Maps   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 1027 m/3370 ft
  Optimistic Prominence: 1027 m/3370 ft
  Key Col: Col Durand    3451 m/11,322 ft
Isolation13.92 km/8.65 mi
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Liskamm-West Summit  (ESE)
Isolation distance is based on NHN and is slightly overstated.
RangesContinent: Europe
Range2: Alps
Range3: Southern Alps
Range4: Pennine Alps
Range5: Southwest Zermatt Area (Highest Point)
Range6: Matterhorn Group (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Gulf of Lion
Mediterranean Sea
Atlantic Ocean
Adriatic Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Atlantic Ocean
First AscentJuly 14, 1865
Michel-Auguste Croz
Francis Douglas
Douglas Hadow (United Kingdom)
Charles Hudson
Peter Taugwalder (Switzerland)
Peter Taugwalder Jr. (Switzerland)
Edward Whymper (United Kingdom)
Google Maps Dynamic Map

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Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Breithorn (L) and Matterhorn (R) from Monte Rosa at sunrise (2010-07-31). Photo by Robert Garneau.
Click here for larger-size photo.

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