On this Day - July 14th

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matterhorn

The Matterhorn is conquered

The first ascent of the Matterhorn was made by Edward Whymper, Lord Francis Douglas, Charles Hudson, Douglas Hadow, Michel Croz, and two Zermatt guides, Peter Taugwalder and his son of the same name, on 14 July 1865.

Douglas, Hudson, Hadow and Croz were killed on the descent when Hadow slipped and pulled the other three with him down the north face.

Whymper and the Taugwalder guides, who survived, were later accused of having cut the rope below to ensure that they were not dragged down with the others, but the subsequent inquiry found no evidence of this and they were acquitted.

The ascent followed a long series of usually separate attempts by Edward Whymper and Jean-Antoine Carrel to reach the summit. Carrel's group had been 200 m below the summit on the Italian site when Croz and Whymper summited. The climbers from Valtournenche withdrew deflated, but three days later Carrel and Jean-Baptiste Bich reached the summit without incident.

The Matterhorn was the last great Alpine peak to be climbed and its first ascent marked the end of the golden age of alpinism,

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