Ascent of Matterhorn on 1949-08-15

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Murray Brush
Carlo Schueller
Guides Emil Perren
Gottleib Perren
Fred Biner
Date:Monday, August 15, 1949
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:14692 ft / 4478 m

Ascent Trip Report

Yesterday afternoon we enjoyed a brisk hike from Zermatt (1608m) via the Schwarzsee (2586m) to the Hotel Belvedere (3260m) on the Hornli Ridge. The hotel is simply but nicely furnished with hearty meals and individual bedrooms. This morning Murray, Carlo, and I departed for our climb of the Hornli Ridge at 4:35AM, each of us with a guide, as required by the Guide Bureau, rather than a single one for the three of us, despite our recent alpine climbs in the Bernese Oberland. After two hours we passed the Mosely Slab and arrived for a short break at the Solvay Hut (4003m). Continuing up the ridge, we turned the Red Tower and surmounted the Shoulder, aided by fixed iron belay pegs. Then, gaining the steep summit block, we reached the summit at 8:20AM. The weather was perfect and the views great with limitless visibility of many of the great peaks of the region We had climbed continuously most of the way up and unerringly. I would have welcomed a bit slower ascent to better enjoy the unique experience. However, we spent considerable time on top with only a few other climbers soon joining us. Given the favorable weather we decided to descend the Italian (Lion) Ridge, walking over the short, narrow ridge to the Italian (west) summit, descending the fixed ropes to the deep notch (Enjambee) below the summit block to the Pic Tyndall (4241m). With the aid of more fixed rope we climbed down past the Mauvais Pas to the decidedly unkempt Refugio Carrel (3829m). Then down a succession of slabs past the Whymper Chimney and Seiler Slab to the Col du Lion (3580m). Once down to gentler slopes we unroped and took a generous lunch break, basking in the warm summer sunshine under an ultra-blue sky. To finish the day we headed up to the Furggsattel (3365m), crossed over the Italian-Swiss frontier, and hoofed it back to Schwarzsee for the welcomed chairlift return to Zermatt (6:30PM). What a memorable, successful climb of this classic peak with outstanding guides.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:9416 ft / 2869 m
    Total Elevation Loss:9416 ft / 2869 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Rope, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:9416 ft / 2869 m
    Route:Hornli Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Zermatt  5276 ft / 1608 m
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:9416 ft / 2869 m
    Route:Italian Ridge
    End Trailhead:Zermatt  5276 ft / 1608 m

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