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MATTERHORN - SHOULD IT BE CLOSED TO CLIMBERS? - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Friday August 9, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

A Swiss newspaper reports that a mountain guide says the mountain is now too dangerous. Others flatly reject the idea.






An experienced mountain guide said the Swiss mountain should be closed to climbers according to the Sonntags Zeitung newspaper.

It follows the death of a guide and his client on July 24th after a rock fall.

"The mountain is now too unstable and therefore too dangerous to be used as a tourist attraction, where dozens of people climb every day," the paper quotes one unnamed mountain guide as saying.

We have reported the growing instability in the mountains of the Alps because of rising temperatures:
The natural hazards chief of the Valais canton, Raphaël Mayoraz, thinks it would be "ridiculous" to close off the high mountains because after all, alpinism is a "private activity".

"The communities should be content with informing the mountain climbers about risks as a preventive measure," he told the newspaper.

Six people have died climbing the Matterhorn this summer.

It was first climbed in 1865 in a party led by Edward Whymper.

Four of its members fell to their deaths on the descent.

It is estimated more than 500 people have died climbing the 4,478m mountain.

"Closing would be absurd," says the local mountain guide, Benedikt Perren.

"Mountaineering is a risky sport - it's something that everyone who works professionally in the high mountains is aware of, and of course we strive to assess and minimise risks," he said to local media.

The Matterhorn, SwitzerlandThe Matterhorn, Switzerland

 

 


























In 2003 the Matterhorn was closed for a short while after a rock fall blocked the Hörnli route and it was deemed to be too dangerous.

It had to be cleared an other threatening rocks brought down.

Locals have reacted to the article on social media:

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