Matterhorn East Face

_DS85084The Matterhorn is remarkable in many ways. One in particular is how its shape changes so dramatically with a relatively small change in one’s position.

From Zermatt it shows a beautiful symmetry as in the image re-shown below. The traditional line of ascent (Hörnli Ridge) is the obvious central ridge off which cloud is boiling. There is no indication of how steep that route is, but everything else about the mountain suggests a ridge that is extremely steep.

_DS84525Take the cable car ride up to Trockener Steg (leftwards from this image), and there is a distinct change in the shape as evident in the headline image. The Hörnli ridge is now the right skyline (significantly less steep than might have been anticipated) and the hut from which it is climbed is a small palish square on the top of the ‘bump’ at the base of the ridge.

The view is now dominated by the East Face and the mountain now appears even more outrageous in the way it stands in splendid isolation, taking the limelight.  Utterly dominant. There is nothing quite like this. And every time I stand in this spot, it takes my breath away.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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5 Responses to Matterhorn East Face

  1. Chillbrook says:

    This really is an incredible mountain and so beautifully photographed. I remember the first time the Mattterhorn appeared from the mist and cloud when I was in Switzerland. I knew that I had to get closer and so I visited Zermatt. They say you can’t walk away from the Taj Mahal without having to constantly look back and this mountain has a similar quality to it. It absolutely demands attention standing, as you describe Andy, in splendid isolation.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. I’ve been dipping into a book about the Matterhorn (found on the Hotel’s book shelf) that was published last year in honour of the 150th anniversary of the first ascent and came across this quote by Lord Minto written in 1830: ‘It is impossible for words to convey any idea of the immensity of this pyramid, regular and symmetrical in form, as if it had been designed by an architect.’ Such an apt statement. When the mountain is concealed by cloud or mist, the Zermatt valley becomes lifeless. The weather here remains hot and clear – quite remarkable. But not the weather really for hard walking.

  2. A majestic mountain! Beautiful images too 🙂

  3. Love the dramatic clouds and the color of the water. Nice combination!

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