No other mountain in the world is as fascinating as the Matterhorn. Since the dramatic first ascent in 1865, the drama and the myths have created a unique interest in this mountain, which has probably caused the deaths of more mountaineers than any other. Each year, thousands of climbers attempt to reach the summit, but only one in five succeeds. And every season, the mountain claims the lives of ten to twenty climbers.
Steffen Kjaer describes his and his climbing partner Brian Jorgensen’s attempt to make it to the summit of the Matterhorn. After careful preparations and perfect acclimatization, they take off to face the challenge of their lives. On the descent, however, something goes wrong. All of a sudden, they find themselves caught in one of Matterhorn’s countless and lethal rockslides...
Besides following the author’s struggles on the Matterhorn, this book also includes a range of short articles: it thus offers an account of the mountain’s history, including the legendary first ascent in 1865, as well as a factual description of the symptoms and mechanisms of altitude sickness. Moreover, it contains portraits of local mountain guides and an eyewitness account by the former American President, Theodore Roosevelt. Twenty years prior to his inauguration, he travelled to the Alps and climbed the Matterhorn. As a further bonus, the stories of the book are illustrated by spectacular photos taken by the author.
Steffen Kjaer is a mountaineer and a journalist. In his books, he focuses upon the days in the mountains when fantastic experiences far surpass the risks they entail. He portrays life in the mountains as it can only be experienced in the light of one’s own head lamp. For ten years, his best days have been those spent in the mountains, with ice axe in hand, wearing a backpack on his shoulders and his rugged mountain boots mounted with crampons.
From his many climbs towards the most legendary summits of the Alps, he has collected the best stories of chance encounters with fellow climbers. He has often left the obvious track and so found new angles and perspectives in his pursuit of the ultimate stories and photos.