Dhe summit area of the Matterhorn is completely snow-free due to the high temperatures and is therefore dangerous for mountaineers. Since the beginning of the week, the mountain guides in Zermatt have therefore strongly advised against climbing to the summit. “We will reassess the situation in a few days,” said Anjan Truffer, mountain guide and head of rescue at Zermatt Mountain Rescue, on Wednesday. A change in the weather with cooling and precipitation is necessary. It will also be checked whether the situation can be defused by clearing rocks. On Tuesday, a climber died while descending the Matterhorn, as the Valais canton police reported on Wednesday. The alpinist fell at an altitude of around 4,000 meters for initially known reasons and fell 350 meters. He was not tied up at the time.
Without snow there is a high risk of falling rocks
At the end of the fixed ropes on the Matterhorn, mountaineers still have to climb 200 meters to the top. “Normally you climb up there through the snow with crampons,” said Truffer of the German Press Agency. Just a week ago, the summit was snowed in relatively well, now the snow there has completely melted. In his 30 years as a mountain guide, this happened four or five times. Without snow, the risk of falling rocks is very high. “If there are a lot of people doing gymnastics who have no experience with rope guidance, they can cause falling rocks, and that can be very dangerous for the rope teams further down.” According to him, there are 30 rope teams or more on the summit field on days with good weather , usually with two people at a time.
The Zermatt mountain guides have temporarily suspended tours to the Matterhorn because they cannot guarantee the safety of the guests, but the mountain cannot be blocked. “There are people who go up. They might be more willing to take risks,” Truffer said. The reason for the situation is an extremely snow-poor winter and the good weather period that has lasted for weeks. “There is often still snow in May or June, but this year we had nothing.” The mountain guides now offer other tours. “Thank God we don’t just have the Matterhorn in Zermatt,” said Trüffer. Because of its location and beauty, the 4478 meter high mountain is the best known and the symbol of Zermatt.