SPECIAL ISSUE ZERMATT 2015-2016
Let’s go back in time, to 1865, a year when Queen Victoria was on the British throne, Monet had just completed Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, the American Civil War had finally come to an end and the search for the source of the Nile was still going on. Meanwhile, in Zermatt seven men set off to scale the pyramid of rock that towers defiantly over the town. Only three of them would return alive, the English climber Edward Whymper and his guides, Mr Taugwalder and son. The tragic death of their companions played its part in making Whymper’s maiden ascent of the Matterhorn a legendary feat.
This year saw Zermatt enthusiastically celebrate the 150th anniversary of that climb. Lights lit up the Hörnli ridge, the route Whymper took to the summit, while a series of plays telling the tale of the expedition, complete with period costumes, were staged during the summer. A whole host of concerts and other events marked the occasion, in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The Hörnli Hut also reopened, refurbished entirely with the future in mind.
Zermatt has undergone profound changes over the last 150 years. Once a tiny mountain hamlet, it is now a legendary mountaineering destination. Its stunning backdrop of 38 peaks standing more than 4,000m high now echoes to the sound of English, Russian, Hindi, Japanese and a host of other languages. When getting off the train from Täsch, visitors are treated to the sight of carriages drawn by proud horses with snow-dappled coats and a village that has retained its charm and character. Add falling snowflakes, a couple of snowdrifts and the picture-postcard scene is complete.
With this as a setting, 30° is proud to play its part in projecting Zermatt’s enticing appeal to all four corners of the planet. As well as revealing some of its essential attractions, such as the Gornergrat’s cogwheel train, these pages also cast a light on some of the larger-than-life characters who help make Zermatt what it is today, people such as Kurt Lauber, the warden of the Hörnlihütte; the young guide/prodigy Andreas Steindl; the unique restaurateur Urs Biner – aka singer Dan Daniell – and his friend, the former Abba star Frida. For them and for us, Zermatt is and will always be the real heart of the Alps.
Happy Christmas and have a good winter!
Christian Bugnon | Publisher & Editor-in-chief
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NEWS | LUXURY AND INDULGENCE at penthouse Nabucco | PDG The greatest of all ski mountaineering races leaves from Zermatt | STRADDLING WORK and wellbeing | LEANDER WENGER in relentless pursuit of the perfect light | URS BINER alias Dan Daniell. Meet the singing restaurateur | SALVATORE ELEFANTE Bringing Mediterranean cuisine to the heart of the Alps | BACKCOUNTRY SKIING to the magnificent Monte Rosa hut | THE GRONERGRAT BAHN The mountain train with a story to tell | KILIAN JORNET Ambassador for the globe-trotter’s watch | AIR ZERMATT Scenically stunning | HÖRNLIHÜTTE Waiting in the wings of the Matterhorn | KURT LAUBER 20 years of watching over the Matterhorn | ANDREAS STEINDL Meditating in the mountains | GREAT SKIING Probably the best ski resort in the world | SKI REVIEW Our pick of this season’s best skis | SKI BOOTS REVIEW Boots to match your feet and skis | VALAIS RYE BREAD A healthy local staple | TRENDS Sport | TRENDS watches | ZERMATT Shops | TRENDS Design