Zermatt: the fastest man on the matterhorn (m)

Andreas Steindl on the Matterhorn, © M. Portmann

On July 14, 1865, the Matterhorn was climbed for the first time. But the first ascent ended in a tragedy. 4 men lost their lives because a rope broke. More and more mountaineers have since come to Zermatt to climb the 4,478 meter high mountain. The fastest man is Andreas Steindl (24). Andreas is a ski instructor, mountain guide, trained carpenter and also denies World Cup races in ski touring for the Swiss national team and has been 67 times on the Matterhorn. His record time: 2 hours and 57 minutes. He thinks that is slow.

2 hours 57 minutes! Did you run to the Matterhorn??

“Yes, in the flat passages already. I started down in Zermatt and walked with a quick step to the Hörnli hut at 3,260 meters altitude. The mountain itself is only going on slowly. By comparison, tourists need more than 6 hours for the same route. “

On the way to the top of the Matterhorn, © Snowplaza

Why did you want to be the fastest??

“Actually, guests gave me the idea. As mountain guides, tourists have always asked me how fast you can be at the top of the Matterhorn. I never knew what to answer. So I just tried it. But I’m sure it’s even faster. Because when I tried, I was not in the best shape. As soon as summer comes, I’ll improve my time. “

Unique! The view from the Matterhon (4,478 m), © Andreas Steindl

How do you get up there? It looks very steep …

“Oh, it always looks steeper than it is. From below, the rock faces of the Matterhorn are very steep, but it is flatter on the mountain itself. The track is technically not very demanding, so that almost everyone comes up. “Further information for hikers >>

Close up Matterhorn © Zermatt

Where does the route go??

“From Zermatt, our guests first take the gondola lift to the Schwarzsee mountain railway station. Since you have already overcome 1,000 meters in altitude. Then we walk to the Hörnli hut and spend the night there. You can not expect luxury here. There is electricity, but no running water. You have something to sleep and something to eat, nothing more! With the new hut, the comfort from 2015 should improve significantly. The next morning we get up at half past three and start the tour to the summit. But you need a good condition for it. “

What do you recommend to our readers??

“Take a lot of chocolate! You should also go with a mountain guide! Often there are people on the Matterhorn who have lost nothing there and even endanger us. The turn then wrong and trigger rockfalls. And sometimes it even jams because rocks block the way. Although it costs Mountain guides just under 1,000 euros, but for that it is safer, you stay on the right path and you are optimally prepared. In addition, it is advisable to do one to two preparatory tours, to jog regularly, and first experiences in climbing are also beneficial. “

Family excursion to the Matterhorn in June 2003, © Andreas Steindl

And you have to deal with the height …

“Yes that’s true! I remember well when I first climbed the Matterhorn at the age of 14. That was together with my father and mother – a family outing, so to speak. At that time, I found the ascent very tiring, and I had problems with the height. This then expressed itself in headache and dizziness. But it did not stop me from going to the Matterhorn another 66 times. “

Along the way you will also meet numerous animals. Here is a black-nosed sheep, © Kurt Müller

Do you have a favorite spot on the Matterhorn??

“There are many places. It is best if you are alone on the mountain, which is rare. Also It is very nice to experience the sunrise. Especially on the summit, this natural spectacle is very impressive. If the weather is right, then you have a great view over the Bernese Alps to Mont Blanc, to France & Italy and sees all four thousand Swiss. The view is indescribable. “

View of the Weisshorn and Alphubel, © Eugen Brigger

What was your highest mountain so far??

“5,350 meters in Alaska. So not so high! However, at the moment it does not irritate me so much the altitude mountaineering. I have different goals. In winter, I like to do ski tours and am part of the Swiss National Team. I want to be in the lead in the World Cup and improve my current 16th place. I also dream that ski touring will become an Olympic event before 2020 and that I can compete for Switzerland. “

Andreas Steindl is one of the best ski tourers in Switzerland, © Michael Portmann

Which is the best area for ski touring?

"Zermatt, of course! That’s my home after all. There is an incredible mountain scenery, lots of snow, great conditions for training, and you always have the Matterhorn in front of you or in your back. “Many thanks for the interview! Here you will find a detailed travel report and all information about Zermatt with snow depths, testimonials and photos >>

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise: Also open for skiing in summer

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