GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – It’s a party year in canton Valais, and a double one in Zermatt. Festivities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ascent of the Matterhorn are gearing up. And the canton, which joined the Swiss Confederation 200 years ago, is starting its series of events, with Zermatt hosting some of them.
Zermatt: theatre and new hut
Zermatt’s celebrations reach their peak in July, 150 years after 14 July 1865, when “the first people stood on the summit”, the resort’s web site notes.
“On 14 July 1865, the British climber Edward Whymper reached the peak of the Matterhorn (4,478 metres) together with his rope team. 150 years later, the Matterhorn still stamps its imprint on the village at its base. In 2015, Zermatt will celebrate the mountain and the alpine tradition with events, experiences, festivities and special offers. The main player on this stage, besides the Matterhorn, is the Hörnlihütte, which will reopen in July 2015.”
A new play, “The Matterhorn Story”, will be performed in an outdoor theatre, bringing to life the drama and accusations of cut ropes that swirled around that first successful climb – which resulted in four deaths. It is dedicated to the forgotten heroes of those early climbs, the local guides.
Valais to showcase 5 places focusing on our senses
Over the summer the canton will be hosting five days devoted to walking in historic places, with the focus on one of the senses each time, exploring food and wine in the broadest sense.
Brig, 30 May, touch
Bagnes, 27 June, feel
Val d’Hérens, 25 July, sight
Zermatt, 29 August, hearing
Sion, 19 September, taste