Matthias Zurbriggen

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Matthias Zurbriggen Matthias Zurbriggen .jpg
Matthias Zurbriggen
Matthias Zurbriggen, Monte Moro Pass, (Switzerland) Matthias Zurbriggen, plaque commemorative.JPG
Matthias Zurbriggen, Monte Moro Pass, (Switzerland)

Matthias Zurbriggen (15 May 1856 in Saas-Fee – 21 June 1917 in Geneva) was a Swiss mountaineer, one of the great 19th-century alpinists and mountain guides. He climbed throughout the Alps, and also in South America, the Himalayas and New Zealand. He made a considerable number of first ascents, the best known of which is Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, which he climbed alone on 14 January 1897, during an expedition led by Edward FitzGerald. During the same expedition Zurbriggen also made the first ascent of Tupungato with the Englishman Stuart Vines. [1]

Saas-Fee Place in Valais, Switzerland

Saas-Fee is the main village in the Saastal, or the Saas Valley, and is a municipality in the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. The villages in its neighborhood are Saas-Almagell, Saas-Grund and Saas-Balen.

Geneva Large city in Switzerland

Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

Alps Major mountain range system in Central Europe

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

The Zurbriggen Ridge on Aoraki/Mount Cook in New Zealand is named after him. On 14 March 1895, Zurbriggen made the first ascent of the ridge and in the process made the second ascent of the mountain and the first solo ascent. He missed the honour of claiming the first ascent of Mount Cook, which was achieved on Christmas Day 1894 by a party of New Zealanders determined to prevent the first ascent being credited to a foreigner.

Later in life, his fortune declined. He lived his last decade as a vagrant in his home country, and was found hanged in Geneva in 1917, an apparent suicide. [2]

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References

  1. FitzGerald, Edward. The Highest Andes. Methuen & Co., 1899
  2. Stettler, Peter (January 2004). "Matthias Zurbriggen 1856–1917" (PDF). Les Alpes: 26–28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 May 2011.