Walking through the two floors of exhibits you will gain a sense of Zermatt’s mountaineering history, and the challenges climbers have faced through the ages. You'll also see how the Swiss lived in the mountains. Most interesting are the actual mountain climbing equipment exhibits, displaying equipment used on early climbs. The ropes, the axes, and the boots they wore, are shown in their frayed and much worn condition. It’s incredible to think how primitive the early equipment was, that early climbers trusted with their lives. You'll learn about Edward Whymper, an English climber, who proudly organized and led the first successful Mattern ascent in 1865. Tragically, though, a rope snapped on the descent sending four of the seven climbers to sudden death.
Local docents, guiding you through the museum, share information and answer questions giving a firsthand local flair and insight. On the top floor you'll enjoy exhibits set up to portray life as it was in the Alps, hundreds of years ago. A full Swiss kitchen is displayed with typical utensils of the time.
Besides historical displays, the Alpine Museum, true to its name, features exhibits portraying the natural features of the region such as varieties of rocks, butterflies, and alpine flowers.
Take the time, spend just an hour or so, and you'll appreciate that lofty, elusive mountain in a different way. I found looking at the worn climbers' equipment, from the boots to the well used ropes, and thinking of the climber's cemetery just outside the church in the square, to be quite thought provoking.
Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
La Grange, Illinois
February 21, 2006
From journal Fantastic Fall in Zermatt
Prague, Czech Republic
March 22, 2005
From journal Exploring the Swiss Capitol