On Friday May 25th, Italian Edmond Joyeusaz made a successful ski descent from the summit of the Matterhorn in sketchy snow conditions. It’s not the first time the Matterhorn has been skied, but still an incredible accomplishment, and at age 60 none the less! Retirement plans….
The Matterhorn rises to 14,692ft along the Swiss/Italian border. It’s ominous stature led it to be one of the last peaks in Europe to be climbed. It took 5 years of failed attempts before anyone made it to the top in 1865. On the descent, 4 members of the climbing party fell to their deaths.
The 1,000 meter east face was first skied in 1975 and has been done only a hand full of times since then. Full descents from the summit seem to be even more rare. Joyeusaz topped out on the Swiss summit and started his descent on the insanely exposed north face, skiing down about 250 meters before he ran out of snow. After taking his skis off and roping up, he was able to move over to the east face and continue making turns down to the valley. Talk about scary places to make transitions!
I’m sure this is a day he’ll never forget, but this wasn’t the first big line Joyeusaz has tackled. Amongst others, he was the first to ski the slopes of Nepal’s Shisha Pangma, and also put first tracks on a portion of K2. No question this dude also gets first chair on a powder day.