The Matterhorn, one of the tallest mountains in the Alps, has claimed over 500 lives since it was first surmounted in 1865. Swiss photographer Robert Boesch teamed up with Swiss mountaineering company Mammut to scale the monster mountain and create these incredible images, both to promote the company and to display the staggering beauty of this natural behemoth.
The Matterhorn inspired awe and terror in early alpinists due to its towering, sharp peak: most climbers avoided the mountain simply because of its menacing appearance. The first team to finally ascend the mountain lost four climbers on the way back down: tethered together, the climbers fell 5,000 feet into the glaciers at the feared mountain’s base. Despite the tragedy, it was seen as a success in the eyes of their peak-hungry expedition leader, Edward Whymper: Matterhorn had been conquered.
Mammut is a Swiss-based apparel company specializing in outdoor sports and mountaineering. These photos were taken as a part of the “Testevent”: 150 expert climbers from all over the world gathered to tackle some of Europe’s harshest climates. As an added bonus, Mammut got some pretty incredible press.
Climbers took the same route as the historic first ascent of the mountain, illuminating their way by the warm and unnatural glow of red headlamps. Each photo was delicately posed and carefully photographed while the mountaineers themselves dangled on the edge of the world: the result is artful and awe-inspiring.
Swiss photographer Robert Boesch is responsible for these meticulously posed images, each taking a staggering amount of manpower and precision to create. Often, the climbers had to be awake and climbing hours before daylight to get into the perfect position and lighting for the shot. We think the effort was well worth it.