Matterhorn unknown


   Matterhorn unknown

Authors:L. and G. Aliprandi, E. Rizzi, Luigi Zanzi

Publisher: Big issues - Enrico Monti Foundation

First Edition: April 2016

Large format - 173 pages - Flexible Cover - Illustrations


I get a present this extraordinary book by one of the authors, Enrico Rizzi, Who wrote it together with spouses Aliprandi, Laura and GiorgioAnd regret Luigi Zanzi. The iconographic and photographic, absolutely extraordinary, was curated by Ludovica Rizzi, but certainly the Aliprandi - seekers of rare documents like truffle dogs - have made a fundamental contribution.
Zanzi, with its rich and sharp writing, proposes a "counter-history" of the Matterhorn-Cervino, which is impossible to summarize because of the wealth of content which is then employed. Extrapolates a thought: "In this deep feeling of respect for the mountains (totally opposed to the idea of ​​conquest) is added in the inspiration of mountaineering guides her, a feeling of deep admiration, of enchanted amazement, of inner understanding, with transcendence that is sometimes felt in the encounter with the mountains, with its beauty, with its immanent sacredness. All of these cultural aspects of mountaineering guides contrasted radically with alpinism tourist culture, which, in time, the affirmation of mountaineering circles (starting from the Alpine Club English) became the most widely used mode of consideration of the mountains (especially of some peaks) by the city of mountaineers. Then began a tacit opposition between climbing the mountain man and the citizen mountain climbing: one of the nodal points, one of the most painful nerves, this cultural conflict, it was the idea of ​​conquest, wholly foreign to the natural, and, instead of main importance for the mountaineer-tourists ".
Further on the text, on "Matterhorn forgotten by literature and iconography"It is equally imaginative but solid technically and cultural vastness that takes your breath away, wrote - as I said - by educated spouses Laura and Giorgio Aliprandi. Here is a passage about the famous project of a funicular that come up at the summit:" This bold project was fortunately this one must engineer Xavier Imfeld that in 1891 planned to reach up to the peak of the Matterhorn with a mechanical means into three sections. the first one with a funicular railway from Zermatt to Moos in 1.670 meters, the second rack from Moos to Zumsee in 1.785 meters, the third trunk cable car within a tunnel with a slope of 75,5 percent who carried the wagon 4.456 meters high, that is, twenty-six meters below the summit. This project caused considerable protests from both the local population and from of the climbers. one of the most vibrant protests is that Abbé Gorret that in a letter dated 1907 George Gros puts it this way ... "the Matterhorn belongs both Italy and Switzerland, and it amazes me that the Swiss government has given permission to build a funicular. The engineers who drafted the project are insensitive to the majesty and beauty of this mountain that should not be desecrated. ' "
Finally, as already partially done by the authors just mentioned, follows a long contribution, which is also full of references and news, Enrico Rizzi, entitled "The Matterhorn, Whymper and Coolidge: the broken or cut the rope?". It is one of the classics of mountaineering controversy, which is traced in a timely manner, up to the dry conclusions and recommendations:" A quarrel that recurs today, 150 years after the events, and whose failure to resolve - despite British attempts closed consider it - can only cast a long shadow on the crucial page of history of the Matterhorn. "
The book has the unique advantage of more aware of how to let a rock can become so richly imbued with stories full of humanity and deepest cultural aspects.


Luciano Caveri

(March 2017)