Accompanied by 2 equally adventurous friends, Paul Jameson set himself an epic challenge, climbing the iconic Matterhorn mountain in Switzerland!
The challenge I undertook was to climb the Matterhorn mountain in Zermatt, Switzerland, an iconic 4,478m peak. The idea came from the successful Mont Blanc climb I did in 2018 with a friend Mike Sutcliffe and his son Jack. The same team was assembled for the Matterhorn challenge in August this year.
Having trained hard, we were optimistic to reach the top despite the risks involved with altitude, falling rocks, and the relentless 12-hour climb & descent. We hired an experienced Zermatt guide which proved invaluable. The Matterhorn is ranked as the 6th most dangerous mountain in the world, Everest is the 9th!
The four of us set off in the dark along the Hornli ridge from the base hut at 4 a.m. on Thurs 15th August. Immediately the climbing became steep and tough and even at an early stage, we realised this was going to be tough. We had to keep a fast pace going to be able to get to the top and back in a day.
After 4 hours of climbing, we were falling behind the pace and came to realise the difficulty of the challenge. We were amateurs playing a professional game. We reached the ‘Shoulder’ at about 4,200 meters when the guide quite correctly made the call that we did not have time to summit and we should descend. It was a mixture of disappointment and relief, we were exhausted and still had the more difficult descent to manage. However, we were proud to have got as far as we did, only 200mtrs from the summit. Sitting down, taking our helmets off, taking a breather and admiring the wonderful alpine views was probably the most memorable moment of the climb.
A big thank you to all our supporters, particularly my family who had sleepless nights while we did the challenge. Also huge thanks to all the Challenge MND team and their kind donation, it made a big difference.
This was not a fundraising event as I have undertaken many other fundraising challenges since my MND diagnosis in 2017 and felt I could not tap up my friends and family yet again. To date, we have raised around £150,000 for MND charities.
There will be another challenge with a mountain theme and this is likely to be a cross Pyrenees cycle from Atlantic to the Mediterranean in 2020.