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Tuesday May 29, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The Italian mountaineer & skier, Edmond Joyeusaz, has skied down the mountain from top to bottom. He needed to use ropes in two places.




The 60-year-old mountain guide and skier from Courmayeur started on part of the Matterhorn's north face and then changed direction to ski the east face of the mountain.

The east face has been skied several times and a handful of others have done the full route, also using ropes in places, but it is still a significant achievement for the 60-year old.

Edmond Joyeusaz' route from North Face to the East Face of The MatterhornEdmond Joyeusaz' route from North Face to the East Face of The Matterhorn













He prepared for a year and finally made the attempt to ski from the 4,478m summit last Friday, 25th May.

He commented on Facebook, "It was not easy to have sufficient snow on both sides (north and east) and good weather conditions at the same time."

The day, however, didn't start well for Joyeusaz.

While making preparations for his descent, he accidentally lost his helmet.

He knocked it and it bounced into a deep crevasse.

Apart from the safety aspect, without his helmet it would be impossible to attach his camera for his proposed film.

Fortunately, a spare hand-held-wand in his backpack saved the day so he was able to attach the GoPro camera with wand to his backpack.

Joyeusaz climbed from the usual Swiss Hornli route, just above the Solvey hut in deep snow, that was 50cm deep in places.

He put on his skis on the Swiss summit and skied on the north wall as far as possible.

"I went down on skis for about 250 meters from the north side, explained Joyeusaz, "where I found myself in front of a vertical wall without snow, I made two 'doubles' and I moved on the east wall, where in 1975 Valeruz made the first descent with skis. There I put the skis back on and I got to the valley".

He reached the shoulder and the east wall, and used 40m safety ropes at this point.

It was from there in May 1975 that Tony Valeruz made the first descent of the east wall.

Crossing the wall Edmond Joyeusaz reached the section closest to the Furggen ridge where he reported there was less snow.

Determined not to remove his skis, it became trickier to find strips of snow so he could continue skiing.

He commented, it was an "Incredible day of great satisfaction."

Joyeusaz has had some other significant 'first' attempts, skiing in some very extreme locations in both the Alps and the Himalayas.

He was the first to ski slopes of Nepal's Shisha Pangma 8,047 metres; the south gorge of the Dames Anglaises Dames Anglaises - a group of three pinacles on the Peuterey ridge of Mont Blanc; the south wall of the Grand Combin and the north wall of the Dent Blanche in the Valais Canton in Switzerland.

He was also the first mountaineer to ski part of the the slopes of K2.

Edmond Joyeusaz on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn (phot: Facebook)Edmond Joyeusaz standing on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn (photo: Facebook)













Edmond Joyeusaz on The MatterhornEdmond Joyeusaz near the top of The Matterhorn













Edmond Joyeusaz on The MatterhornEdmond Joyeusaz on The Matterhorn













Edmond Joyeusaz looking backEdmond Joyeusaz looking back













Edmond Joyeusaz - 25th May 2018Edmond Joyeusaz - 25th May 2018













Edmond JoyeusazEdmond Joyeusaz














The first ascent of the Matterhorn was made in 1865 from Zermatt by a party led by the British artistocrat, Edward Whymper. 

It ended disastrously when four of its members fell to their deaths on the descent; Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, Michel Croz and Douglas Hadown.

Edward Whymper and the father and son guiding team of Peter Taugwalder senior and junior survived.

Others have skied part of the Matterhorn in recent years.

In 2015 Matthias Koenig skied the east face from the Hornligrat shoulder.

Giulia Monego, Liv Sansoz, Lorraine Huber and Melissa Presslaber also skied the east face in 2016, but not from the top of the mountain.

2016 route, Photo c/o Giulia Monego2016 route, Photo c/o Giulia Monego













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