5 years ago I climbed in The Monte Rosa range, a mountainous area sandwiched between Switzerland and Italy. It’s famous for its range of 4000m mountains, lengthy glaciers, its typically alpine climate and, at one end, a rather good view of the Matterhorn.
I was tired, 10 days of traversing 4000m peaks had left me a bit wrecked, and in need of some english food and solid ground under my feet. I sat on a ledge and stared across the horizon at arguably the most iconic mountain in the world; The Matterhorn. It rose like a shark fin, isolated on the skyline, but majestic in it’s prominence. My tiredness aside, I thought to myself that one day, i’d like to stand on the very top of it. And so…last week and a mere 5 years later, I did.
Of course it didn’t actually take me 5 years to climb it…I kind of got distracted along the way. A few expeditions here, some other mountains there. But as they say, the big mountains never go anywhere, they remain in place for us to climb, when we are ready.
And so, July 17th 2017, at 4am, I set off and stood at the base of the giant mountain. I placed my hand on the cold slab of rock and acknowledged what I had to do. 1200m of vertical ascent, followed by the same, only in reverse. It took me just over 4 hours to reach the summit. Once there, I looked back across the valleys and glaciers, to a place where roughly I thought I sat those 5 years earlier, and I smiled. It’s a wonderful feeling when you take your dreams, and give them a memory, a place in time. It’s even better when you make them come true.