The Matterhorn, up the Zmutt Nose in winter : “what fires my imagination in mountaineering is the adventure”, Mat Détrie.

Louis Pachoud, Mathieu Détrie and Pauline Champon, Matterhorn summit

The ascent party made up of Pauline Champon, Mat Détrie, and Louis Pachoud repeated the Zmutt Nose route on the north face of the Matterhorn from 24th to 26th February. Listed one hundredth in the collection of the 100 greatest routes in Valais, it certainly is exceptional* “for the route as a whole and the combination of challenges it poses to mountaineers”, according to the ‘100 most beautiful’ bible. Guide and coach at the FFCAM’s (French Federation of clubs promoting mountains sports) National Mountaineering Excellence Group, Mat Détrie talks us through this seldom climbed face, as well as the commitment and shared responsibilities involved in such a remarkable route, probably one of the greatest winter achievements in the Alps.

Why did you choose this unusual route up the north face of the Matterhorn ?

Mat Détrie : I’d long been dreaming about the Cerruti-Gogna route**. It goes up the acutely steep prow of the Zmutt Nose, the most vertical face of the Matterhorn, to the right of the standard north face route by the Schmidt brothers. To my knowledge, few have repeated the route, and allegedly not since autumn 2014, the year when favourable conditions on the north face enabled a French ascent party – Sébastien Ratel and Julien Ravanello – as well as an Italian team led by François Cazanelli to repeat it. François is also a friend of mine, and he gave me some tips, the same goes for Patrice Glairon-Rappaz and Cédric Périllat, who did