The play

The Englishman Edward Whymper comes to Zermatt on the 12th July 1865. He is angry: together with his Italian friend and mountain guide Jean-Antoine Carell, he had wanted to make his eighth attempt to conquer the Matterhorn from the Italian side. But Carell had already set off in the middle of the night, without Whymper. The latter now wants his revenge, and needs to find a rope team as quickly as possible! He travels to Zermatt, and joins an already existing rope team as a guest. This consists of the French mountain guide Michel Crox, the Alpinist Sir Francis Douglas, Reverend Charles Hudson and his protégé Robert Hadow. The only local mountain guides that they could engage for their attempt are Father and Son Taugwalder.

The first ascent actually succeeds - but only three of the seven men return the next morning: Edward Whymper, the seriously injured Peter Taugwalder and his son. The bodies of three of the four men who died were recovered later. Up to today, the body of young Lord Francis Douglas has never been found.

Defamation, speculation and accusations follow, and there is even a rumour that Father Taugwalder cut the rope. Whymper, on the other hand, maintains his good name, while Taugwalder's version is lost in the turmoil: he claimed that Whymper cut the rope 200 metres before the summit, and ran ahead in order to be the first at the top. This was why they had only had a reserve rope for the descent, which then broke.  Nobody was convicted, and the file was closed and kept under lock and key for 55 years. Peter Taugwalder, the simple man from the mountains, cannot defend himself publicly against the respected Whymper. He breaks down under the defamation, and emigrates to America.

Languages spoken in the play: Valais German / German / English (written scene description available in French, Portuguese, Japanese and Korean)