The only sound was our breathing and the steady onward movement on loose rocks as we continued our journey into the darkness. It was 4:21 in the morning and I was on my way to the top of the most iconic mountain in Europe and perhaps of the world.
When daylight came, I looked down at what we had already climbed. I am dangling from a steep wall! Madness! Once at the top, the hardest was yet to come, the descent. A single misstep would mean a fall of 1200 m to the glacier below. Not for a single moment did I underestimate the risks. I was terrified. The angular summit or steep rock that rises like a balcony above Zermatt, has a fatal allure.
I was all too aware that the Matterhorn had already claimed more than 500 lives since its first ascent. It was only when I left the last rock in rappel, that I realized it was done. It was a huge relief to know that I was finally safe. I embraced the rocks one last time and burst into tears.
The Matterhorn has been the toughest, hardest and most frightening climb on my record.