National Geographic : 1965 Sep
In other years as many as 175 persons have scaled the Matterhorn in one day. There is a standard route, with permanent rope railings through hard stretches. Traffic is a problem; someone suggested signs: "Climb." "Don't Climb." "Most accidents occur on Sunday; the guides don't work then," a former guide told me. Alfons Gives an Emergency Haircut Next day I visited Alfons Taugwalder, a retired guide distantly related to the Taug walder father and son who accompanied 372 Whymper. While his grandchildren watched TV, Herr Taugwalder showed me scrapbooks of his 125 conquests of the Matterhorn. Sum mit photographs revealed men in knickers and mustaches with arms thrown around each other in the camaraderie of climbing. "It wasn't always easy," said Taugwalder. "Once a storm came up. Snow and sleet. I was guiding a 65-year-old English lady. Her hair froze over her eyes. I cut it off so she could see. When we got down, the lady's new hairdo thawed out and she called me the worst name she could think of-'smuggler.' " In this border area, he explained, smuggling has had a long and disgraceful history.