Matterhorn closes down on 150th anniversary of 1st ascent

Jun 2, 2015, 7:13 AM
FILE – In this , April 13, 2015 file photo, taken with a long time exposure, stars are pictur...
FILE - In this , April 13, 2015 file photo, taken with a long time exposure, stars are pictured over the Matterhorn mountain, near Zermatt, Switzerland. Switzerland's most famous mountain, will be closed to climbers on the 150th anniversary next month of the first ascent.The Alpine resort of Zermatt says the 24-hour shutdown July 14 is intended as a mark of respect to more than 500 climbers who have died on the mountain, starting with four of the seven-strong team that first reached the summit in 1865. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP,File)
(Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP,File)

BERLIN (AP) — Switzerland’s most famous mountain, the Matterhorn, will be closed to climbers on the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of its summit.

The Alpine resort of Zermatt says the 24-hour shutdown on July 14 is being imposed “out of respect for the mountain” and in memory of more than 500 climbers who have died on the Matterhorn, starting with four of the seven-man team that first reached the summit in 1865.

The town council says people defying the order banning climbing on the mountain that day could be fined of up to 5,000 francs ($5,300) plus the cost of being airlifted off the slopes by helicopter.

Switzerland shares the 4,478-meter (14,692-foot) peak with Italy. The Swiss statement says landowners on the Italian side also will enforce the ban.

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Matterhorn closes down on 150th anniversary of 1st ascent