The Matterhorn: a unique peak

If you’re hiking the Chamonix Zermatt Haute Route, you’ll see many impressive mountains, but you   probably wouldn’t find it very difficult to point out which one is the Matterhorn. Its iconic pyramidal shape makes it instantly recognizable. In a previous blog, How the Matterhorn got its shape, I’ve already explained which geological forces played a role in creating this unique mountain. The Matterhorn is a glacial horn and glaciers were the main driving force in shaping it. And everywhere in the world where there has been glaciation, there are horns.

Read: How were the Alps formed, a short guide to the Alps’ geology

Not the only one of its kind

This means that the Matterhorn is not the only one of its kind. You’ll find horns all over the world. Glacier National Park in Montana in the United States has Clements Mountain (2670 m), Kinnerly Peak (3032 m) and Bearhat Mountain (2647 m), just to name a few. Also, within Europe, besides the famous Matterhorn, you can find many other horns, for example the Kitzsteinhorn (3203 m) in Salzburg, Austria. Another splendid example of a horn carved by glaciers is Norway’s fourth-highest peak, the Store Skagastølstind (2405 m), also known as the Storen. The most recognizable mountain of Scotland, the Buachaille Etive Mòr (1022 m), or the Buachaille, is also a horn formed by glaciers.

Bearhat mountain looks like the Matterhorn
Hidden Lake with Bearhat Mountain in Glacier National Park, US.


Some mountains resemblance to the iconic shape of the Matterhorn is so strong, they even have a nickname referring to the Swiss mountain. Mount Assiniboine (3618 m) in British Columbia, for example, looks exactly like its Swiss twin and bears the appropriate nickname ‘Matterhorn of the Rockies’. There is also a ‘Matterhorn of the Himalayas’: the sharp peak and the steep cliffs of the Ama Dablam (6812 m) in East Nepal do justice to this name, but also the Indian Shivling (6543 m) with its striking peak will remind you of the Matterhorn. New Zealand has Mount Aspiring (3033 m) in Otago which is nicknamed ‘Matterhorn of the South’.

Mount Assinboine - Matterhorn of the rockies
Mount Assiniboine in Canada is nicknamed “the Matterhorn of the Rockies”

Only one real Matterhorn

But no matter how impressive all these mountains may be, there is, of course, only one real Matterhorn: the magnificent mountain that marks your final destination on the Chamonix Zermatt Haute Route.

Simone van Velzen

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