When climbing mountains, the proper gear is greatly important. Most climbers use ropes and harnesses, ice axes and special spiked shoes called crampons. Extremely violent storms and cold weather makes climbing difficult. With avalanches and rock slides careening down abysses, climbing can be very hazardous. Altitude sickness can cause death. It is important for climbers to be each other’s keepers on the mountains by helping others along and not making foolish mistakes that endanger others’ lives. For example, Reverend Charles Hudson brought along Douglas Hadow on the first ascent of the Matterhorn. Hadow, who was rather inexperienced, caused the deaths of himself and three expert mountaineers, including the Reverend, because of his fatal slip. By taking Douglas along, Hudson was not thinking of others; he was only thinking of his relationship with Douglas. It is vital that climbers do not leave the group. They must stick with the plan. If they do not do as they planned, they put themselves and others in danger. All of the climbers must work together with the proper gear and attention to others’ needs to survive.

The Matterhorn is difficult to climb. The ridges are labeled AD, D, and TD, according to their difficulty levels. AD is for a rookie who wants to practice climbing for training or amusement. D is for a more experienced climber. TD is for the most experienced mountaineers who want to make an attempt on something rarely climbed. The north, south, east, and west faces of the Matterhorn are all labeled TD. The Matterhorn is extremely hard to climb.