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Matterhorn

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View down to the Hurricane Creek valley and the Hurricane Divide from the Matterhorn (bobcat)
Looking north across the intermediate peak to Sacajawea Peak at the north end of the Matterhorn ridge (bobcat)

Description

For years, the Matterhorn was posted on Oregon maps as a round 10,000 feet; it was more officially measured at 9,845 feet and considered the Wallowas' highest summit. More recently, the Matterhorn was remeasured at 9,826 feet, 12 feet lower than neighboring Sacajawea Peak about a mile north on the same ridge. Now, because of the rules of prominence, the Matterhorn is no longer considered a separate summit at all.

The Matterhorn as seen from Ice Lake is the brilliant whitish marble of the Martin Bridge Formation. Bands of dark reddish Hurwal shale underlie the summit area. Heading up to the summit via a climber's trail, one passes across high, soggy meadows and then bands of shale before ascending the rounded marble dome that is the summit. Mountain goats are often seen along the way.

The Matterhorn's west face is a precipitous 4,000-foot drop to the Hurricane Creek valley bottom from the summit. The resemblance to the famous peak in the Pennine Alps on the Swiss-Italian border is rather fanciful, but can perhaps best be understood from the view at the head of the Hurricane Creek valley.

The Matterhorn ridge can be traversed to the north over an intermediate dome to reach Sacajawea Peak although this necessitates a couple of basic climbing moves with some exposure.

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bobcat (creator)

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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