Fake for Real: Ceci n'est pas une Montagne

Ask a child to draw a mountain and you will get something like the Matterhorn. The shape of this famous mountain, situated on the Swiss-Italian border in the Alps, is one of the most iconic pictures of nature; almost a caricature of itself. The summit of the Matterhorn was first reached in 1865. Today, it is a popular destination for climbers. Each summer, guides take a large number of people up the route, which is equipped with fixed ropes. The climb is difficult, but possible for skilled mountaineers. Because of the scale of the trek, dangers like falling rocks, naïveté, and overcrowding, though, several climbers die each year. At Disneyland in California, the Matterhorn has been reproduced as a bobsled attraction. Passengers board sleds, ascend to the top of the mountain, and then speed down through ice tunnels, finally splashing into a small lake. Both the real mountain and the amusement park ride seem to turn our vision of nature into a cliché.

From our Fake for Real series. See also: Summit of the Mount Everest on Tour, Ceci n'est pas une Montagne.

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