Irish climber dies in fall on Matterhorn

Anthony Ryan (51) died ‘doing exactly what he loved’, brother says

A 51-year-old Dubliner has died descending from the peak of the Matterhorn, one of the world’s most famous mountains.

Anthony (Anto) Ryan, originally from Drimnagh but more recently living in London, died in late July when he fell more than 350 metres on the descent from the mountain.

Mr Ryan’s brother David paid tribute to his brother’s love of adventure and passion for mountaineering. “Anthony died doing exactly what he loved, having climbed many mountains worldwide,” he told The Irish Times.

According to Swiss police, Mr Ryan was descending around midday on July 26th when he fell for unknown reasons and died.


Police in the Swiss canton of Valais reported the following day that a climber had been killed in a fall on the mountain. In a statement, police said the man was descending alone and unroped, and was at an altitude of about 4,000 metres when he fell.

Witnesses who saw the fall raised the alarm, and rescuers on a search flight located the body on the east face of the mountain.

Last Thursday, police said the deceased has been formally identified as a 51-year-old Irish citizen.

Mr Ryan is survived by his father Tony and four siblings. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and providing consular assistance.

Rising temperatures has made normally hazardous Alpine climbs even more dangerous. In late July, Matterhorn guides suspended tours on the mountain, for the first time in a century, due to hot weather making conditions treacherous.

More than 500 people have died on the Matterhorn since it was first climbed in 1865.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is Health Editor of The Irish Times