Simon, Martin and Samuel Anthamatten

Three Brothers Who Love the Mountains

Text Laurent Grabet / Photo DR
Date of publication Winter 2018-2019

Born in Zermatt, these three brothers are highly-­trained mountain guides who each express their love for the mountains in a different (albeit spectacular) way. We take a look at these exceptional siblings and learn more about their passions.

Anthamatten may be a familiar name in these parts, but Simon, Martin and Samuel are surely some of the most famous Anthamattens in the country. The three brothers (aged 35, 34, and 32 respectively) share an incredibly strong love for the mountains. While all three are trained as professional mountain guides, they each bring their mountain-inspired passions to life in different ways. 

Fireballs of Energy
Simon, the eldest brother, is a highly-accomplished alpinist who was the climbing partner and rope companion for the late Ueli Steck. Together the two men took home the 2009 Piolet d’Or for their alpine-style ascent of the north face of Nepal’s Tengkangpoche (6,487 m). They were the first to accomplish the task, which was especially difficult because of a 1,700 m wall.
Martin, the middle brother known for his high-endurance, works as a border guard and is specialized in ski-alpinism and trail-running. A few of his many awards include winning the Patrouille des Glaciers in 2010, winning second place in 2018 (in 5 hours and 45 minutes), and a double win at the Matterhorn Ultraks 46K (including one victory this past August). He spends the vast majority of his time staying fit at high altitudes, always searching for freedom as he pushes the boundaries of his own limits. This season he’s concentrating on the Villars (VD) World Championships and the Mezzalama Trophy, which in his words “requires a lot of energy but also recharges me.”
Samuel, the youngest brother with nerves of steel, is the most well-recognized of the three thanks to his participation in the highly-publicized Freeride World Tour. He took home second place overall the very first time he participated in 2011. He is also known for having blazed a new trail, the “Anthamatten-Route,” up the north face of the Matterhorn with his brother Simon that same year. He has now ascended the Matterhorn over 40 times and climbed peaks around the world, always looking for the next mountain adventure. 

Shared Passion
The three brothers have loved the mountains ever since they were children. “We were always outside running, hiking or climbing,” says Martin. By the time they were 11 and 14-years old respectively, Samuel and Simon had already summited Breithorn (4,164 m), the first of many races to 4,000 meters or higher.
Surprisingly, the boys’ parents are not obsessed with the mountains- in fact they often worry about their wildly adventurous sons. Their father works as a structural engineering draftsman and their mother is a stay-at-home mom, and their love for the mountains only goes so far as the regular Sunday family hike. So far, Simon appears to be the only one showing signs of calming down. After a period of focusing on his career as a guide, he now dedicates himself to mountain rescue, and has been working as a helicopter pilot at Air Zermatt since last January. “When we have to go out there and find someone who’s in trouble on the mountain, we know why we have to give it our all,” Simon explains. “Climbing a mountain for the simple pleasure of it is much less logical.”
At the end of the day, all three brothers embody a sort of awe and righteousness that surely makes the mountains proud. “Mountains are not like people; they are systematically honest,” says Samuel. “If you make a wrong decision you’ll know right away. You can’t trick the mountains.”