A LOCAL author is launching a novel based on the tragic first ascent of the Alps’ most famous mountain at Cardigan’s Theatr Mwldan next Wednesday (May 22).

The Icarus Ascent: Ghosts of the Matterhorn details the events of July 1865 when a British party led by Edward Whymper raced a rival Italian team to the top of ‘The Impossible Mountain’.

Although Whymper’s party prevailed tragedy struck on the way down when Rev Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, novice climber Douglas Hadow and guide Michel Croz plunged to their deaths when the rope broke.

Tivyside Advertiser: Disaster strikes: The 1865 fall on the Matterhorn as portrayed in a 19th century engrave by Gustave Dor´e.Disaster strikes: The 1865 fall on the Matterhorn as portrayed in a 19th century engrave by Gustave Dor´e. (Image: Supplied)Now Aberporth writer Mike Lewis has penned a ‘factional’ account of the climb as seen through the eyes of the seven men involved...from beyond the grave.

“It was a tragedy that gripped Victorian England and rumours over whether the rope was cut persist to this day,” Mike told the Tivyside.

“The fall on the Matterhorn remains one of the most notorious episodes in mountaineering history.

“I was gripped by the story as a kid and a few years back visited the graves of Whymper’s men at Zermatt as well as the local museum which displays artefacts of the climb.

“What I found most intriguing was the mystery of how the accident happened and why the theory of one man – Whymper – came to be regarded as gospel truth while the testimonies of the father-and-son guiding team of Old Peter and Young Peter Taugwalder were ignored.

“Whymper, after all, was a renowned mountaineer and learned man of letters while the Taugwalders were humble mountain peasant farmers.

“The Icarus Ascent is related in seven parts and, as you can imagine, each man has a different view on what happened.”

The book is published by Victorina Press who in June 2021 issued Mike’s debut novel ‘If God Will Spare My Life...’ about the Dinas Cross man who fought at Custer’s Last Stand.

It was later adapted into the play ‘Ghost Rider’ which premiered at Fishguard’s Theatr Gwaun last September.

*Wednesday’s 7.30pm launch at Theatr Mwldan is a free event and anyone is invited to simply turn up.