The Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust


The "Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust" established by Jonathan Conville's family after he died on the Matterhorn in 1979, aims to encourage young people to train for and pursue outdoor adventure in the spirit which Jonathan followed during his life.

Jonathan Conville
Matterhorn mountain, Zermat, Switzerland
The legendary Matterhorn situated between Switzerland and Italy

In order to assist more mountaineers to enjoy the mountains in greater safety the Trust organises courses for experienced hill walkers and climbers: Alpine Preparation Courses (in UK and Chamonix, France), Alpine Mountaineering courses (based in the Chamonix Valley in June, July, August), and Scottish Winter Mountaineering Courses (based in the Cairngorms in January). The courses will be run and administered by Plas y Brenin.

Jonathan Conville's body found after 34 years later

Jonathan Conville, 27, a young British man living for the challenge of mountaineering, went missing after doomed Matterhorn attempt in 1979. Now, after three decades of disappearance his corpse was revealed on the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, after emerging from melting glaciar ice. At the time of his Matterhorn attempt, ex-paratrooper Jonathan was working as an outdoor instructor at the Outward Bound Trust at Loch Eil in Scotland.

Swiss police say Jonathan's remains were found by one of the world's top mountain rescue helicopter pilots, Gerold Biner, on August 2013. He spotted some abandoned equipment below him while flying alongside the Matterhorn’s north face. Even at first sight, he knew all these stuff had to belong to a climber who went missing in the mountain. And he was right. Inside the clothing he had found bones, and a name tag on which were written: Conville.

The remains were sent to the laboratory of forensic pathologist Bettina Schrag, who found his family details after searching the name in Google. Thus, she discovers a website of a charity set up in Jonathan's memory, the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust.

It was a terrible shock to his family. Mrs Taee and her sister, Melissa, travelled to Switzerland to identify their brother’s equipment and provide DNA samples. Jonathan's remains have been cremated and his family decided his ashes will remain in Zermatt.

Over 500 people have died climbing the Matterhorn since 1865’s first tragic accident. In average, almost 12 persons are dying annually, while trying to attempt Matterhorn peak. Most of the deaths are due to falls, inexperience, underestimating the mountain, bad weather, or falling rocks.

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