As the most recognized mountain on the European continent, the roughly chiseled rock pyramid of the Matterhorn serves as a defining geographical landmark. With a near perfect pyramid, its absolute symmetry demarcates the exquisite nature of this beautiful mountain. Nestled in the Swiss Alps, birthplace of climbing, an ascent of the Matterhorn hearkens back to the purist traditions of climbing. The Matterhorn, which stands over the town of Zermatt, is nearly steeple-like in both structure and magnetism. The region nearby is comprised of lush meadows and pristine landscapes. The combination of scenic beauty, superb lodging, and the ability to challenge oneself by day and live in luxury by night, makes climbing in Switzerland a rather comfortable alpine experience.
In preparation for the ascent of the Matterhorn, we do four days of prior climbing to help review skills and acclimate. Both the Polux and Breithorn are excellent, challenging, 4,000 m peaks that tower above Zermatt. Two days of advance rock climbing helps climbers gain last-minute skills and knowledge before climbing the Matterhorn.
This unique opportunity to climb in one of the most famous climbing regions in the world is unrivaled in excellence and quality. Climbs in previous years have enjoyed 100% summit success. Our most recent season had a great success rate, with 9 out of 11 climbers reaching the summit.
- World-renowned iconic peak
- We provide an all-inclusive trip (hotels, trams, lifts, etc.), making our prices highly competitive
- Includes four nights in Swiss/Italian huts with breakfast and dinner
- Includes eight trams/lifts and local train fees in Switzerland
- Pre-climb training on two peaks over 4,000 m and two days of rock climbing training
- Fully certified IFMGA mountain guides
- All hotels included during the trip (five nights of lodging in downtown Zermatt)
- 1:1 climber-to-guide ratio on Matterhorn portion
- Ten-day program
- Alpine Ascents logo item
Arrive in Geneva and shuttle to Chamonix. We will spend the night in a hotel in Chamonix, France.
Meet at 7:00 a.m. in the lobby of our hotel in Chamonix. We will spend today reviewing and practicing our rock climbing skills in our mountain boots. We will climb the Traverses of the Aig Crouchues above Chamonix. This traverse allows us to practice climbing uphill and descending. We spend the night at a hotel in Chamonix.
- Chamonix altitude: 1,000 m/3,280 ft.
- Traverse Crouchues: 2,837 m/9,307 ft.
- Vertical gain during day: 1,837 m/6,026 ft.
- Vertical gain climbing: 637 m/2,089 ft.
- Travel time climbing: 5-6 hours climbing above town
We will depart Chamonix in the morning and head up the famous Aig du Midi lift to 3,800 m and, leaving the tramway, we will walk across the large glacier massif (Valle Blanche) over to the Traverse of the Entreves. This is a technical rock traverse mixed with snow, ice, and rock. This striking traverse has been photographed for many outdoor catalogs and magazines. We spend that night at Torino Hut.
Chamonix altitude: 1,000 m/3,290 ft.
- Top of Aig d’ Midi: 3,800 m/12,470 ft.
- Traverse of Entreves: 3,604 m/11,824 ft.
- Tornio Hut: 3,300 m/10,827 ft.
- Vertical gain during the day: 2,800 m/9,186 ft.
- Vertical gain climbing: 700 m/2,300 ft.
- Travel time climbing: 6.5-7.5 hours
We will wake up early and leave the hut for an alpine start. We climb up the Dent du Geant (“Tooth of the Giant”). This peak is just over 4,000 m with an amazing summit. The “Tooth of the Giant” is not as well known as the Matterhorn, but the stunning ridge and shear beauty of this peak will not be forgotten. On this climb we get time to practice using fixed ropes and moving on technical terrain in our climbing boots. We spend the night at the Torino Hut.
- Tornio Hut altitude: 3,300 m/10,827 ft.
- Summit of Dent du Geant : 4,013 m/13,166 ft.
- Vertical gain during the day: 713 m/2,350 ft.
- Travel time climbing: 6-8 hours from Tornio Hut, round-trip.
Walking back across the Valle Blanche in the morning, we then climb the famous Cosmiques Arete. This class alpine ridge line finishes back at the top of the Aig d’Midi, and provides another chance to practice our alpine rock climbing in boots. We will spend the night in Chamonix. In the afternoon we will get our equipment ready for the Matterhorn and go over logistics for traveling to Zermatt.
- Tornio Hut altitude: 3,300 m/10,827 ft.
- Top of Aig d’ Midi: 3,800 m/12,470 ft.
- Vertical gain climbing: 500 m/1,640 ft.
- Travel time climbing: 5-7 hours climbing
We start the day by traveling from Chamonix to Zermatt, either by train or by car. Travel time takes around 3.5 hours. Upon arriving in Zermatt, we will drop our luggage off at the hotel where we’ll stay on the way back from the Matterhorn. We depart Zermatt mid-day and approach the base of the Hornligrate Ridge, where we ride the Schwarzee lift to 2,575 m. From the top of the lift we travel by foot on a main hiking path to the Hornli Hütte at 3,260 m. We will enjoy dinner and go to bed early in preparation for our ascent. In the afternoon, climbers and guides can possibly preview the lower section of the route, if conditions and time permit. This day can also be a potential weather day, then moving to the Hornli Hut on Day 7 and attempting the summit on Day 8.
- Zermatt altitude: 1,608 m/5,275 ft.
- Top of Schwarzee lift: 2,575 m/8,448 ft.
- Hornli Hütte: 3,260 m/10,695 ft.
- Vertical gain during the day: 1,652 m/5,419 ft.
- Vertical gain climbing: 685 m/2,247 ft.
- Travel time climbing: 2- 2.5 hours walking on trail to the Hornli Hütte.
Summit Day! Climb the Matterhorn via Hornligrate Ridge, just over 1,200 m (4,000 ft.). This is a technical ridge climb requiring a high level of physical energy and technical ability. The lower two-thirds of the route involve a rock climb and rock scramble. We will take our first long break at the historic Solvay emergency shelter (4,003 m). Climbers should plan on reaching this hut in 2–2.5 hours. With only 475 m until we reach the summit from the Solvay, the route steepens as we ascend the upper Mossey Slabs. The final 200 m of the Matterhorn is on steep snow and ice before attaining the final summit ridge. Our goal is to reach the summit in 4.5–5.5 hours and then reverse our path and descend to the Hornligrate Hut. We will spend the night back at the Hornligrate Hut or in Zermatt. Climbers should plan on an 8-11 hour day of intense high-cardio physical exercise.
- Hornli Hütte altitude: 3,260 m/10,695 ft.
- Solvay Emergency Shelter: 4,003 m/13,133 ft.
- Summit of Matterhorn: 4,478 m/14,691 ft.
- Vertical gain during day: 1,224 m/4,015 ft.
- Vertical gain climbing: 1,224 m/4,015 ft.
- Travel time climbing: 4.5–5.5 hours to the summit and around 4.5–5.5 hours to descend to the Hornligrate Hütte. Total climbing time is typically between 9–11 hours, with 1–1.5 hours walking to the Schwarzee Hotel.
Weather day or possible extra summit day on the Matterhorn. Over the years this day has proved to be beneficial to many of our climbers as we sometimes need to wait 12-24 hours for the weather to allow for a summit attempt on the Matterhorn. Overnight in Zermatt.
Depart Zermatt via train to Geneva or Zurich. When booking flights, climbers should be aware the train ride is 4–4.5 hours. The first train departs around 5 a.m. Fly back to country of origin.
*Guides might change the Itinerary due to weather and climbing conditions on the Matterhorn.
- All tram, lift, and hotel fees. We are one of the few (if only) companies, to cover and include all in a single price.
- All group climbing gear
- All fees at Swiss/Italian Huts
- Four nights of lodging at hotel (3 in Chamonix; 1 in Zermatt)
- Breakfast and dinner in the huts
- All transportation once course has started
- Eight trams/lifts, and train fees
- Park fees, trekking permits, and all tour fees
- IFMGA-certified mountain guide fees
- $25 wire transfer fee (if applicable)
- Meals not listed above (meals in Zermatt)
- Lunches during the climb
- International airfare USA – Geneva – USA
- Train from Geneva to Zermatt round-trip
- Personal gear (see Gear List)
- All personal snack/lunch food
- Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks (bottled water)
- Any extra nights lodging in Zermatt beyond itinerary
- All expenses incurred in the event of early departure (evacuation fees, transport, extra hotel nights, etc.)
- Excess baggage charges and airport taxes.
- Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Alpine Ascents International
Note: Alpine Ascents International highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all programs. Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Alpine Ascents International must adhere to a stringent refund policy.
- Full refunds, less the nonrefundable registration fee, will be provided for cancellations made 120-days prior to the expedition start date.
- 50% refunds, less the nonrefundable registration fee, will be provided for cancellations made 90-119 days prior to the expedition start date.
- No refunds will be provided for cancellations made 89-days prior to the expedition start date.
- Alpine Ascents International will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible.
- All cancellation/refund requests must be made in writing and be received in our office within the deadlines stated above.