Thanks for your interest in climbing in the Alps with IMG.
We will train on and climb at least two other peaks in the vicinity of Zermatt, Switzerland. The climbing is a progression that culminates in an ascent of the Matterhorn. The first four days of the program includes a team of four climbers led by two IMG internationally certified guides.
After initial training at a local crag just above town on day one, we will travel to and then hike in to the Almageller Hut to train further and on day two attempt the Dri Hörnli (3,209m), a fun exposed ridge climb rising right up above the hut. Day three brings the next objective, the Weissmies (4,017m), a lofty peak that involves snow travel turning to rock scrambling and finally a fine snowy knife edge ridge to a final rock summit. A perfect combination of glacier travel, snow climbing and rock climbing that is similar in nature to the Matterhorn. Our final and most important goal will be, of course, the Matterhorn itself. For this ascent, we will add two additional guides for the final three days to allow two days for the entire team to choose the best day to summit and for the guides to lead all four members one-on-one.
Skills required for the Matterhorn include the ability to move steadily in mountain boots over fourth and moderate fifth class rock. Participants must have confidence moving over steep, exposed, and sometimes loose rock. The more difficult sections will be led and belayed by the guides, but the easier sections of third and fourth class climbing will be climbed moving simultaneously. Good balance, coordination and stamina are a necessity. The upper portion of the mountain will likely include snow and ice over rock and climbers will be wearing crampons. There is fixed rope cable on some of the steepest upper pitches and some strenuous hand-over-hand climbing is involved. Summit day from the hut takes up to 6 hours of rapid climbing and an equal amount of time in descent.
Prospective team members must have a high enough level of skill and stamina to meet the rigors of this climb. Final determination of each climber's ability to complete the climb will be the responsibility of the guide leading their rope. Nonetheless, each participant must come fully prepared to meet the demands of this challenging and exciting climb.
The Matterhorn is without a doubt the best known and most sought after peak in Europe. It is the ultimate challenge for any aspiring alpinist.