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.
|Day 01||Meet for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. at the Hotel Alpenblick, Zermatt. After breakfast we will take light daypacks and ride the Gornergrat cog rail train up to the Riffelhorn for a day of rock practice and training. In the early afternoon we will ride back down to Zermatt, stopping, perhaps at one of the beer gardens in town for refreshment. Back at the hotel we will retire early. (hotel reservation required),|
|Day 02||After breakfast the team will catch a pre-arranged taxi for the ride over to the town of Saas Almagell. From here it is a four hour hike up to the Almageller Hut (2898m). As time permits, the group will do some training and cragging on the rock near to the hut. (overnight in hut)|
|Day 03||Following a continental breakfast of tea, coffee, bread and jam, the team will ascend the Dri Hörnli (3209m), a fun, exposed rock ridge climb rising just above the hut. This multi pitch climb will expose the group to some excellent rock climbing training. The team will make a rappel descent and head back to the hut for a late lunch. Second night at Almageller Hut.|
|Day 04||The Weismies, an excellent 4,000 meter peak, is the next challenge. The route of ascent is via the southeast ridge, gained after 1½ hours hiking up to a pass on the southeast ridge (3298m). Ascend on the west side of the ridge over scree and steeper snow until the ridge is gained again and excellent rock is climbed up to 3900 meters. From here the ridge narrows and becomes snow until a final hump of rock just before the summit at 4017 meters. This will be our final training climb prior to our attempt of the Matterhorn. We will descend the Weismies either back down the route climbed or down the north side via the Trift Glacier. We'll be met by our taxi and ride back to the hotel in Zermatt. (hotel reservation required)|
|Day 05||Tram ride up then an easy hike to Hornlihutte (3260m). The afternoon will be spent previewing and practicing on the first part of the climb of the Matterhorn (4478m). We will be joined by two additional guides for the ascent. (Overnight in hut)|
|Day 06||First summit day for the Matterhorn attempt. The team will have an early morning wake up for a quick breakfast at 4am and make the up to 12-hour round trip climb, then descend to Zermatt. (optional hotel reservation)|
|Day 07||Second optional day for an ascent of the Matterhorn, and descent to Zermatt. If the team climbs on day 6, day 7 will be available for a climbing or adventure outing as interest dictates. (required hotel reservation)|
NOTE: This itinerary is merely a guideline for the trip. The guides will retain the right to make changes to suit the climbing conditions, the weather and the strength and experience of the group. Our main goal will be the Matterhorn and changes in the schedule may be made to increase our chances of success. This may involve moving the climb up a day or more on the schedule to take advantage of better weather. However, the Matterhorn is a very demanding and exposed climb. It is not uncommon for stormy weather to render the mountain unguidable for days at a time. This could preclude us from even making a summit attempt. In this case, there are countless other possibilities for other ascents in the area. The final decision on climbing the Matterhorn and all peaks rests solely with your IMG guides. In addition, the guides will have complete authority over determining each member's continued participation in each of the climbs.
- Dinners and breakfasts during the climb
- Group equipment including tents, stoves, climbing ropes and hardware
- Airline tickets of any kind
- Airport taxes
- Meals in towns or restaurants
- Trail snacks or bottled water
- Costs incurred as a result of delays or events beyond the control of IMG
- Required travel insurance policy (for trip cancellation, medical treatment, evacuation etc.)
- And customary but optional tips for IMG guides