The Matterhorn, (4,478m) sometimes called ‘The mountain of mountains’, is one of the most instantly recognised and iconic peaks in the world. It roars out from the surrounding Alpine landscape and grabs the attention of everyone stepping off the train at Zermatt in Switzerland. Dramatic and awe-inspiring, it has for centuries been a major tick for mountaineers worldwide.
Make this ascent yourself with our superb 360 Mountain Guides who know, and need to know, this route backwards. You don’t have to be a brilliant climber to summit the Matterhorn, but you do have to be able to move over some extreme scrambling terrain quickly and efficiently and have some previous moutaineering experience under your belt. The Matterhorn is steep and serious on all sides, and combines technical rock ridges, graded at Alpine AD, with high altitude. We climb the Hornli Ridge from Switzerland on a 1 guide to 1 client ratio.
This itinerary is an outline, and the day-to-day running will depend on local conditions, and the fitness and dynamics of the team. It is designed to give you the very best chance of summitting. We’ll give you luxurious down time lodging and meals, the best acclimatisation possible, the most thorough training, and fully qualified Mountain Guides. The rest is up to you.
DAY 1 : Chamonix
Meet in Chamonix to discuss the week ahead, check equipment, and answer last minute questions. We use Chamonix to warm up for the peak simply because it is less eye-wateringly expensive than being in Zermatt.
DAY 2 : Training & acclimatisation around Chamonix
Likely objectives could be the Arete Cosmiques or Point Lachenal from the Aiguille du Midi.
DAY 3 : Training & acclimatisation around Chamonix
Another training and acclimatisation day above Chamonix. Likely itinerary would be the traverse of the Entreves. We will probably spend the night in a high mountain refuge to aid acclimatisation.
DAY 4 : Training & acclimatisation around Chamonix
We will have an early start from the refuge, likely climbing a peak like the Tour Ronde via the South East ridge. This is a mixture of snow and ice climbing, with some rock climbing thrown in too, and is ideal preparation for the Matterhorn.
Return to Chamonix.
DAY 5 : Matterhorn
We leave Chamonix early in the morning, and head to Zermatt. Once there we take the Klein Matterhorn lift to Schwarzsee, and then make the 90 minute ascent to the Hornli Hutte.
DAY 6 : Matterhorn possible Summit Day
The climb from the Hornli Hutte is over 1,200m of ascent. Almost immediately after leaving the Hornli Hut we begin climbing. Most of the terrain is steep scrambling, but there are sections of fixed rope, higher on the route, where you will have to climb “batman style” upwards. Just over half way up we will reach the Solvay Bivouac where we will stop for a break and assess our progress. If we are not keeping to good time then this is a logical point to descend from. We usually put crampons on 2/3 of the way up where the ground becomes snowy. From there to the summit the terrain is more serious, with fixed ropes on all steep sections. The ability to use your crampons effectively is essential. Summit day on the Matterhorn is usually 9 – 12 hours return journey to the hut. Then an easy walk down the path to the lift for 1 hour .
DAY 7 : Matterhorn possible Summit Day
In case of bad weather we allow a spare day. This significantly increases your chance of summitting. If we don’t need the spare day we will complete another day of alpinism or rock climbing. After the peak we will return to Chamonix.
DAY 8 : Return to UK
Today we fly back home.
- Price based on even numbers
- Half board accommodation in a chalet in Les Bossons
- Chalet accommodation is usually sharing in twin rooms. Single rooms can sometimes be arranged (with €150 supplement payable at the chalet)
- Half Board accommodation in mountain refuges
- Transport to and from training venues
- All guiding and guides expenses
- Celebratory reception on return to the chalet
- 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
- Monthly payment plan, on request
- Lunches – allow €10 / day
- Personal equipment for each person: ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness, boots. (Equipment hire can be provided for those that need it at additional cost, paid locally.)
- Airport transfers Geneva airport to Chamonix return
- Mountain cable cars and trains in Chamonix and Zermatt. Total will vary depending on the number of lifts used but €200 plus €20 each way for Zermatt taxis should suffice
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early