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Climb the Matterhorn

Guided Matterhorn ascent via the Hornli ridge from Zermatt

An exceptional 6 day mountaineering course to climb the Matterhorn, the most dramatic mountain in the Alps. Climb the ridge from the Hornli Hut to reach the summit of your dreams: the Matterhorn. Chamonix Experience mountain and ski guides would be delighted to guide you on this long and demanding climb that is every mountaineers's dream!

Mount Matterhorn

The Matterhorn (also known as Monte Cervino in Italian or Mont Cervin in French) is probably the most iconic mountain in the Alps; the typical pyramid shape of the Matterhorn summit is familiar even to those who don’t have any mountaineering background. This 4478m high mountain is located in the Swiss alpine region of Zermatt in the Pennine Alps on the border between two countries, Italy and Switzerland.

Our Matterhorn Climbing Course

We have created a 6 day course for groups of up to 4 persons or private individuals to climb Matterhorn. The actual ascent from the Hornli hut normally takes 2 full days. Our 6 day programme includes crucial preparation time for acclimatising and training on warm-up routes. These days will give you a chance to practice moving quickly on similar steep and technical terrain, before tackling the Matterhorn itself. Our UIAGM qualified mountain guides will work with you on your rock climbing skills and foot work with and without crampons, rope work skills and the basic glacier travel techniques. You will climb classic alpine routes around Chamonix and Courmayeur in Italy. If conditions and weather permit, you will climb the iconic Dent du Geant (4013m) as part of your preparation for the Matterhorn.

The last two days of the course will be spent in Zermatt. By this point, you should have the required level of rock and ice climbing and be well acclimatised. The route that we normally use to climb the Matterhorn is the Hörnli Ridge, which offers sustained climbing on a relatively difficult and continuously exposed ridge. This is one of the easiest Matterhorn itineraries and is the first route to be opened on the Matterhorn. At 4478m, climbing this magnificent summit requires a careful technique and efficient movement, not to mention commitment and endurance. The route is 1200m long, so you need to be able to move fast and efficiently on technical terrain to have any chance of reaching the summit within a safe timescale. A big part of the climb is low grade rock climbing with and/or without crampons over exposed terrain. The descent follows the same route so you will have to climb back down exactly what you have climbed up.

History of the Matterhorn

This extraordinary mountain is famous not only for its place in mountaineering history, but also for its striking shape and the beautifully exposed climbing it offers. The Matterhorn remained for a long time the unclimbed dream summit of all alpinists; its technical difficulty combined with the impressive appearance of the steep walls made all the early climbers turn back. It was not until 14 July 1865 when a team led by British mountaineer Edward Whymper succeeded to reach the summit. They succeeded by a route which is today the normal route, known as the Hörnli ridge. The first Matterhorn summit came at a terrible price; four of the team climbers - Douglas Hadow, Michel Croz, Lord Francis Douglas and Charles Hudson - fell tragically to their deaths on the descent. Even today, Matterhorn is a very respected mountain by all alpinists. Climbing the Matterhorn requires good levels of fitness, climbing experience and determination. 

Description

Our Matterhorn mountaineering course is created and calculated for small groups. While this increases the cost of the course, it has significant advantages for you and the success of your summit attempt. The preparation days will be run on a 2:1 client to guide ratio basis, which allows a more personal approach from your mountain guide and more rapid progress in your training. It also allow greater flexibility to focus on whichever techniques you need to improve the most. The Matterhorn ascent has a 1:1 client to guide ratio, which will guarantee you the full attention of your mountain guide and a much greater chance of success. 

Required level & fitness

You need to have extensive experience and be in very good physical condition before joining this Matterhorn course, please consider the following requirements:

  • You must have previous rock climbing experience.
  • You should be able to climb French Grade 4 or UK Grade VS on a top rope without difficulty and be comfortable and quick scrambling over a steep rock.
  • You also need to have mountaineering experience and be comfortable moving with ice axes and crampons, up and down, on snow slopes of up to 50 degrees.
  • You must have a high level of fitness, enough to be happy doing 7-9 hours of hiking in the mountains without being destroyed the next day!

If you don’t have the requirements listed above, you can join our Alpine Climbing Introduction Course instead. This course is a great preparation for all of our great summit courses: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and Eiger.  

Climb Matterhorn Private Trip

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you prefer private 1:1 guiding - we would be delighted to create a custom-made programme and budget to meet your needs. Our mountain guides will work with you to plan a trip that will help you achieve your goals and exceed your expectations. As well as planning your training and itinerary, we can also assist with booking accommodation and organising all aspects of your trip - all you have to do is contact us and we'll take care of the rest!

Price

2550€

Price per person for a group of minimum 2 clients. Please contact us if you are interested in a private 1:1 course, we will be happy to create a custom-made programme and budget.

Course Dates

2017
Start Date End Date Spaces
G
Jul 17 Jul 22 3
Jul 24 Jul 29 4
Jul 31 Aug 05 4
Aug 07 Aug 12 4
Aug 14 Aug 19 4
Aug 21 Aug 26 4
Aug 28 Sep 02 4
Sep 04 Sep 09 4
Sep 11 Sep 16 4

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


Included

Mountain Guide Fees

Our course includes 6 days of guiding and instruction by experienced UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

All our guides have been chosen for their lovely personality and high standard of skills.

Transport

Any transport that is required during the course including the return trip from Chamonix to Zermatt.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Accommodation

To keep the itinerary as flexible as possible, we have excluded accommodation from the course package. Your guide will decide closer to the time which mountain huts you will stay at and for how many nights. You should calculate an extra cost of around 280€ for the huts.

Lift Passes

Based on our previous course experience, you should budget an extra 180€ for lift passes.

Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your perdoanlised kit list.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Accommodation (half-board)

2 nights accommodation in mountain huts with breakfast and dinner included.

Welcome Meeting in Chamonix

Our Matterhorn expedition starts with an evening meeting between you and your mountain guide at our Chamonix office. Your guide will go though the plan for the week and answer any questions you may have. We will also check your equipment.

Day 1 - Rock Climbing in Chamonix

Today we will go rock climbing at one of the great multi-pitch routes in Chamonix to refresh our rope work skills.

We will choose nice easy itineraries that will give us the opportunity to check your level and work on improving your climbing and rope skills.

Les Aiguilles Rouges or Plan des Aiguilles offer some great climbing and scrambling terrain to practice on.

Day 2 - Multi-Pitch Climbing in Chamonix

Climbing the Hornli Ridge on Matterhorn will require you to be fast and confident at climbing and scrambling over exposed terrain.

This is what we will practice today and routes such as the normal route on the Peigne, Traverse des Crochues or Traverse des Perrons de Vallorcine offer the perfect terrain to do so.

Moreover, these are magnificent climbs offering stunning views of the Chamonix valley!

Day 3 - Climb Aiguille d’Entrèves in Italy

Today you will meet your mountain guide in Chamonix in the morning and then drive across to Palud in Italy, where you take the cable car up to Pointe Helbronner (3462m) from where we will climb the Aiguille d’Entrèves.

This climb follows a spectacular ridge offering great exposure and amazing views.

You will spend the night at the Torino Refuge.

Day 4 - Climb Dent du Géant

The Dent du Géant is a classic Chamonix climbing route that reaches the small summit of the prominent ‘fang’ like feature on the Franco-Italian boarder.

The approach to this climb is done in mountaineering boots with crampons. Once at the base of the climb you will put on your rock shoes. The descent consists of a series of spectacular rappels down the vertical south face.

Afterwards you will return to Chamonix for the night.

Day 5 - Hike to Hörnli Hut in Zermatt

Today your mountain guide will meet you at our Chamonix office and check if anybody needs to collect any last minute items before the 3 hour drive to Zermatt.

You will park in Tasch and take the train to Zermatt, where you will take a cable car up to Schwarzsee.

From here it is about a 2.5 hour walk to the Hörnli refuge, where we will stay overnight before beginning our ascent of the Matterhorn the next day.

Day 6 - Climb the Matterhorn

Summit day! You will leave the Hörnli refuge between 3-4am, in the dark with head torches on.

The summit climb is with a smaller guide to client ratio (1:1) and will take 4-5 hours to complete. The steeper sections are equipped with fixed cables. The descent will take approximately as long as the ascent.

When you return to Zermatt you will have a celebratory late lunch, before making your way back to Chamonix with your mountain guide.

Please note that this is an example itinerary. The exact programme will depend on the weather forecast, conditions and overall climbing level of the group.

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Warm hat

Warm hat

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Gaiters

Gaiters

Sun hat

Sun hat

Climbing shoes

Climbing shoes

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

60 - 120 cm tape sling

60 - 120 cm tape sling

Belay device

Belay device

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

35 - 45 litres rucksack

35 - 45 litres rucksack

Crampons

Crampons

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liner

Staying in Mountain Huts

The high alpine huts are one of the big attractions to mountaineering or trekking in the Alps. They allow us the time to enjoy the mountains with only light packs and without having to worry about meals or finding somewhere to sleep! Most huts have only very basic facilities. Sleeping arrangements are in mixed sex dormitory-style rooms with bunks; there can be up to 20 people in one room.

Washing facilities are limited and generally there is no running water in any of the huts although this may vary in some huts. There are basins in which you can use bottled water to wash and clean your teeth, but they are NOT generally in private cubicles and are mixed sex. Toilets are generally septic-tank type (so non-flushing) and again mixed sex. You need to be prepared for simple living in the huts and appreciate they are located at high altitude and in inhospitable terrain.

A 3-course evening meal and breakfast are served by the guardian and his team and food is usually nourishing and filling. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are also available. All food and drink in the huts is delivered by helicopter and consequently prices will be high e.g. between 3- 5€ or 8CHF for a 1.5 litre bottle of still water.

On arriving at the hut you must take off your boots and leave these together with your ice-axe and crampons in the foyer. Be sure to store these carefully as the hut is likely to get very busy and you’ll need to find all your kit in the morning rush! House slippers are provided and must be worn in the hut. Your guide will register you with the guardian and will assign you your bunk
Follow the instructions of your guide and keep requests to the guardian and his team to a minimum – they are usually very busy sorting out groups, cooking meals, keeping the hut clean. In the morning your guide will often want to leave early – be sure to have all your kit ready to go the night before. Be organized and everything will be much easier! It is recommended to bring ear-plugs for the nights – but make sure that you get up on time!

Bespoke Private Guiding

We are always happy to organise private guiding, tailored to the needs of any sized group. We have lots of experience in organising corporate events, specialist courses and group trips for all kinds of people no matter what your age or experience. Please get in touch if you would like more information.

 

Insurance

We highly recommend that you take out specific insurance for mountain activities. We can organise this at a cost of 8€ per day for EU citizens and 12€ per day for non-EU citizens. This will cover you for search and rescue services, evacuation by helicopter and emergency medical treatment. You should also make sure that you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for the usual things such as cancelled flights, lost luggage, hospital treatment, etc. Please contact us to organise mountain rescue insurance for your trip.

Lift Passes

Please note that lift passes are not included in the price of this trip. However, we are happy to organise them for you and have them ready for you on arrival, please contact us to find out more about Chamonix lift passes.

Accommodation in Chamonix

If you wish to book accommodation in Chamonix we would be happy to recommend some local hotels, gites, self-catered apartments, or chalets and advise on the best locations. Please contact us if you would like help finding accommodation in Chamonix.

Getting to Chamonix

Chamonix is one of the easiest alpine resorts to get to, being just over an hour's drive from Geneva international airport. Lyon, Turin and Milan airports are also all within a few hour's drive. The best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix is by transfer bus, either shared with other passengers or private. You will be met in the arrivals lounge by your driver and dropped at your accommodation in Chamonix, there is no extra charge for your luggage or equipment. We work only with the most reliable transfer companies in the valley and are happy to organise your journey for you, please contact us for prices and booking.

The equipment hire

We highly recommend that you book the equipment with us at least 2 weeks in advance as the hire shops can have limited availability in the busy season. You can collect your equipment on the evening before the start of the course and return it on the evening at the end of your course. We work with the following shops :

• Concept pro shop (100 Place de l'Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France) open 7/7 8 :00h – 19 :00h

Optional equipment

Thermos is not essential due to weight, but it can be comforting to have a hot drink on a cold day climbing Matterhorn. Water bottle – Should be at least 1 1/2 litres and durable. 
Camelbak hydration systems. Good as long as they are kept clean. Not recommended for winter sports / high altitude climbing as the tube tends to freeze up. Earplugs are highly recommended for the huts.

Food

We suggest you bring with you or buy in resort snack food that you can take out on the hill with you each day. Things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favourite hill snacks. When you’re staying overnight in huts its best to take supplies for the days you are away. Huts do sell food but it’s expensive and sometimes stocks run low.

If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food to supplement your hut dinners. The huts are fairly good at providing for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs. The huts can provide a small basic packed lunch of bread, salami, cheese and chocolate that you can buy each day but it’s important that you don’t rely on this option only. You do need to carry some snack food for each day.

You will also generally stop for short breaks each hour where you should eat and drink something each time in order to maintain your energy levels throughout the day.

Bad Weather

If the weather forecast is poor, we will follow an alternative programme. There are many options for alpine climbing between France, Italy and Switzerland. For example, from the Aiguille du Midi you can access the Cosmiques or Torino refuges. These are ideal bases to ascend classic mountaineering routes such as Mt Blanc du Tacul, Arete de Cosmiques, Point Lachenal, Tour Ronde and the Aiguille d ‘Entreves. Or we can drive to Italy or Switzerland and attempt the Gran Paradiso or the Weissmies in the Saas valley – please note there will be additional transport costs for options to Italy or Switzerland.

Our Guides

All Chamex mountain guides are fully qualified, highly experienced and passionate about what they do. Everyone who works as part of the Chamex team has been throughly vetting and is trusted by us to give our clients the best experience possible - you are in safe hands! If you would like to know more then you can meet the Chamex team here.