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!
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.
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 3:1 and 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!