The Matterhorn

Switzerland (14,687ft/4,478m)

Matterhorn Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA evening, fly into Geneva, Switzerland or Zurich, Switzerland.
Day 2: Arrive in Geneva or Zurich. Use the phenomenal Swiss train system to travel to Zermatt. Plan on 4 - 4.5 hours from the airport to arrive in Zermatt. All climbers coming from Geneva or Zurich will need change trains in Visp to get to Zermatt. Spend the night in hotel.

  • Altitude: Zermatt: 1608m/5,275 ft.
    Travel time climbing: 4- 4.5 hours from airport to Zermatt.

Day 3: Meet at 7:00am in the lobby of the Hotel Bahnhof in Zermatt. We will spend today reviewing and practicing our rock climbing skills in out mountains boot at an alpine rock climbing cliff above Zermatt near Fluhalpe at 2600m. Climbing several routes and working on our movement skill during the day. We will also review and practice techniques for descending technical rock. Climbers should have practice climbing alpine rock in their boots. We will practice: climbing, down climbing, lowering, belaying and movement skills. We will be spending the night in Zermatt.

  • Altitude: Zermatt: 1608m/5,275 ft.
    Fluhalpe rock climbing area: 2600m/8,530 ft.
    Vertical gain during the day: 992m/3,254 ft.
    Vertical gain climbing: 150m/492 ft.
    Travel time climbing: 30mins to walk to the base of the cliff from the tram station. We will spend around 6 hours working on technical terrain up to 5.7 in mountaineering boots

Day 4: We will be departing Zermatt early in the morning and riding up the famous Klien Matterhorn cable car to the top of the (Klein Matterhorn 3820m). We will traverse the massive glacier behind the Breithorn and climb Polux (4092m), which is a steep snow and rock climb. Ascending the South Ridge on the Polux, up mixed rocky terrain. Climbers can expect climbing in terrain up to 4th class and low 5th class including some fixed ropes to access the steep snowy summit ridge. From the snowy ridge we will traverse to the true summit of Polux. To help continue our acclimating process we will spend the night at a beautiful hut on the Italian/Swiss board, Val D'Ayas (3420m).

  • Altitude: Zermatt: 1608m/5,275 ft.
    Top of Klien Matterhorn: 3820m/12,532 ft.
    Summit of Polux: 4092m/13,425 ft.
    Val D'Ayas Hut: 3420m/11,220 ft.
    Vertical gain during the day: 2484m/8,150 ft.
    Vertical gain climbing: 700m/2,300 ft.
    Travel time climbing: 5.5 - 6.5 hours from top of Klien Matterhorn lift including climb Polux Val D'Ayas hut.

Day 5: We will wake up early and leave the hut. Retracing our steps back towards the Klein Matterhorn we will climb the Breithorn (4165m) doing the famous East-West Traverse. This traverse has technical rock scrambling on an exposed ridge. This will help prepare us for the Matterhorn summit climb. Once done climbing we will ride the Klein Matterhorn lift down to the Trockener Stag lift station. We will walk up a short trail (25mins) to the lovely Gandegghutte (3030m) to help continue our acclimating process.

  • Altitude: Val D'Ayas Hut: 3420/11,220 ft.
    Summit of Briethorn: 4164m/13,661 ft.
    Top of Klien Matterhorn lift: 3820m/12,532 ft.
    Gandegghutte: 3030m/9,940 ft.
    Vertical gain during the day: 1100m/3,608 ft.
    Vertical gain climbing: 1100m/3,608 ft.
    Travel time climbing: 6.5 - 7.5 hours from Val D'Ayas back to including the Briethorn Traverse Klien Matterhorn lift. 25min walk to the Gandegghutte.

Day 6: After having a great breakfast at the Gandegghutte we will descend back to Zermatt via the cable car. Grabbing a fresh sandwich in Zermatt for our day we will ride the Gornergrat railway up to the Rotenboden (2815m). We will climb the Riffelhorn, a moderate multi-pitch route our objective in our mountaineering boots to work on footwork and technical climbing skills. We will also do some fixed rope practiced in the afternoon. We will spend the night at a hotel in Zermatt.

  • Altitude: Gandegghutte: 3030m/9,940 ft.
    Rotenboden rail station: 2815m/9,235 ft.
    Riffelhorn:2930m/ 9,612 ft.
    Zermatt: 1608m/5,275 ft.
    Vertical gain during the day: 300m/984 ft.
    Vertical gain climbing: 300m/ 984 ft.
    Travel time climbing: 6 - 7.5 hours on technical terrain up to 5.6 in mountaineering boots. Climbers should have practice climbing alpine rock in there boots. We will practice fixed rope climbing, down climbing, lowering, belaying and movement skills.

Day 7: Approaching the base of the Hornligrate ridge we will ride the Schwarzee lift to 2575m. From the top of the lift we travel by foot on a main hikers path to the Hornli Hutte 3260m. We will enjoy dinner and go to bed early in preparation of our ascent. In the afternoon climbers and guides can possibly preview the lower section of the route if conditions and time permit.

  • Altitude: Zermatt: 1608m/5,275 ft.
    Top of Schwarzee lift: 2575m/8,448 ft.
    Hornli Hutte: 3260m/10,695 ft.
    Vertical gain during the day: 1652m/5,419 ft.
    Vertical gain climbing: 685m/2,247 ft.
    Travel time climbing: 2.5 - 3 hours walking on a trail to the Hornli Hutte.

Day 8: Climb the Matterhorn via Hornligrate ridge, which is just over 1,200m (4,000 ft.) technical ridge climb requiring high level of physical energy and technical climb ability. The lower two thirds of the route is a rock climb and rock scramble. We will take our first long break at the historic Solvay emergency shelter (4003m). Climbers should plan on reaching this hut in 2 - 2.5 hours. With only 475m until we reach the summit from the Solvay the route steepens as we ascend the upper Mossey Slabs. The final 200m of the Matterhorn is on steep snow and ice before reaching the final summit ridge. Our goal is to reach the summit in 4.5 - 5.5 hours and then reverse our path and descent to the Hornligrate Hut. We will take a long break at the hut before walking down to the Schwarzee lift. We will spend the night at the Schwarzee hotel (2575m) and have a wonderful celebration of our successful climb. Climbers should plan on an 8-12 hour day of intense high cardio physical exercise.

  • Altitude: Hornli Hutte: 3260m/10,695 ft.
    Solvay Emergency Shelter: 4003m/13,133 ft.
    Summit of Matterhorn: 4478m/14,691 ft.
    Vertical gain during the day: 1224m/4,015 ft.
    Vertical gain climbing: 1224m/4,015 ft.
    Travel time climbing: 4.5 -5.5 hours to the summit and around 4.5 - 5.5 hours to descend to the Hornligrate Hutte. Total climbing time is typically between 9-11 hours. 1- 1.5 hours walking to the Schwarzee Hotel.

Day 9: Weather day, possible extra summit day on the Matterhorn. Night in Zermatt

Day 10: Depart Zermatt via train to Geneva or Zurich. When booking flights climbers should be aware the train is 4 - 4.5 hours. The first train departs around 5am. Fly back to country of origin.

*Guides might change the Itinerary due to weather and climbing conditions on the Matterhorn.

*In 2014 the Hornli Hut under went major renovations to be restored for the 150 anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn. The hut is scheduled to reopen in early July 2015. Climbers should plan on the Hornli Hutte being busy in 2015 climbing season. We will inform climbers with an update on the hut in the Spring of 2015.

 

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