The Matterhorn

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

We wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our second Matterhorn trip. The reason we returned to the Alps with AAI was because we think so highly of Jonathon Spitzer, Lee Lazzara and the rest of the team. We know Jonathon works hard behind the scenes to ensure that the trips are executed flawlessly. We want to make sure he knows that his attention to detail doesn't go unnoticed. Even when things didn't go as planned last year because of weather, Jonathon showed grace under fire. Jonathon and Lee lived up to their reputations again this year. As always, they were safe, professional, knowledgeable and patient. Because of these qualities, we will continue to book trips through AAI with this team of guides. We plan on signing up for another trip as soon as your 2016 schedule opens. Jonathan and Lee are wonderful assets to your organization. - 2015 climber

• World-renowned iconic peak
• We provide an all-inclusive trip (hotels, trams, lifts, etc.), making our prices highly competitive
• Includes four nights in Swiss/Italian huts with breakfast and dinner
• Includes Eight tram/lifts, and local train fees in Switzerland
• Pre-climb training on two peaks over 4,000m and two days of rock climbing training.
• Fully certified IFMGA mountain guides
• All hotels included during the trip (five nights of lodging in downtown Zermatt)
• 1:1 climber-to-guide ratio on Matterhorn portion
• Ten-day program
• Alpine Ascents logo item

The Matterhorn is a technical alpine rock and snow/ice climb. This climb requires climbers to have previous experience rock climbing (5.7 grade) in boots and being comfortable climbing on steep firm snow and ice. Along with the technical level, summit day on the Matterhorn is an extremely physical day requiring climbers to be in excellent physical condition.  Prior climbs like, Rainier, Denali, and the Ecuador Volcanoes are good experience for the snow and ice portions. Climbers will also need to have Alpine Rock experience to be accepted to this program. We offer a Matterhorn Prep Rock Course. 

As the most recognized mountain on the European continent, the roughly chiseled rock pyramid of the Matterhorn serves as a defining geographical landmark. With a near perfect pyramid, its absolute symmetry demarcates the exquisite nature of this beautiful mountain. Nestled in the Swiss Alps, birthplace of climbing, an ascent of the Matterhorn hearkens back to the purist traditions of climbing. The Matterhorn, which stands over the town of Zermatt, is nearly steeple-like in both structure and magnetism. The region nearby is comprised of lush meadows and pristine landscapes. The combination of scenic beauty, superb lodging and the ability to challenge oneself by day and live in luxury by night, makes climbing in Switzerland a rather comfortable alpine experience.

In preparation for the ascent of the Matterhorn we do four days of prior climbing to help review skills, and acclimate.  Climbing both the Polux and Breithorn and excellent challenging 4000m peaks that tower above Zermatt.  The two days of rock climbing help climbers gain the last minute skills and knowledge before climbing the Matterhorn.

This unique opportunity to climb in one of the most famous climbing regions in the world is unrivaled in excellence and quality. Climbs in previous years have enjoyed 100% summit success. 2015 had great success with 9 out of 11 climbers reaching the summit.

Lodged in the Pennine Alps along the Swiss-Italian border, the Matterhorn's history dates back to the Whymper team ascent in 1865. The climbing accomplishments continue into modern day with such achievements as Swiss Guides Arnold and Graven completing two complete traverses, covering all four ridges in 19 hours. In 1995, B. Brunod set the record for the fastest ascent reaching the summit in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 29 seconds from the village of Cervinia. Other notable ascents include the first woman, Lucy Walker (British) in 1871, first ascent of the North Face in by F. and T. Schmid in 1931 and W. Bonatti's a solo winter ascent on a new direct route of the North Face in 1965.

I can't say enough good things about this trip and the guides. Just when I think climbing with Alpine Ascents can't get better, it does. This was the trip of a lifetime. Words cannot describe the quality of this trip. It far exceeded any expectations I could have even put on it. It was the most amazing experience of my life. The quality of the trip was due 100% to the guides who led it and I could never say enough about them or thank them enough for all the effort they put into it. - 2015 climber


Climbing Skill Level
This is an extremely demanding climb and we require climbers to have prior experience before joining this program.  Our success over the years on the Matterhorn has been with climbers that generally have taken and successfully completed a Matterhorn Prep program, or equivalent experience. Climbers must be able to climb up to 5.7 in boots and be in excellent fitness as summit day is over 4,000ft of technical climbing.  If you are interested in joining our Matterhorn program, please contact us with a climbing résume.   If you can't successfully and safely complete the first 4 days on the Matterhorn program, you maybe be asked join a guide on another peak for summit or further skills development. 

Physical Conditioning
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition is required. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Comprehensive training information can be found here.

Environmental Responsibility
Alpine Ascents is deeply committed to maintaining ecosystems at home and around the world. With each expedition, trek and course, we not only attempt to leave the environment as we found it, but strive to assist the local population in protecting the land and people indigenous to that region. Alpine Ascents reaches for the highest ethical business practices at home and abroad. Each staff member is dedicated to environmentally sound alpine ascents.

At Alpine Ascents environmental stewardship remains one of our core values and we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices very seriously. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. On every one of our courses and climbs we teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Our Wag Bag® program made a pioneering step in human waste management for the National Park System and Forest Service in the North Cascades. On Aconcagua, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our on-going maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.

Private Groups
We regularly organize private climbs for individuals, corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these climbs early as we are often able to cater these climbs to group-specific desires. Please contact our office to further discuss the benefits of private courses.

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