BOOK YOUR NEXT TRIP | 206.378.1927


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 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 heading over the Saas- Almageller valley for the next two nights.   Riding in a private taxi for 45mins we will reach the trail head of the Almageller valley.  We will walk 3- 3 1/2hours up to the Almageller hutte (2900m).  After lunch at the hute we will continue on our technical climbing training by doing the Dri Hornli traverse.  This is a technical alpine rock traverse above the hut which allows us to continue to work on our movment skills while acclimating.  We will be spending the night at the Almageller Hutte (3420m).

  • Altitude: Zermatt: 1608m/5,275 ft.
  • Almageller Trailhead: 1900m/6,233 ft.
  • Summit Dri Hornli: 3050m/ 10,006 ft.
  • Almageller Hut: 2900m/ 9,514ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 1050m/ 3,444 ft.
  • Travel time climbing: 3- 3.5 hours to reach the Almageller Hutte. 3-4 hours to climb Dri Hornli round trip back to hut.

Day 5

We will wake up early and leave the hut to climb the Weissmies (4017m). This summit climb will help prepare us for the Matterhorn.  We will climb the SE ridge of the Weissmies which involves technical alpine rock climbing.  The final summit ridge is on steep snow and amazing views of the Swiss Alps.  We descend back the down the ridge working on our down climbing and descending skills.

  • Altitude: Almageller Hut: 2900m/ 9,514ft.
  • Summit of Weissmies: 4017m / 13,179ft
  • Almageller Hut: 2900m/ 9,514ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 11170m/3,658 ft.
  • Travel time climbing: 6.5 – 7.5 hours from the hut to the summit round trip.

Day 6

After having a great breakfast at the Almageller Hut we will descend back to Sass Almageller valley and take the taxi back to Zermatt.  After lunch in town we will work on what equipment we need to take the Matterhorn and pack our climbing packs.  We will spend the night at a hotel in Zermatt.

  • Altitude: Gandegghutte: 2900m/ 9,514ft
  • Zermatt: 1608m/5,275 ft.
  • Travel time climbing 3 hours of descending back to Saas Almageller vally from the hut. We will be back in Zermatt around lunchtime.

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.

I enjoyed it immensely. I came back equal parts exhausted and elated, which is pretty much a perfect result for an adventure of this sort. Everybody in the group summited on the same day. Our team’s interpersonal chemistry was especially warm and supportive, even though we had not climbed together before


  • Product Spotlight: MSR Access Tents

    We periodically like to spotlight a product we really, really like- in this case, the MSR Access series of tents, reviewed & vetted in the field by our staff. The Quick Review – MSR Access 3 Tent The good: extremely light (sub-4 lbs.), extremely packable (disappears into a pack like a single-wall tent), extremely livable […]

  • Knots & Hitches: The Alpine Butterfly

    The following is the first in a series of “how-to” videos on the major knots and hitches we use in the mountains. Stay tuned for more videos on knots like the figure-8, double-fisherman, ring bend- and hitches like the muenter & prussik! Most often used when clipping into the middle of a section of rope, […]

  • Which kind of stove should I bring?

    When packing for a climbing trip or expedition, choosing a cooking system can be one of the most complicated aspects of planning. As we explored in Backcountry stoves 101, there are many options for kinds of stove to bring – but how do you decide which style is best for a given trip? Ultimately, the […]

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
Copyright © 2017 Alpine Ascents International. All rights reserved.