The Matterhorn

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

Matterhorn Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA evening, fly into Geneva

Day 2: Arrive in Geneva and take the Swiss train system to Zermatt. Plan on 3-5hrs for your train ride to Zermatt. Your guide will touch base with you upon your arrival in Zermatt at the Hotel. Spend the night in hotel.

Day 3: Meet at 7:00am for a formal group breakfast and orientation with all climbers and guides. After breakfast we have a detailed gear check and pick up any last minute items and lunch for the day before heading out. Ride the Gornergrat railway up to the Riffelhorn. We climb the Riffelhorn (2927m) in our mountaineering boots to work on footwork and multi-pitch rock climbing skills. We also do some fixed rope practiced in the afternoon. We enjoy dinner and spend the night at a hotel in Zermatt.

Day 4: We ride the Klein Matterhorn Cable car to the top of the (Klein Matterhorn 3700m). We traverse the massive glacier behind the famous Breithorn and climb Polux (4092m), a steep snow and rock climb. To help our acclimatization, we spend the night at a beautiful hut on the Italian/Swiss board, Val D'Ayas (3420m).

Day 5: We wake up early and leave the hut. We continue our climbing practice and acclimatizing by climbing Castor (4226m). Castor is a steep snow climb that helps us work on our cramponing and steep snow climbing skills. We spend the night the same hut, Val D'Ayas (3420m).

Day 6: We wake up early and leave the hut. Retracing our steps back towards the Klein Matterhorn we climb the Breithorn (4165m) doing the famous East-West Traverse. This traverse has technical rock scrambling on an exposed ridge. This helps prepare us for the Matterhorn summit climb. Once done climbing we ride the Klein Matterhorn lift back down to town and spend a night at the hotel in Zermatt, giving us a change to shower, change clothes, dine and have a restful night before starting our attempt on the Matterhorn.

Day 7: Approaching the base of the Hornligrate ridge we ride the Schwarzee lift to 2575m. From the top of the lift we travel by foot for two to three hours on a main hiker's path to the Hornli Hut 3260m. We will enjoy dinner and go to bed early in preparation of our ascent. The Hornli Hut, which normally sleeps over 140 climbers, is being restored on the 150th year anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn. At this time very limited if any space will be available to sleep inside the hut. Climbers should plan on camping near the hut in 2014 climbing season.

Day 8: Climb the Matterhorn via Hornligrat ridge, which is a 1,200m (4,000ft) technical ridge climb requiring high level of physical energy and technical ability. Our goal is to reach the summit in 5-6hrs and then reverse our descent to the Hornligrat Hut. We awake early for an alpine start to begin our ascent of the Matterhorn. After walking 10mins on a dirt path we begin the 1200m (4,000ft) technical ascent of the Hornligrat ridge. We climb a mixture of the East Face and staying directly on the Hornligat ridge for the first 2-3hrs before reaching the Moseley Slab. We climb up the Moseley Slab which leads directly onto the balcony of the emergency Solvay refuge (4003m). From the Solvay refuge we climb the upper Moseley and then back directly to the ridge crest. The ridge crest incline decreases as we reach the Shoulder (4200m). Above the Shoulder we ascend fixed ropes and the final steep snow slope to the summit 4478m. We take a long break at the hut before retracing our exact climbing route for the descent to the Schwarzee. We spend the night at the hotel back in Zermatt celebrating our successful climb. We plan on spending the night at the hotel back in Zermatt celebrating our successful climb, however if the climb takes longer we might spend the night either at the Hornli Hut or the Schwarzee on the descent. Climbers should plan on an 8-12hr day of intense physical exertion.

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 3-5hrs. The first train departs around 7am. 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 is under renovations for the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn. If open, sleeping space will be very limited. Climbers should plan on camping near the hut in the 2014 season. In late spring, we should have an update on the condition of the hut for the summer.


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