This course is designed in order to maximise your chances of summiting. The Matterhorn is 4477m high and acclimatisation and prior training are essential if you are to reach this serious and famous summit. Starting in Chamonix, we will undertake several other demanding climbs prior to the Matterhorn in order to be ready. The best time to climb the Matterhorn is once most of the snow has melted off the Hornli ridge - usually late July and early August give optimal conditions.
Day 1 - Meet in Chamonix.
Days 2-4 - Training and Acclimatisation on technical climbs in the Mont Blanc Massif. We usually focus on technical peaks 3000-4000m high such as the traverse of the Aiguille d'Entreve and the Dent du Geant.
Days 4-6 - This period is reserved for the summit. Although only two days are actually needed, we allow a spare day in case of bad weather.
The climb to the summit can take anywhere from 4 to 5 hours depending on conditions and your speed. Serious scrambling terrain (Grade 3), easy Rock Climbing (UK Diff, US 5.3), and fixed ropes all have to be negotiated. Descent can sometimes take even longer due to the technical nature of the terrain. This can cause some teams to become completely exhausted and require rescue. As a result slow teams will be turned around at the Solvay Refuge during the ascent if they do not reach there within 2 hours.
The terrain is rocky nearly all the way from the Hornli Hut to the summit. The upper third often requires the use of crampons. Most of the time you will be scrambling on steep terrain on a short rope to your Guide. Easy sections allow you both to move together, and on more difficult steps the Guide will climb ahead before protecting you using the rope. The fixed ropes are like school gym ropes, and you will need to "Batman" your way up these as quickly as possibly to prevent queues forming. In descent you will need to scramble downwards at a good pace in order to make it down in time for a late lunch and the lift back to Zermatt. Your Guide will lower you on some of the steeper sections. A return trip to the Hornli Hut will often take 8-10 hours - this is not a climb for the faint-hearted.
After getting down, a traditional beer in the Brown Cow pub is usually the order of the day before heading back to Chamonix.
Half Board Accommodation in a Chamonix Valley Hotel for 3-4 nights
Half Board Mountain Refuge Accommodation for 3-4 nights
Travel to training venues (as per itinerary)
Mountain Uplift (as per itinerary)
All Guiding and Guide's expenses
What's not Included:
Lunches, snacks and drinks