Matterhorn Week

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.

Standard Itinerary:

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.


5 days of Professional Mountain Guiding in a 6 day period
Trip planning and Refuge reservations
Safety equipment (carried by Guide)
Local transportation (within the course programme)

Not included:

Travel to Chamonix Valley
Accommodation in Chamonix Valley - briefings will be held at the Hotel Louvre in Chamonix so we recommend you stay there. Please book as per the dates in the brochure.
All Mountain Refuges for you and your Guide(s) (3 nights)
Equipment Hire (you can rent most equipment from us, and boots can be hired locally)
Lift Fees for you and your Guides (NB: Guides will have a pass for local lifts and get a large discount on Swiss lifts)

NB: Refuge expenses will be met by the group, so for the first 2 nights the cost will be split between up to 4 people. For the summit trip, the guiding ratio is reduced so the cost for you and your Guide will be paid by you.

Dates, Prices & Availability
FromToPrice (Euros)Places AvailableBook
15 Jul 2023 22 Jul 2023 2500 1 Book a place
22 Jul 2023 29 Jul 2023 2500 0 Course fully booked
  • Duration:
    1 week
  • Venue:
  • Ratios:
    1:2 during training, 1:1 on the Matterhorn
  • Experience Required:

    Matterhorn climbers need the ability to climb and scramble at speed. They need to be solid on their crampons on snowy and icy terrain, and they need excellent upper body strength to haul themselves up the fixed ropes on the mountain. Usually a successful candidate will have a minimum of 20-30 days of mountaineering experience from summer rock climbing and scrambling, to Alpine Mountaineering. If you've undertaken a week of alpine climbing before (perhaps a Mont Blanc trip, a Saas 4000s trip, or a Monte Rosa trek) then unless you have significant personal climbing experience (rock or winter climbing) you will almost certainly need more training. Our Alpine Development Week is an excellent stepping stone towards climbing the Matterhorn. If you're not sure about whether you're ready, get in touch.
  • Information Sheet:

    Matterhorn Week - Information Folder