The Matterhorn (4478m) dominates the skyline above Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. It is one of the world's iconic mountains, and an ascent has been the highlight of many a mountaineer's lifetime achievements. The course begins with three days of training climbs and acclimatisation, before travelling over to Zermatt for the main event of the week – an ascent of the Matterhorn's classic Hornli Ridge.
Guided days - 6
Guiding ratio - 1:2 / 1:1
Based from Chamonix
The ridge soars for 1200m straight above the Hornli Hut, and is graded AD (Assez Difficile). The main difficulties are on rock, and although not particularly sustained, the climbing on the Hornli is always exposed. After long sections of moderate scrambling, the rock moves of the Moseley Slab bar access to the Solvay bivouac hut (4003m). Above this, the route steepens again above the Shoulder. The situation is spectacular, but progress is facilitated by the permanent fixed ropes. Exposed snow slopes then lead to the sensationally airy summit (4478m), a full 2000m above the glaciers below. The route is then reversed all the way back down to the Hornli Hut. The whole day involves 8-12hrs of mountaineering.
The Matterhorn requires a good level of fitness and confidence in your footwork and cramponing technique, both going up and coming down. A minimum of a week of experience of mountaineering in exposed places is a pre-requisite, on AD-graded routes such as the Cosmiques Arete, Entreves Traverse, Freshfield Arete, Forbes Arete and South Ridge of the Dent Blanche.
Whilst the first three days of the course are spent on training climbs, these are to fine-tune existing skills, rather than to learn how to climb the Matterhorn. We welcome you to enquire (link) to find out if your existing level of experience is sufficient to take on the Matterhorn. If not, we can tailor a programme to prepare you.
The first three days of the course will be run at a guiding ratio of up to 1:2. For the final three summit days, the ratio will be 1:1. A maximum of two people per course. The course cost is £2395. Please enquire (link) for availability.
For a private booking for two people, the first three days of the course will be run at a guiding ratio of 1:2. For the final three summit days, the ratio will be 1:1. For a private booking for one person, the guiding ratio will be 1:1 throughout. A private course is £2195 per person for two people, £2895 for one person.
Ice axe, crampons, harness and helmet can be provided for a hire fee of £10 per day. Mountaineering boot hire can be arranged with Snell Sports in Chamonix.