FEEDBACK:"Theres no point beating about the proverbial
bush when it comes to the Matterhorn,
Im afraid. Its a serious chunk of rock and
youve got to be 100% up for it. Not one of the
things I have ever done. But the Icicle team are brill
and if anyone can
get you up there they will" Christian M, Edinburgh,
Matterhorn is probably the most recognised
mountain in the world, due to its unique
triangular shape. Towering above the Swiss
town of Zermatt, the mountain is fairly
difficult to ascend by any route, and was
one of the last Alpine 4000ers to be climbed.
The classic route up the mountain is the
researching this mountain, have a read of
focus page, which details
the routes up the Matterhorn, and gives more
detailed advice on preparation and the history
of the mountain.
book this course, you should be very fit,
have good footwork on steep ground, be good
with exposure and have good ropework skills
(previous skills: Alpine PD / Grade II Ice
/ UK Severe / US 5.9).
keep the price as low as possible, the first
three training days are at 1:2 Guiding ratio,
but to maximise your safety and summiting
success, and so you can move at your speed,
you climb the Matterhorn at a 1:1 ratio.
you have significant previous rock climbing
experience, but not much crampon or alpine
experience, this can be developed over the
week of the course as only the summit block
usually needs to be climbed in crampons.
clients who have climbed in Chamonix before,
there are over 4000 routes
so you are guaranteed not to repeat anything
during the training days.
You are guaranteed new, challenging objectives.
Alpine 4000ers can be climbed with a low amount
of skill or talent. Not so for the Matterhorn,
and, due to the exposure, inexperienced peak
baggers should beware that their chances of
success will be low.
will not accept clients on this course unless
we believe they have the necessary experience
will see from the itinerary, that you will
climb many routes to prepare you before the
Matterhorn, to fully prepare you in terms
of ropework and acclimatisation.
are listed in the column on the right, and
they show the live availability from our secure
online booking system. When you book online,
you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine
Information Booklet, course specific kit list
Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the
first ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper
and his party. To mark this anniversary, the Hornli
hut on the Matterhorn has undergone a massive
renovation and extension project (link),
which was completed in time for the start of the
For those who
opt to make an ascent via the Italian (Lion) Arete,
or even full traverse of the Matterhorn, for example
ascending the Italian route and descending the
Hornli route, there may be extra guide fees or
transport costs incurred that are not included
in the course price that you would need to pay
to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in followed
by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There
is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings
are over by 19:00 and the Chamonix hosts accompany
the group to
pre-dinner drinks to answer any queries.
Night in Chamonix.
on the sunny side of the valley: the Aiguilles Rouges.
Popular routes include the Chapelle de la Gliere
with its knife edge traverse or the L'Index. Guiding
ratio 1:2 (max). Night in Chamonix.
technical day route, e.g. Arete de Papillons, or
a shorter route followed by a night in a mountain
hut, e.g. Traverse d'Entreves.
Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in
mountain hut or in Chamonix.
day on the fantastic granite with great exposure
that Chamonix is famous for, such as South Ridge
of Aiguille du Moine, or the Dent du Geant.
Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in
to Tasch (c. 2hrs) then train to Zermatt and cable
car to Schwartzee. Ascend to the Hornli Hut for
the night. Guiding
ratio 1:1 (max). Night spent in mountain hut for
start to ascend the Matterhorn, starting around
4am from the hut. After the climb you descend to
the hut and return to Chamonix for celebrations!
Guiding ratio (1:1 max). Night in Chamonix.
then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most
arrange their airport transfers to leave around
this time, to catch a flight from Geneva about midday.
Depart for home.
NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain
adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly
we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case,
suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline
itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity
that you will attempt.
days guiding, 7 days holiday in total
on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Course Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain
Guide for five days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for
logistics & briefings, 3) B&B accommodation
in Chamonix (inc. beddings & towels), 4) Pre
course information booklet, 5) Equipment discount
voucher for UK shops, 6) Free 36 page technical
Course Instruction Booklet, 7) Road transport in
Chamonix valley and to / from Tasch, 8) Car parking
fees in Tasch, 9) One night half board in mountain
hut on Matterhorn (inc. costs for guides), 10) Evening
technical instruction / briefing sessions on nights
1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Equipment hire,
3) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening
meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain
huts / hotels / restaurants, 4) Cable cars and uplift
for you and your guide (cable cars for guide included
in Chamonix) in both Zermatt and Chamonix, 5) Optional
second night in a mountain hut on the training days,
on a half board basis for you and your guide, 6)
Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory
meal & drinks, 7) Activities insurance, &
excess baggage charges.
Have you thought of upgrading to a 1:1 course throughout?
Some clients prefer this strategy to provide even
more flexibility during the week, and to allow them
to move on all routes, at a more tailored pace.
One key advantage is that the Matterhorn itself
could even be climbed over a three day period, with
two nights in huts on the mountain (n.b. only one
night is included). The 1:1 guiding ratio for the
five days, with the same other inclusions as the
standard course, costs £2499.
Many clients on
this trip consider upgrading with one
or more of the following course additions...
from shared to
single from £150 in
addition to course price,
depending on week.
day extension; 1:1
for £999, to ascend via
the Mittillegi ridge of
from B&B to
have 3 course evening
meals in Chamonix for
5 nights for £99pp.
night spent in
Chamonix, with choice
of self-guided or guided
on Sunday. From £50.
was a great preparation week leading
up to the climb, so we were totally
well acclimatised. Even so, it was far
harder than I expected, but a really
great experience. Adele
Stevens , Matterhorn
so much to all you guys for making this
dream come true. Brilliant guides, who
looked after us and kept us safe Phil
Jones , Matterhorn
had failed before on this peak (with
another company), but your approach
more about getting it done, and as you
know, it clearly worked! Mark
Watkins , Matterhorn
and photo gallery
data for this trip
trips start in the Chamonix valley in the French Alps,
at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is easily accessed via a
90 minute transfer from Geneva airport.
Climbing the Matterhorn
If you've ever wondered what it is like
to attempt this peak, the skills required,
and the suggested training for this
peak, then this podcast answers it all...
send a course specific equipment list to all those booking
on our courses, but due to the popularity of this course,
we outline a typical packing list for the summit day in
the list below.
clothing - Light coloured long
sleeve wicking layer
- Schoeller / soft shell climbing trousers
- Mid layer fleece jacket / gillet
- Fleece hat and gloves, and sunhat / cap
- B3 leather / plastic boots, and gaiters
Equipment - Harness, helmet, ice
axe (without leash)
- 12 point crampons and anti-balling plates
- 1 x 120cm Sling, 1 x karabiner, 1 x prussic
- Belay device for abseils (if required)
- Head torch (LED style is lightest type)
gear - Synthetic or down insulation
- Goggles in case of high wind
- Neoprane face mask in case of wind
- Thick waterproof over gloves
- Windproof over trousers (eg PacLite)
kit - Close fitting sun glasses
(Factor 4 for snow)
- Pocket snacks for summit day (eg Haribos)
- Water bottle (bladder type may freeze)
- Rucksack (up to 35 litres max is ideal)
- Basic blister kit, Aspirin, suncream
ascent of the Matterhorn should not be underestimated,
and you should arrive for this course in good physical
condition as the climb will probably be the greatest
physical exertion of your life. Please don't ignore
this issue... We highly recommend that you read
our training page (click
here) for details.
If you are worried about acclimatisation,
we recommend that you book on an Acclimatisation
before your course. to help you get acclimatised
earlier, leaving you with more summiting weather
windows for the Matterhorn.
full course equipment list,
with examples of kit, click
choose our trips?
our Matterhorn blog, by clicking on the Word-press
logo to the right.
flexibility to allow you to take full advantage
of the weather windows on any day, to maximise your
prices are fixed in £ Sterling, to protect
you from euro fluctuations, so you can budget accurately.
is a choice of routes to opt for, depending on the
weather, conditions, and your experience.
key part of choosing a company is being able to come and
talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor
face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know
our clients value speaking to real people, getting open
and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are
British, and our office and outdoor store is based in
Windermere in the English Lake District.
in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee
to discuss your course in person with a trip
sellers from our Windermere Lake District mountain store -
Click to shop online...