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Alpine Giants Trilogy 2024
Mont Blanc 4810m, Matterhorn 4478m, Eiger 3970m
Course overview
This course is no amuse bouche, as the photo galleries above show (click on camera symbols below each peak), with photos of our clients summiting the three Alpine giants of Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and the Eiger. This fortnight course enables you to ascend this mighty trilogy with qualified IFMGA guides.
Each year we get many clients wanting to climb all three of these classic Alpine giants in one trip. We offer this as a space on a scheduled Mont Blanc trip on the first week, so you are trained and acclimatised, then on the second week you climb 1:1 to attempt both the Matterhorn and Eiger.
The easiest of the trilogy is Mont Blanc in both in terms of technical difficulty and physically. The Matterhorn is the next hardest, as although slightly lower, is a very physical and aerobically demanding climb. Out of the three, the Eiger is the hardest climb technically, despite being the lowest of the Alpine Trilogy, and the exposure on the route is incredible.
To book on this Alpine Trilogy course you should have the pre-requisite experience to book on any of the courses independently. Just to clarify, it is not good enough to book to hope that you gain enough skills on Mont Blanc to attempt the other peaks, as with the best will in the world, you won't as the mountains are so different in terms of types of terrain.
For the Matterhorn or Eiger we advertise your experience as that 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). Please ensure that you meet all of these requirements. If you are in absolutely any doubt, then please get in touch with one of our course advisors.
To be honest, this course will not appeal to many people in terms of the number out there who have sufficient fitness, skills, and determination! If you are up for a challenge, then they don't come much bigger than this.
Already climbed Mont Blanc, but fancy this course? Don't worry, we can substitute the first week, with a space on another course. For example you could do the Monte Rosa course instead, and the price of this course would change the difference in prices for the first week of this course. A popular alternative to the first week is to substitute Mont Blanc for Dufoursitze (link), on weeks it is scheduled.
Brief Course Itinerary

Please note that whilst the itinerary below is an ideal, the weather and conditions, as well as your skills, fitness, experience and acclimatisation all play a part too. In our decade of experience, we have found that hardly two weeks ever run the same, and even on a particular week sometimes different summit groups go on different days from different huts. Whilst the itinerary notes outline this, it is imperative that you understand how flexible this course must be. You are dealing with the high mountains and extreme altitude, not a prescribed coach tour!
Travel 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 then you are free to go out for dinner / drinks. Many clients opt to travel out a day or two early to do an acclimatisation weekend course to provide an extra night of accommodation, and to ascend a 3000m peak. Night in Chamonix.

Gallery: Chamonix town
After breakfast you meet our resort team, and guide, for a weather briefing and final kit checks for Gran Paradiso. You are driven by minibus (core season) through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Val Savaranches in Italy, then ascend to the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II or Chabod mountain hut, where you spend the night on a half board basis. Guiding ratio 1:3 (max) in hut, or 1:6 (max) for approach. Night in mountain hut in Italy.

Gallery: Paradiso National Park
Alpine start (c.4 am) to climb Gran Paradiso 4061, the highest peak completely in Italy. There are 4 possible normal routes to the summit, to cater for conditions / experience, all of which converge on the Col Montcorve. The route steepens to the final summit ridge, which although short is quite exposed, but well protected. The summit views are stupendous in all directions! Descend to Pont for return transfer to Chamonix
. Night in Chamonix.

Gallery: Gran Paradiso 4061m
This day is flexible to allow you to normally climb another acclimatisation route to a summit, or to start your ascent of Mont Blanc if weather or hut spaces dictate. Typical routes for the day include Cosmiques Arete, Aiguilles Marbrees, Pointe Lachenal or Aiguille du Toule. Return to Chamonix to prepare for Mont Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Evening briefing session / meeting with course hosts: click for info. Night in Chamonix.

Gallery: Petite Aiguille Verte
Equipment and bag checks before you set off to climb up to one of the high huts, either the Gouter / Tête Rousse / Gonella mountain hut for the night. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). The choice of route that you take on Mont Blanc, and which hut(s) you stay in is a function of the weather, conditions, and your skills and fitness. Often different teams suit different plans to maximise their summit chances. Night in hut on Mont Blanc.

Gallery: Mont Blanc Gouter
Summit Mont Blanc 4810m from an Alpine start from the high hut, and descend to Chamonix. It is usual to reach the summit just after sunrise, to take advantage of the best snow conditions, lowest windss, and to minimise the risks of stonefall or afternoon storms on the descent. You typically reach the valley in the afternoon. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Most teams opt to meet up to go out for drinks and a celebratory meal. Final night in Chamonix.

Gallery: Mont Blanc Gonella
Saturday & Sunday
During the weekend you have two days off to really concentrate on resting and relaxation. Some people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in the morning to celebrate the first weeks efforts, and prices for this are from c.100€ for a c.30 minute flight. These flights can be booked in resort up to the day before you wish to fly. On the Sunday evening you meet at 17:00 for a briefing on the plans for the second week

Gallery: Chamonix rock climbing
Today is fairly straightforward, as you drive over to Tasch. Here you park and take the train to car free Zermatt, then ascend the cable cars to Schwartzee. From here it is a two to three hour hike up to the Hornli hut. There are no technical difficulties on the approach, but you get stunning views up the arête that you will be on the next day. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max). Night in the Hornli mountain hut on the Matterhorn.

Gallery: Matterhorn Hornli
A very eary start to ascend the Matterhorn. Usually you are climbing by 04:00am, and it should take four hours to reach the summit. On this peak the timings are very important to reduce the risks of being blocked by slow groups and to reduce the risk of rockfall. From the summit, you descend the same route to reach the hut and then return to Chamonix in the late afternoon. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max).
Night in Chamonix.

Gallery: Matterhorn Lion
Today is a buffer day to allow for flexibility for weather windows. If the weather is good, today would typically be an easier day such as some rock climbing in Chamonix, to give you time to recover from the Matterhorn, and to dry out and prepare kit for the Eiger attempt. Some people take the whole day off, whilst others find the rock climbing a great way to stretch and relax again. Guiding ratio flexible. Night in Chamonix.

Gallery: Chamonix rock climbing
Today you drive over to Grindelwald, and catch the train up the Eiger. The route usually ascended is the Mittellegi ridge, in which case you exit the train at the Eismeer station, then climb to the hut. An alternative is to take the train to Jungfraujoch and to stay in the Monchsjoch hut, if opting to ascend by the SW ridge. The Mittillegi hut is spectacularly situated actually on the ridge. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max). Night in hut on the Eiger.

Gallery: Eiger Mittellegi arete
Alpine start for the ascent of the Mittellegi ridge of the Eiger. After you reach the summit, you then descend the normal route to Monchsjoch, then traverse the glacier to Jungfraujoch to catch the Eiger train which descends to Grindelwald, from where you return to Chamonix. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max). Evening instruction session, then a celebratory meal, with the final night spent in Chamonix.

Gallery: Eiger Mittellegi arete
Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their transfers for around this time for a flight from Geneva about midday. Some people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in the morning to celebrate the weeks efforts, and prices for this are from 100€ for a c.30 minute flight. These flights can be booked in resort up to the day before you wish to fly. Depart for home

Gallery: Icicle Windermere office
ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionally we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity you attempt.
Course Prices

Standard course 10 days guiding, 14 days holiday in total £5499
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Standard Course Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain Guide for ten days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) Evening technical instruction sessions, 4) Twin / double room self-catered accommodation in Chamonix (inc. linen, bedding & towels) for the whole week, so you don't move out when in huts, 5) Two nights half board in mountain huts / base camp for you and guide (1 on Gran Paradiso & 1 on Mont Blanc), 6) Pre course information booklet, 7) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 8) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 9) Road transport in Chamonix valley on the first week, and in the second week the driving costs for travelling to Zermatt and Grindelwald including tolls and parking (up to a cost of £200pp), 10) Icicle discounts privilege card for reductions in local shops and restaurants in Chamonix.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Equipment hire, 3) Cable cars and uplift (the uplift for the guide is included in Chamonix, but you must pay for their uplift tickets on the Matterhorn and Eiger), 4) Up to two nights in second week in mountain huts on a half board basis for you and guide, 5) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 6) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 7) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Course upgrade options
Many clients on this trip consider upgrading with one or more of the following course additions...
Big 5 Alpine
kit rental
  Upgrade to single from
£300-£500 in addition to
standard course price,
depending on week.
Extend by 2 days after
to ascend one of the
Big 5 Alpine peaks as
an extra summit.
Rent all technical kit
for a week. Full Alpine
Bundle costs you just
£100 for the week.
Saturday night spent in
Chamonix, with choice
of self-guided or guided
on Sunday. From £70.
  Click for details Click for details Click for details Click for details
Standard course accommodation - normally clients are based in self-catered flats (details), so take a look, and decide if it's for you. For more luxury, contact us for quotes in higher standard apartments, or hotels of any standard required. If you have / source your own course accommodation, or we cannot provide an upgrade, the standard course price has a £100pp reduction applied on your invoice.
Matterhorn training weekend UK
This weekend is based in the UK Lake District, with two days guiding on scrambling and rock climbing terrain. It aims to give you as much preparation on similar ground, that you will encounter on the Matterhorn (or the Eiger). The UK Matterhorn Training weekend is guided on a 1:2 ratio, to allow you to push your level. We offer scheduled dates (see the box to the right), though if there are 2 of you booking together, we can operate this on any week that you request.
Weekend dates
Course spaces & dates for the UK Matterhorn Training Weekend (link)...

Course Dates
Rock & Roped Scrambles
  • [ 2 ] 20 - 21 Jul 2024
FREE Alpine summits open eve
This is an event extra to the UK Alpine Training weekend course. It is FREE and open to those booked on our Mont Blanc / Gran Paradiso / Monte Rosa type and level trips. The event runs from 18:00 to 19:30 at our Windermere shop, to show films of the routes, and discuss kit and training. You don't need to be attending the weekend course to join the open evening (more details). E-mail us to reserve space(s). Dates are the Saturdays of the weekend dates on the right.
Weekend dates
Course spaces and dates for the UK Alpine Training Weekend (link)...

Course Dates
Alpine training weekend
  • No Dates Available
Current course availability

Course Dates
Alpine Trilogy
  • [ 0 ] 21 Jul - 3 Aug 2024
  • [ 0 ] 28 Jul - 10 Aug 2024
  • [ 1 ] 4 - 17 Aug 2024
  • [ 0 ] 11 - 24 Aug 2024
  • [ 1 ] 18 - 31 Aug 2024
  • [ 0 ] 25 Aug - 7 Sep 2024

Price: £5499 Book online

Alternative courses
Mont Blanc Summit course
Ascent of the Eiger course
Ascent of the Matterhorn

Just one week available?

Just want the second week of this trip, to attempt both the Eiger & Matterhorn in 5 days guiding?
The cost for this would be £3699 for 5 days guiding, Chamonix B&B Sun-Sat, travel & parking to Grindelwald and Tasch / Cervinia. Inclusions are exactly as per the second week of this Trilogy course.
Client feedback

Physically this was a tough tough two weeks, but needless to say I slept like a baby ever since. Thank you so much for your 'can do' attitude and flexibility

Peter L , Alpine Trilogy

I'm going to need a holiday to get over this one. Seriously though, a huge thanks to you all for making this dream come true

Sally N , Alpine Trilogy

We were exceptionally lucky with the weather, with perfect conditions and views on all three peaks

Seb R , Alpine Trilogy
Press & media
Films & videos
Photo gallery
Location data for this trip
The 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.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Buy key items for this trip
FREE post for
UK orders over £30

FREE Icicle
neck gaiter for
orders over £50

Shopping cart
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basket & pay.
Chamonix 1:25k map
BD Cosmo headtorch
BD Vector helmet
Extremities Guide glove
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Matterhorn 1:25k map
BD Sabretooth
Grivel Air Tech Evo axe
Eiger 1:50k map
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
Free resources

FREE Podcast
Training for Mont Blanc

A no holes barred podcast, to fully explain what an ascent entails physically and technically, including several examples of hill training.
Download podcast (3.48 MB)
See all the Icicle podcasts

FREE Podcast
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...
Download podcast (2.92 MB)
See all the Icicle podcasts
Equipment - summit day kit list...
We 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.
Basic 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
- 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)
Altitude gear
- Synthetic or down insulation jacket
- Goggles in case of high wind
- Neoprane face mask in case of wind
- Thick waterproof over gloves
- Windproof over trousers (eg PacLite)
General 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
Preparation - altitude & training...
An ascent of these peaks 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 Weekend before your course. to help you get acclimatised earlier, leaving you with more summiting weather windows for the mountains.
Why choose our trips?
See our Alpine blog, by clicking on the Word-press logo to the right.
Icicle Blog
Itinerary flexibility to allow you to take full advantage of the weather windows on any day, to maximise your summit chances.
Our prices are fixed in £ Sterling, to protect you from euro fluctuations, so you can budget accurately.
There is a choice of routes to opt for, depending on the weather, conditions, and your experience.
Any further questions?
A 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.

Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.

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