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Zermatt Climber Tech Alpine 2021
Ascending a very iced up Dent Blanche
Course overview
For those who enjoy Alpine or Scottish rock or ice climbing, this course allows you to push your technical climbing skills and your grades. This course is based above the stunning Alpine town of Zermatt in Switzerland and you could climb from the Zermatt, Saas or even Turtmann / Anniviers valleys. You should be confident on grade III ice or UK Severe or US Grade 5.9 rock.

This course aims to ascend famous ridge routes around the AD / D grade around Zermatt. Examples include the Breithorn traverse, the Zinal-Rothorn, Dent Blanche, Treverse of the Nadelgrat, or the Rimpfischhorn. Note that some of the harder routes mentioned are better climbed on a 1:1 guiding ratio, so much of the itinerary is experience dependent. The week is highly flexible to cater for previous experience, conditions, fitness etc.

A key feature of this week is that you are based in comfortable mountain huts above Zermatt on a half board basis, so you are given a good three course meal every evening. This is good for your acclimatisation and saves any time consuming walk-ins, making the most of your climbing time.
For those prefering snow or ice routes, rather than mixed or involving some rock, you should opt for the course dates early in the season (June or July) for the best conditions with more ice and less stonefall.
This course can be used as progression from the Monte Rosa 4000m Peaks or the Oberland 4000m Peaks, as it is focused on technical demanding ice & mixed climbing summits.
Whatever your previous ice or rock experience, the aim of this course is also to teach you more skills and style points useful in your own climbing, developing your mixed climbing, grades and techniques on different routes.
Dates: these 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 and invoice.

Brief Course Itinerary
Sun 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 the Chamonix hosts accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks to answer any queries. Night in Chamonix.
Mon Setting off from Chamonix in the early morning you are driven over to Tasch where you leave the car (cars are not allowed in Zermatt), and catch a train into Zermatt. Today is a day to refresh your climbing skills on rock and in crampons. A popular route is the East Ridge of Breithorn with its exposed snow ridge and great views into Zermatt, or another possibility is one of the peaks above Saas or Zinal. Some groups even opt for an Alpine rock route on their way up to a mountain hut. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in mountain hut.
Tue Starting with an early Alpine start from a hut. A popular option for acclimatised and experienced climbers is the exposed traverse of the Nadelgrat, meaning 'Needle Ridge'. This route involves some exciting mixed climbing in crampons over the exposed ice and rock at altitude. Another option is a more technical route on Castor or Pollux to then reach a different mountain hut. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in mountain hut.
Wed Another very early start for another summit. The popular aim for today is the infamous altitude route of the Zinal-Rothorn. This impressive route has a knife edge traverse over a void on both sides. There is mixed climbing, and some sections of broken rock with huge exposure, but fantastic views. Other options include some of the big summits in the Mischabel group. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in mountain hut.
Thu Today is a little easier to rest you after the past couple of long technical days, and to prepare you for the big route tomorrow. This morning there is a short technical rock route, to increase your knowledge and technical skills and your speed of rope work. In the afternoon you trek into the mountain hut for the night, and can either practice technical skills or rest and prepare. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in mountain hut.
Fri An early start for a major route at altitude such as to summit the Dent Blanche. This famous route involves a long ridge with sustained climbing over iced up rock, very similar to the ascents of the Matterhorn on the MItilleggi ridge of the Eiger. The views from the summit are stunning, with the towering North Face of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc dominating the panorama. After the descent you are driven back to Chamonix for the night. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Celebratory last night meal and night in Chamonix.
Sat Breakfast 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.
ITINERARY 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.  

Course Prices
Standard course
5 days 1:2 guiding, 7 days holiday in total £1699
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Standard 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 the Chamonix valley and to and from Zermatt, 8) Up to four nights half board (breakfast & three course cooked dinner) in mountain huts (inc. costs for the Guides), 9) Evening technical instruction on evenings in Chamonix.
Exclusions: 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), 5) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 6) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Notes: This course assumes 1:2 guiding throughout. Note that if there is just one person on a course, less 1:1 guiding days and half board nights in hotels can be offered, however accommodation will be provided for the whole week, and guiding options and locations will be discussed with you within the budget paid.
Course upgrade options
Many clients on this trip consider upgrading with one or more of the following course additions...
Big 3 Alpine
  Upgrade to single from
£300-£500 in addition to
standard course price,
depending on week.
Mont Blanc two day;
1:1 £1199, 1:2 £599pp
(booking together). Eiger
or Matterhorn 1:1 £1299.
Upgrade from B&B to
have 3 course evening
meals in Chamonix for
5 nights for £99pp.
Saturday night spent in
Chamonix, with choice
of self-guided or guided
on Sunday. From £50.
  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.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Zermatt Climber
  • [ 4 ] 24 - 30 Jul 2022
  • [ 4 ] 31 Jul - 6 Aug 2022
  • [ 4 ] 4 - 10 Sep 2022
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, but if there are two who
are booking together, it can be
operated on any date you wish

Price: £1699 Book online

Alternative courses
Mont Blanc Summit
Mont Blanc Autonomy
Techical Ice & Classics
Chamonix Alpine Rock

Client feedback

A terrific week of climbing that pushed me to my limit, and the views were amazing. Even when not climbing, Jeff (the guide) taught me useful ropework and navigation tips in the hut

Jake P , Zermatt Climber

Cheers Team Icicle for a brill trip. Loved it and defo back next year for more

Becca E , Zermatt Climber

Technically challenging, and we both really appreciated the flexibility that both Icicle and the guide had to our week, in order to allow us to climb some great routes

Andrew K , Zermatt Climber
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Location data for this trip
The trips meet 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
€ & CHF
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Preparing for the course
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 peaks.
Latest news from Icicle
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
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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