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Winter Matterhorn ascent 2022
On the summit of the Matterhorn
Course overview
To ascend the Matterhorn in winter is a special achievement for any mountaineer, and it takes the most experienced our mountain guides to take you safely to the summit.
When researching this mountain, have a read of our mountain focus page, which details the routes up the Matterhorn, and gives more detailed advice on preparation and the history of the mountain.
You need excellent stamina and fitness and a high level of previous mountaineering skill, Alpine D/TD, rock climbs at VI, Scottish Grade V ice. It should appeal to those who have attended a 1:1 Advanced or 'Ultimate Ice' course or those who have climbed major peaks such as Denali or Ama Dablam.
In winter conditions we generally use the Hornli ridge of the Matterhorn. This is because it has a hut at the base (Hornli Hut) and a hut at two thirds height; the Solvay Refuge. These huts provide much needed shelter from the snow and wind on a winter ascent The descent is usually by the Hornli Arete or even East Face.
This is true mountaineering, and your stamina and resolve are pushed to the limits as you ascend through the deep snow carrying your belongings with you. It is normal to be the only group on the mountain during the winter. Note we only offer this trip in December, January, and April each year. In February and March there is always too much snow to make a realistic attempt on the mountain.
Those who have reached the summit of the Matterhorn in winter have cast iron determination, skill and desire. It is a very special experience, reserved for the few. If this note seems a deterant for you, then please consider another course, though if these comments present a challenge, please contact us for further information. If you haven't climbed with us before, it's essential to e-mail us with details of the following questions;
  Current climbing levels in past 12 months only, listing total days, best grades, and key route names.
Summary of climbing experience, in past decade, with detail of major achievements, guides used, etc.

Fitness training in the past 6 months, and an outline of your last month of training in more detail.
  Once we have seen this, we can discuss with you the next steps, and if we can accept your application straight away, or we will advise if we think you should consider any other training beforehand.
On demand: if no scheduled course dates that suit are showing in the column on the right, we can still operate a course on demand for just one person booking, on most weeks in December, January and April, arriving on a Sunday and departing Saturday.
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.

Course Photo Gallery

Brief Course Itinerary
Sun Travel to Zermatt to arrive at your choice of accommodation. There is a scheduled course safety and itinerary briefing (or via Zoom). There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings over by 19:00 and you are free for the evening to head out into town for dinner & drinks. Night in Zermatt (not inc).
Mon Meet your guide in the morning, for kit checks, to finalise plans for the week. This is your first of 5 days of 1:1 guiding, for to increase your acclimatisation on an Alpine route in winter conditions (e.g. Breithorn half traverse / Castor / Pollux). Night in hut (e.g. Plateau Rosa) on half board included for you and guide.
Tue Descend to Zermatt to and to buy any supplies for winter room nights, and then take cable car to Schwartzee, and ascend to the Hornli mountain hut. When there is a lot of snow this can take a long time, and you sleep in the winter room of the Hornlihutte to rest before the climb.
Wed An early start from the Hornli hut to ascend to the Solvay bivouac hut (located between the two steepest sections on the route). Night often spent in the Solvay hut, which is basic and small, but ideally located high on the Matterhorn. Here you are poised for your summit bid the next day.
Thu Ascent from the Solvay hut to the summit of the Matterhorn. Descend back to the Solvay hut, or all the way back down to the Hornlihutte, for the night. This is a long summit day on the most exposed and highest section of the Matterhorn, all the way to the top and the long descent.
Fri Complete the descent from the Solvay hut to the Hornlihutte, or from there back to Schwartzee, then return to Zermatt. After the last five days of climbing you have earnt yourself a few beers! Once you are back in town, the guiding is over, and they depart for home. Night in Zermatt (not inc).
Sat Breakfast then most Zermatt accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their return train to Geneva for around this time for a flight from there about midday.
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 Photo Gallery

Course Prices
1:1 ratio course
5 full days IFMGA guiding, 1:1 max ratio
7 days holiday in total, Sunday-Saturday
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 Monday to Friday, including their travel to Zermatt, 2) Logistics support from the Icicle team, 3) Equipment discount voucher for our Windermere shop, 4) Pre course information booklet, 5) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 6) Monday night half board in mountain hut, or B&B in Zermatt, for you and guide, 7) Winter room fees and cooking facilities for Hornli / Solvay nights on Matterhorn, for you and guide, for Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday nights.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Zermatt, 2) Cable cars for you and guide in Zermatt, 3) Accommodation in Zermatt for you on Sunday & Friday nights, 4) Equipment hire, 5) Food and supplies for self-catering for you and your guide on the Matterhorn (c.£20pppn), 6) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 7) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Winter Matterhorn
  • No Dates Available
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, but it can be operated on
any date you wish. Let us know

Price: £3999 Book online

Alternative courses
Winter Alpine Intro course
Chamonix Technical Ice
Winter Alpine Classics

Ascent of the Matterhorn

Client feedback

The most intense feeling of success that I can ever hope to experience. I guess there is nothing else I can say to top that

John L , Winter Matterhorn
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Location data for this trip
The trips are based in the Zermatt valley in the Swiss Alps, at the foot of the Matterhorn. It is easily accessed via by train from Geneva airport.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
CHF Swiss
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Suggested reading and kit
BD Vector helmet
Matterhorn 1:25k map
Grivel Air Tech Evo
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. Many people opt for this service, and it is an integral part of what we offer, as we are keen to ensure that you are prepared as possible, and that you select a course that is suitable for you. It makes it easier and more enjoyable for you and us, if you are on the right trip.

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