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Zermatt Climber Tech Alpine 2023
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. Many of these harder routes can only 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 can stay every night during your guiding, based in mountain huts above Zermatt / Zinal on a half board basis, and guardianned huts provide a three course meal every evening. This is good for acclimatisation and saves 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.
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 Zermatt valley to check into the hotel for the night. In the early evening there is a course safety and itinerary briefing. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings are over by 19:00 and you are free to go out for dinner & drinks. Night in Zermatt valley.
Mon After breakfast, you meet your guide, and set off climbing. 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 1:1. 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 1:1. 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 1:1. 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 1:1. 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. Guiding ratio 1:1. Night in Zermatt valley.
Sat Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most book return trin tickets to leave around this time, to catch a flight from Geneva in the middle of the day. 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 1:1 guiding, 7 days holiday in total £3299
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 1:1 guiding, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) 2 nights hotel accommodation in the Zermatt valley (inc. beddings & towels), 4) Pre course information booklet, 5) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 6) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 7) Evening technical instruction on evenings in Chamonix.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Zermatt valley, 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, 5) Any nights in mountain hut for you and your guide on a half board basis, though note some huts are unguardianned, 6) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Zermatt Climber
  • [ 1 ] 23 - 29 Jul 2023
  • [ 1 ] 6 - 12 Aug 2023
  • [ 1 ] 10 - 16 Sep 2023
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, if a date you wish is
not listed, let us know, as we
can operate any extra dates
on demand for you. Get in touch!

Price: £3299 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 Zermatt valley, close to the Matterhorn. It is easily accessed by train from Geneva airport.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
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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