Matterhhorn (4,478m) with acclimatization at Arête Cosmiques and Aiguille d'Entrèves (3.604m)
Climb the classic Matterhorn by the Hörnli Ridge, the Arête des Cosmiques and Aiguilles d'Entrèves in 5 daysENQUIRE
The Matterhorn stands tall at 4,478 meters and is one of the most iconic mountains in the entire Alpine range. It proudly straddles the border between Switzerland and Italy and is perhaps the most photographed peak in this area. Ascending the Matterhorn is a highly coveted and challenging endeavor sought after by many mountaineers. The route entails a technical and lengthy climb, with a total ascent and descent of 1,200 meters from the Hörnli refuge to the summit. Approximately 95% of the ascent involves climbing, using hands and executing high steps with the legs, making it a mountain that demands good physical fitness. This 5-day program, led by a certified guide, is meticulously designed to ensure proper acclimatization and targeted improvement of the necessary techniques to conquer the Matterhorn. Throughout the initial days, we will engage in activities that mirror the technical challenges of the Matterhorn, albeit on a smaller scale. These activities will allow us to become familiar with the effects of high altitude on our bodies while progressively enhancing our climbing technique day by day.
The great classic of the Alps
With its towering height of 4,478 meters, the Matterhorn stands as one of the challenging classic climbs in the Alps. This formidable ascent and descent entails navigating exclusively over rocky terrain and icy slopes, demanding exceptional fitness and expertise in both rock climbing and climbing with crampons. The preferred route, known as the Hörnligrat, is specifically tailored for experienced mountaineers accompanied by a professional mountain guide.
The Hörnligrat route
Due to its historical significance, esteemed reputation, and prominent visibility from Zermatt, the Hörnligrat stands as an arguably one of the most renowned mountain routes globally. When observed from various perspectives, the Hörnligrat presents itself as an elegant and inherently logical pathway leading to the summit of one of the most breathtaking peaks on Earth.
Your guides for the Matterhorn
From Sax, Alicante, he grew up between the sea and the rocks. Soon his passion became climbing. He started doing mountaineering for his own pleasure, going from the Pyrenees to the Alps always looking for heights. One day he decided to move to the Pyrenees, where he began to develop different professional activities linked to the mountain, as a canyoning guide and high altitude mountain guide. He's lived several years in Chamonix and today his base camp is in Briançon. He's climbed Montblac countless times.
Omar is one of our main guides in Chamonix, who will guide you on this climb. With a lot of experience in alpine terrain and his friendly character, Omar will ensure that your experience on the Matterhorn and Dent du Géant will be remembered for a long time.
5 Days Itinerary
Approach: 5' / Climbing: 2-3h / Descent: 30'
Day 1 - Arête des Cosmiques IV 250m (Aiguille du Midi)
We will convene early at the ticket office of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. After a thorough equipment check, we will ascend to the Aiguille du Midi at an impressive altitude of 3,842 meters. In just a matter of minutes, we will have scaled a staggering 2,800 meters of elevation gain.
From there we will walk to the base of Arête des Cosmiques and climb this Chamonix classic.
After the climb, we will traverse to the Italian side using the awe-inspiring Panoramic cable car, renowned as one of the most spectacular cable cars in the entire Alpine region. Our destination is the Torino refuge, situated at 3,375 meters, which offers similar amenities to the cable car station. Here, we will leave behind any unnecessary gear and embark on our approach.
Approach: 2h30' / Climbing 2-3h / Way back 2h
Day 2 - Traversée des Aiguilles d’Entrèves (Aiguille d'Entrèves 3,604m)
Starting from the refuge, we will rope ourselves together as we traverse the glacier towards the base of the ridge. The ridge commences at Col d'Entrèves (3,527m), and while the initial part is relatively easier, the central section stands out as the most awe-inspiring segment of the entire journey. Negotiating this portion, characterized by narrow and exposed terrain, will demand utmost focus and concentration. Once we reach the summit, a series of rappels will lead us to a more straightforward section that we can walk through, ultimately returning us to the glacier. We will then leisurely retrace our steps back to the refuge, following the same path taken to reach the base of the ridge. We will spend the night at the refuge, enjoying Italian cuisine on a half-board basis.
Alternatively, an alternative route to reach Punta Helbronner (Torino refuge) involves driving through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Courmayeur and ascending via the Skyway cable car.
Altitude gain +700m / Time: 2h-2h30'
Day 3 - Zermatt-Schwarzsee - Refuge Hörnli (3.260m)
After a restful night in Chamonix, we will commence our journey to Zermatt around 11 in the morning, ensuring a relaxed start to the day. The drive to Täsch will take approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Once we arrive, we will park our vehicles as entering Zermatt with our own transportation is prohibited. Instead, we will board the renowned rack railway, which will transport us to Zermatt.
Upon reaching Zermatt, we will make our way through the town to reach the cable car station that will whisk us away to Schwarzsee, nestled at an elevation of 2,583 meters. This scenic cable car ride offers breathtaking views of the Matterhorn throughout the journey.
From Schwarzsee, an enchanting and comfortable ascent awaits us, providing continuous vistas of the majestic Matterhorn. Our destination is the Hörnli Refuge (Hörnlihütte), situated at the very base of the Matterhorn, at an altitude of 3,260 meters. To reach the refuge, we will conquer an elevation gain of 700 meters, which we anticipate completing in approximately 2 hours.
We will spend the night in this incredible haven, which resembles more of a hotel than a traditional mountain refuge, enjoying the comfort of our accommodations on a half-board basis.
Approach: 5' / Climbing: 8-12h / Descent: 1h30'
Day 4 - Climbing Matterhorn(4.478m) by the Hörnli Ridge- Zermatt
After a not-so-long night, we will wake up around 4 in the morning to have breakfast and get down to work. A long day awaits us.
We will leave the refuge fully equipped (harness, helmet, rope, etc.), as we will be climbing almost the entire way from there to the summit. Fixed ropes will greet us as we begin the ascent. At the halfway point, we will come across the Solvay Refuge, situated at 4,003 meters, a small cabin with around 10 spots in case of emergencies. This marks the midpoint of the climb. From here, we will encounter the final section of fixed ropes, and it is likely that we will encounter snow all the way to the summit, requiring the use of crampons.
Once at the summit, after traversing a sharp snowy ridge, we will savor the spectacular views for a moment and begin the descent along the same path, back to the Hörnli Refuge. It is crucial to reach the summit with ample strength, as the descent usually takes longer than the ascent, and we need to be physically fit to navigate it smoothly. During the descent, we will rappel down the steepest sections to save time.
If everything goes well, and we maintain a normal pace, we will arrive in time for the cable car down before it closes, allowing us to descend to Zermatt and return to Chamonix. If we are running late, we can spend the night at the Hörnli Refuge or the Schwarzsee Hotel, located next to the cable car.
Day 5 - Extra Day
Reserve day that we will use for the descent, in case we arrive late the previous day (after completing the activity) and the cable car is closed, so we will sleep at the Hörnli Refuge or the Schwarzsee Hotel, located next to the cable car.
We can also use it if the weather is bad and we have to postpone the activity by a day.
UIAGM/IFMGA High Mountain Guide during the days of activity
Mountain huts booking management
Lift pass for the guide in Chamonix
Transportation through the Chamonix Valley
Technical advice prior to the activity
Guide half board accommodation in Chamonix
Nights at the refuges in half board for participants and the guide
What's Not Included
Round trip to Chamonix and Zermatt
Accommodation and meals in the Chamonix Valley
Water, lunch and drinks at the refuges of the participants and the guide
Lift both for the participants and the guide (in Zermatt or Cervinia)
Transportation costs from Chamonix to Zermatt or Cervinia
Personal technical gear
Travel, accident and cancellation insurance
Everything that does not appear in "THE PRICE INCLUDES"
Matterhorn (4,478m) + Arête des Cosmiques IV 250m (Aiguille du Midi) - Group of 1
Climb Matterhorn, the Matterhorn (4,478m) + Arête des Cosmiques and the Aiguilles d'Entrèves (3.604m) one-on-one with one of our UIAGM/IFMGA certified guides. You will enjoy a personalized guiding experience the entire program
Matterhorn (4,478m) + Arête des Cosmiques IV 250m (Aiguille du Midi) - Group of 2
Climb Matterhorn, the Matterhorn (4,478m) + Arête des Cosmiques and the Aiguilles d'Entrèves (3.604m) with your partner or a friend. This is for a group of 2 people
Matterhorn, a mountain for everyone?
What do I need to climb the Matterhorn?
To join a guided Matterhorn trip, there are three requirements that must be met. These requirements are based on Alpine Guides' climbing and fitness levels, and they are as follows:
1. Technical Climbing Ability: On the Matterhorn, it is crucial to have agility on your feet, allowing you to navigate swiftly across extensive sections of scrambling terrain and ascend a couple of V Diff rock pitches while wearing large boots and carrying a backpack. Typically, this necessitates prior experience in rock climbing.
2. Physical Fitness: You should be able to tackle climbs of more than 5 hours duration and feel comfortable at heights. This is the fifth highest mountain in the Alps, so we must prepare accordingly.
3. Alpine Climbing Experience: It is advisable to possess previous experience in high-quality AD alpine climbing, including undertaking some longer routes. For instance, if your experience is primarily limited to shorter AD routes like the Cosmiques Arête in the Mont Blanc Range, you should aim to gain experience on a few more extended AD routes, such as the Tour Ronde, Aiguille du Peigne, Perrons Traverse, among others. In the UK, completing a successful Skye Cuillin Ridge Traverse would be considered valuable experience.
However, we include two more ascents in this program that will help you be ready to successfully climb the Matterhorn.