The Matterhorn, the Eiger and Mont Blanc. It barely needs any explaining. These three peaks represent the quintessential mountains of the Swiss and French Alps. See below for a possible 10 day itinerary. This trip is booked as a private trip only. Please email or call to discuss options and dates.
These peaks are famous for a reason. So much has been written about the Eiger, the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc - all have been climbed many times…and yet the allure remains. When you arrive in Zermatt, Grindelwald and Chamonix, you will know why. We will climb via the Hornli ridge, the Gouter ridge and the Mittelegi ridge, but depending on conditions and client skills other routes are feasible. It must be said that this ten day program is ambitious and will provide you with a large amount of “mountain time”. Excellent physical condition and prior acclimatization are large contributors to the success of our goals.
Prior mounaineering experience required; one should have glacier travel experience, solid cramponing and rock climbing skills up to 5.6 YDS. Continuous movement in exposed terrain should not be a problem. Elementary rope handling skills such as tying in, rappelling and belaying are required.
Excellent physical fitness; you should be able to hike or climb for more than six hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 pounds and ascend 4,000 to 5,000 feet of vertical gain per day for up to a week.
Day 1: We will meet in Grindelwald at 8 a.m. in front of the train station. We will take the train up to the Jungfraujoch and climb the Monch (4,000 meters). This ascent is quite basic, but serves as an excellent acclimatization climb in a spectacular environment. After the climb we return back to Grindelwald for a good night of sleep.
Day 2: We will take the same train up to the Eismeer Station and go for one of the most spectacular hut approaches in the Swiss Alps. The Mittelegihut is situated on the West Ridge of the Eiger. It is wild! You will know what we mean when you see it.
Day 3: Predawn start. The exposure is very much present all day. The climbing is never really hard, but it will get your attention. The entire traverse of the Eiger (3,960 meters) will take about 7 hours and we will end up at the Jungfraujochstation. A good night of sleep in Grindelwald will get us ready for the Matterhorn section.
Day 4: This is a transfer day. We will travel to the southern crest of the Alps and enjoy Zermatt for the rest of the day.
Day 5: After a mellow start, we hike up to the Matterhorn hut and then go check out the route entrance.
Day 6: This is summit day of the Matterhorn (4,478 meters). When all goes as planned it should only take us 5-7 hours. We’ll return back to Zermatt and spend the night there one more time.
Day 7: Another transfer day. We will drive to Chamonix via the beautiful Col de la Forclaz and get settled in Chamonix.
Day 8: The approach to the Tete Rousse hut should not take that long. That is ok, because the Mont Blanc summit day is plenty big.
Day 9: Fully acclimatized, we will climb Mont Blanc (4,807 meters), the highest peak in the Alps climbing the Grand Couloir to the Dome de Gouttet and the Valot Hut. From there the summit is in good striking distance. This day is not as technical or exposed as the other peaks, but the bulk of the mountain makes for a physical day. We should be back in Chamonix in the late afternoon and there should be enough time for a beer (or two).
Day 10: Rest, weather and/or extra day.
Please be aware that this itinerary is subject to change due to weather and general climbing conditions.
You can fly into Geneva, or Zurich. Zurich is a bit closer, but Geneva works fine as well.
Both of the airports feature state of the art train stations. Trains leave in every direction every hour. From either airport, you would take the train to Bern, then to Interlaken, then to Grindelwald. Travel time is about 3-4 hours with transfers.
We will have reservations for you at a convenient hotel, and we will let you know how to get there.
You will be with a guide who will organize the public transportation for you or we will have a car at our disposal.
We have good friends in Zermatt who own the Hotel City. Christoph and Anja are avid outdoor people themselves (Christoph is a mountain guide as well) and their small hotel will be a welcome resting spot after the Matterhorn climb.
Yes, Martin has guided the Matterhorn about 20 times and Rinaldo has guided it more than that on multiple routes.
That is a possibility. We can do our part by being prepared. Since we are from the area, we have many alternative options. We have transportation and the local knowledge. We will be mobile. You can up your chances of success on the Matterhorn by essentially being prepared to climb it right away. This means that we do not treat the first days as learning days. A person who is fit can be trained to be guided up the Matterhorn in the first few days is the weather is good, but that might mean missing the weather window.
The Mont Blanc ascent is physical, but not that technical. We should be well acclimatized by then, but might be a bit fatigued. This is why the itinerary places the climbs that require more concentration first. We do stress that the itinerary is foremost dictated by weather and general conditions. This means that the order of the climbs could change. Effectively, there is no warm up period to this week if the weather is on our side. Good preparation is essential.
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.