Just about every mountaineer wants to climb the Matterhorn at some point. We will do that and then some. Martin Volken is a Zermatt Valley native and he can cater this trip to your liking. Any route on the Matterhorn, Weisshorn? Dent Blanche? Or more tucked away gems like the Grand Cornier? Let us know what interests you and we will try to make it happen. We suggest an itinerary, but this can be altered very easily and we would be happy to customize it for you. Customization happens on a "first come first customize basis"...
Overall Difficulty: Difficult
Skills Required: Prior mountaineering 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.
Fitness 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 at the Hotel City in Zermatt, go over a quick gear check and then take the Gornergrat train to the scenic Riffelhorn. This day is pretty casual with minimal approach time and alpine rock climbing up to 5.8, but with very spectacular scenery and great rock. Bring a good camera. We will sleep back at the Hotel City in Zermatt.
Day 2: An impressive gondola ride will bring us up to the Klein Matterhorn at over 3,800 meters. From here we have to traverse the Breithorn Plateau to the base of our objective on the South side of the Breithorn. The climb across the Breithorn Ridge is exposed and spectacular (summit is at 4,164 meters).
Day 3: After two days of climbing, the relatively easy hike to the Matterhornhut via Schwarzsee will be rather welcome. It takes about 2 hours to reach the hut at about 3,200 meters.
Day 4: We will get up at 3:30am and depart the hut by 4am at the latest. The starting pace can be hectic, but this subsides after about 30 minutes. Our total ascent time to the 4,478 meters summit should be somewhere around 4.5 hours. The descent time takes just about the same amount of time. We will be back at the hut in the early afternoon, take a good break and then descend to Zermatt.
Day 5: This day is built into the program as a rest and or weather day. If conditions are right and the participants are still up for a climb, we could summit peaks like the Weissmiess (4,023 meters) via the North Ridge, the Laquin (4,011 meters) via the South Ridge, maybe Monte Rosa will be in shape instead of the Matterhorn. It will be a physically intense week and you can expect to experience a lot of mountain time.
You can fly into Zurich or Geneva. Both airports feature state of the art train stations right under or next to the baggage claim area. Trains leave every hour.
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). They are friendly and super helpful in pre-trip condition updates.
Yes, Martin has guided the Matterhorn about 15 times and any guide hired for this trip will have experience on the Matterhorn.
That, of course, is a possibility. We can do our part by being prepared. Since we are from the area, we have many alternative options. We will be mobile. You up your chances of succeeding on the Matterhorn by essentially being prepared to climb it right way if you have to. This means that the first three days are not treated as a learn to alpine climb phase.
Examples of good prep climbs include Forbidden Peak West Ridge and the North Cascades Mountaineering Courses.
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.