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Matterhorn Hornli Ridge and Zermatt day trips


Just about every mountaineer wants to climb the Matterhorn at some point. We'll do it, but first we will work up to it with several high quality prep climbs in the Zermatt Valley.

$4,950 Per Person
5 Days

Trip Information

Price is based on 2 climbers. Please call us for pricing for a single climber. 425-888-6397 x2 |

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"...

Duration: 5
Ratio: 2:1
Difficulty Level:
Click here to learn more about difficulty ratings.

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

Private Trips Available

Don't see a date that works for you? Pro Guiding Service offers any trip or courses on a private basis. We are flexible! Call or email to inquire.
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Suggested Itinerary:
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.

Private Trips

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest. Smaller, more intimate custom itineraries or instructional tours are available for any of our destinations. Tell us what you want to do, and we can create a customized plan for you.
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per person
Price is based on 2 climbers. Please call us for pricing for a single climber. 425-888-6397 x2 |
View Dates & Availability
Payment Policy
If booking a domestic trip that is over 60 days away or an international trip that is over 90 days away, you can book your trip by paying a 20% deposit.  View Full Policy
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel for any reason 60 or more days before domestic trips or 90 or more days before international and Alaska trips, we will refund everything you have paid minus half of your deposit. No refunds will be provided if you cancel your trip for ANY REASON (this includes but is not limited to illness including CoVid-19, injury, or work-related issues) within 60 days of the start of domestic trips or 90 days of international and Alaska based trips.  View Full Policy

Equipment List

Base Layer
  • 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
  • 1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
  • non cotton underwear
  • Socks - 2 pair
Mid Layer
  • Windshirt or light soft shell jacket
  • Fleece or similar warm layer
  • Synthetic climbing or hiking pants
  • Shorts
  • Lightweight waterproof/breathable jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof/breathable pants
  • Warm hat - should cover your ears
  • Sun hat - baseball cap or visor
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Warm gloves
  • Down or synthetic puffy-type jacket
  • Gaiters--low top or full size
Personal Gear
  • Day pack - about 30 liters
    • Everything must fit inside except ice axe, crampons, helmet
    • If approach shoes are worn, mountaineering boots may be on outside of pack as well
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Headlamp - lightweight LED
  • 2 Water Bottles - liter bottles, wide mouth recommended
  • Sunglasses - adequate for glacier travel
  • Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
  • Lip Balm - SPF 15+
  • Personal toiletries - keep it simple: toothbrush, tiny toothpaste, hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes - there is no running water in the huts
  • Small personal first aid kit - just the basics: blister care, ibuprofin, prescription meds, etc.; your guides will have a substantial group first aid kit
  • Earplugs - essential for sound sleep
Technical Gear
  • Ice Axe - lightweight, 50-60cm ideal
  • Mountaineering Boots - crampon compatible
  • Boot Crampons - 10-12 point steel with anti-ball plates, pre-fit to boots
  • Climbing Harness - mountaineering style preferred (no padding; ex: Petzl Altitude, Black Diamond Couloir)
  • Helmet - climbing helmet UIAA approved
  • Personal Anchor System
  • Belay Device
  • Glacier Travel Kit:
    • 2 Locking Carabiners - 2 large/2 small with at least 1 large HMS style
    • 2 Non-locking Carabiners - any style, we recommend wire gates
    • 1 Single Length Dyneema/Dynex Runner/Sling (60cm/24in diameter loop)
    • 1 Double Length Dyneema/Dynex Runner/Sling (120cm/48in diameter loop)
    • 1 Cordelette - 6 mm cord, 6 meter length
    • 1 Ice screws - 13-17 cm length
Optional Items


  • Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) - nice to have for approach/crevasse navigation
  • Thermos - vacuum type
  • Electrolytes - tablets/powder/gel/blocks
  • Compass - adjustable declination a must
  • Altimeter
  • Small knife
  • Tibloc and/or MicroTraxion devices - used for crevasse rescue
  • Liner socks - if blister-prone
  • Warm Socks - to sleep in
  • Approach shoes--lightweight running shoes work well
  • Neck gaiter - for protecting your face from sun, wind, cold
Equipment Sales & Rental

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What is the easiest way to get to Zermatt?

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.

Where will we stay in Zermatt?

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.

Have you guided the Matterhorn before?

Yes, Martin has guided the Matterhorn about 15 times and any guide hired for this trip will have experience on the Matterhorn.

What if the weather does not cooperate?

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.

What are good preparatory climbs?

Examples of good prep climbs include Forbidden Peak West Ridge and the North Cascades Mountaineering Courses.

Should I tip my guide?

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.

Why Book With Us? 

Certified Professional Guides & All Access
All of our guides have the highest quality training and certification in the industry, and you can be sure that we have the permits, licenses and insurance in every location we operate.
Safe, Well-Planned Tour Design
Every tour has a carefully thought-out guide-to-customer ratio. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us.
Pioneers In The Industry
You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on skills and routes in the industry. 
Read Our story

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