The Matterhorn is probably the most iconic peak out there in the mountains. Rising behind the charming town of Zermatt on the Swiss / Italian border this is a highly sought after summit for mountaineers and adventurers alike. Daring, dramatic and intimidating this is one of our favourite mountains to guide.
July - September
- + 6
CLIMB 'THE MOUNTAIN OF MOUNTAINS'
The Matterhorn is steeped in history, as it was the last great Alpine peak to be climbed and marked the end of the golden age of alpinism in 1865. A team of 7, including Edward Whymper, led by two Zermatt guides and French guide Michel Croz made the first successful summit via the Hornli Grat (Hornli Ridge).
The Hornli Ridge is still the classic way of ascent today, and it is achievable to those with good fitness and some experience climbing. The route is rocky and will require clients to move efficiently and quickly over exciting terrain. A head for heights is certainly a must, as well as a high level of determination to make the most of this mountain.
If this sounds overwhelming then fear not, we design the trip so you spend a few days in Chamonix, France brushing up on climbing skills and familiarising yourself with equipment before heading to Zermatt for the main event. You will have a personal guide, who all know the route like the back of their hands, for your summit attempt. We even make sure we leave a two day summit window in case the weather isn't kind.
YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE
WHO IS THIS FOR?
If you have previous experience on alpine grade AD terrain with a solid level of cardiovascular fitness, this climb is within your grasp. We base our Matterhorn climbs out of Chamonix because there are some great training routes in the Mont Blanc massif. Climbing these handpicked routes prior to going to the Matterhorn puts our clients in the best possible shape for what the Matterhorn has to offer.
Not sure whether you're ready? No sweat! Drop us a note and we'll be happy to talk it through with you.
July - September
You have a fair amount of experience climbing, hiking or skiing more technical terrain. You’re comfortable on sustained adventures and you call yourself a ‘hardened’ adventurer. You're not quite George Mallory but you subscribe it his 'because it there' attitude.
Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'about us' page.
LIVE THE ADVENTURE
Adventure Base: Through our clients eyes.00:53
We asked our clients to let us know how their trips went. They decided to show us instead. Below is footage captured by our clients on some of our favourite adventures. Thanks guys.
The Matterhorn. Thanks Ty!06:16
Ty, one of our Matterhorn climbers, captured the journey along the Hornli ridge to the top of the Matterhorn. Is there a more iconic mountain in the world?
The Cosmiques Arete04:51
As part of the preparation for climbing the Matterhorn we often tackle this gem of a climb. Here Olly and Charlie have a bit fun while doing it.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THIS CLIMB
Certain items can be rented from Adventure Base such as crampons, ice axe, helmet and harness. You are able to add these to your cart at checkout. We use the latest kit from Black Diamond meaning you'll be using quality equipment and our rental options are much cheaper than if you were to rent it from a local shop when you get here. Win!
(Note: Your kit might vary sightly from the images below)
Please note this is a guide and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival dependent on the weather and changes in itinerary. For the full downloadable Matterhorn kit list, click here.
Rent for €35
Straight shaft for general mountaineering
Rent for €45
12 point steel mountaineering crampons
Rent for €25
Standard hard plastic climbing specific helmet.
Rent for €30
Standard climbing harness
Slightly more flexible and lighter than a B3 boot.
Foldable poles are best
Mountaineering specific 35-40L backpack
GORE-TEX® or Similar
Light technical jacket, ideally with a hood.
Lightweight and thin down jacket.
Something light and thin.
Keep them light and thin.
Highly breathable, lightweight synthetic technical t-shirt.
GORE-TEX® or similar
Stretch, durable mountaineering trousers.
Keep them light and thin.
Choose your hat of choice as long as it shields you from the sun.
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet.
You must be able to carry at least 2L of water in your backpack
Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen
For your nose and lips
At least cat 4 and ideally with limited gaps at the sides
Just in case you hit bad weather
Good walking socks are required
Thick and built for the cold
Thinner to be used for mid mountain conditions and glacial walking
Hiking shoes / Trail Shoes
Good grip and ankle support is recommended
Good to have for approaches to the mountain huts especially in warmer temperatures
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
Sleeping bag silk liner
You don’t need a sleeping bag itself, as blankets are provided in the huts
Highly recommended for the mountain huts
First aid kit
Blister kit, paracetamol, etc
To protect your trousers from crampons and to keep any snow out if it's deep
Cash / credit card
For extra costs such as drinks and snacks
ID and documents
Passport / Drivers license, Visa, Insurance, Yellow Fever Card (if applicable)
"The guides are always the most important element and I cannot praise David and Pablo enough. They were both absolutely brilliant, the perfect balance of friendly and professional. This meant it felt easy to get to know them and build a rapport which is really important in terms of familiarity, trust and communication while also being incredibly professional. We were all in tears when we had to say goodbye."
"I enjoyed the week very much. Pablo and David were wonderful. Very professional, experienced, measured and calm. Can’t praise them enough. They were also a great company throughout the trip."
"Could not recommend these guys enough. Fantastic company, well organised with brilliant guides."
"AB are unequivocally the best. I don’t believe it could have been a better week, from the Chalet, to Jo the cook/cleaner/enthusiastic listener, to Olly the organiser, the other climbers (wonderful bunch) and most importantly the guides. A 10 out of 10 experience."
YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE
On arrival day you meet your guides and fellow climbers at the accommodation for a welcome briefing in the evening. One more sleep before go time!
- Climb the Matterhorn (4478m)
- 3 nights mountain huts at half-board (Breakfast and 3 course evening meals)
- 4 nights Chamonix accommodation with breakfast included
- En suite rooms in Chamonix on twin shared basis when available
- Hand-picked Adventure Base mountain guides
- All of your guide’s expenses
- All transport within itinerary
What's not Included?
- Transport to/from Chamonix
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Lunch when in the huts
- Evening meals when in Chamonix
- Uplifts according to itinerary
THIS TRIP IS RUNNING ON THE FOLLOWING DATES
OUR CHAMONIX ACCOMMODATION
When not climbing the mountain we know the importance of having a comfortable base. That's why we've chosen this mountain lodge with it's super comfortable rooms and warm atmosphere. The perfect spot to rest up in-between your stays in the mountain huts. But don't let that nice linen and chocolate on the bed win your favour just yet. Wait until you've experienced a good old mountain hut with its basic, but charming amenities and friendly hosts. We bet you go home missing the huts more!
- + 2
The lodge is an excellent base for our Matterhorn trip. With stunning views, it's well placed and just a few minutes walk from Chamonix centre. Rooms are on a twin share basis with en suite bathrooms. Breakfast is included in your stay and is always plentiful. There is also a bar and restaurant for the evenings, with some lovely outdoor space to relax in after the climb.
Rifugio Torino / Hornli Hutte
When we're up in the mountains we'll be staying in the Rifugio Torino and the Hornli Hutte with their rustic charms and mountain feel. Top tip. Don't forget to pack your ear plugs... trust us!
WHAT TO EXPECT
HERE'S YOUR ITINERARY
While we try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible, which is why we only work with experienced and knowledgeable guides, to make sure we can change any plans if required.
We meet in the evening at the accommodation to go through the plan for the week as well as the current weather and mountain conditions. You will meet with your fellow climbers and your guides so you can ask any questions and will have a chance to go through your kit.
First day in the mountains
We take the Aiguille du Midi cable car and spend the day on rocky ridges such as the Arete des Cosmiques and Arete a Laurence or similar. Overnight in Chamonix.
Overnight in a mountain hut
First day of climbing on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Typical routes would be the Entreves, Marbrees, Tour Ronde and the Dent du Geant. This is the final preparation for the real thing, and they are highly sought after routes themselves. Overnight in a charming mountain hut.
More alpine routes
Second day climbing on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Typical routes would be the Entreves, Marbrees, Tour Ronde and the Dent du Geant. This is the final preparation for the real thing, and they are highly sought after routes themselves. Overnight back in the Chamonix valley.
Head to Zermatt
Drive to Zermatt after breakfast (3 hrs). We take the uplifts from the town and approach the Hornli hut where we spend the night, ready for our summit attempt tomorrow.
Climb the Matterhorn
Leave the Hornli hut at 4am and climb the Matterhorn. This is an incredible day and one where you will need to push hard to reach the summit. If all goes well we will descend and head back to our Chamonix accommodation, but if the weather isn't great we have the option to spend a second night in the hut for an attempt on Day 6.
Spare Day / Return to Chamonix
To maximise the chance of success if the weather is bad on Friday we are able to attempt the climb today weather permitting. This is something we feel is essential in providing you with the best opportunity to make the summit.
Frequently asked questions about this adventure
Are ski/snowboard trousers suitable?
Ski/snowboard trousers aren’t suitable for the conditions on the Matterhorn. You’ll need a pair of mountaineering trousers ( Read more
Ski/snowboard trousers aren’t suitable for the conditions on the Matterhorn. You’ll need a pair of mountaineering trousers (soft shell) as well as a waterproof hard shell pair that are lightweight and not insulated. Conditions can be harsh especially on the summit days so it’s important to have these two layers. We also recommend to bring lightweight thermal leggings.
What Insurance Do I Need?
Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments Read more
Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments but also environments that carry an element of risk with them. In order to protect yourself adequately you will need a specialist travel insurance that caters for the types of activities you will be undertaking. It is a condition of our agreement that you are covered by adequate travel insurance for your arrangements. Click here to understand which one is for you.
Can I store my belongings with Adventure Base when I’m in the huts?
Yes. From when you arrive till when you depart you are allocated a room in our Chamonix chalet and this Read more
Yes. From when you arrive till when you depart you are allocated a room in our Chamonix chalet and this will not be occupied by anyone else during that period. Please note rooms are usually allocated on a twin share basis, in most cases sharing with others from your course.
Do I need to have previous experience?
Yes. If you have previous experience on alpine grade AD terrain with good physical fitness, the Matterhorn is within your Read more
Yes. If you have previous experience on alpine grade AD terrain with good physical fitness, the Matterhorn is within your grasp. We aim to attempt the Matterhorn climb towards the end of the week, after suitable preparation and acclimatisation. You must have a good head for heights and a good level of balance control whilst walking along narrow exposed ridges.
How many clients per guide?
Is there WiFi in the mountain huts?
No. All mountain huts are fairly basic and do not have access to WiFi. Some huts will have phone signal Read more
No. All mountain huts are fairly basic and do not have access to WiFi. Some huts will have phone signal and some will even have 3g signal but we cannot guarantee this will work at all times.
What are the guides like?
All of our guides are highly experienced. They have all been hand picked by us over the many years we’ Read more
All of our guides are highly experienced. They have all been hand picked by us over the many years we’ve been in the guiding industry. Our guides all speak a good level of English and are very attentive. Their primary role is to get you to the summit safely, but they also provide a high level of customer service along the way and are very interesting people to spend time with. They like to share their knowledge of the mountains and their experiences, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and pick their brains. Lastly, they know the route on the Matterhorn like the back of their hands and this is the most important thing when it comes down to making key decisions in the mountains and providing the safest experience for our clients.
What are the mountain huts like?
The mountain huts we use for our Matterhorn course are fairly basic but comfortable. You will sleep in dormitories on Read more
The mountain huts we use for our Matterhorn course are fairly basic but comfortable. You will sleep in dormitories on a shared basis, usually 6-8 per room. The huts provide breakfast, lunch and a 3 course dinner. In Chamonix we tend to use the Refugio Torino and Cosmiques Refuge for the training days. For your Matterhorn climb we use the Hornli Hutte which is situated at the base of the Hornli ridge.
What kind of fitness level do I need?
You need to be able to hike for 6-8 hours at a moderate pace. Mountaineering is all about having good Read more
You need to be able to hike for 6-8 hours at a moderate pace. Mountaineering is all about having good cardiovascular endurance to be able to continue being active for long periods. As well as this you will need to have a good head for heights and good overall body balance.
What size backpack should I bring?
Your backpack should be no bigger than 50l and no smaller than 30l. It is important that your backpack has Read more
Your backpack should be no bigger than 50l and no smaller than 30l. It is important that your backpack has an ice axe strap to stash your ice axe when you are not using it. Your backpack must also have a rain-proof cover.
What type of boots do I need for Matterhorn?
You will either need B2 or B3 mountaineering boots for the Matterhorn. All mountaineering boots are graded in a B1, Read more
You will either need B2 or B3 mountaineering boots for the Matterhorn. All mountaineering boots are graded in a B1, B2, B3 system.
This will greatly depend on the conditions of the Matterhorn. If it is dry and warm B2 boots will be suitable. If it’s a little snowy and cold, B3 boots will be required. Both can be rented locally. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to hear the latest conditions on the Matterhorn.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather actually is. Should the Matterhorn be unsafe, we will Read more
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather actually is. Should the Matterhorn be unsafe, we will study the conditions on other peaks in the region, like Monta Rosa. Should conditions be a lot better elsewhere, we will propose this to you as an option.
Strong high winds – this means reaching the summit is unlikely. High winds on the ridge will put us in danger and therefore we will likely look for an alternative.
Precipitation – When it snows on the Matterhorn it usually means a summit attempt will be very difficult. The route to the summit of the Matterhorn is a rocky ridge and if its covered in snow and ice it becomes a treacherous task. Route finding in a snow storm is also unsafe.
Whiteout – A cloudy whiteout will make a summit attempt difficult. Route finding in a whiteout is generally unsafe and therefore we will encourage you to consider an alternative.
Heat – This doesn’t tend to offer up any problems. When the Alps is hit with high temperatures and dry conditions, the Matterhorn is in good climbing condition.
Will I definitely make it to the summit?
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you to the summit safely, sometimes the weather or the Read more
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you to the summit safely, sometimes the weather or the conditions of the mountain don’t play ball. When there is precipitation, high winds and low visibility for example, we cannot guarantee reaching the summit and will sometimes recommend an alternative. Each Matterhorn course has a lead guide. The lead guide will always conduct a meeting with the clients and other guides the day before the Matterhorn ascent is due to begin (Usually the evening before we leave Chamonix for Zermatt). During this meeting the latest weather forecast, conditions of the mountain, and the clients own ability to reach the summit will be discussed. Clients and guides alike will voice their opinions and/or concerns at the time and then decide how best to proceed. We fully trust our guides to make these final decisions based on their years of experience on the mountain. They are entrusted to make the final call and the client must accept any decision made. All decisions will have client safety as a top priority.
MEET THE GUIDES
Fabio has guided with us for close to ten years now and has summited Mont Blanc more times than we can remember. He's even helped Sir Richard Brans get to the top of Western Europe. When asked what his favourite mountain was his response was 'It's the mountain not known to many, in a remote country that provides opportunity for adventure. That said, I do love Cordillera Blanca (Peru) to guide in, Montserrat (Barcelona) because it's where it all started for me and Main De Fatima (Mali) because it's special to me!"
Pablo is originally from a small mountain village in Spain and came to Chamonix with only one dream to become a mountain guide. Based in Chamonix since 2013, Pablo made the Alps his playground as a guide and as an alpinist and has climbed many of the classic alpine routes. He combines mountain guiding with helicopter rescue work in Spain during the off seasons.
Miha is an IFMGA guide from Slovenia based between the beautiful Julian Alps and Chamonix. He has been climbing for over 20 years all over the world, including expeditions to Nepal, Tibet, India, Pakistan, USA, Mexico and Peru. He summited an 8000er on his first expedition to the Himalaya, did a first ascent on the previously unclimbed Lasher peak in the Himalaya and climbed El Capitan and many routes over the Alps.
Roger has spent over 15 years guiding around the world. He is a Guide instructor at the Spanish School of Guides and is fascinated by discovering mountains with clients. Roger has a big passion about showing people his beloved mountains and sharing climbs and descents with skis.
Born in the Aran Valley, from parents who were ski teachers and mountain guides, the motivation inherited by nature has led him to practice all facets of mountain sports such as climbing, skiing and mountaineering. He has spent his alpine career as part of the FEDME team (Spanish Federation of Mountain and Climbing Sports) and his passion and profession have led him to travel to other continents to carry out his activity.
"My favorite mountain is the Midi d’Ossau, in the Pyrenees. It is a volcanic and unique mountain, that a stands out from the other peaks around. It is a huge fortress with many different features that provides incredible rock climbing routes, and the most important thing is that is 20 minutes from my house ;)"
"If asked about my favourite mountain or mountain range, it wouldn't be easy to answer since perfect places to climb, ski or explore can be found all over the world. But, if I had to choose one, I think I'd say the Pyrenees, not very high, but wild and still quite unknown: the mountains where I learnt when I was a child and where I can still live great adventures far from the crowd".
READY TO CLIMB THE MATTERHORN?
We hope you've found all the information you need above, but if not don't hesitate to get in touch. If you're ready to book, follow the link below.Start your adventure