Eiger – 3970 m

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Introduction

The Eiger is one of the most sought after summits in the Alps and a formidable challenge. If you have previous alpine experience and good physical fitness, it is within your grasp. We aim to climb this famous peak towards the end of the week, after a suitable preparation in and around the Chamonix valley.

Normally climbed via the Mittellegi Ridge with a descent via the South Ridge, this is a long and technical climb – for fit climbers only – but worth it to get to the top of this world famous peak.

We stay in the famous Mittellegi Hut followed by the Mönchsjoch Hut on the way down.

Clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button opposite, will open a new tab/window in your browser and direct you to our online tour booking system. Here you can check the course dates and availability.

Course Details

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    Price €3549.00

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    Ability Level D

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    Fitness Level 2

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    Start location: Chamonix, France

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    Guide ratio: 1:1

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    Season: June – September

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    Duration: 7 nights, 6 days guiding

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Further Information.

What's included
  • 3 nights mountain huts at half-board (Breakfast and 3 course evening meal)
  • 4 nights Chamonix accommodation bed and breakfast
  • IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guides
  • All of your guides’ expenses
  • All guiding fees
  • In resort transport during the course
  • Transport to/from Grindelwald
What's not included
  • Transport to/from Chamonix
  • Equipment rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Evening meals when in Chamonix
  • Lunch, Snacks and drinks in the mountain huts
  • Uplifts according to itinerary
Who is this for?

This course is for keen, fit mountaineers with previous experience on AD terrain. Stamina, balance, and concentration are a must! Our Chamonix Classics, Alpine Skills or Private Guiding courses are ideal preparation.

Accommodation and huts

Our Eiger courses are based out of our Chalet Pele which is located perfectly in Chamonix centre for the first 3 days. Rooms are normally on a twin shared basis with others from your course and all rooms are en-suite. The chalet has WIFI, a lounge and spacious dining area as well as a fun atmosphere. There are often other like minded people staying in the chalet who are on various other courses that we offer. Chamonix’s main high street is a short 5 minute stroll away with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes as well as mountaineering shops for any last minute rentals or purchases.

What to expect from mountain huts

They are basic but comfortable. They can cater for vegetarians. Food is usually on a set menu basis (3 course in the evening, hot drink and bread/jam/cereal for breakfast). Often there is no running water and you have to buy water to drink and wash with (no showers). You can usually buy tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks, chocolate bars and snacks.

Sleeping arrangements are normally dormitory style bunkbeds (eg 6 people on the bottom, 6 on the top) with blankets or duvets. No sleeping bags are needed, rather a ‘sheet sleeping bag’ should be brought. The huts provide slippers for wearing around the hut. On this course we ask the hut guardians to provide a packed lunch for the team each day.

You can expect a good atmosphere and a stunning view!

Typical Itinerary

We climb the Eiger via the classic Mittellegi ridge. This is a long climb on delicate terrain – snow ridges, rock ridges and scrambling. Like the Matterhorn, this mountain also requires fairly dry conditions for an ascent.

The itinerary is flexible, and weather / condition dependent, but here is a guideline of what to expect.

We meet in the evening to discuss the weather, conditions and plan for the week. You meet your guides and have a short briefing where can ask them questions about clothing and equipment.

Day 1
Warm up day on a fantastic alpine route above Chamonix. Always good to spend the first day refreshing skills and familiarising yourselves with our guides and your other team mates on the course.

Day 2-3
Two full days spent in the high mountains above Chamonix, overnighting in a mountain refuge to help with acclimatisation. Typical routes for example would be traversing the Aiguilles Entreves, climbing the Tour Ronde and the Dent du Geant. This is the final preparation for the Mittellegi ridge on the Eiger and superb routes themselves.

Day 4
Today we drive to Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland and take the famous mountain train and walk to the Mittellegi hut, ready for our summit push the following day.

Day 5-6
This is it. Summit day has arrived and with all the preparation and acclimatisation we have down we set off to climb the Eiger and then descend to the Mönchsjoch Hut. We have a spare day built in to this itinerary to deal with any bad weather and maximise our chance of success. Once down from the Mönchsjoch Hut we return to Chamonix.

Day 7
Departure.

Training

To maximise your chance of summiting Mont Blanc it is important to get as fit as you possibly can. So we have partnered with Uphill Athlete, specialists in strength and conditioning for peak mountain performance.

Read an Introduction to Uphill Athlete by Steve House, accomplished climber and IFMGA guide here

Mountaineering is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for many hours (typically 5 to 12 hours) and your training should reflect this. Balance is important too as you will spend many hours walking in crampons. For this a good chore strength is important.

Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.

Check out Uphill Athlete for more information and training plans.

The Effects of Altitude

As one climbs higher the air gets thinner and so there is less oxygen in each breath we take. The higher we go the less oxygen there is. This makes exercising much harder work than at sea level and so we have to slow down to help compensate. Because we have slowed down, we may feel colder.

Because there is less oxygen in the air as we get higher, this can lead to ‘altitude sickness’ or Acute Mountain Sickness which is like the worst hangover you have ever had (headache, nausea, weakness, fatigue, dizziness) and can develop into a very serious and even fatal (in extreme cases) problem.

To avoid these problems, enjoy the climbing and increase our chances of summiting we need to acclimatise by spending several days and nights at progressively higher altitudes, so our bodies can adapt. This is a very important part of our preparation.

Kit List

Pre-Book with Adventure Base:
Black Diamond Saber-tooth crampon rental 6 days €45.00
Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe rental 6 days €35.00
Black Diamond climbing harness rental 6 days €30.00
Black Diamond Half Dome helmet rental 6 days €25.00

Select which extras you would like to pre-book at check-out. Please note we have limited stock so pre-booking is advised.

1. Ice axe – for general mountaineering (between 50 and 70cm depending on your height)
2. Standard steel mountaineering Crampons – 12 point crampons for general mountaineering with anti-balling plates. 3. Helmet – standard hard plastic climbing helmet.
4. Trekking Poles – Foldable
5. Mountaineering B2 or B3 Boots and Gaiters
6. Rucksack – Mountaineering specific 30-40L
7. Water bottles up to 2L
8. Harness (adjustable so that it is comfortable over all your layers), with 2 screw gate carabiners.
9. Sun protection including: sunglasses (category 4), goggles, sun hat, Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen, lip salve/block.
10. 3 sets of socks and thermal tops.
11. Lightweight (GORE-TEX® or similar) hardshell hooded top and bottoms
12. Warm hat and 2 pairs of gloves. One pair should be warm, thick mountaineering gloves suitable for conditions at 5000m. The second pair should be a thinner pair that is suitable for mid mountain conditions.
13. Insulating layers. We suggest a thin lightweight fleece and a synthetic or down jacket.
14. Mountaineering trousers
15. Personal first aid – blister kit, aspirin, or Paracetamol.
16. Head torch and spare batteries.
17. Earplugs
18. Sleeping bag silk liner (you don’t need a sleeping bag itself as blankets/duvets are provided in the huts)
19. Cash for extra drinks / snacks in huts as well as any costs not included in the course price
20. ID

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.

Booking info

To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +44 (0)845 527 58 12.

We take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, and we ask for the balance to be paid 10 weeks before the course start date.

Insurance

We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.

Please note your insurance must cover you in both Italy and France.

Getting to Chamonix

British Airways, Swiss Air and Easyjet offer many flights to Geneva International from all over the UK and the rest of Europe.

Booking a place on a minibus airport transfer service is by far the best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix (1hour). We recommend CVT Transfers and you can book directly by clicking here: http://adventurebase.cvt.ski

If you are booking a transfer to Chamonix the address of your accommodation in Chamonix is Chalet Pele, Route des Pelerins, Chamonix, 74400. You will be allocated an en suite bedroom for the duration of your trip on a twin share basis.

FAQ's
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 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 Eiger course has a lead guide. The lead guide will always conduct a meeting with the clients and other guides the day before the Eiger ascent is due to begin (Usually the evening before we leave Chamonix for Grindelwald). 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.

What type of boots do I need for the Eiger?

You will either need B2 or B3 mountaineering boots for the Eiger. All mountaineering boots are graded in a B1, B2, B3 system.
This will greatly depend on the conditions of the Eiger. 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.

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 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.

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 and some will even have 3g signal but we cannot guarantee this will work at all times.

What are the mountain huts like?

The mountain huts we use for our Eiger 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 your Eiger climb we use the Mittellegi hut and the Monchjoch hut.

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 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.

Do I need to have previous experience?

Yes. If you have previous experience on alpine grade AD terrain with good physical fitness, the Eiger is within your grasp. We aim to attempt the Eiger 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.

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 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 are the guides like?

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 routes on the Eiger 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 will we do if the weather is bad?

This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather actually is. Should the Eiger be unsafe, we will study the conditions on other peaks in the Alps, in the Monta Rosa region for example. 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 Eiger it usually means a summit attempt will be very difficult. The route to the summit of the Eiger 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 Eiger is in good climbing condition.

How many clients per guide?

For the three training days at the beginning of the week we have a 2 client:1 guide ratio. For your Eiger attempt our ratio is 1 client:1 guide.

Why choose Adventure Base?

3 reasons to choose Adventure Base for all your mountain adventures.

1. Safety means success – We have been guiding clients on the Matterhorn for over 8 years with a very high safety and success rate. To date we have had no major incidents or injuries. This is due to us taking great care in training our clients and then monitoring the weather and mountain conditions closely.

2. Fun times – We believe in fun times. Climbing mountains is a serious challenge. But who says it can’t be fun too? Our guides are full of energy, fun facts and big smiles. They help create lasting memories.

3. Word of Mouth – Over 70% of new clients have been recommended to us by a friend or colleague. We don’t spend big on marketing campaigns, we stay true to our product, we pay attention to every detail and then let you do the talking.

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