The Matterhorn is a demanding climb that requires good levels of fitness & stamina. The summit day involves 8-10 hours technical climbing at high altitude and so you need to have prepared well in advance with lots of aerobic activity. For a successful attempt at the Matterhorn this means a minimum of 2-3 months training with 3-4 30-45 minute sessions per week - whether running, cycling or hillwalking. Contact us for a comprehensive training guide. Climb program: The aim of this program is to enjoy a week of fantastic alpine mountaineering around Zermatt and Saas Fee and to make a successful and safe ascent (and descent!) of the Matterhorn. Our standard program is 6 days with 4 days of acclimatization and preparation - at a guide ratio of 1:2, and 2 days for the Matterhorn ascent and descent which is guided on a 1:1 ration only. The ascent via the Hornli Ridge usually takes as long to come down as go up (4-5 hrs). The route starts from the Hornli hut (which is reached easily from Zermatt the previous day) at 4am, so hopefully you get to see a lovely dawn.
Day 1: Arrive in Saas Grund and check into our valley base hotel. In the evening you will meet the guides to discuss the week's plan and to check equipment.
Day 2: The fist day out in the mountains concentrates on technical preparation. This means you will spend the day rock climbing locally - an ideal warm up for the bigger mountains.
Day 3: Warm up over we head into the higher hills for mountaineering skills training and altitude acclimatisation . We walk up to the Almageller hut about a 3.5hr walk and in the afternoon we climb on the Dri Hornli, a superb rock peak. Overnight is in the hut, one of our favourites!
Day 4: An alpine start about 4am! And a full day traversing the Weismeiss, this is a fabulous alpine day scrambling up an airy rocky ridge followed by a glacial descent. As it takes you over 4000m too it is ideal preparation for the Matterhorn.
Day 5: A lighter day to re charge the batteries with rock climbing in the afternoon.
Day 6: Now its time to head round to Tasch by road and on up to Zermatt by rail. A leiurely lunch in Zermatt soaking up the delights of this quintessential Swiss village before heading up to the Hornli hut (2-3 hour walk) to stay overnight.
Day 7: The big day! From another 4.00am start you make your attempt on the summit. All being well this takes 3.5-5hrs. Surprisingly the descent can often take longer, but there is usually a comfortable amount of time to walk back to the lift station at Schwarzee and descend to Zermatt. We return to our hotel base in Saas Grund to celebrate a successful trip.
Day 8: Depart after breakfast.
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