The Alps generally have a very pleasant climate throughout the spring, summer and autumn with warm days and cool nights, with daytime temperatures in the valley around 24 - 28°C. At high altitude the temperature often goes down below -10 and can feel even colder with wind chill.
Day 1: Meet up with your guide in Zermatt in the evening and discuss plans for the week and check your equipment. Stay overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Morning spent revising rock climbing skills in the valley, before heading up to the Rothorn Hut (3-4 hours).
Day 3: An early start (5 am) for the ascent of the Wellenkuppe (3903 m) and the Obergabelhorn (4063 m. These are great introductory peaks with sections of cramponing on 40 degree slopes, glacier travel and ridge scrambling to the summit. The descent involves abseiling too. Return to the hut and prepare for the next route.
Day 4: Another early start for a day making one of the classic ascents of the valley, the South-West ridge of the Zinal Rothorn (4221m). This is a magnificent day but long and tiring. We return to Zermatt and stay in the hotel.
Day 5: A recovery morning before catching the train down to the village of Randa and climbing the 1700m up to the Weisshorn Hut.
Day 6: An attempt on the Weisshorn. Towering to 4506 meters, the Weisshorn is a massive 3 ridged pyramid, rising above the Zermatt valley. Its normal route via the East Ridge is physically and technically demanding, with long sections of 4th and easy 5th class, a tricky and exposed rock ridge requiring care and the occasional belay, and a summit snow or ice slope up to 45 degrees. The altitude is also a part of its challenge, and the vertical gain on summit day is significant at 1600 meters (5248 feet). Overall, the ascent is slightly harder than the Matterhorn, but, most climbers agree, of much higher quality. This is a long day so we usually stay at the hut on the way down.
Day 7: Return to the valley. This day can also be used for an attempt in the case of bad weather.
Day 8: Disperse after breakfast. Other 4000 m peaks in the Zermatt range include Briethorn (4165 m), Dom (4545 m), Pollux (4092 m) and Castor (4228 m)
Similar itineraries also available in the: (a) Bernese Oberland
- Peaks include: Jungfrau (4158 m), Aletschhorn (4194 m), Gross Grünhorn (4044 m), Finsteraarhorn (4274 m) and Mönch (4099 m). Course starts and finishes in Grindelwald.
(b) Saas Fee Round
- Peaks include: Weissmies (4023 m), Lagginhorn (4010 m), Stralhorn (4190 m), Allalinhorn (4027 m) and Alphubel (4206 m). Course starts and finishes in Saas Grund.
Your guides: All our climbing trips are led by fully qualified IFGMA mountain guides with extensive knowledge of the regions. The groups are kept small so you benefit from their knowledge and expertise and get inspired by their enthusiasm. The IFMGA qualification is the highest qualification for professional mountaineers and is the only qualification for working in the Alps as a guide.
Skills: This is a challenging course that requires good levels of fitness & stamina. You will be out in the mountains for 6-8 hours most days at altitude and so you need to have prepared well in advance with lots of aerobic activity - we recommend 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.
Stamina: This is a challenging course that requires good levels of fitness & stamina. You will be out in the mountains for 6-8 hours most days at altitude and so you need to have prepared well in advance with lots of aerobic activity - we recommend 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.
Dates and duration: In addition to the scheduled dates, we can run this course on request for private groups from mid-June until end September.
Group Sizes: The maximum group size for these courses is 6. Guiding is provided on a maximum ratio of 1:3.
Accommodation and meals: Zermatt has accommodation to suit all budgets and preferences. Our recommended hotel is the Hotel Burgener in the centre of the village. We also schedule for 3 nights to be spent on a half-board basis in traditional alpine mountain huts. In the huts evening meals are included and are generally nourishing and plentiful. Vegetarians can be catered for in most huts although there is usually only 1 menu option.
Getting There: The easiest way to get to Zermatt from the UK is to fly. The nearest airports are Zurich and Geneva. Transfer to Zermatt from the airports is by the wonderfully reliable Swiss rail network and takes about 3 hours from Zurich and 4 hours from Geneva. Mountain Tracks can help with your travel arrangements. Contact us for further details.
- £995 per person for party of 3 or more
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