International Mountain Guides Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions

Classic Climbs in the Alps

France and Switzerland

Classic Climbs in the Alps with International Mountain Guides

IMG Classic Climbs in the Alps Itinerary

Day Itinerary
Day 0 Plan to arrive in Europe at least the day prior to the start of the program. An extra day to work through jet lag is best. Best arrival point is Geneva, Switzerland. If you arrive in Geneva in the morning, there are hourly trains to Zermatt from the airport. Contact IMG's travel agent, CTT Destinations, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need javascript enabled to view it for help in booking your hotel stay in Zermatt prior to the start of the program. IMG groups stay at the Hotel Alpenblick, address: Oberdorfstrasse 106, CH - 3920 Zermatt. Spend the day relaxing about town and sight seeing. The team will meet at 7:00 p.m. out on the hotel terrace (weather permitting) for a team intro, meeting and briefing on what to bring/wear on the following day.
Day 1 Program begins at he Hotel Alpenblick in Zermatt, Switzerland. Meet at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast. Come prepared to climb for the day with complete daypack and clothing. The group will ride the gondola up to the Kleine Matterhorn (3820m) to access the Breithorn Plateau for a day of refresher training, acclimatization and perhaps an hour's jaunt up the easy face of the Breithorn. Return to town and overnight at the Alpenblick.
Day 2 Early a.m. departure from the hotel and gondola ride back up to the Kleine Matterhorn. We'll attempt one of the the classic 4,000 meter peaks, either Pollux or Castor,"the twins". An overnight in the Val d'Ayas Hut (3425m) will help us to work on our acclimatization and allow easy access for the following day's climb.
Day 3 Another day, and another enjoyable ascent of a 4,000 feet. Either climb the second twin or a more difficult route, the "Half Breithorn". This partial traverse of the Breithorn involves a steeper snow/ice approach with an airy rock ridge traverse to the summit. Only members with previous experience on rock will want to tackle this option. The guides can accommodate all interests and abilities and usually split up for different climbs. Descend to Zermatt, and overnight at the Alpenblick.
Day 4 After breakfast, the group will travel by train to Interlaken then on to Lauterbrunnen and switch to a cog rail train for the last leg up to the high alpine village of Wengen, Switzerland (near Grindelwald). We'll walk up the hill to our hotel, and enjoy a drink out on the terrace before dinner. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5 Cog rail train ride on the world's highest railroad from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg, then upwards Through the world famous tunnel bored through the Eiger to the Jungfraujoch, at 11,333'. After touring the Jungfraujoch, we'll take a short 30 minute hike on a groomed snow trail to the Monchjochhutte (11,903'), our lodging for the night.
Day 6 Pre dawn wakeup to climb the Jungfrau (13,642'). The ascent involves a long, easy glacier approach, then a spectacular summit of mixed snow and rock scrambling. This is a full and strenuous 8-hour day. We will return to the Jungfraujoch and ride the train down to Wengen for a celebration dinner and night at the hotel.
Day 7 Train ride to Chamonix, France, with the afternoon available to stroll the streets of Chamonix. Overnight in hotel.
Day 8 Ride the telepherique to the top of the Aiguille du Midi (12,333'), one of the world's most spectacular gondola rides to a facility perched on the very top of a lofty rock spire. We will spend some time here taking in the awe inspiring scenery, with views of the Mont Blanc Massif and all the way down into Italy. We'll walk out of a tunnel carved through the rock, rope up, then make an airy descent to the glacier plateau just below. A 45 minute hike brings us to the Cosmiques Hut, our lodging for the evening. If time permits we'll take a short hike across from the hut to do some training on ice.
Day 9 Summit day. This will be a long, arduous 12-hour day, with a pre-dawn wake up. We will traverse the Mont Blanc massif climbing over Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit, and on to the summit of Mont Blanc (15,771'). From the summit, we'll descend via another route, most commonly the Gouter Route, and down to town or the lowest hut possible for the evening. Option for Day 9: In some years, or after new snow, the traverse is not safely climbable. An alternate climb can be made up the standard route, via the Gouter Hut.
Day 10 Descend to Chamonix. Free day and an evening to celebrate.
Day 11 Optional storm day for Mont Blanc. We can spend an additional night on the mountain if weather requires a storm day. If we have good success on Mont Blanc, today can be used as a sightseeing/shopping day or the guides will lead a fun day climb out of the Valley for those who have energy left. There are countless options.
Day 12 a.m. departure via train to Geneva, end of trip.

Non-climbing Spouse Additions to the Group Itinerary
Day 0 Same as group itinerary.
Day 1 You will definitely want to ride with the group up to the Kleine Matterhorn. After seeing the team off you will want to ride the elevator up to the observation deck on the top of the Kleine Matterhorn. You'll be able to watch the group head out on the glacier and then enjoy the magnificent view. In addition to the close-by Matterhorn, on a clear day you can see Mont Blanc and a 360 degree panorama of the Alps. Then time to ride back down to Zermatt, have lunch at an outdoor restaurant and do some sightseeing in town.
Day 2 A good day to say goodbye to the group as they depart in the morning, then take off on a local excursion. Recommendations include riding the Gornergrat cog rail train up to Gornergrat, another must-see view point and destination. If you are feeling adventurous, you can hike all the way back down to Zermatt in a couple of hours. Be sure to stop at one of the beer gardens along the way for refreshments. The Hotel Alpenblick is very helpful and solicitous of those staying in town while our group is away for the night. It might be comfortable to eat dinner "in house" at the Hotel restaurant this evening. Those feeling more adventurous can have their pick of eating establishments simply by walking back a short ways into the heart of Zermatt.
Day 3 Another good excursion while the group is away is a moderate hike up valley to the small village of Zmutt. There are many good views of the Matterhorn on this walk in a pleasant pastoral setting. The early afternoon is a good time to take care of any shopping or gift buying you intend to do. Then have a drink out on the Hotel terrace and greet the group as they arrive back at the Hotel.
Day 4 Same as group itinerary.
Day 5 I would highly recommend accompanying the group to the Jungfraujoch and spending the night with them at the Monchjoch hut. This is a very easy half-hour hike over a snow trail groomed by a machine for hikers to follow. An overnight at this hut will give you an idea of what the huts are like throughout the Alps. Usually very neat and clean with a large common dining area. The sleeping rooms adjoining a common hallway are very Spartan with two tiers of padded bunks. Each space is provided two blankets and a pillow. At almost 12,000 feet, you will not sleep very well, nor will anyone else.
Day 6 For this reason, you will want to descend to Wengen the next morning for a shower and a nice day in town. It is very reasonable to hike down alone to the train station and ride back down to Wengen after breakfast. The hotel will be expecting you. You can spend the rest of the day touring town, or there are several options involving travel by cograil train, gondola or foot:
  1. Ride the cog rail train down to the valley floor, then the funicular back up the other side of the valley to the village of Murren and its breathtaking views.
  2. Ride the cog rail train up to Grindelwald then hike back down to Wengen for a casual lunch in one of the outdoor cafes.
  3. Hop the Mannlichen cable car for a ride up to the Lauberhorn and some hiking and photography.

Whatever you choose, be sure to return to the hotel by mid-afternoon to meet the team out on the terrace as they arrive back from their triumphs. We'll all dine out on the town this night.
Day 7 Same as group itinerary.
Day 8 Definitely ride the gondola up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi. Spend a bit of time at the top with your spouse, then consider taking the cable car over into Italy for lunch (be sure to bring your passport). A hiking option involves riding the gondola part way back down to Chamonix, and getting off at the Plan de L'Aiguille. Hike down 5 minutes from the station to a rustic hut, the Refuge du Plan and enjoy an outdoor lunch as you gaze down at Chamonix far below. You may either opt to ride back down to town, or hike the easy Grand Balcon Nord trail high above the valley floor to the Mer de Glace glacier and its exhibits. Ride the train back to town.
Day 9 A good day for shopping and exploring town. This is the place to do your major gift shopping In the bustling town of Chamonix. During the day, pick out the most charming restaurant to dine at that night, or have a cozy meal at the hotel and call it an early day.
Day 10 The group will return early in the day. Let them get showered and then take them around town and show them what you have discovered. We will enjoy a dinner of typical French cuisine at one of the many restaurants in town.
Day 11 A day of sightseeing, shopping or hiking with the members who choose to stay in town this day.
Day 12 Train to Geneva, end of trip.
The Classic Climbs in the Alps with International Mountain Guides
The professionalism demonstrated by IMG's guides as well as the high standards that they hold their clients up to maximized our chances of reaching the summit...
~Greg Y.
The Classic Climbs in the Alps with International Mountain Guides The Classic Climbs in the Alps with International Mountain Guides
I was very impressed with how everything was so well organized. It seemed like every little detail was covered. IMG is way better than the others. Way better! You guys are the best in the business...
~Jim P.
The Classic Climbs in the Alps with International Mountain Guides The Classic Climbs in the Alps with International Mountain Guides The Classic Climbs in the Alps with International Mountain Guides
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