The Matterhorn Switzerland  •  14,692'  •  4478m

IMG The Matterhorn Itinerary

Zermatt, Switzerland: The Matterhorn, Pollux, Castor and the Breithorn
The trip starts and finishes in Zermatt, Switzerland. It is the responsibility of each participant to arrange transportation to Zermatt by the night prior to the starting date. The simplest route is to fly to Geneva or Zurich, arriving in the morning and take a train directly from the airport to Zermatt. There is frequent daily train service to Zermatt. When making arrangements, keep in mind the time change. It would be wise to allow a day of rest in Switzerland prior to the start of the program to help deal with jet lag. If you would like help with your flight arrangements, recommendations for a hotel in Geneva or Zurich, or plan to arrive in Zermatt early, feel free to contact IMG's travel agent, CTT Destinations, They are knowledgeable of our programs and will be happy to help you work out your itinerary.

Day Itinerary
Day 01Meet for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. at the Hotel Alpenblick, Zermatt. After breakfast we will take light daypacks and ride the Gornergrat cog rail train up to the Riffelhorn for a day of rock practice and training. In the early afternoon we will hike back down to Zermatt, stopping, perhaps at one of the beer gardens along the way for refreshment. Back at the hotel we will retire early. (hotel reservation required)
Day 02Early morning wake up to catch the first gondola up to the Kleine Matterhorn (3883 m.). A glacier walk brings us down to Pollux (4092 m.). The climb starts with a snow/rock ridge climb to the crux rock pitch that has some fun exposure (and thankfully, a handline). A final snow ridge brings us to the summit. We will descend the peak and hike down to the Refugio Val D'Ayas just across the border in Italy where we will spend the night.
Day 03From the hut we will ascend our second 4000 meter peak, Castor (4228 m.). A technically easier ascent, it will provide us with additional acclimatization. There will be opportunity to practice some rock pitches on Roccia Nera as the group desires. Second night at Refugio Val D'Ayas.
Day 04Snow and rock climbing on the Central Briethorn (4164 m.). We will get an early start from the hut for our ascent. The route involves some steeper snow/ice up to 45 degrees. There are several pitches of good rock climbing similar in difficulty to the Matterhorn. This will be our final training climb prior to our attempt of the Matterhorn. We will descend from the Breithorn and ride the tram down to our hotel in Zermatt. (hotel reservation required)
Day 05Tram ride up then an easy hike to Hornlihutte (3260 m.). The afternoon will be spent previewing and practicing on the first part of the climb of the Matterhorn (4478 m.). We will overnight at the climbing hut.
Day 06The guides will split the group into two parts so that they can guide the Matterhorn one-on-one. The first team will make the 12-hour round trip climb, then descend to Zermatt. The guides will stay at the hut, and climb again the next day. (optional hotel reservation)
Day 07Second team ascent of the Matterhorn, and descent to Zermatt. (optional hotel reservation)
Day 08This final day is reserved for use on the Matterhorn in the case of inclement weather. If our climb goes according to plan, then this day will be available for an additional climb. (hotel reservation required)

NOTE: This itinerary is merely a guideline for the trip. The lead guide will retain the right to make changes to suit the climbing conditions, the weather and the strength and experience of the group. Our main goal will be the Matterhorn and changes in the schedule may be made to increase our chances of success. This may involve moving the climb up a day or more on the schedule to take advantage of better weather. However, the Matterhorn is a very demanding and exposed climb. It is not uncommon for stormy weather to render the mountain unguideable for days at a time. This could preclude us from even making a summit attempt. In this case, there are countless other possibilities for other ascents in the area. The final decision on climbing the Matterhorn and all peaks rests solely with the head guide. In addition, the leader will have complete authority over determining each member's continued participation in each of the climbs.