The Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Matterhorn Guided Ascents.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following links:
Matterhorn Guided Ascent ex Zermatt
Matterhorn Guide Ascent ex Chamonix
Adventure Consultants guides are BMG/NZMGA and / or IFMGA-UIAGM qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest industry standards.
Being a technically proficient climber alone is not enough to work with us; our standards demand that trip leaders are great guides as well. You will find your guide friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip in line with your objectives and comfort level.
Success with the highest margin of care is always a hallmark of our approach; promoting the realisation that even extreme pursuits such as high altitude mountaineering can be undertaken safely.
Adventure Consultants only employs IFMGA qualified guides for European ascents and courses and this is the only certification that is recognised in the French Alps. In order to gain these qualifications guides must undergo rigorous training and assessment on climbing skills, instructional skills, avalanche training and assessment, wilderness first aid, rescue training and much more. The qualification takes many years to attain and ensures you are getting a world class professional service.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Amelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison
Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison for European and Himalayan Operations. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.
Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.
Level of Experience Required
To climb the Matterhorn you need to be fit, have strong physical and mental stamina and be capable of strenuous exercise for several days duration. Prospective climbers must be competent in rock and alpine climbing practices and be aware that your ability to succeed will be determined more by your current condition and capability, than previous ascents you may have made in the past. You will need to be proficient in snow/ice techniques and cramponing.
In order to get up this long route, prospective climbers must be confident in rock climbing in alpine boots to grade US 5.7/ AUS 15/ UK HS and be capable of moving at a steady pace for extended periods in technical terrain on snow and rock. It is imperative you have a high degree of cardiovascular fitness to cope with the strains of the climb and the altitude.
In your build-up to the climb it would be appropriate to be rock climbing regularly as well as training on hills for overall fitness. Your climbing history will include ascents of long and technical multi-pitch alpine routes, and you will be an active rock climber, current with use of rope skills and snow and ice climbing techniques.
Even climbing at the moderate altitudes in Europe has a definite physical effect on people. Most climbers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Summit day is physically demanding and a dedicated training programme is essential to enhance your chance of success. It is preferable to spend a few days at altitude prior to your scheduled climb to assist with your acclimatisation. Climbers regularly attend our Pre-Course & Acclimatisation Programme in Chamonix prior to partaking in the ascent.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
Preparing for Your Trip
To make the most of your climbing experience you must train in the months leading up to your trip. By adopting a programme of running, cycling and/or hill walking you will greatly increase your chance of success on this peak. Build up your training until you are able to hike on consecutive days for at least 8hrs whilst carrying a 10kg / 22lbs pack, incorporating the elevation gain of over 1200m/4000ft which is required on summit day. A regularly rock climbing programme is also essential. Your guide will be attuned to your fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly; however it is essential that you arrive physically prepared to succeed on this mountain. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your ascent.
We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury or mishap prior to/or whilst on our trips.
While our focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is the potential for mishap. If you were injured whilst on the trip there is a very efficient rescue service nearby. We also advise getting trip cancellation insurance to cover you should you be forced to cancel your participation prior to the trip starting.
The European Alps are full of climbing history. It is the birthplace of mountaineering and its rich heritage adds to the superb facilities (catered huts and lift systems) catering for mountaineers not seen elsewhere.
The Hörnli Ridge is the route by which the Matterhorn’s first ascent was made in 1865 by the tenacious Englishman Edward Whymper after many attempts on the mountain. In what became the most famous alpine calamity of all time, the group suffered a terrible tragedy on the descent when a rope broke resulting in the loss of four of the party.
Adventure Consultants will provide breakfasts for the duration of the trip and evening meals on hut nights while the trip is running. This is from breakfast on Day 1 until breakfast on the final scheduled day of your trip. You will be responsible for your own lunches and snacks each day and your own evening meals on non-mountain nights in town. This allows you to experience the exciting culinary options available locally. Any additional food, beverages or meals you purchase that are not mentioned in the inclusions will be at your own expense.
It is a good idea to bring a small selection of your favourite snack food and hydration drinks with you to ensure you are fuelled by your preferred brands. Actual amounts depend on your consumption but two per day in addition to your lunch would seem reasonable.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.
Accommodation is provided on a twin share B&B basis from the arrival evening on day 0 through to and including the night of day 6. Accommodation in the mountains is in mountain huts in shared bunk rooms or dormitory rooms. Blankets are provided and no sleeping bag will be required although you will require a sleeping bag liner for personal hygiene under the provided blankets. There are no single supplement or private rooms available in the mountain huts but we can arrange this for you in Chamonix, Zermatt or Schwartzee. We can also arrange an upgrade to four or five star hotel accommodation – ask about the hotel options if interested.
Clothing & Equipment
Climbing in the European Alps requires you have high quality clothing and equipment due to the extremes of weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment to keep you warm and comfortable during the climb.
Your Guide will go through the equipment checklist with you at the beginning of your trip. Actual equipment taken may vary subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. You can rent technical equipment for the climb but you must provide your own clothing appropriate to mountaineering as per the equipment list. Group equipment including ropes and technical hardware will be organised by your Guide.
Communication & Messages
Our guides are in cell phone communication with our operations base throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, lift and accommodation co-ordination and safety back up. Your own mobile phone should work in the region though you may want to check with your own service provider first. Local mobile phones can be rented at the international airports.