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Matterhorn advice?


Original Post
Andrew G · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 15

Im going to climb the Matterhorn unguided in july. Any advice?

Michael S. Catlett · · Middleburg, VA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 175

Scout the start of the route we’ll the day ahea of your climb.

Leave the hut early and try to be ahead of most groups.

Exspect the guides to treat you poorly and to be bossy as they are alll about client progress on the climb.

Decending will take more time than you think as there will be guided parties going up and down, but stay patient.


Good luck and enjoy the route.

Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0

What route?

Andrew G · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 15

the Hornligrat route.

how early do you need to reserve a spot at the hut? and how hard is it to stay on route?

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,421

I think the crux is just nailing the first 80 feet at the base.  You'll want to scout that section in the daylight and be able to find it in the dark.

Once on the route, its not too difficult to follow.  You'll need to be able to move efficiently and quickly and its a loooong route.  There's "pigtails" in place to help with running belays.  Simul climb most of it.  Go light and fast.  Be fit.

I'd probably get a reservation as soon as you can.  July is prime time.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,179

Early start means 2am. You need to get ahead of the guided groups, otherwise you'll be slowed down significantly. Try to solo/simul as much as you can. Route finding should not be difficult. Book the hut asap.

Amy Krull · · Oregon · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 45

Call the hut directly to make your reservations (they do not accept emails), their English is equivalent if not better than yours :) so no problem if you don't speak German or French apart from "sprechen Sie Englisch?".  They are quite casual regarding reservations if they have open beds, we ended up calling and moving our itinerary a week before to try and miss bad weather.  FYI, you can cancel in case of bad weather (we encountered heavy snow in August), but you will lose a deposit. Whereas many other huts, don't have as strict of cancellation policies or require a deposit.  Swiss side is expensive, but fun. We learned that big weather can linger in the big mountains (Eiger and Matterhorn).  We salvaged our trip by heading into the Graian Alps in Italy for a less tall summit, that still checked the requisite boxes: hut, snow, rock, cross on top. 

Bring a pair of gardening gloves to fit in with alpen climbers!  

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 12,714
Brian in SLC wrote:

I think the crux is just nailing the first 80 feet at the base.  You'll want to scout that section in the daylight and be able to find it in the dark.

Excellent advice.

My memory from long ago is that the Hornli route actually  is much a bit _below_ the ridge. So a problem is with unguided parties off-route on the ridge itself kicking rocks down on you.

Of course if you're a really capable party, just wait until daylight to start.

The other question you could ask is . . . why do This route in anything like peak season?

. . . (A significant deficiency of this route compared with other nearby peaks is that the summit offers No view of the most dramatic peak in the Alps).

Ken

Andrew G · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 15

Would it be possible your start at midnight from town? To skip the cost of the hut and getting stuck behind the guides? Or would that be too long of a day?

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,421

Most folks take a ski lift to shorten the hike to the hut.  Starting early from town would be a loooong day.

The guides are fast enough.  I'd start early.  Might be a hotel option next door?

sandrock · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 115

Don't be surprised when a guide pulls your pro out of the rock and places his own. Happened to my friend. And yes, you will not be able to leave the hut before the Swiss guides.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,179

Glad I climbed it in the 80's. There was no one above the Solvay Hut, just my partner and I.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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