Alps Trilogy: Matterhorn, Eiger, Mont Blanc

The Matterhorn, the Eiger and Mont Blanc. It barely needs any explaining. These three peaks represent the quintessential mountains of the Swiss and French Alps.

August 7, 2017 - August 16, 2017

$5,500.00
Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Prior mounaineering experience required;
One should have glacier travel experience, solid cramponing and rock climbing skills up to 5.6 YDS. Continuous movement in exposed terrain should not be a problem. Elementary rope handling skills such as tying in, rappelling and belaying are required.

Excellent physical fitness;
you should be able to hike or climb for more than six hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 pounds and ascend 4,000 to 5,000 feet of vertical gain per day for up to a week.

  • Category: Alpine
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 2:1,4:2
These peaks are famous for a reason. So much has been written about the Eiger, the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc - all have been climbed many times…and yet the allure remains. When you arrive in Zermatt, Grindelwald and Chamonix, you will know why. We will climb via the Hornli ridge, the Gouter ridge and the Mittelegi ridge, but depending on conditions and client skills other routes are feasible. It must be said that this ten day program is ambitious and will provide you with a large amount of “mountain time”. Excellent physical condition and prior acclimatization are large contributors to the success of our goals.
Suggested Itinerary:
Day 1
We will meet in Grindelwald at 8 a.m. in front of the train station. We will take the train up to the Jungfraujoch and climb the Monch (4,000 meters). This ascent is quite basic, but serves as an excellent acclimatization climb in a spectacular environment. After the climb we return back to Grindelwald for a good night of sleep.
Day 2
We will take the same train up to the Eismeer Station and go for one of the most spectacular hut approaches in the Swiss Alps. The Mittelegihut is situated on the West Ridge of the Eiger. It is wild! You will know what we mean when you see it.
Day 3
Predawn start. The exposure is very much present all day. The climbing is never really hard, but it will get your attention. The entire traverse of the Eiger (3,960 meters) will take about 7 hours and we will end up at the Jungfraujochstation. A good night of sleep in Grindelwald will get us ready for the Matterhorn section.
Day 4
This is a transfer day. We will travel to the southern crest of the Alps and enjoy Zermatt for the rest of the day.
Day 5
After a mellow start, we hike up to the Matterhorn hut and then go check out the route entrance.
Day 6
This is summit day of the Matterhorn (4,478 meters). When all goes as planned it should only take us 5-7 hours. We’ll return back to Zermatt and spend the night there one more time.
Day 7
Another transfer day. We will drive to Chamonix via the beautiful Col de la Forclaz and get settled in Chamonix.
Day 8
The approach to the Tete Rousse hut should not take that long. That is ok, because the Mont Blanc summit day is plenty big.
Day 9
Fully acclimatized, we will climb Mont Blanc (4,807 meters), the highest peak in the Alps climbing the Grand Couloir to the Dome de Gouttet and the Valot Hut. From there the summit is in good striking distance. This day is not as technical or exposed as the other peaks, but the bulk of the mountain makes for a physical day. We should be back in Chamonix in the late afternoon and there should be enough time for a beer (or two).
Day 10
Rest, weather and/or extra day.
Please be aware that this itinerary is subject to change due to weather and general climbing conditions.

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THE ALPS TRILOGY
EQUIPMENT LIST AND FAQ’S
 
FAQ’S
WHERE SHOULD I FLY INTO?
YOU CAN FLY INTO GENEVA AIRPORT OR THE ZURICH AIRPORT. ZURICH IS A BIT CLOSER, BUT GENEVA WORKS FINE AS WELL.
HOW DO I GET FROM THE AIRPORTS TO GRINDELWALD?
BOTH OF THE AIRPORTS FEATURE A STATE OF THE ART TRAIN STATION RIGHT BY THE AIRPORT. TRAINS LEAVE IN EVERY DIRECTION EVERY HOUR.
FROM GENEVA YOU WOULD HAVE TO CATCH A TRAIN TO BERN, FROM THERE TO INTERLAKEN AND FROM THERE TO GRINDELWALD.
FROM ZURICH YOU WOULD TAKE THE TRAIN TO BERN, THEN TO INTERLAKEN AND FROM INTERLAKEN TO GRINDELWALD.
TRAVEL TIME FROM THE AIRPORTS TO THE HOTEL IN GRINDELWALD IS ABOUT 3 TO 4 HOURS WITH TRANSFERS.
FOR ACCURATE SCHEDULE INFO, PLEASE REFER TO:
HTTP://MCT.SBB.CH/MCT/EN/INT-GAESTE.HTM
WHERE DO WE STAY THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP AND IS IT EASY TO FIND?
WE WILL HAVE RESERVATIONS FOR YOU AT A CONVENIENT HOTEL. WE WILL COMMUNICATE HOTEL LOCATION AND TRAVEL DIRECTIONS TO YOU.
WHAT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO GET TO ZERMATT AFTER THE EIGER CLIMB?
YOU WILL BE WITH A GUIDE WHO WILL ORGANIZE THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FOR YOU OR WE WILL HAVE A CAR AT OUR DISPOSAL.
WHERE WILL WE STAY IN ZERMATT?
WE HAVE GOOD FRIENDS IN ZERMATT WHO OWN THE HOTEL CITY. CHRISTOPH AND ANJA ARE AVID OUTDOOR PEOPLE THEMSELVES (CHRISTOPH IS A MOUNTAIN GUIDE AS WELL) AND THEIR SMALL HOTEL WILL BE A WELCOME RESTING SPOT AFTER THE MATTERHORN CLIMB. www.cityzermatt.ch
HAVE YOU GUIDED THE MATTERHORN BEFORE?
YES, MARTIN HAS GUIDED THE MATTERHORN ABOUT 20 TIMES AND RINALDO HAS GUIDED IT MORE THAN THAT ON MULTIPLE ROUTES.
WHAT IF THE WEATHER DOES NOT COOPERATE?
THAT IS A POSSIBILITY. ALL WE CAN DO IS OUR PART BY BEING PREPARED. SINCE WE ARE FROM THE AREA, WE HAVE MANY ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS, WE HAVE TRANSPORTATION AND THE LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. WE WILL BE MOBILE. YOU UP YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCEEDING ON THE MATTERHORN BY ESSENTIALLY BEING PREPARED TO CLIMB IT RIGHT AWAY IF YOU HAVE TO, MEANING YOU DO NOT TREAT THE FIRST FOUR DAYS AS A LEARNING HOW TO ALPINE CLIMB PHASE. A PERSON WHO IS FIT, CAN GET READY TO BE
GUIDED UP THE MATTERHORN IN A FEW DAYS, BUT THIS MIGHT BE THE WINDOW WHERE THE WEATHER IS GOOD. 
AS EXAMPLES FOR GREAT PREP CLIMBS, PLEASE LOOK AT OUR NORTH CASCADES PROGRAMS LIKE THE CLASSIC NORTH FACE ROUTES OR THE MIXED MOUNTAINEERING COURSE.
HTTP://WWW.PROGUIDING.COM/TRIP/VIEW/MIXED-MOUNTAINEERING-CAMP-IN-NORTH-CASCADES-NATIONAL-PARK
HTTP://WWW.PROGUIDING.COM/TRIP/VIEW/CLASSIC-NORTH-FACES-OF-THE-NORTH-CASCADES
I SEE THAT YOU ARE DOING MONT BLANC LAST. WHY IS THAT?
THE MONT BLANC ASCENT IS PHYSICAL, BUT NOT THAT TECHNICAL. WE SHOULD BE WELL ACCLIMATIZED BY THEN, BUT MIGHT BE A BIT FATIQUED. THIS IS WHY THE DETAILPROGRAM SUGGESTS THE CLIMBS THAT REQUIRE A BIT MORE CONCENTRATION FIRS
WE DO STRESS THAT THE ITINERARY IS MOST AND FOREMOST DICTATED BY WEATHER AND GENERAL CONDITIONS. THIS MEANS THAT THE ORDER OF ASCENT COULD CHANGE.
EFFECTIVELY, THERE IS NO WARM UP PERIOD TO THIS WEEK IF THE WEATHER IS ON OUR SIDE. GOOD PREPARATION IS ESSENTIAL.
 
EQUIPMENT LIST
CLOTHING
•            BASE  LAYER
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            Non-Cotton Underwear
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Socks - 2 pair
•            MID LAYER
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece Jacket - only one of these is necessary
o            Soft shell type pants
o            Shorts
•            OUTERWEAR
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves - wind block or fleece/wool type
o            Warm Gloves
o            Gaiters - low top or full size
•            INSULATION
o            Down or Synthetic Jacket
PERSONAL GEAR
o            Day Pack - 35 Liter (2200 cu in.) minimum
o            Mountaineering Boots - leather or synthetic, crampon compatible
o            Headlamp – lightweight LED recommended w/ extra batteries
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Small Knife
o            Glacier Glasses
o            Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
              waterless hand cleaner (wet wipes) - there is no running water in the huts
o            Small Personal 1st Aid Kit - blister repair, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o            Sleeping bag liner – they can also be purchased in the huts
o            Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
TECHNICAL GEAR
o            Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, steel head only
o            Crampons – STEEL; NO ALUMINIUM, 12 point, pre-fit to boots
o            Anti-ball plates - for crampons
o            Climbing Helmet - UIAA approved only
o            Climbing Harness - mountaineering style (e.g. B.D. Alpine Bod)
o            Locking Biners (2) - (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
o            Non-locking Biners (4) - any style, we prefer wire gate type
o            Cordelettes (2) - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o            Sewn Slings (2) - 1 single length (60 cm), 1 double length (120 cm)
o            Ice Screws (2) - 13-17 cm length
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o            Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
o            Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) - nice to have for approach
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebook works
o            Compass - adjustable declination a must
o            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o            Warm Socks - to sleep in
o            Foot Powder
o            Cash - to purchase water and food in the huts
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS *Please contact the guiding office if you prefer to bring your own gear in place of any of our group gear.
o            Ropes
o            Technical Group Gear, (crevasse rescue kit, VHF radio)
o            Group 1st Aid Kit