LEVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MATTERHORN
If you don’t book a preparation climb with us, please be sure you meet the following criteria: physical fitness should be at a level ranging from very good to excellent, while prior acclimatization is necessary. Regarding technical skills, proficiency in basic movement within exposed 4th and easy fifth class terrain is required, along with adeptness in moving with crampons on rocks.
The Matterhorn is considered an icon in the Alps, probably due to its emblematic shape. When we were young, we used to draw mountains like perfect pyramids, didn’t we? The Matterhorn’s iconic shape is made even more impressive by the absence of other high mountains in the surrounding area.
The legendary “King” has always attracted the attention of mountaineers. Climbing it from both the Italian and Swiss sides requires good climbing experience and intensive training. Although it does not pose significant technical difficulties (thanks to the presence of fixed ropes that facilitate the climb), it is still a challenging ascent with many exposed and difficult sections.
We always recommend adding a few extra days to prepare adequately for the ascent and maximize your chances of success. Please, consider our Climb the Matterhorn in 6 days course, or, if you have a shorter timeframe but still want to prepare adequately for the climb, please check out our Climb the Matterhorn in 4 days course.
Depending on the chosen side of the climb, on the first day, we will either arrive at the Carrel on the Italian side or the Hörnli hut on the Swiss side. In the first case, the day will be quite challenging as the shelter is located at 3830 m. On the other hand, if the easier (but still challenging) pathway through Switzerland is chosen, it will take approximately 2.5 hours to walk from Schwarzsee station to reach the hut. The hut was completely rebuilt in 2015 on the 150th anniversary of the Matterhorn’s first ascent.
On the second day, the climb will take approximately 4 to 5 hours from both sides. The descent, which is always the most complicated part of climbing the Matterhorn, does not require abseiling. It’s all about having a deep knowledge of the route. The guide will always prioritize your safety, indicating the right direction at various crossroads that can mislead those unfamiliar with the mountain.
For those who want to climb the Matterhorn in the most complete and beautiful way, it is possible to cross it in two or three days (up the Swiss side and down the Italian side) with an overnight stay at the Carrel and/or at the Hörnli hut.