The Matterhorn is considered to be an icon in the Alps. Probably due to its emblematic shape (when young, we did draw mountains like perfect pyramids, didn’t we?), made even more impressive by the absence of other high mountains in the surrounding area.
The legendary “King” has always attracted mountaineers’ attention. Its climb, both from the Italian and the Swiss sides, requires a good climbing experience and intensive training; in fact, although it does not present any significant technical difficulty (thanks to the presence of many fixed ropes that facilitate the climb), it is a challenging ascent, which presents many exposed and hard sections.
Depending on the chosen side of the climb, on the first day we will arrive either to the Carrel on the Italian side, or to the Hörnli hut on the Swiss side. In the first case, the day will be quite challenging, as the shelter can be found at 3830 m. On the other hand, if the easiest (but not so much) pathway through Switzerland is chosen, it will take approx. 2.5 hours walking from Schwarzsee station to reach the hut (completely rebuilt in 2015, on the 150th anniversary of the Matterhorn first ascent).
On the second day, the climb will take approx. 4/5 hours from both sides. Same goes with the descent, which is always the most complicated part in climbing the Matterhorn; here, abseiling is not required. It’s all about having a deep knowledge of the route: the Guide will always look after your safety, indicating the right direction to take to the various crossroads, which can mislead those who do not know 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 days (up the Swiss side, down the Italian one), with an overnight stay at the Hornli hut, or in 3 days (for a more comfortable ascent; night at the Carrel hut and night at the Hornli hut).