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Alps Trilogy- Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, and Eiger

Since the birth of mountaineering, these three peaks have fascinated alpinist like no others: Mont Blanc because its ascent heralded the dawn of alpine climbing, and because its 15,771-foot summit is the highest point in Western Europe; the Matterhorn because of its appearance as an unclimbable rock tower; and the Eiger, with its dark, brooding North Face, the last of the “Three Great Problems” to be conquered.

Though now climbed regularly, these peaks still offer a unique and unmistakable alpine challenge, and the character of the climbing encountered on them is as diverse as the peaks themselves. On Mont Blanc the primary challenge is high altitude glacier climbing, where weather, snow and ice conditions, acclimatization, and personal fitness all combine to provide the key to a successful summit climb. In contrast, the ascents of the Eiger and Matterhorn call upon technical rock skills and the ability to move quickly and efficiently along the spiny crests of their exposed alpine ridges. Because the three peaks are located in very different parts of the Alps, each gives the climber an unusual opportunity to explore the cultural and environmental diversity of this magnificant mountain range.

Photos

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Matterhorn/Eiger


Mont Blanc

Tentative Itinerary:

Day 0 Arrive in Grindelwald no later than today. Meet for dinner, equipment check, and go over itinerary.
Day 1 Take the incredible Jungfraujoch Railway which tunnels through the depths of the Eiger and we climb the Monch, which is one of many 4,000 meter peaks in the area. The climb is along a nice alpine ridge, then follow a narrow snow arête to the summit. It is a moderately exposed alpine route and serves as a great acclimatization peak. We then take the train back to Grindelwald.
Day 2 We take the train back up, but get off at the Eismeer Station for our approach to the spectacularly positioned Mittelegi hut. We exit onto the glacier through a tunnel, climb a few technical rock pitches and scramble on 3rd class terrain to the Mittelegi hut, where we rest for our summit day.
Day 3 We get an early start to climb the Mittellegi Ridge (East Ridge of Eiger). The climbing along the ridge has grand exposure, excellent position, and sound rock (generally 4th and low 5th class) right to the summit of the Eiger (3970m/13,025’). We descend the west ridge and catch the train back to Grindelwald for the night.
Day 4 This is our travel day to Zermatt. We arrive by mid-afternoon and our goal is to rest and relax for the Matterhorn.
Day 5 After another morning of sleeping in, we ride the lift and casually hike the 2.5 hours to the Hörnli Hütte (10700 ft). Another early night in preparation for our pre-dawn start.
Day 6 We leave the hut fully equipment and make our way up the Hörnli Ridge (north-east ridge of the Matterhorn). The route starts off easy and as we approach the Solvay hut (the half way marker), it begins to steepen. The final ridge is highly exposed and reaching the summit of the Matterhorn (14689 ft/4,478 meters) will blow your mind! The descent will take as long if not longer then the climb. One can expect 8-12 hours roundtrip. We spend the night in Zermatt.
Day 7 Transfer day to Chamonix, then rest and relax for Mont Blanc.
Day 8 There are two main routes up Mont Blanc in the summer, the Goûter route or the Traverse of the three summits (Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit, and finally Mont Blanc). We will choose a route based on conditions and will stay in one of these high alpine refuges (Cosmique, Tête Rousse, or Goûter).
Day 9 Summit day of Mont Blanc. At this point, we should be fully acclimatized and ready for Mont Blanc (15,782 feet/4,810 meters). With yet another alpine start, we weave around countless crevasses on immense glaciers and slowly make our way to the summit. The climbing is much easier then the Eiger and Matterhorn, it is just a long day and requires good endurance. Depending on the route, we descent back to Chamonix or stay another night in a hut.
Day 10 Descend back to Chamonix.

Getting To and From

We recommended flying into and out of Geneva or Zurich. Zurich is closer to our starting point in Grindelwald and Geneva is closest to Chamonix, where we finish (about an hour).  Both airports have an excellent rail system with trains leaving usually every hour.  Generally, it will take only a few transfers to get to Grindelwald, listed below:

Geneva -> Bern -> Interlaken -> Grindelwald
Zurich -> Bern -> Interlaken -> Grindelwald

Make sure there is a train that suits your itinerary, by checking the Swiss Rail website.

If you flew into Geneva, it is best to get a shuttle (30€) from Chamonix to Geneva at the end of the trip.  Below are links to the shuttles services in Chamonix.

Price Includes:

  • – IFMGA guide for 10 days
  • – Expenses for the guide
  • – Technical equipment

Price Excludes:

  • – Travel to and from Geneva/Zurich
  • – Travel to each location
  • – Hotel and Hut fees
  • – All Meals
  • – Rescue insurance
  • – Travel insurance
  • – Gratuities
  • Dates:
  • Cost:
  • $7,000 1 climber to 1 guide
  • $6,500 2 to 1 (only Mt. Blanc)

Pertinent Info:

Alpine Trips


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