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Climbing Matterhorn

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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby desainme » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:35 pm

Since you may be in Coumayeaur you might as well check of the south side of the Val d'Aosta

<a href="http://www.summitpost.org/show/mountain_link.pl/mountain_id/3962">GRAND PARADISO GROUP</a> There is quite a wide range of summits here.
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby Moni » Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:56 pm

The experience and knowledge you gain from good instruction will last you a lifetime, which will probably be longer because of it. So looking at it that way, it is a bargain, especially if you want to become serious about climbing.
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby Bas Visscher » Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:21 pm

Hi Dan,

It might be good to tell you my experience on the matterhorn, hornliridge. I believe my experience of this climb is the experience many more climbers have on this route. I did an attempt 1,5 year ago, with a few friends and wthout a guide:

The Hornliridge does not offer nice climbing. The rock is loose and has bad quality. The route is hard to find if you are alone(not a problem if you have a guide) But the biggest problem of the Hornliridge is that it is very, very crowdy. There are lots of people waiting to use the fixed ropes at the difficult sections. You will lose time here. Many climbers means stonefall. The Zermatt guides are really bullies and they are arrogant to everyone. We aborted the climb at 4000m, because there was a very strong wind, but we also had a lack of time because of all the slow climbers.

During my climb i didn't felt i was climbing the matterhorn, i felt i was climbing some stupid rock. The Matterhorn itself is very impressive, the hornli ridge is not that special. I think i would have enjoyed the matterhorn more if i reached the summit, but the general feeling wasn't that good.

The reputation of Zermatter guides on the matterhorn is bad. There are guides who walk on purpose very fast, so their client is too tired to reach the summit. The guides can return early to home and they have earned their money. For the guides it is just business, they have reach the summit 100 times before.

My point is: think well about your 1200 euro. Climbing can be much better than the climbing is on the hornliridge of the matterhorn.
However i understand you are attracted to this mountain, as everyone off course!!

Greetings Bas
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby nitsch » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:06 pm

Salut

Sorry abou my english...
I'm living in Switzerland and I know the Apls quiet well. I started climbing in the Alps two years ago. For sure, everybody would like to climb once the Matterhorn. It's a beautiful mountain at least from far. I heard so much bad stories about the Hoernliridge - most of the people around here, they havn't done the Hoernliridge. The best way to climb the mountain might be the traverse (Lionridge and descent by the Hoernliridge).


But to be honest - climbing high peaks is not a game. Last year, I met a lot of people from all over Europe with very ambitenous plans. Some were good climbers others just a danger.
As you know, it might be possible for you to be shortroped up the Matterhorn. But why? Where is your interest? Go for a mountain by ourself, I'll feel much better.

My recommandation: there are a lot of very nice summits around Zermatt, go for them. (easiest one Lagginhorn, or Rimpfischhorn, Dom). They are crowded as well, but it's not the same as in Zermatt (and Zermattguides have really the badest reputation all over Switzerland). Try to do some easy peaks after having done a cours or training in Norway. A very nice and quiet easy climb is the Zinalrothorn - and the vieuw is wonderful, you'll see the Matterhorn the whole day.

Nitsch
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby SilvioV » Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:18 pm

I agree with you in looking for a professional mountain guide to climb Matterhorn since it is not a easy ascent especially for people that are not used to climb peak over 4000 meters and so steep and technical like Matterhorn.
Like you last Spring I decided to organize the Matterhorn ascent for the following Summer and since I was not very experienced I looked in internet for more information. I have contacted the Mountain Guide Christian Cesa from Coumayeur by mail, I have sent him my curriculum and ask for some suggestions about the ascent and the training. He suggested me to do something together before the Matterhorn to check my technique and my traning to be sure not to waste money and to be able to enjoy the ascent.
He is a nice guy, very professional, and very friendly. You can visit his website http://web.tiscali.it/cesa and send him an email.
We decided for the normal route by the Italian side and the cost was about 650 Euro. Moreover there were no costs for the hut.
I hope you can enjoy this beautiful ascent and such an extraordinary mountain.
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby signorellil » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:09 am

Dan, please, check your mail
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby bbirtle » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:07 pm

Dan,
Here's my advice on the matter --- I've been living in Zermatt since January 2005 and have climbed the Hornli Ridge myself:

First of all, you *definitely* need a guide given your lack of experience, ok we all agree there. Guides locally in Zermatt around around 1100 CHF. It's true you also have to do a "evaluation" climb with the guides - this is usually either part of the Breithorn Traverse or a climb on the Riffelhorn. Either is around 300 CHF additional as I remember. Go to www.zermatt.ch and call their information line as they speak English well and can give you the exact details and the "official" opinion (of the guides, which isn't necessarily better, but is different from the view on a forum like this).

You can of course also hire a guide that is not local as others have suggested. But I think to hire a guide in Zermatt should also be fine. It's true they get a bad reputation, but they are extremely competent about getting your to the summit and back safely and I've heard that they treat their *clients* (as opposed to fellow mountaineers) very well.

You need to be in extremely good shape. Practice doing the equivelent of a 1300m vertical climb - perhaps on some local hills or stairs - as fast as you can. Over and over. The better in shape you are, the better your chances of not wasting 1100 CHF not to get to a summit.

Most people here are North Americans for whom the idea of being guided blindly up a peak is blasphamous. But it's very common in the Alps. A mountaineering course would of course be helpful and fun, perhaps, but not strictly necessary. The guide will handle all the technical bits for you. Of course, the more experience you have, the better your chances of success.

Do the Hornli Ridge, not the Italian Ridge. It's easier and your chances of success are thus better as a complete beginner.

Be prepared for loose rock - although it was far better than I had been warned - but definitely HUGE crowds. Try to plan your trip in shoulder seasons, if possible, such as early September (although you have to be careful since the first snow stops all guided climbs) as in July/August there is typically more than 100 climbers on the mountain each morning. The guide will handle getting you there without worry, but the crowds will make it unpleasant. Just bewarned but do it anyway since it's an amazing mountain and an incredible feeling standing on the top.

I am not sure what gear you need to have when climbing with a guide. Probably you need a good pair of mountaineering boots (costing around 300 euros, probably) which you have broken in and are comfortable climbing with prior to coming to Zermatt. As well as serious, good quality outerwear including Gore-Tex jacket and waterproof ski/climbing pants, various fleece and thermal layers, very cold-weather gloves as well as thiner mountaineering-type gloves. I think you can probably rent the rest of the gear in Zermatt (try Matterhorn Sport).

This is not a climb for those afraid of heights. Throughout almost all of the climb, and especially more towards the summit, you will have a sheer drop of more than 1000m vertical on either side of you. You will probably be lowered on a rope by the guide over a sheer vertical climb part of the during the decent. You want to be sure you aren't going to freak out by the exposure before you pay the 1100 CHF.

You almost certainly need adequate insurance including helicopter rescue for this. It may be included with the guiding contract, best is to call them and see.

Generally speaking, the climb should be fine if you have the above gear, are in EXCELLENT shape, get lucky with the weather (you need clear skies and sun on your summit day), and can pay the various guiding fees. I think it should be a great experience and not dangerous for you (contrary to the other views expressed here). Have a great time and let us know how it goes!!!
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby signorellil » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:02 pm

> Do the Hornli Ridge, not the Italian Ridge. It's easier and your >chances of success are thus better as a complete beginner.

Not necessarily. The Italian route is technically a bit more difficult, but also very well equipped with fixed ropes. The climb is definitely more interesting than on the Swiss side (and more exposed) and there's not the insane crowds of the Swiss side. And the sense of accomplishment and "real" mountaineering is far greater om the Italian route.

If you're guided and the guide is good, and if you're in good physical shape (and not scared by heights) you've as many chances on the Italian route as in the Hornly.
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby bbirtle » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:13 pm

Signorellil, you could be right. I guess the climbing isn't all that more difficult than the Hornli Ridge and that's a good point about escaping all the crowds on the Zermatt side.... I've not actually done the route but do you think it's OK for a beginner, I mean, a person that has never ever climbed before? Probably yes...

- Brian
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby Bas Visscher » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:39 pm

Both the hornliridge and lionridge are not suitable for a beginner:-D....

I'm not really sure but i thought the Hornliridge was AD- and the Lionridge was AD. That means the rock on the Lionridge will be slightly more difficult, but i know that many of the passages are also equiped with fixed ropes.

I think your summit chances are comparable on both ridges. On the crowdy hornliridge you will lose time by waiting for other people. Time is very important during climbing. The lionridge is not that crowdy, but it is more difficult.
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby Gabriele Roth » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:47 pm

I think that beginners should not try to climb such a mountain ...depending only on mountain guides strenght and experience :))
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby desainme » Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:59 pm

Seems to me that this is a case of <b>Less is more</b>

Many peaks from
8,000 ft to 13,000 ft have been added to SP from Val dAosta alone.

It is like an unbalanced Christmas dinner. One ignores the salad, soup vegetables and steak only to grab a slice of cake and leave.
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Re: Climbing Matterhorn

Postby Diggler » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:21 am

Has anyone done the Zmutt ridge? The description of it here on SP, although seemingly sufficient in giving directions, does not offer a sense of difficulty (only to other ridges on the peak; if one hasn't climbed there, one can't compare!), nor give adequate advice on, for instance, gear to bring. Is the rock bad, decent...? How does it compare to the rock on the rest of the mountain? What kind of protection would one bring? How difficult are the hardest sections, & how sustained?

Thanks! This isn't in the immediate future, but I'd love to try this climb at some point!
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