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Matterhorn - Difficulty

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Re: My climb

Postby MichaelJ » Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:46 pm

rockymtnclimber wrote:I did it guided, and would recommend it no other way.


Assuming you can always go faster with a guide, why not always use one? That's your logic and it's fine if your raison d'etre is being able to say you "climbed" the Matternhorn or whatever.

For some of us, how we climb something or fail to is more important. The challenges of route finding, the fact that it might take us 12 hours instead of six, or that we might not even summit--all of that is integral to the fact that we embrace the experience on our own terms.

Of course, some climbers would never be caught dead on a route like this just because of the type of people it attracts. Crowds, guides and gumbies are antithetical to why some of us go into the hills. Nothing wrong with popular dog routes or going guided (if that's your thing), please just acknowledge it's not the only way to do things.
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Postby rockymtnclimber » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:24 am

MichaelJ:

Of course, it's not the only way. As I said, it's the only climb I've done guided, and the only one I have any plans of doing guided. I think I feel pretty much the same as you about guided climbing. I single out the Hornligrat route as prime real estate for a guide for a number of reasons (the crazy route finding, the hundreds of people up and down it with guides - who will walk right over and around anyone not with a guide, and the fact that if you're doing the Matterhorn by that route, you probably are doing it to say you did it). I thought the north face and the NW ridge of the Matterhorn had very intriguing lines, and if I was going for pure mountaineering, that would be my choice. That would get you away from the crowds!

Mountaineering is a whole different animal in Europe. The idea of amateurs (as we all would be called, if not guides) tackling those mountains alone is largely a foreign concept. While I prefer the independent style and mentality, I just thought I'd offer that I had an incredible experience with a guide (despite being very reluctant to try it beforehand).
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Postby Attila the Hun » Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:22 pm

Why worry? Some use guides on the hills, some don't. It takes all kinds - that's the beauty of it - there's no point in getting caught up in 'philosphy of climbing' bull....
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Postby mvs » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:23 pm

A friend and I climbed it without a guide this summer. It was an excellent experience. It did take us 15 hours. Although we were certainly bemused by how long it took us, we were satisfied because that was our chosen style.

I finally wrote up a trip report about it. It's book-length, which sucks, unless you are keen to get all the info you can on what it's like being an ordinary duffer sans guide:

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/4 ... rhorn.html

(pictures are coming tonight...)
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:43 pm

mvs wrote:A friend and I climbed it without a guide this summer. It was an excellent experience. It did take us 15 hours. Although we were certainly bemused by how long it took us, we were satisfied because that was our chosen style.

I finally wrote up a trip report about it. It's book-length, which sucks, unless you are keen to get all the info you can on what it's like being an ordinary duffer sans guide:

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/4 ... rhorn.html

(pictures are coming tonight...)


I voted for it simply because it IS book length (and will help give people a realistic view).
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