a friend and I are considering climbing the Matterhorn next summer. We are still in the early stages of planning, but so far the Lion ridge looks much more appealing than the Hornli. We have a concern, though: as far as we can see, the way you are "supposed" to climb is by pulling on fixed lines, or even using a ladder at the top.
I expect that the AD grade reflects this, so the questions we have are:
- if not using this fixed gear, how serious does the climb become? I'm especially worried about the Jordan stairs near the summit, since they are supposed to be overhanging.
- how much of a pain would it be to not use the fixed lines if there's a crowd pulling on them? I would be worried about running it out only to have someone push me out of the way while they are ascending the cable.
- if climbing on our own pro makes us so slow that we lose daylight, are there suitable spots for bivying?
If anyone has climbed the route or has information on these questions, that would be great!