Matterhorn Climb via Hornli Ridge

Guided Matterhorn Ascents: Hornli Ridge

Matterhorn from Hornli Hutte at Sunrise pano

This extraordinary mountain is famous not only for its place in mountaineering history, but also for its striking shape and the beautifully exposed climbing it offers. The Matterhorn remained for a long time the unclimbed dream summit of all alpinists; its technical difficulty combined with the impressive appearance of the steep walls made all the early climbers turn back. It was not until 14 July 1865 when a team led by British mountaineer Edward Whymper succeeded to reach the summit. They succeeded by a route which is today the normal route, known as the Hörnli ridge. Even today, nearly 150 years later, the Matterhorn is still a very respected and sought after mountain by all alpinists, and requires high levels of fitness, climbing experience and determination.

CMS’s Guided 7-Day Matterhorn Climb Program offers people the unique opportunity to enjoy a week of fantastic guided alpine mountaineering and climbing in the alpine climbing epicenter of Chamonix, France, before heading off for a safe and thoroughly prepared attempt at an ascent of the Matterhorn. Our program incorporates 4-days of acclimatization and training preparation – at a maximum guide ratio of 1:2; followed by 2 days (with an optional weather day) for the Matterhorn ascent, which is guided on a 1:1 ratio only.

Climbing the Matterhorn is a committing, challenging, and ultimately rewarding endeavor. It is essential that all participants have previous alpine mountaineering experience, are comfortable scrambling on steep and sustained rock, have familiarity with rope work; and experience using crampons on steep snow and ice, both in ascent and descent. The route we take is via the mountains’ first ascent route — The Hornli Ridge from Zermatt. The ascent is moderately technical but it is a very long rock climb (~4,000′) with some steep snow at altitude and loads of world-class exposure. Climbers must be very sure-footed on steep terrain and have lots of mountain travel stamina and endurance.

Course Details


***This is an extremely demanding climb and we require climbers to have prior experience before joining us. Matterhorn summit success comes from climbers that generally have taken and successfully completed a Matterhorn Prep program, or equivalent type experience. Climbers must be able to climb up to 5.7 in boots and be in excellent fitness as summit day is over 4,000ft of technical climbing.  If you are interested in joining our Matterhorn program, please contact us with a climbing resume.***  

Completion of a Matterhorn Prep Course or similar

OR acceptable personal climbing resume

Ability to climb up to 5.7 rock in mountain boots

High level of cardiovascular fitness and mountain endurance



Full & Alpine Style Days


7 Days

Maximum Ratio:

2:1 with 1:1 during the Matterhorn Summit Day

Minimum Age:


Price includes & Excludes:

Price Includes:

  • All IFMGA/UIAGM Licensed Mountain Guides from CMS
  • Lodging in Mountain Huts; Chamonix; and Zermatt
  • Meals while in mountain huts
  • Lift Tickets

Price Excludes:

  • Lodging while in Chamonix and Zermatt
  • Meals while in Chamonix and Zermatt
  • Global Rescue Insurance
  • Equipment rentals (if needed)

Meeting location:

This program will start with training days and acclimatization in Chamonix, France before moving to Zermatt, Switzerland for the ascent of the Matterhorn where we will finish.

Equipment List:

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Rockclimbing training day on the crags in the Chamonix Valley.

Day 2: Alpine Style Rockclimbing and Acclimatization training day on the Mont Blanc Massif above Chamonix.

Day 3: Alpine Style Rockclimbing and Acclimatization training day; stay in a mountain hut above Chamonix.

Day 4: Alpine Style Rockclimbing and Acclimatization training day; return to Chamonix.

Day 5: Transfer to Zermatt

Day 6: Approach to the Hornli Hut

Day 7: Matterhorn Summit Day and back down to Zermatt