Matterhorn Prep Climbing Course

matterhorn w/ summer snow

A successful ascent of the Matterhorn by any route is a sterling achievement. It is a long hard day of up to 12 hours of sustained mountaineering where very high levels of fitness and stamina are required, as well as safe and efficient movement skills scrambling and climbing over technical terrain up to 5.7 in grade.

The Colorado Front Range has the perfect training ground of rock and alpine objectives to help in the unique training preparation needed for a successful ascent. As a technical alpine rock and snow/ice climb, The Matterhorn requires climbers to have previous experience rock climbing (5.7 grade) in boots and being comfortable climbing on steep firm snow and ice. Along with the technical level, summit day on the Matterhorn is an extremely physical day requiring climbers to be in excellent physical condition.

Matterhorn Prep_1_JSJ

Join CMS guides that are familiar with the Matterhorn, as we utilize the excellent and unique training grounds of Eldorado Canyon; the Flatirons; and Rocky Mountain National Park to help you develop your scrambling and rock climbing skills on terrain very similar to the Hornli Ridge on the Matterhorn.

This is an ideal way to hone your skills while climbing classic Colorado alpine routes as well as further developing a strong alpine skill levels and top physical conditioning under the tutelage of one of the CMS IFMGA / UIAGM guides.

Course Details


  • Very high level of cardiovascular physical fitness
  • Rockclimbing experience (preferrably up to 5.7 grade)
  • Moving over mountain terrain with a 20lb pack for up to 10 hours
  • Steep snow and crampon climbing experience (preferred)




Full & Alpine Style Climbing Days


4 Days

Maximum Ratio:


Minimum Age:


Price includes & Excludes:


  • Trained and/or certified guide
  • Group climbing gear
    • Technical hardware - climbing protection, carabiners,etc
    • Ropes
    • Technical softgoods - slings, cordellette, etc
  • Personal climbing gear
    • Harness
    • Helmet
    • Boots
    • Rock shoes
    • Crampons
    • Ice Ax
    • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe


  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Clothing, backpack and non-technical personal items
  • Park Entrance Fees (where applicable)
  • Rescue Insurance
  • Trip Insurance
  • Gratuity
  • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Colorado Mountain School

Equipment List:

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1:   AM Gear preparations and review equipment specifics in regards to the unique nature and demands of climbing the Matterhorn.  PM spent in Eldorado Canyon moving over 3rd and 4th class terrain in rock boots to get familiar with movement techniques, short rope climbing and descending transitions, and Matterhorn pacing.

Day 2: Ascent of 1st (and possibly 2nd) Flatirons above Boulder. Low level 5th class climbing coupled with lots of vertical mileage to practice movement, ropework, and fitness.

Day 3: Multi-Pitch Rockclimbing route up to 5.7 in Boulder Canyon or Eldorado Canyon to work on movement skills rockclimbing in boots at the necessary grade for a successful attempt of the Hornli Ridge

Day 4: Mixed climbing Alpine objective in RMNP such as the Spiral Route on Notchtop OR similar; requiring fast and efficient mountain travel and climbing in boots over mixed 5th class terrain at altitude.



Colorado Mountain School offers a 16 bunk lodge that is conveniently located upstairs from our office and classroom in downtown Estes Park.  The lodge features a full kitchen, WiFi, a lounge and hot showers. Reserve a bed now for just $40 per night (plus tax).


All of our courses can be run as custom outings.  If you're interested in a course, but it doesn't fit into your schedule, please check out our custom guiding options.