Overview:

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.

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 level and top physical conditioning under the tutelage of one of the CMS guides.

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.

 

Lodging:

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).

Notes:

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.

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

    Prerequisites:

    • Very high level of cardiovascular physical fitness
    • Outdoor rockclimbing experience up to the 5.7 grade
    • At least 3 different alpine climbing objectives or peaks that required moving over 3rd to 5th class mountain terrain with a 20lb pack for up to 12 hours
    • Steep snow and crampon climbing experience (preferred)
    • a CMS Mountaineering or Rock Climbing Development Series: Level 1 Course (or similar)

    Time:

    Full & Alpine Style Climbing Days

    Duration:

    4 Days

    Maximum Ratio:

    2:1

    Minimum Age:

    18

    Includes:

    • Trained and/or certified guide
    • Group climbing gear
      • Technical hardware – climbing protection, carabiners,etc
      • Ropes
      • Technical softgoods – slings, cordellette, etc

    Excludes:

    • Personal climbing gear
      • Harness
      • Helmet
      • Boots
      • Rock shoes
      • Crampons
      • Ice Axe
      • 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
    Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
    Approach Shoes

    These are “hiking” shoes specifically made for approaching and descending from a climbing venue where scrambling is necessary, or even for climbing an entire route. They have sticky climbing rubber on the bottom and a formed fit to influence better climbing abilities while scrambling. Consider high-tops for additional ankles support if needed. Regular hiking boots or athletic shoes may be acceptable for many climbs.

    1

    Men: La Sportiva TX3 Men
    Women: La Sportiva TX3 Wmn

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Backpack: 18-25 liter

    This small pack is carries one’s approach shoes, water, food, extra layers, and toilet kit on the route. This pack should close completely so that no items can fall out.

    1

    CAMP M2 20L

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Baselayer Bottoms

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

    1

    Men: Rab Forge Leggings
    Women: Rab Forge Leggings

    Rab

    Clothing
    Beanie or Fleece Hat

    Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

    1

    Rab Logo Beanie

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Belay and Rappel Device

    Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

    1

    CAMP Piu 2

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Climbing Harness

    UIAA or CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

    1

    CAMP Laser CR

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Cotton Socks

    Cotton Socks are acceptable for most rock climbing days. Synthetic and merino wool socks tend to be too hot and make climber’s feet sweat excessively.

    1

    Point 6 Socks

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Food

    Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

    1

    Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Gaiters

    These are instrumental when wearing crampons. They protect your softshell pants from getting ripped and keep snow out of your boots.

    1

    RAB Latok Extreme Gaiter GTX

    RAb Store

    Clothing
    Lightweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

    2

    Men: Rab Forge LS Tee
    Women: Rab Force LS Tee

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Lightweight Gloves

    Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

    1

    RAB Power Stretch Pro

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

    Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Long and Short Sleeve T-shirt

    Cotton or Synthetic and Merino Wool; Bring a variety of short-sleeve or tank tops, and a few long-sleeve. Long sleeve cotton t-shirts can be nice for the crack climbing days. Synthetic shirts are not required for rock climbing, but some may prefer the feel and quick-dry performance.

    1

    Rab Stance Tee

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Midweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

    1

    Men: Rab Nucleus Hoody
    Women: Rab Nucleus Hoody

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Midweight Softshell Glove

    This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

    1

    RAB Guide2 GTX Glove

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Mountaineering Axe

    Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

    1

    CAMP Alpina

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Mountaineering Boots

    Waterproof, insulated, leather or synthetic boots. Two levels of boots can be appropriate depending on the season, conditions, and personal needs. These boots have rigid and semi-rigid soles so they climb rock well and are compatible with crampons. 1. Lightweight (May - October): This is a single-layer, semi-insulated, waterproof boot, such as the La Sportiva Trango Cube. 2. Mid-weight (October - June): This is a single-layer, insulated boot, such as the La Sportiva Nepal.

    1

    Men: La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX 0r G5
    Women: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Women's or G5

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Mountaineering Crampons

    Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

    1

    CAMP Alpinist Universal

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Neck Gaiter

    "Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

    1

    CMS Neck Gaiter

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Rock Climbing Helmet

    UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

    1

    CAMP Titan

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Smartphone

    Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

    1 Optional
    Softshell and Fleece Jacket

    Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

    1

    Men: Rab Salvo Jacket
    Women: Rab Salvo Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Softshell Pants

    Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

    1

    Men: Rab Vapour Rise
    Women: Rab Upslope

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Sports Bra

    Provides support and allows for full range of motion

    1

    North Face Beyond the Wall

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sun Hat

    A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sunglasses

    "Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

    1

    Julbo Shield

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

    Travel size.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

    Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

    1

    Men: Rab Electron Jacket
    Women: Rab Electron Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Synthetic or Merino Wool Socks

    Wool and synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

    2

    Point 6 Hiking Light Crew

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Thermos

    Many ice climbers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Water Bottles

    1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

    2

    Nalgene, Hydro Flask

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Water Purification Tablets

    Iodine or Chlorine-based treatments; To keep packs light in the summer during early morning approaches, your guide may suggest only carrying a liter or two of water, with the plan to refill during the day at a stream.

    6 tabs/day

    Aquamira, Potable Aqua

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Waterproof Shell Jacket

    Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

    1

    Men: RAB Ladakh GTX Jacket
    Women: RAB Women's Kangri GRX Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing

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