getting ready for Matterhorn : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

As I said, I'm 54 and getting on up there, but I'd really like to climb the Matterhorn. I've done Grand Teton/Exxum route, Long's Peak, some Ice climbing, Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire, so I have been doing some degree of climbing in the last 7 years. I read your climbs around Chamonix; however, I don't know if I can hike from Chamonix toward Zermatt and get there in shape to do the Matterhorn. As an alternative, I'm thinking about starting in Saas Fee, and doing the relatively short hike from there to Zermatt to get acclimated before the summit try. Do you think this is a good idea? Would it be more fun to start in Chamonix anyway, and take a train when I'm worn out? Also, would you suggest Dent du Geant as anything special?

-- Sam Smith (, May 18, 1999


From Chamonix to Zermatt, there is a high traverse which takes about a week and follows the winter Haute Route. It is a splendid hike, however it involves glacier crossings, so a solo alpinist should be careful. I don't know very well about lower elevation routes to link the two towns, but I suspect they wouln'd be that enjoyable because the valleys are quite developped. Personally, I'd rather stay in the Chamonix or Zermatt area and do local hikes or climbs to get in shape. I've been told that the Hornl ridge is very crowded with loose rock, but that the Lion ridge is much better with respect to these problems. Dent du Geant is a pretty spectacular spire and is well worth the trip. From the summit you have commanding views of the range. The regular route (AD) has fixed ropes. You can combine it with the Rochefort Ridge for a very fine day out of Torino hut.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, May 18, 1999.

Dent du Geant has excellent views, but the regular route uses to be crowded in summer time. If you use the Fixed ropes you will have long waits.

-- Francisco Molina (, May 31, 1999.

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