The Matterhorn is without question Zermatt‘s defining mountaineering feature. First climbed in 1865 by Edward Whymper, it still attracts hundreds of mountaineers and climbers in the summer months. Whilst climbing the Matterhorn is strictly for professionals or with a mountain guide, Zermatt also has lots of sport climbing, Via Ferrata and easier mountaineering routes on offer.
Located directly behind our Les Perles chalets is the beehives sport climbing area. With routes starting at grade 3 for beginners it’s a great place to try your hand (and feet) at climbing. These routes are maintained by the local guides and for complete beginners it is necessary to hire a guide. For experienced climbers wanting something more of a challenge the route “Classic” is rated 6a and is a nice warm up before moving onto the 7s and 8a.
The second sport climbing pitch in Zermatt is located on the road up to the hanging bridge above Furi. Red rocks is more slab climbing and is more suited to intermediate and experienced climbers. It’s fantastic to climb here in the morning and then take a leisurely stroll back to Furi and past the fantastic mountain restaurants Zum See and Blatten.
The final Zermatt climbing pitch is tucked behind Restaurant Flualp. The routes up here vary from super easy 3s and 4s to much longer 20m 6s. The best thing about climbing up here is the walk in. From Blauherd one must walk past Stelisee with its spectacular views across to the Matterhorn.
Fixed Rope Climbing Routes – On the cliffs above the train station there are three fixed rope routes of varying difficulty, from SK2 (suitable for children from 10 years old, duration 1 hours) to SK4 (medium difficulty, duration 5 hours). You’ll need a harness and dual carabiner set, both of which can be rented. If this is your first time, we recommend hiring a guide.
There are 38 mountain peaks over 4,000m in the area including the Materhorn, a true paradise for alpinists. Here is a selection of the most popular climbs in the area.
Ascent of the Breithorn – For an introduction to mountaineering and a chance to summit a 4000m peak, the Breithorn is the perfect option. Taking the cable car from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn one can then hike a few hours to the Breithorn summit and take in the spectacular views. Suitable for experienced hikers who have never done a glacier ascent before. Trips can be booked through the Zermatters mountain guides and prices start from CHF 190 per person.
Ascent of the Matterhorn – One of the most difficult classic climbs in the Alps. You need to be mountain fit and experienced in rock climbing (level 4), both with and without crampons.
Castor and Pollux – are the twin 4,000 metre summits lying in the chain of peaks linking Breithorn with the Monte Rosa Massif. Castor is higher than Pollux and you need a mountain guide for the 1-day tour. It is a pure glacier trek of medium difficulty. This is where we got the inspiration to build and name our chalets Castor, Pollux and Gemini!
The Monte Rosa massif, is the highest mountain in the Swiss Alps. Flanked by glaciers, it has ten peaks higher than 4,000 meters, and lies partly in Italy. The Dufourspitze (4,634 meters) in the Monte Rosa massif is Switzerland’s highest peak. Depending on your fitness you can do several ascents in the Monte Rosa massif, over multiple days with a mountain guide.
There are numerous other famous peaks like Weisshorn, Dom, Täschorn, Liskamn and others just waiting to be conquered. An experienced mountain guide is necessary when attempting any high ascent and thankfully there are plenty around.
Why don’t you pack your climbing gear and come to Zermatt for a memorable climbing and mountaineering holiday! A Mountain Exposure luxury chalet with a jacuzzi and a sauna is the ideal cozy base to return to after a hard day’s climbing. Our dedicated year round team will be delighted to give you any further information that you may require on Zermatt and offer the ideal chalet for you.