Classic climbs of the Alps
This expedition will take us to the two most famous mountains of Europe, both well above four thousand meters. Besides, we will spend a wonderful time in two charming alpine locations: Chamonix y Zermatt.
We fly into Geneve, Switzerland, and drive to Chamonix. We stay in a local camping site, right in the middle of the city.
Acclimatisation time. We will trek from the Eagle’s Nest (2,700m) to Tête Rousse plateau (3,300m)
From Saint Gervais we take the Tramway du Mont Blanc to the Eagle’s Nest. We then trek casually to the Tête Rousse hut, at above 3,200 metres. We bask in the sun and later enjoy the sundown.
We climb, through the Grand Coloir, up to Le Goûter, a shelter at 4,000 metres. We will use the fixed lines in the last section of the ascent. We will stroll on the glacier for a couple of hours. If weather permits, we will take wonderful photos.
We rise at five am, rope up and walk in the darkness for three hours. Just before sunrise, we take a break in the Vallot hut, where we sit, drink and munch some bars or chocolate. Half an hour later, we start traversing the Les Bosses arête, an impressive trek of many hundred of metres We see with excitement how the summit gets closer, and then we are there! With one foot in France and the other in Italy, we stando on top of the legendary Mont Blanc, birth place of alpinism.
We stroll at leisure to Le Goûter, where we eat and rest. We then descend to Tête Rousse, and two hours later we ride the Tramway to Belle Vue. That night we enjoy a great dinner in Chamonix.
We spend the morning walking around Chamonix, buying souvenirs and supplies. After lunch we drive to Switzerland. Three hours later we camp in Grächen, in the beautiful Valley of Zermat.
We take the train to Zermatt, and walk through this charming village to the cable car station. We get out at the Schwarz See, or Black Lake, terminus
The imposing Matterhorn gets taller as we walk during the next two hours to the Hörnli hut, a shelter at the base of the mountain, at about 3,000 metres. The views as the sun goes down are spectacular.
We leave at four am towards the summit. We climb at a regular pace for the next four hours. We have roped up, as the wall is very steep at times, and we have to negotiate some technical steps. At sunrise we are at the Solvay hut, at 4,000 metres. We then fasten our crampons, and go on climbing, using the fixed ropes available through the last few hundred metres, most of them on snow.
We finally reach the desired summit, and take unforgettable pictures, standing between Switzerland and Italy.
Four hours later we are back at the Hörnli hut, were we order spaghetti bolognesa. As a dessert, we savour the traditional Toblerone chocolate bar Toblerone, to celebrate the peak we have just conquered.
That evening we stroll around Zermatt, do some shopping, including a poster of the Matterhorn.
We dine some pizza and beer, and take the train to our base camp in Grächen.
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