Peak(s):  Matterhorn - Monte Cervino - 14692
Date Posted:  09/02/2016
Modified:  09/03/2018
Date Climbed:   07/20/2016
Author:  strudolyubov
 Matterhorn via Hörnli Ridge   

Route: Hörnli Ridge (Hörnligrat)
Dates: Jul. 19-20, 2016
Day 1: Approach to Hörnli Hut (Hörnlihütte) and scrambling up the lower ridge to the Second Couloir
Day 2: Summit climb and descent back to Zermatt
Grade: AD, up to IUAA III (YDS 5.4), if using fixed ropes; ~45 degree snow/ice
Route Length: ~1,700m with 1,200m vertical gain from Hörnli Hut to the Matterhorn summit
Climbers: strudolyubov (solo)


Approach to the Hörnli Hut (Hörnlihütte) (July 19, 2016)

Most climbers make it as an overnight trip, staying at the Hörnli Hut (Hörnlihütte). You need to reserve your place at the hut in advance. As of July 2016, a cost of stay there was 150 CHF, including dinner and breakfast. When arriving to Zermatt, climbers have two options getting to the hut:
1. Taking a lift to Schwarzsee (32.00 CHF single ride per person as of July 2016) and ascending a trail to the hut (~700m/2,300ft of ascent)
2. Hiking to the hut directly from Zermatt (~1,600m/5,200ft of ascent)

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Schwarzsee Restaurant and Hotel at the top of the lift. The trail to H�rnli Hut starts here.


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Hörnli Hut trail with Matterhorn towering above seen from Schwarzsee.


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Matterhorn seen from half way up the Hörnli Hut trail.


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Hörnli Hut with Monte Rosa group peaks seen in the background.


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Hörnli Hut deck provides a good view of the route.


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The headwall at the start of the route as seen from above H�rnli Hut. Note climbers descending using fixed ropes.


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Close-up view of the initial headwall.


After the initial headwall, the lower ridge is mostly a scramble/walk on a broken and often loose rock with sometimes tricky route finding. If you planning a pre-dawn start, it helps to familiarize yourself with the lower section of the route in the daylight prior to summit climb.

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The lower part of the route above the initial headwall and before the First Couloir (Erstes Couloir).


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Weisshorn Group peaks seen from the top of the initial headwall. Left-to-right: Dent Blanche, Obergabelhorn, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn.


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Type of terrain you will encounter around the Second Couloir on the lower part of the route.


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Looking down the lower ridge from below the Second Couloir.


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Two climbers descending before crossing the couloir.


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Evening light on Matterhorn. View from the ridge above the H�rnli Hut.


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Evening light on Monte Rosa Group. View from the H�rnli Hut.


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Alpenglow and Moon rising between Liskamm (left) and Breithorn (right).


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Alpenglow and moonrise over the Monte Rosa Group. View from the H�rnli Hut.


Matterhorn summit climb via the Hörnli Ridge (Hörnligrat) (July 20, 2016)

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Early morning on the East Face, Hörnligrat, Matterhorn.


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Morning light on the upper mountain. View from East Face below the Alte H�tte.


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Morning light on the Monte Rosa Group.


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Approaching the Solvay Hut.


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Looking down the slabs from Lower Moseley slabs.


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Looking down the Lower Moseley Slabs from the Solvay Hut.


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Tower above the Solvay Hut. The route turns it on the left via the Upper Moseley slab.


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Approaching the Lower Red Tower (Unter Roter Turm).


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View along the North Face of Matterhorn.


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Looking down the ridge from above the Lower Red Tower.


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Guided parties climbing the Shoulder snow field. This section of the route is equipped with metal stakes for belaying/rappels.


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Looking down the Shoulder snow field.


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The Shoulder Ridge and the Upper Red Tower seen from the top of the Shoulder snow field. Fixed ropes start half way up the reddish rock section.


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Climbers on the Shoulder Ridge with Weisshorn Group peaks seen in the background.


The steep rock section above the Upper Red Tower is equipped with fixed ropes and metal chains. The ropes and rock are often wet or icy. This is the most demanding rock climbing section of the route. The rock section with fixed ropes is followed by fairly steep snow and ice slope, the Dach (~45 degrees) with some rocky steps (see image below). This section is also equipped with metal pegs for belaying/rappels.

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The final snow/ice slope, Dach as seen from the summit ridge.


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Approaching the Swiss summit of Matterhorn.


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Guided parties traversing the summit ridge. Monte Rosa Group peaks are seen in the background.


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Matterhorn summit panorama west. Italian summit is in the center. Left: Dent d'Herens. Mont Blanc is in the background. Right: Dent Blanche.


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Matterhorn summit panorama east. Seen in the background (left-to-right): Weisshorn, Mischabel and Monte Rosa Groups.


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Matterhorn summit: looking down into Italy towards Breuil-Cervinia.


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Starting the descent.


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Weisshorn Group peaks (left-to-right: Obergabelhorn, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn) seen on the descent from H�rnli Hut.


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Meeting black-nosed Wolli the Sheep, the mascot of Zermatt.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
kushrocks

Hell yes
09/04/2016 12:33
Great job! Love the pics. How loose did you find the rock quality?


strudolyubov
Re: Hell yes
09/07/2016 20:41
kushrocks: Thanks!

On the lower part of the route around the couloirs there is some rubble and loose rock, especially if you stray away from the main line. The middle and upper sections of the ridge proper are pretty solid, but when you get to snow/ice sections, there is some loose rock that melted out here and there. The rockfall from the parties above can be a problem pretty much anywhere.



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