Due to the low snow year I had been anticipating an early start to the climbing season. I had been watching the activity on 14ers.com to see what people were climbing and what problems they had been having. I had also been watching the weather and when I saw a window I jumped on the chance. I left my home in Utah early on April 6th and after a 7 hour drive I headed up with a heavy pack (including skis and ski boots) towards the lower Matterhorn trail head. I made camp at about 10,100 where I had a flat spot and plenty of water.
On the 7th, I started moving at 5:30. I was able to put skis and skins on past the stream crossing after the upper Matterhorn Creek Trailhead and worked my way up to the bottom of the East Face where I transitioned to Crampons and ax.
View of East Face
Close up of the East Face The snow was very hard, especially toward the top and I moved to the rocks to gain the ridge just below the prow.
My great surprise of the day was the paucity of snow on the ramp headed to the summit pitch.
The ramp I left skis, poles. Ax and crampons at the bottom of the ramp and scrambled up in pretty much summer conditions.
Summit pitch from above I was on top admiring the glorious view at 10:30.
By the time I got back to the ramp the sun had done its work and the snow was almost perfect corn. The lower I got on my descent the better the skiing got. I seriously considered another lap but then remembered that I had a long way to go to get back to my car.
View looking down toward Matterhorn Creek
The trip down was uneventful but very long. I was back at my car 12 hours after I had started, very tired but very awed by one of the best ski mountaineering days I have ever experienced.