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Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

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Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby davebks » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:56 am

Hi all,
So I was poking around on a guide companies website that my friend is using for Aconcagua. They have a trip that covers all three of those legends, mostly standard routes, but in a whopping 10 days...
http://www.patagonicas.com/montt-blanc-matterhorn-and-eiger/

First, is this even possible?? It seems to me that each one would be its own trip.
I have always wanted to climb in the Alps and something like this would be a really cool trip, but it leaves a LOT of questions.
Have any of you climbed these peaks? What was your time frame?

Of course like I said, it raises a lot of questions but thought I would throw it out to you all before I dig too deep. :-k
Thanks!

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby runningstix » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:06 am

Wow that trip looks awesome! thanks for sharing
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift" Steve Prefontaine

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby climbing_rob » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:18 am

Mont Blanc is a 2 day trip, meaning take a lift to the Cosmiques Hut, sleep, get up early, round trip the summit in a long day via the Trois Mont route, then take the lift down. It is a very tough day, for me at least, 6000' of vertical because of a lot of up & down, crevasse and serac dodging, steep snow, I believe it was 15 hours. There is a slightly easier "standard" route, I forget what its called, but at least the "second easiest" route can be done in 2 days.

I cannot comment on The Matterhorn summit day because we got to that hut (Hornli Hut) and watched it snow for 2-3 days and came down, defeated. I guess that the physical effort would be slightly easier than Mont Blanc, but you have to hit the weather window just right. I also believe 15 hours may be close to average for the hut-summit-hut roundtrip. So maybe 3 days for this one total.

My pal climbed the Eiger by the std. route, again, long day but not Epic.

So 10 days might just do it, assuming 1-2 days rest in between each mountain, BUT to be successful, you'd have to have damn good luck with the weather.

BeaUUUUUtiful area, I highly recommend visiting.

Hope this helps a little.

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby robby40 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:36 am

:
Last edited by robby40 on Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby usfgal » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:00 pm

I know Mont Blanc and Matterhorn (and a few other "warm up" peaks) can be done in 9-10 days--there are guide services that have a pre-arranged itinerary with that time frame; I'd check them out just to see what they look like, even if you don't hire one. Went to Zermatt to do the Matterhorn last Sept and it snowed 3 days before we were supposed to go--the Hornli Hut closed for the season then and our guides told us the first night we met that we weren't going to even try. They did talk to us a lot about the peaks (Mont Blanc and Matterhorn--I don't know much about Eiger, other than its reputation). They are qualitatively very different. Mont Blanc is primarily mountaineering and no rock climbing. I am in good shape, and my guide told me I'd have little difficulty on that one. I don't think it's technically very difficult, but you do have to be in good shape b/c of the time you spend on your feet--it's a lot of sustained climbing and elevation gain. The Matterhorn is a different kind of challenge--tons of exposure and some 5.6-5.7 rock climbing sections. From the Hornli Hut, you walk for about 5 minutes and then it gets tough and stays that way. I am not a great rock climber, and my guide recommended that I focus on acquiring more experience in that realm. It is a long day, but not insane--4 to 5 hours from the Hornli Hut to the summit and about the same to descend back to the hut. That 4-5 hours assumes you don't get off route (easy to do when you're unguided) and that you keep moving at a decent pace with few breaks. There is another hut b/n the Hornli Hut and the summit. It is more than halfway up in terms of the distance, but most of the really tough climbing is from that point on, so you're only about halfway in terms of time. Zermatt is a cool place, and we had some awesome views of the Matterhorn. I am dying to go back!! If you do that peak (and/or Mont Blanc), please provide a trip report with a lot of details. I hope you are able to work out that trip! I am sure you can do it. Both Matterhorn and Mont Blanc are 2-day trips with the first day being a walk to the hut and the second day being tough with the summit and full descent. My guide said Mont Blanc can be done in one day, but he didn't recommend it. To get to the hut, I think you have to take a ski lift, so do your research on the time the lift station opens, cost of lift ticket, which one to take, etc. I don't think it's hard to do, just be aware of it. Someone else mentioned needing luck with the weather. With Mont Blanc, it's an issue, but fairly predictable (relatively speaking, anyway). I am not sure why the Matterhorn is so different, but apparently finding the weather window to summit is as much luck as anything else. High season ends in mid to late August, but after Labor Day your chances seem to diminish rapidly, so I'd shoot for the very end of August or 1st of Sept unless you don't mind crowded mountains. We went the week after Labor Day and our guides said the week before had been perfect. If you hire a guide service, a lot of them will work with you--especially if you don't need training--to allow for weather days, which will improve your chances at a summit. It's an expensive trip, so to not even have a chance to get on the mountain REALLY sucks!
If anyone has been on the Matterhorn, I'd be interested in hearing how their experiences compare to what the guides told us.

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby davebks » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:22 pm

First, Ueli Steck... yeah. ](*,) Not much to say about that one. Simply amazing.

Second, thank you all for your input. It's sounding like this might actually be an achievable dream here. Putting aside being in shape, and the weather, which are details I would ask more questions about in the actual planning, mostly I wanted to see if this was even possible.

I'd freaking love to climb all three of those. Wow, I never thought it would even be possible, but I said the same thing about Nepal, and I accomplished that goal with no problems. Of course, I would never go into this over confident about any of it. I just think it would be such an amazing experience to even be in the presence of such peaks and such history.

To continue the conversation though, Alpine Ascents offers the Matterhorn, but that's a longer trip and way more expensive, and it's only that climb. That's why I was confused about being able to do all three in such a short time. Maybe it has to do with the routes.

Hmmm... I might have to dig a bit deeper here. I've made the mistake of trying to see too many National Parks in a short time span when I should have just picked one, so I want to make sure I don't do the same thing here.
Well, any more input is of course appreciated. If this can happen I am thinking next summer.
Thanks again!!
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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby usfgal » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:46 pm

Here is a link to a 12-day itinerary that includes all three peaks, some acclimatization peaks, and weather days--I am sure the guide service would work with you to do 9 or 10 days.
http://www.cosleyhouston.com/12-day-monteigerhorn.htm
If you look into it, you will find several guide services that will do these peaks in a 1 to 2 week period--just e-mail them to find out about customizing it; most will work with you. Good luck!

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby climbing_rob » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:52 pm

What I do like about that Mont Blanc itinerary on that site you (davebks) posted is that it goes up from the Cosmiques hut (over the "trois Mont" route) and down the std. route, which makes for a nice tour. The descent of the Trois Mont was one of the toughest I've done, maybe from being wasted on the ascent, and there was some very soft steep snow on the way down that was nice and firm on the way up. What I don't like about that tour is the price, argh! We spent a small fraction of that, but we were not guided, huge difference.

Since we were aced off of the Matterhorn, we climbed other peaks in the Zermatt area. Monta Rosa, the highest point in Switzerland and second highest in central Europe (to Mont Blanc) was perhaps even more enjoyable and satisfying than Mont Blanc itself. HUGELY fun mixed snow/rock ridge run. There are many other fun ones in the Zermatt area, Castor, Pollux, Briethorn, etc.

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby fleetmack » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:55 pm

usfgal - was curious if you had made it up there, if you remember we just missed each other, i was in zermatt again in october, which i think is right after you left. glad you could enjoy the town even though you didn't make it up. that sucks, do you have plans to go back and re-climb?

speaking of the matterhorn, it's about time for me to swap out my picture of me jumping in front of it in favor of a summer climbing picture, eh? :) When we took that picture, we were originally trying to get pictures that made us look like we were jumping over the matterhorn, but we just couldn't get high enough on that day, the big kicker's weren't open :(

Cy misses the matterhorn
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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby jbchalk » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:40 pm

Davebks,

Here is my TR of the 3 Monts Traverse route on Mont Blanc from last summer: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=7254

Great mountain, nice route (albeit the crowds)...thought about giving the some other peaks a go, but instead decided on the beach, Paris, and plentiful amounts of vino with good friends :)

Hope this helps!

Brandon

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby davebks » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:53 pm

Those were great pics of your climb! Thanks for sharing.

For those that have climbed these peaks... did you use a guide? was it worth it? did you find the guide there, or from here? I guess it almost comes down to, pay the high price and try for all three, in a rush, or pay the even higher price (alpine ascents) and have a 1:1 ratio (matterhorn).

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Re: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger in 9 days??

Postby jbchalk » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:08 pm

No guide...just me, my wife, Caleb (RoanMtnMan) and his wife.

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