Ascent of Matterhorn on 2003-09-05

Climber: Tim Benjamin

Date:Friday, September 5, 2003
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
    Elevation:14692 ft / 4478 m

Ascent Trip Report

Our route was from the Hornli hut, having taken the ski lift to Schwarzsee and walking up to the hut from there, to stay overnight prior to a 5am start. The rock on the Hornli ridge was very loose. On the afternoon prior to the summit attempt, we scouted ahead to check the route in daylight, and there was a substantial rock fall. However the following morning's climb passed without event except for very strong winds at dawn. The climb itself is extremely arduous, approx 1000m of steep scrambling and some rock/mixed climbing. The descent, too, is hard work. A storm coming in late afternoon on the way down got us moving. The clouds closed in somewhat as we were well past the Solvey hut on the way down. There were a few inexperienced groups behaving a little dangerously (not using ropes!). The race back to the Schwarzsee ski lift at the end of the day was memorable as we only just made it, thoroughly tired. I was also pretty thirsty having accidentally dropped my water bottle from the upper slopes :-( A great day out, anyway, and we were pretty lucky with the weather.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Partly Cloudy

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