Ascent to Matterhorn-14200 on 2017-09-12

Climber: David Alexander

Others in Party:Kevin Kent
Date:Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
Point Reached:Matterhorn - 14200
    Elevation:14200 ft / 4328 m
    Remaining Elevation:492 ft / 150 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Kevin and I left our bivy at 4:45 am and were at the base of the Hörnligrat just before 6, just in time for it to start lightly snowing. We soloed much of the route and made it to the Solvay Shelter by about 10:30am. By this time the wind was blowing pretty good and visibility was limited, but we decided to persevere up towards the summit. We encountered very hostile conditions on the upper part of the mountain, with howling winds, blowing snow, frigid temps, iced over fixed ropes, and unstable, powdery snow on terrifyingly exposed terrain. We turned around at 2pm about 400 feet shy of the summit, knowing full well that it was going to take just as long to descend as it did for us to ascend. After dozens of rappels and route finding hiccups, we reached the base of the route at last light and commenced the death march all the way down to Zermatt, where we arrived at 11:45 pm. Full value day!
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Descending in the late afternoon after turning back 400 feet shy of the summit. (2017-09-12). Photo by David Alexander.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Bivouac
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Windy, White-out
Ascent Statistics
    Start Trailhead:Bivy at Base of Iron Stairway  
Descent Statistics
    End Trailhead:Zermatt  

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