A Climb Steeped in History

Matterhorn

The Matterhorn is undeniably the most magnificent and well-known peak in the Alps. Its bold pyramidal shape evokes emotions of wonderment and even fear in those who view it for the first time as its four distinct faces stand omnipotent and menacing over the green meadows below.

With its formidable history and the magnificent grandeur of its architecture, the Hörnli Ridge on the Matterhorn is a climb that is definitely worth aspiring to.

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Difficulty Level Very High ?
Fitness Level Medium ?
Duration 6 days
Elevation 4,478M / 14,691FT
Large view

Stand atop one of the most iconic peaks in the European Alps. - Chris Ensoll

Large view

One of Europe's most iconic climbs - Olivier Baron

Large view

A long and technical alpine rock route - Mike Roberts

Large view

The Matterhorn stands tall above it's surrounding mountains - Olivier Baron

Large view

Challenge complete - on the summit of the Matterhorn - Mike Roberts

Large view

The magnificent Matterhorn - Tammy Schiro

From July to September
Departs from Chamonix, France or Zermatt, Switzerland
RATIOS 6 DAYS
Ex Chamonix (1:1 Only) €4,800 EUR
Ex Zermatt (1:1 Only) €5,700 EUR
  • Overview

    • Classic peak with centuries of history
    • Long and technical route
    • Cable car access and high-class mountain huts


    Perhaps the most magnificent and well-known peak in the Alps, the Matterhorn needs little in the way of introduction. Separated by sharp ridges, the four faces of the Matterhorn are orientated to the four points of the compass, the northern aspects within Switzerland while the southern side lies in Italy.

    The peak was first climbed in 1865 by Edward Whymper via the famous Hörnli Ridge, the route that we also follow to the summit. The steep rock ridge is very involving and a successful attempt requires a rapid rate of ascent and full concentration by a fit party.

    Climbers must be competent on long alpine rock routes to be able to seriously attempt the climb, but for the initiated, achieving the ascent will be the real highlight of a climbing trip in the Alps.

  • Why AC?

    We offer focused guide attention to ensure consistency across the program. Whilst other operators combine you with large groups on training days we know your safety will be better protected and the learning progressions will be enhanced with the attentive care of your guide and smaller guide to climber ratios.

    Adventure Consultants guides are BMG/NZMGA and / or IFMGA-UIAGM qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest industry standards.

    Being a technically proficient climber alone is not enough to work with us; our standards demand that trip leaders are great guides as well. You will find your guide friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip in line with your objectives and comfort level.

    Success with the highest margin of care is always a hallmark of our approach; promoting the realisation that even extreme pursuits such as high altitude mountaineering can be undertaken safely.

    Adventure Consultants only employs IFMGA qualified guides for European ascents and courses and this is the only certification that is recognised in the French Alps. In order to gain these qualifications guides must undergo rigorous training and assessment on climbing skills, instructional skills, avalanche training and assessment, wilderness first aid, rescue training and much more. The qualification takes many years to attain and ensures you are getting a world class professional service.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Qualified mountain guide
    • Group technical equipment
    • Lift passes as per the scheduled itinerary
    • Hut accommodation as per the scheduled itinerary
    • Hotel accommodation on a B&B basis during trip dates as specified on the schedule, including first / last night of your trip
    • Local ground transport as per the scheduled itinerary
    • Breakfast & dinner during mountain component of course / trip


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Any costs that are additional to the programme that come about due to changes to the programme caused by weather or organisational changes (any changes will generally be due to factors outside our control such as weather, lift failure, etc. and actioned only after you have been consulted by your guide)
    • Personal mountaineering clothing and equipment as per lists supplied
    • Evening meals during hotel nights in town
    • Lunches during the climbing days
    • Additional meals or snacks/drinks purchased from huts/hotels
    • Insurance
    • Transport to and from trip departure location (although we can arrange it for you)
    • Gratuity

    Account Information

    For our European ascents and courses, prices are in EUR€ and must be settled in EUR€. All prices are subject to change.

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following EUR€ bank and account:

    Bank of New Zealand
    Offshore Branch
    Wellington
    New Zealand

    for the account of Adventure Consultants Limited

    Account Number: 1000-594771-0002
    Account Type: Euro Dollars
    Swift Address: BKNZNZ22

    We can also accept your deposit and balance payments by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) plus a 3% credit card transaction fee.

    Please note that in order to reserve a guide we recommend that you book well in advance. This especially applies to the high season period (early-July to end of August).

    Deposit

    In order to confirm a guide and your trip, we require a completed Booking Form and a deposit of EUR500.

    Balance Payment

    Full payment is due 60 days prior to the start date for your course/ascent. We will send you receipts for all payments.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 60 days prior to your trip commencement date.

    • Cancellations outside of 60 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
    • Inside 60 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • Inside 30 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 75% of the full fee.
    • Inside 15 days of the departure date forfeits 100% of the full fee.


    We recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent.

  • Trip Notes

    Matterhorn ex Zermatt 2019Matterhorn ex Chamonix 2019The Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Matterhorn Guided Ascents.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following links:

    Matterhorn Guided Ascent ex Zermatt 2019
    Matterhorn Guided Ascent ex Chamonix 2019

    Our Guides

    IFMGA NZMGA BMGAdventure Consultants guides are BMG/NZMGA and / or IFMGA-UIAGM qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest industry standards.

    Being a technically proficient climber alone is not enough to work with us; our standards demand that trip leaders are great guides as well. You will find your guide friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip in line with your objectives and comfort level.

    Success with the highest margin of care is always a hallmark of our approach; promoting the realisation that even extreme pursuits such as high altitude mountaineering can be undertaken safely.

    Adventure Consultants only employs IFMGA qualified guides for European ascents and courses and this is the only certification that is recognised in the French Alps. In order to gain these qualifications guides must undergo rigorous training and assessment on climbing skills, instructional skills, avalanche training and assessment, wilderness first aid, rescue training and much more. The qualification takes many years to attain and ensures you are getting a world class professional service.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Amelia Crofut-BrittinghamAmelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison

    Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison for European and Himalayan Operations. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.

     

      
    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Your Health

    Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.

    Level of Experience Required

    To climb the Matterhorn you need to be fit, have strong physical and mental stamina and be capable of strenuous exercise for several days duration. Prospective climbers must be competent in rock and alpine climbing practices and be aware that your ability to succeed will be determined more by your current condition and capability, than previous ascents you may have made in the past. You will need to be proficient in snow/ice techniques and cramponing.

    In order to get up this long route, prospective climbers must be confident in rock climbing in alpine boots to grade US 5.7/ AUS 15/ UK HS and be capable of moving at a steady pace for extended periods in technical terrain on snow and rock. It is imperative you have a high degree of cardiovascular fitness to cope with the strains of the climb and the altitude.

    In your build-up to the climb it would be appropriate to be rock climbing regularly as well as training on hills for overall fitness. Your climbing history will include ascents of long and technical multi-pitch alpine routes, and you will be an active rock climber, current with use of rope skills and snow and ice climbing techniques.

    Even climbing at the moderate altitudes in Europe has a definite physical effect on people. Most climbers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Summit day is physically demanding and a dedicated training programme is essential to enhance your chance of success. It is preferable to spend a few days at altitude prior to your scheduled climb to assist with your acclimatisation. Climbers regularly attend our Pre-Course & Acclimatisation Programme in Chamonix prior to partaking in the ascent.

    Difficulty Rating

    Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    To make the most of your climbing experience you must train in the months leading up to your trip. By adopting a programme of running, cycling and/or hill walking you will greatly increase your chance of success on this peak. Build up your training until you are able to hike on consecutive days for at least 8hrs whilst carrying a 10kg / 22lbs pack, incorporating the elevation gain of over 1200m/4000ft which is required on summit day. A regularly rock climbing programme is also essential. Your guide will be attuned to your fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly; however it is essential that you arrive physically prepared to succeed on this mountain. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your ascent.

    Insurance

    We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury or mishap prior to/or whilst on our trips.

    While our focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is the potential for mishap. If you were injured whilst on the trip there is a very efficient rescue service nearby. We also advise getting trip cancellation insurance to cover you should you be forced to cancel your participation prior to the trip starting.

    History

    The European Alps are full of climbing history. It is the birthplace of mountaineering and its rich heritage adds to the superb facilities (catered huts and lift systems) catering for mountaineers not seen elsewhere.

    The Hörnli Ridge is the route by which the Matterhorn’s first ascent was made in 1865 by the tenacious Englishman Edward Whymper after many attempts on the mountain. In what became the most famous alpine calamity of all time, the group suffered a terrible tragedy on the descent when a rope broke resulting in the loss of four of the party.

    Food

    Adventure Consultants will provide breakfasts for the duration of the trip and evening meals on hut nights while the trip is running. This is from breakfast on Day 1 until breakfast on the final scheduled day of your trip. You will be responsible for your own lunches and snacks each day and your own evening meals on non-mountain nights in town. This allows you to experience the exciting culinary options available locally. Any additional food, beverages or meals you purchase that are not mentioned in the inclusions will be at your own expense.

    It is a good idea to bring a small selection of your favourite snack food and hydration drinks with you to ensure you are fuelled by your preferred brands. Actual amounts depend on your consumption but two per day in addition to your lunch would seem reasonable.

    If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.

    Accommodation

    Accommodation is provided on a twin share B&B basis from the arrival evening on day 0 through to and including the night of day 6. Accommodation in the mountains is in mountain huts in shared bunk rooms or dormitory rooms. Blankets are provided and no sleeping bag will be required although you will require a sleeping bag liner for personal hygiene under the provided blankets. There are no single supplement or private rooms available in the mountain huts but we can arrange this for you in Chamonix, Zermatt or Schwartzee. We can also arrange an upgrade to four or five star hotel accommodation – ask about the hotel options if interested.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Climbing in the European Alps requires you have high quality clothing and equipment due to the extremes of weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment to keep you warm and comfortable during the climb.

    Your Guide will go through the equipment checklist with you at the beginning of your trip. Actual equipment taken may vary subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. You can rent technical equipment for the climb but you must provide your own clothing appropriate to mountaineering as per the equipment list. Group equipment including ropes and technical hardware will be organised by your Guide.

    Communication & Messages

    Our guides are in cell phone communication with our operations base throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, lift and accommodation co-ordination and safety back up. Your own mobile phone should work in the region though you may want to check with your own service provider first. Local mobile phones can be rented at the international airports.

  • Itinerary

    Day  
    0 Arrive Chamonix, hotel night.
    1 Meet with your guide for an equipment check and briefing before taking La Flégère and l'Index lifts to 2,385m.Traverse the peaks of Aiguille de l’Index and return via La Flégère lift. Hotel night.
    2 To Midi lift and acclimatise on the traverse of Pointe Lachenal (3,613m), AD. Return via the Arête des Cosmiques and the Midi lift. Overnight at Cosmiques Hut.
    3 Walk across the Valle Blanche and enjoy a traverse of the Entréves. Take the Panoramic lift back across and descend to Chamonix. Hotel night.
    4 Drive to Täsch in Switzerland, take the train into Zermatt itself. Take lift to Schwarzsee and walk to Hörnli Hut (2hrs).
    5 Summit Day - 3.00am start. Descend back to Hörnli, and continue down to Schwarzsee hotel.
    6 Descend to Zermatt and return to Chamonix with a bit of rock climbing en route. This is also a contingency day in case of bad weather. Hotel night.
    7 Depart Chamonix after breakfast. Trip Ends.

    Your guide will meet the morning after your arrival in Chamonix, France, for an equipment check and briefing about the upcoming program and anticipated weather conditions. You will then start the training by taking a lift to a high mountain region close to Chamonix where you will make ascents of appropriate training routes on the Aiguille de I’Index. This is the time where you get to practice climbing skills and start to acclimatise for the ascent of the Eiger in the final days of the program.

    The following day you will ascend to the Aiguille du Midi to climb the Arête des Cosmiques (AD, 3,800m) which is a very enjoyable climb on mixed snow and rock. In addition to being a really good day out in the mountains, this will help to consolidate your acclimatisation and to get some good climbing under your belt to get you well prepared for the upcoming ascents. Once training has been completed you will travel with your guide to Switzerland and ascend to the Hörnli Hut on the lower part of the Matterhorn’s Hörnli Ridge to prepare for the ascent the following morning.

    First and foremost, weather and conditions have to be favourable for a safe ascent of this serious peak. Although success cannot be guaranteed, we have developed our approach to give you a serious chance of attaining an ascent of this classic route.

    The ascent is based entirely on a 1:1 guiding ratio. While some operators will clump you together with large groups during the early acclimatisation phase we feel there is much to be gained on warm-up routes that get you prepared for the upcoming rigours and technical challenges that you will face.

    We program the trip over 6 days / 7 nights to include the necessary period of acclimatisation before making an ascent at this altitude. We consider it vital that you work closely with your guide throughout the week to develop the appropriate level of communication and trust to collectively make the ascent as a partnership of two people on a rope. Extra days can be added to the programme for additional acclimatisation and preparation days by signing up for our 2 day Europe Pre-Course and Acclimatisation Programme.

    Day  
    0 Arrive Zermatt. Meet guide in evening for a briefing. Note: Due to guide commitments, in some instances, the guide will meet you the morning of Day 1. Hotel night.
    1 Travel up the Gornergrat Railway for some technical rock training on the Rifflehorn 2,927m. Hotel night.
    2 Cable Car to Klein Matterhorn. Climb Pollux by Southwest Ridge (4,092m). Stay Val d'Ayas Guides Hut.
    3 Climb East Ridge of Breithorn (4,164m). Descend by normal route to Klein Matterhorn and cable car to Zermatt. Hotel night.
    4 Cable Car to Schwarzsee and walk to Hörnli Hut.
    5 Summit Day. Descend back to Hörnli Hut and continue down to the Schwarzsee hotel.
    6 Depart Schwarzsee and descend to Zermatt. Possible rock climbing in the afternoon. Overnight in Zermatt Hotel.
    7 Depart Zermatt after breakfast.

    Your guide will meet with you on the evening of your arrival in Zermatt (Switzerland) for an equipment check and a briefing about the upcoming program and anticipated weather conditions. You will start the training the following morning and take a lift to a high mountain region close to Zermatt where you will make ascents of interesting and challenging training routes. This is the time where you get to practice climbing skills and become acclimatised for the ascent of the Matterhorn in the final days of the program.

    We have purposely included some classic ascents in your training program, not only to help you focus on the skills for the climb ahead but also to enable you to get some other fantastic routes under your belt as well!

    We ascend to the Hörnli hut on the lower part of the Matterhorn’s Hörnli ridge to prepare for the ascent the following morning.

    First and foremost, weather and conditions have to be favourable for a safe ascent of this serious peak. Although success cannot be guaranteed, we have developed our approach to give you a serious chance of attaining an ascent of this classic route.

    The ascent is based entirely on a 1:1 guiding ratio. While some operators will clump you together with large groups during the early acclimatisation phase we feel there is much to be gained on warm-up routes that get you prepared for the upcoming rigours and technical challenges that you will face.

    We program the trip over 6 days / 7 nights to include the necessary period of acclimatisation before making an ascent at this altitude. We consider it vital that you work closely with your guide throughout the week to develop the appropriate level of communication and trust to collectively make the ascent as a partnership of two people on a rope. Extra days can be added to the programme for additional acclimatisation and preparation days by signing up for our 2 Day Europe Pre-Course & Acclimatisation Programme.

    An ascent of the Matterhorn is a superb summit demanding fitness, determination and a level of competence on both rock and ice.

    The summit day will start well before dawn, around 4am, and you will be encouraged by your guide to move consistently to ensure you reach the summit in a reasonable timeframe. Depending on conditions the ascent will take between 4-6 hours and an equal length of time to descend.

    Whilst much of the rock on the Hörnli Ridge is good, the first part of the route follows the East face, slightly to the left of the ridge and here the rock is slabby and loose.

    Though it looks narrow from a distance, the Hörnli Ridge is broad and featured when climbing. There are many scrambling sections as well as some steep climbing pitches. The last 200 meters need crampons and axe. At 1040m of climbing it is a long and tiring day and will take at least as long to descend as to climb.

    Stopping on the descent at the Hörnli hut for a tea break, we continue down to the more comfortable hotel at Schwarzsee.

    If you arrive well prepared you will really enjoy this climb for its intensity without encountering extreme terrain.

  • Add Ons

    Europe 2 day Acclimatisation 2019Kick start your acclimatisation with our Europe Pre-Course & Acclimatisation Programme.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Europe Two Day Pre-Trip Acclimatisation Programme 2018

    Europe Two Day Pre-Trip Acclimatisation Programme 2019

    Chamonix is located in the heart of the European Alps, and is central to much of the best mountaineering that the Alps have to offer. There is a huge variety of properties on offer in Chamonix and after many years of operating out of the Alps we have discovered the area's finest. At Adventure Consultants we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing the accommodation providers, so as to keep this aligned with our high standards.

    Contact us if you would like to upgrade your hotel before or after your European Alps trip, there are several superb properties in the area. We profile our favourite selection below:

    HOTEL MONT BLANC

    Why we recommend this property

    Originally built in 1849, this fine establishment is located in the heart of Chamonix. Surrounded by private gardens the hotel was recently renovated to be reminiscent of the elegant19th-century palaces. Each room has been interior-designed by renowned French designer Sybille de Margerie and is inspired by nature and the environment. Every room offers a stunning panorama of the surrounding mountains. The 14-metre outdoor heated swimming pool can be used year round and offers spectacular views of nearby Mont Blanc. 'La Mafatan' restaurant where chef Mickey Bourdillat produces cuisine that will take you on a culinary journey.

    Hotel Mont Blanc Room 600x400Hotel Mont Blanc Exterior Winter 600 x 400Hotel Mont Blanc Library 600x400 1Hotel Mont Blanc Exterior Summer 600x400

    HOTEL LE MORGANE

    Why we recommend this property

    This luxury boutique hotel is located right in the centre of Chamonix and offers guests top quality service. Chef Daniele Raimondi produces some of Chamonix's finest cuisine at 'Le Bistrot' restaurant. Offers a variety of rooms from singles, deluxe to suites, and every room features balconies allowing views of Mont Blanc or Le Brévent. Hotel facilities include a small lounge, library, relaxation pool and spa, a ski storage room and free WiFi. The loan of bicycles and electric bikes, as well as a valet car service is offered. 

    Le Morgane Terrace resized 600x400Le Morgane Junior Suite resized 600x400Le Morgane Exterior night resized 600x400Le Morgane Pool and Spa Resized 600x400

    Are you arriving early, departing later or have some extra time up your sleeve while in Chamonix? If so, we can recommend some fun activities that have been tried and tested by our Chamonix team. If interested in any of these options, please do contact us if you'd like this to be arranged in advance. If you are in Chamonix and find you have extra time, this can be arranged through your guide or our fabulous Chamonix liaison, Karoline.

    Fly Chamonix Tandem Paragliding

    Enjoy a 20-minute flight and who could think of a more fun way to get a scenic bird’s eye view of Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Massif. Overall this activity takes an hour from meeting your pilot, riding up the lift, take-off and then landing. No age limits apply!

    Peak Powder Mountain Biking

    Peak Powder offer a huge variety of mountain biking trips that cater for skill levels, whether it be downhill riding at one of the biking areas; Balme Le Tours and Les Houches, a ride between France into Switzerland, and into Italy or you would like some biking instruction, Peak Powder offer it all.

    Rafting or Canyoning with Cham Aventure

    An array of water activities are on offer with Cham Aventure and including rafting or canyoning down the L’Arve River, or rafting the Dora Baltéa River In Italy.

    Your family or friends may wish to join you on your holiday but don't like the idea of actually climbing a mountain. Let us know if this is the situation and we will be able to put together an itinerary that keeps them busy while you are up high. There are so many wonderful things to do, so contact us and we will help to organise the perfect programme.

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Adventure Consultants recommends the following travel insurance and rescue insurance options, although this is only just a start! Once you book on a trip with AC, your Client Liaison will help you by sending through advice on your options;

    • Travel insurance
    • Trip interruption
    • Trip cancellation
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance

    RIPCORD RESCUE TRAVEL INSURANCE

    Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance Logo webRipCord is the leading medical evacuation program offering elite evacuation and rescue services. With their new partnership with TravelEx, they can also now provide the benefits of a traditional travel insurance product with their just released, RipCord Rescue Travel Insurance™. This is specifically designed for the adventure enthusiast with unique trip cancellation/interruption, medical expense, sporting equipment and other coverage benefits to protect your financial investment.

    RipCord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, an elite team of special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliate physicians, paramedics, nurses, former intelligence officers and other medical/security experts comprising the most experienced team in the industry. They will rescue you from the field wherever your emergency occurs and evacuate you to your home country hospital of choice.

    RipCord rescues you from the field if you have an emergent medical condition that will result in significant permanent injury and/or death, but does not require hospitalisation.

    RipCord are proud to partner with Adventure Consultants to provide RipCord’s industry leading rescue, evacuation and travel insurance coverage to its clients.

    Adventure Consultants can also assist with purchasing polar cover for Antarctic expeditions and if interested in this, please contact RipCord directly for a specialised quote.

    GLOBAL RESCUE MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

    Global Rescue SnipAdventure Consultants also recommends the rescue evacuation and security membership/services provided by Global Rescue, which provides transport from the point of illness/injury back to your home countries hospital of your choice. TotalCare provides real-time access to medical information and coming soon, this includes urgent card and speciality consultations from some of the world’s health physicians at the Elite Medical Group and John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

    Recently Global Rescue has released a new travel insurance product, the Signature Travel Insurance option. This has no height limitation and gives comprehensive cover for trip cancellation/interruption, medical and dental expenses, delays, lost luggage as well as optional add-ons to ‘cancel or interrupt for any reason. This is currently only available to US Residents.

    Click here to find out more about this insurance cover which covers climbing and is thus suitable for many of our expeditions.

  • FAQ

    • Contact Us

      The following is to serve as a helpful guideline but please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long have Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since. You can read the full story of AC's history here.

      A few outfitters claim to have the same level of experience and prestige as Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you the first choice for your climbers?
      On all of the European courses and ascents that we operate, we offer focused guide attention throughout the course to ensure consistency across the programme. Whilst other operators combine you with large groups on training days, we know that your safety will be better protected and the learning progressions will be enhanced with the attentive care of your guide.

      Adventure Consultants guides are BMG/NZMGA and/or IFMGA/UIAGM qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest standard. Our guides are not only highly experienced climbers, but they are great guides with good people skills hence you will find that your guide is friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the course/ascent?
      On the days prior to, during and after your European course/ascent, Adventure Consultants will assist in arranging accommodation in our preferred hotels. These hotels all have laundry facilities and when in the mountains, it is easy to leave any additional gear stored safely at the hotel.

      When in the mountains, we utilise the European alpine huts which are either in shared bunk rooms or dormitory rooms. Washing and shower facilities are not available in the huts.

      What food will be available?
      If you have any special treat you like, we encourage you to bring some along. You’ll get breakfast and dinners at the huts but will be responsible for your own lunches, snacks and bottled water. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip.

      What is the food like?
      Adventure Consultants will provide breakfast for the duration of your course/ascent, which in the huts typically consists of European-style bread with jam and cheese etc. We recommend you purchase snacks such as nuts, fruit, chocolate, muesli bars and baguette or crackers with cheese, ham and other fillings for your lunches. On climbing days lunch tends to start right after breakfast(!) and continue through the day as we keep energy levels high. When staying in the huts, evening meals are provided. A typical menu would include a hearty soup, followed by a pasta dish or stew and then dessert. If you feel like a glass of wine or beer with your meal while in the mountains, please bring cash or a credit card.

      Should you decide to take a meal that is not in the programme, this is at your own expense. Evening meals on the non-mountain nights are not included and this allows you to experience the exciting culinary options available in the town from which your trip is based.

      What is the accommodation like? Can I have my own room?
      Hotel accommodation is provided on a twin share B&B basis, and the mountain huts on a shared bunk room or dormitory room basis. A single supplement is not available in the mountain huts, but we are happy to arrange a single supplement for an additional cost at the hotels utilised prior to and after the course/ascent. If you wish to upgrade to a higher grade of hotel accommodation, then please get in touch to discuss the many fabulous options available.

    • Travel

      Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
      No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome and encouraged to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city if you have the time.

      My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket.
      'E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in most locations. Do ensure you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows you to change your flight in the event that this is required.

      When should I book my ticket?
      If on a course, we generally ask you to wait until 60 days prior to your trip start date to ensure that your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you are on an ascent or private trip, do feel free to book whenever suits. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights, you should ensure you can make changes to your tickets and it is a good idea to purchase trip cancellation insurance, in the event that you need to cancel.

      Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
      For our European departures, we recommend that you arrive into Geneva International Airport, which is located just over the French border in Switzerland. Regular shuttles and train services operate up to Chamonix and private transfers can be arranged to Zermatt, Lauterbrun and Grindelwald. We are happy to assist in arranging any transfer requirements and the driver will meet you at the airport, as well as drop you off at your accommodation.

      What if I am arriving early or departing late?
      Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.

    • Clothing & Equipment

      Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
      Yes, you will get be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit.

      Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
      Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared. Please bring everything on the list!

      How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be? Will there be extra blankets available if required?
      This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list. It will depend on where you are going, but in general, you will not need a sleeping bag in the European mountain huts as bedding is provided. Adventure Consultants have an experienced Equipment Coordinator, so should any questions arise as to what is required, please do let us know.

    • Acclimatisation

      I will be climbing at altitude, so does Adventure Consultants take this into consideration?
      When planning our courses and ascent programmes, we seriously consider the altitude and ensure that all of our itineraries allow for sufficient acclimatisation and rest days, if required.

      I want to give myself the best chance of success on my climb; what advice does Adventure Consultants have to help me succeed?
      If you are concerned about how you will cope at altitude, wish to refresh your climbing skill, or simply just want to give yourself the best chance of success, then consider the 2-day Pre-Course & Acclimatisation Programme. This pre-course has been designed to kick-start your acclimatisation and refresh your climbing skills before heading onto the main objective of your course or ascent.

    • Guides & Team Members

      How many guides will be assigned to our group?
      The ratio of climbers to guides is stated on each trip’s web page in the downloadable ‘Trip Notes’ section (above).

      How much weight can we carry on the climb/course?
      When initially climbing up to the mountain huts, you will be required to carry all of the equipment that is needed for the following day's course or ascent. From the hut, you will carry your day pack with your technical climbing equipment, warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally, it will be around 10kgs (20 pounds).

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels ranging from those seeking skill development to those seeking assistance in view of climbing the world's highest mountains, or purely adventure. We provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

      I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
      We are happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of Europe's more technical and challenging peaks. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost-effective. Please contact the office for more information or visit our Private Customised Expeditions page.

    • Health & Fitness

      What kind of physical condition should I be in for a trek?
      We encourage you to work on your fitness prior to your course or ascent. When training, it is recommended you carry a pack for long periods on hills and uneven terrain. Over time, increase the pack weight until you are comfortable with 15-20kgs. Gym training, swimming, running and cycling also add to your base fitness and are a great addition to a pack training program. Visit our Fitness Training page for more details and check out the training programs and online coaching services that we offer in conjunction with our partners at Uphill Athlete.

      How do I know this is the right trip for me?
      We offer trips to suit all levels of ability and ambition, from your first mountain experience to extreme ascents and everything in between. To help you navigate the choices available, our trips are graded by both the level of physical exertion and the level of skill required, allowing you to find your perfect expedition match. These ratings are displayed in the icons at the top of each expedition page, with a further explanation available by clicking on the accompanying question mark. A full run-down of the categories can be found on our Difficulty Ratings page and our team is more than happy to discuss your experience to find the right trip for you.

    • Communication & Electronic Devices

      Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
      In Europe, there is no need to use a satellite phone as you will find that there is cell phone coverage in most of the towns and mountain huts that we utilise (with the exception of the Vittorio Emanuele Hut). Your guide will also stay in touch with our European Coordinator in Chamonix with updates on the trip. It is very easy to purchase a European SIM card but do remember if using a French SIM in Italy, you will be charged international rates and vice versa.

      I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
      The best place to reach a loved one is through our office. As mentioned above, your guide will stay in touch with our European Coordinator who is based in Chamonix, who then relays messages between your guide and our NZ office.

      Can I charge electronic devices while in the mountains?
      Generally charging is not available so please ensure that your phones, iPods and kindles etc. are well charged up before leaving the hotel for your climb.

    • Weather Forecasts

      What weather report service do you use? How often do you receive a weather report during the trip?
      Forecasts are posted daily in the huts and information relayed through the hut guardian to the guides. Your guide will also be in cell phone communication with our Operations Coordinator and/or Chief Guide for weather updates throughout the trip.

    • Insurance

      What insurance do we need to get?
      We highly recommend comprehensive travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance, as well as evacuation and medical insurance. Read your policy's fine print to make sure it covers you for trekking or climbing, depending on what trip you have booked and that it covers you for helicopter evacuation.

      Do I need evacuation insurance?
      Yes, it is very important. Evacuation insurance is required for members of our European Courses & Ascents to cover your evacuation from the mountain in the case of your injury or illness. You must ensure that your policy covers you for mountaineering as many policies exclude these activities from their schedule of benefits. In the European Alps, rescues are coordinated by the local authorities and the very high costs are charged directly to the user i.e. you/your travel insurance company.

      Who do you recommend for insurance?
      Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you comprehensive information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.

      What is trip cancellation insurance?
      Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips as it is not unknown for people to have unforeseen circumstances that force them to cancel their trips for reasons such as family illness, injury to self, etc. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (e.g. minimum numbers are not reached) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.

    • Fees & Payments

      Can I pay by credit card?
      We can accept both the trip deposit and balance payment on credit card. Please note that there is a 3% fee for all card transactions. Please contact our office or visit our online payment system.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Please see the 'Payment Conditions' section above for the inclusions and exclusions for this particular trip. There is also a downloadable pdf document in the 'Trip Notes' section above. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents with whom we have worked should you require help with arranging your international airfare.

      Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
      Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are internationally qualified guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client-to-guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.

      How do I sign up for a trip? 
      The best way to reserve your space on a trip contact our office or complete our online booking form (click 'Book Now' below). Your deposit can be submitted by bank transfer (please see 'Payment Details' in the 'Payment Conditions' section above) or via our secure online payment system.

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Photography

      I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
      Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase. Please contact our office for more information.

      What is the best equipment for photography in alpine environments?
      Remember photos are wonderful records of your trip but keep camera gear simple and light to best enjoy the trip you are on. Disposable and digital cameras are the lightest weight, but all cameras have maintenance issues that need to be carefully considered before bringing them to high elevations.

    • Employment

      I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
      Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do a NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA. Check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association web pages for a complete description.

Book Now

Matterhorn1

AC provides wonderful adventures for their clients and supplies highly trained guides to carry them out.
Matterhorn 2014

Sam Prentice
Australia
Rob Smith II

Yes I would, AC has a sterling reputation and why that is was made apparent before and during my trip. The level of organisation and quality of the guide were both excellent.
Mont Blanc Course & Ascent, 2016

Robert Smith
United Kingdom
Rockclimber Paolo Pieroni

I felt like I had great support from AC with getting prepared for my trip, and wouldn't have done anything differently. I can only imagine how great they must be when getting clients ready for longer/more arduous expeditions, and wouldn't go with anyone else, even though this was only my first guided expedition. Absolutely everyone I interacted with was fantastic; prompt, clear, helpful.
Gran Paradiso Course & Ascent, 2017

Brydie Ockwell
New Zealand