Matterhorn North Face

~ Monday 20th October 2008

After a report of good conditions on the Schmidt route I headed over to Zermatt with Stu McAleese and Rich Cross. Time was a bit tight - Stu and Rich had flights to catch...The next morning with perfect weather and good nevé we made fast progress to the end of the ramp - then found several pitches of delicate mixed climbing which slowed things down a bit...this section can bank out, but in dry conditions there are several pitches of bold Scottish VI on typical Matterhorn rock.The chimney leading to the ramp


Above this the climbing is easier but there is still a lot of it. We reached summit in time for a spectacular sunset, but hopes of catching flights were fading with the light. 

We had each done the Hornli ridge several times, but even knowing the way the descent by headtorch in snowy conditions took ages. We spent a chilly night in the Solvay hut, then headed down in the morning - a memorable way to spend my 38th birthday!Reaching the Zmutt ridge


Thanks to Stu McAleese and Rich Cross - well worth missing your flights!

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