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Trilogy: Mt Blanc, Eiger, Matterhorn
Course overview
This course is no amuse bouche, as the photo galleries above show, with photos of our clients summiting the three Alpine giants of Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and the Eiger. This fortnight course enables you to ascend this mighty trilogy with qualified IFMGA guides.
Each year we get many clients wanting to climb all three of these classic Alpine giants in one trip. We offer this as a space on a scheduled Mont Blanc trip on the first week, so you are trained and acclimatised, then on the second week you climb 1:1 to attempt both the Matterhorn and Eiger.
The easiest of the trilogy is Mont Blanc in terms of technical difficulty. The Eiger and Matterhorn as very similar in grades to each other, but are at lower altitudes though the exposure is higher.
To book on this Alpine Trilogy course you should have the pre-requisite experience to book on any of the courses independently. Just to clarify, it is not good enough to book to hope that you gain enough skills on Mont Blanc to attempt the other peaks, as with the best will in the world, you won't as the mountains are so different in terms of types of terrain.
For the Matterhorn or Eiger we advertise your experience as that you should be very fit, have good footwork on steep ground, be good with exposure and have good ropework skills (previous skills: Alpine PD / Grade II Ice / UK Severe / US 5.9). Please ensure that you meet all of these requirements. If you are in absolutely any doubt, then please get in touch with one of our course advisors.
To be honest, this course will not appeal to many people in terms of the number out there who have sufficient fitness, skills, and determination! If you are up for a challenge, then they don't come much bigger than this.
Already climbed Mont Blanc, but fancy this course? Don't worry, we can substitute the first week, with a space on another course. For example you could do the Monte Rosa course instead, and the price of this course would drop the difference (£126) to £3373.
Brief Course Itinerary


Please note that whilst the itinerary below is an ideal, the weather and conditions, as well as your skills, fitness, experience and acclimatisation all play a part too. In our decade of experience, we have found that hardly two weeks ever run the same, and even on a particular week sometimes different summit groups go on different days from different huts. Whilst the itinerary notes outline this, it is imperative that you understand how flexible this course must be. You are dealing with the high mountains and extreme altitude, not a prescribed coach tour!
Sunday
Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings are over by 19:00 and the team accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks. Many clients opt to travel out a day or two early to do a two day acclimatisation weekend course to provide an extra night in a hut, and to ascend a 3000m peak. Night in Chamonix.
Monday
Day to learn and practice using crampons and ice axes on the Mer de Glace glacier (2000m). You also climb vertical ice, create ice anchors, and learn glacier travel skills. This is one of your most important days of the course in terms of skills development as it is essential to have good footwork on Mont Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Evening theory session on the key safety knots and ropework. Night in Chamonix.
Tuesday
Acclimatisation route to a summit. Continue to a mountain hut for the night or return to Chamonix. The aim is to develop your skills at altitude. The choice of the 1 or 2 day routes is made in reaction to which day you attempt Mont Blanc, as we can alter the itinerary to maximise your chances. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Evening session on Alpine weather prediction and the effects of mountains. Night in Chamonix or hut.
Wednesday
Acclimatisation route to a summit. Either an Alpine start from the mountain hut or a second acclimatisation route. Typical routes for the last two days include Cosmiques Arête, Gran Paradiso, Petite Verte, Pointe Lachenal or Aiguille du Tour. Return to Chamonix to prepare for Mont Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Evening session on climbers crevasse rescue and emergency hoist systems. Night in Chamonix.
Thursday
Equipment and bag checks before you set off to climb up to one of the high huts, either the Cosmiques or the Gouter / Tête Rousse hut for the night. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). The choice of route that you take on Mont Blanc, and which hut(s) you stay in is a function of the weather, conditions, and your skills and fitness. Often different teams suit different plans to maximise their summit chances. Night in hut on Mont Blanc.
Friday
Summit Mont Blanc 4810m from an Alpine start from the high hut, and descend to Chamonix. It is usual to reach the summit just after sunrise, to take advantage of the best snow conditions, and to minimise the risks of stone-fall or late afternoon storms. Reach valley afternoon, celebrations in the evening. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Evening instruction session, then a celebratory meal, with the night spent in Chamonix.
Saturday & Sunday
Breakfast, then you have two days off to really concentrate on resting and relaxation. Some people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in the morning to celebrate the first weeks efforts, and prices for this are from c.100€ for a c.30 minute flight. These flights can be booked in resort up to the day before you wish to fly. On the Sunday evening you meet at 17:00 for a briefing on the plans for the second week.
Monday
Today is fairly straightforward, as you drive over to Tasch. Here you park and take the train to car free Zermatt, then ascend the cable cars to Schwartzee. From here it is a two to three hour hike up to the Hornli hut. There are no technical difficulties on the approach, but you get stunning views up the arête that you will be on the next day. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max). Night in the Hornli mountain hut on the Matterhorn.
Tuesday
A very eary start to ascend the Matterhorn. Usually you are climbing by 04:00am, and it should take four hours to reach the summit. On this peak the timings are very important to reduce the risks of being blocked by slow groups and to reduce the risk of rockfall. From the summit, you descend the same route to reach the hut and then return to Chamonix in the late afternoon. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max). Night in Chamonix.
Wednesday
Today is a buffer day to allow for flexibility for weather windows. If the weather is good, today would typically be an easier day such as some rock climbing in Chamonix, to give you time to recover from the Matterhorn, and to dry out and prepare kit for the Eiger attempt. Some people take the whole day off, whilst others find the rock climbing a great way to stretch and relax again. Guiding ratio flexible. Night in Chamonix.
Thursday
Today you drive over to Grindelwald, and catch the train up the Eiger. The route usually ascended is the Mittillegi ridge, in which case you exit the train at the Eismeer station, then climb to the hut. An alternative is to take the train to Jungfraujoch and to stay in the Monchsjoch hut, if opting to ascend by the SW ridge. The Mittillegi hut is spectacularly situated actually on the ridge. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max). Night in hut on the Eiger.
Friday
Alpine start for the ascent of the Mittillegi ridge of the Eiger. After you reach the summit, you then descend the normal route to Monchsjoch, then traverse the glacier to Jungfraujoch to catch the Eiger train which descends to Grindelwald, from where you return to Chamonix. Guiding ratio 1:1 (max). Evening instruction session, then a celebratory meal, with the final night spent in Chamonix.
Saturday
Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their airport transfers to leave around this time, to catch a flight from Geneva about midday. Some people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in the morning to celebrate the weeks efforts, and prices for this are from c.100€ for a c.30 minute flight. These flights can be booked in resort up to the day before you wish to fly. Depart for home.
ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionally we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity you attempt.
Course Prices

Standard course 10 days guiding, 14 days holiday in total £3499
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Standard Course Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain Guide for ten days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) Evening technical instruction sessions, 4) Twin / double room B&B accommodation in Chamonix (inc. linen, bedding & towels) for the whole week, so you don't move out when in huts, 5) One night half board in mountain hut / base camp on Mont Blanc for you and guide, 6) Pre course information booklet, 7) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 8) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 9) Road transport in Chamonix valley and the road costs for travelling to Zermatt and Grindelwald, 10) Icicle discounts privilege card for reductions in local shops and restaurants in Chamonix.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Equipment hire, 3) Cable cars and uplift (the uplift for the guide is included in Chamonix, but you must pay for their uplift tickets on the Matterhorn and Eiger), 4) Any extra nights in mountain huts on a half board basis for you and guide, 5) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 6) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 7) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Course upgrade options
Many clients on this trip consider upgrading with one or more of the following course additions...
 
Private
room
Technical
extension
Half
board
Acclimatise
weekend
  Upgrade from shared to
single from £150 in
addition to course price,
depending on week.
Two day extension; 1:1
for £999, to climb one
of the classic 4000m
peak Dent du Geant.
Upgrade from B&B to
have 3 course evening
meals in Chamonix for
5 nights for £99pp.
Saturday night spent in
Chamonix, with choice
of self-guided or guided
on Sunday. From £50.
  Click for details Click for details Click for details Click for details
Current course availability

Course Dates
Alpine Trilogy
  • [ 0 ] 8 - 21 Jul 2018
  • [ 0 ] 15 - 28 Jul 2018
  • [ 0 ] 22 Jul - 4 Aug 2018
  • [ 0 ] 29 Jul - 11 Aug 2018
  • [ 0 ] 5 - 18 Aug 2018
  • [ 0 ] 12 - 25 Aug 2018
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Price: £3499 Book online

Alternative courses
Mont Blanc Summit course
Ascent of the Eiger course
Ascent of the Matterhorn

Client feedback


Physically this was a tough tough two weeks, but needless to say I slept like a baby ever since. Thank you so much for your 'can do' attitude and flexibility

Peter L , Alpine Trilogy

I'm going to need a holiday to get over this one. Seriously though, a huge thanks to you all for making this dream come true

Sally N , Alpine Trilogy

We were exceptionally lucky with the weather, with perfect conditions and views on all three peaks

Seb R , Alpine Trilogy
Testimonials
Press & media
Films & videos
Photo gallery
Location data for this trip
The trips start in the Chamonix valley in the French Alps, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is easily accessed via a 90 minute transfer from Geneva airport.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Free resources


FREE Podcast
Training for Mont Blanc
A no holes barred podcast, to fully explain what an ascent entails physically and technically, including several examples of hill training.
Download podcast (3.48 MB)
See all the Icicle podcasts


FREE Podcast
Climbing the Matterhorn

If you've ever wondered what it is like to attempt this peak, the skills required, and the suggested training for this peak, then this podcast answers it all
...
Download podcast (2.92 MB)
See all the Icicle podcasts
Equipment - summit day kit list...
We send a course specific equipment list to all those booking on our courses, but due to the popularity of this course, we outline a typical packing list for the summit day in the list below.
Basic clothing
- Light coloured long sleeve wicking layer
- Schoeller / soft shell climbing trousers
- Mid layer fleece jacket / gillet
- Fleece hat and gloves, and sunhat / cap
- B3 leather / plastic boots, and gaiters
Equipment
- Harness, helmet, ice axe (without leash)
- 12 point crampons and anti-balling plates
- 1 x 120cm Sling, 1 x karabiner, 1 x prussic
- Belay device for abseils (if required)
- Head torch (LED style is lightest type)
Altitude gear
- Synthetic or down insulation jacket
- Goggles in case of high wind
- Neoprane face mask in case of wind
- Thick waterproof over gloves
- Windproof over trousers (eg PacLite)
General kit
- Close fitting sun glasses (Factor 4 for snow)
- Pocket snacks for summit day (eg Haribos)
- Water bottle (bladder type may freeze)
- Rucksack (up to 35 litres max is ideal)
- Basic blister kit, Aspirin, suncream
Preparation - altitude & training...
An ascent of these peaks should not be underestimated, and you should arrive for this course in good physical condition as the climb will probably be the greatest physical exertion of your life. Please don't ignore this issue... We highly recommend that you read our training page (click here) for details.
If you are worried about acclimatisation, we recommend that you book on an Acclimatisation Weekend before your course. to help you get acclimatised earlier, leaving you with more summiting weather windows for the mountains.
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
Why choose our trips?
See our Alpine blog, by clicking on the Word-press logo to the right.
Icicle Blog
Itinerary flexibility to allow you to take full advantage of the weather windows on any day, to maximise your summit chances.
Our prices are fixed in £ Sterling, to protect you from euro fluctuations, so you can budget accurately.
There is a choice of routes to opt for, depending on the weather, conditions, and your experience.
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.
 


 
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