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Matterhorn Hornli Ridge

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 gavinpeach 10 Jul 2019

Hi All,

In August we are going to Zermatt as a 3 for the Skyrace weekend. In the week before we were considering the Hornli ridge. The proposed plan is to bivi below the hut (where is the best spot which is allowed?) and climbing from there. What are people's experience with the queuing situation and the pecking order for who goes first? Basically, is it worth it or a real pain and not such a great experience?

Any other route recommendations would also be appreciated.


In reply to gavinpeach:

It's a long time since I did it but honestly I think there are much better routes available - ZInal Rothorn, Ober Gabelhorn (Arbengrat from nice bivi hut) etc.  I don't know the latest arrangements in detail but I think you will be a long way below the hut if biving is allowed at all, with stiff fines for breaking any rules.

 RuthW 10 Jul 2019
In reply to gavinpeach:

I did the Hornli last year (guided). There are a lot of camping restrictions around the hut so may be tricky. 

We went from Schwarzsee hotel (as there were some problems getting to the hut the day before). I would imagine you could bivi around there? But don't know the rules. It added an extra 2 hours ish to the day, but it did mean that everyone had already gone by the time we started the route so there were no queues and apart from a few parties we passed, very few people in comparison to the usual. Made it a very pleasant climb! 

 Gawyllie 10 Jul 2019
In reply to gavinpeach:

From what I remember from last year there are no bivy restrictions until the metal walkway below Hirli.

When I done it last July the Zermatt guides weren't doing it so it was nice and quiet. there were other guides but no issues when I passed the hut at 0400 what so ever. I have heard the Zermatt guides can be picky about conditions namely how much snow is at the shoulder. It might be worth finding out whether they are guiding and making your decision from there.

Couple of other recommendations from me would be the Rotgrat on the alpubel or the East ridge of the Weisshorn. both fantastic and quiet.

 gavinpeach 11 Jul 2019
In reply to gavinpeach:

Thanks all for your suggestions so far. Good advice.

 wayne1965 11 Jul 2019
In reply to gavinpeach:

I just did the Matterhorn .. like 2 days ago ... Lion-Hornli ... my first time on this mountain.

Apparently you are allowed to bivi below the metal stairs someway below the hut... it was all very DRY!! you have to be a long way down to be near a water supply or carry all you need. The 'protocol' that I have heard of but not experienced, is the local guides, then other guides then 'others' have controlled departure from the hut AND even people who are starting from a bivi can be questioned (simply do not believe that someone can start from so low).

The hornli ridge is simply not pleasant to climb and not easy to find your way even in daylight let alone night ..... in fact you might be better off slotting in behind a few guides and following the head touches.

OR  ...

do it from the Italian side where the rock is way way better (not saying much). To do that you need to contact the local guides office in Cervinia to book a space in the bivi hut 30E each includes bed, blankets, gas and pots. You definitely need to take water from 200m below the col. Lion, we were using some very old snow/ice near the hut (not nice). Hut approach is quite pleasant too

 jcw 11 Jul 2019
In reply to wayne1965:

Wayne, good to see you back with us

 GStone 11 Jul 2019
In reply to wayne1965:

Sorry to hijack the post.

Planning the Lion ridge in August, did you have to book the Carrel? Or do you mean the Abruzzi?

Post edited at 19:45
 gavinpeach 12 Jul 2019
In reply to GStone:

No worries. Cheers for the info all!

 jamieevans 15 Jul 2019
In reply to gavinpeach:

In 2014 carrel bivvy on Liongrat was €15 cash, blankets and gas provided.

October last year we stayed in the hornli winter room for free with an en suite (which was also a dining room were the only ones on the route and climbed in base layers.

A guide we chatted to that evening suggested the Arbengrat. 

He kindly gave us the code to the honesty larder for the arbenbiwak, which has beer, chocolate etc. Pm me and I'll give it you. 

The arbenbiwak is non gaurded year round and looks really cool, as does the Dent Blanche bivvy hut for the ferpecle. 

In high season the hornli sounds a horror show. 

 McHeath 16 Jul 2019
In reply to jamieevans:

As of this Friday the Carrell hut costs 30€ a night all year round, and you have to make a reservation.

 GStone 16 Jul 2019
In reply to McHeath:

Yes just got the same info from the guides office. Good job I saw this post! Hopefully it means we get a bed though 

 McHeath 16 Jul 2019
In reply to GStone:

There are 40 beds, plus 18 reserved for guides and their clients. It's a measure to try to filter out some of the masses who have been causing a big rubbish problem. There will be a resident guide to check the reservations and to take care of the rubbish; half of the 30€ will go towards his payment, so maybe quite a good idea. Still no food or water available though, just the blankets!

 Pero 17 Jul 2019
In reply to jamieevans:

> A guide we chatted to that evening suggested the Arbengrat. 

The traverse of the Obergabelhorn is IMO one of the best AD routes in the Alps. The Arbenbiwak is a quality bivi hut. 

And the Rothornhut is a good place to finish as you get loads of food there! Not like the meagre individual helpings at the Hoernli.

That said, the Matterhorn traverse is also a stellar route, despite the squalid Carrel hut and the overpriced Hornli hut.

 wayne1965 18 Jul 2019
In reply to McHeath:

I confirm what GStone says .... you must book the Carrel with the guides office in Cervinia (google it) and pay 30E for bed gas and pots ..... worth taking a bowl/cup although I managed without even those items ..... WATER is a big issue .... take all you need from 200m below col Lion

 wayne1965 18 Jul 2019
In reply to jcw:

yes ... back in the hills and looking for those interested in bagging 4000m peaks .. do complete in Simon's name...

let me know if you're ever available

 jon massey 25 Jul 2019
In reply to jamieevans:

Stayed in both the Arben bivvi and the Col de la Dent Blanche bivvy. Can confirm they are fantastic, and in both instances, we had them to ourselves.

 McHeath 26 Jul 2019
In reply to gavinpeach:

Just in case you haven't seen it:


The police report says that the search for the bodies was difficult because of the danger of rockfall. One of the fixed ropes is now missing, and it sounds as though there's a large unstable area.

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