Day 3 & 4 ski touring around Matterhorn and Monte Rosa

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Period: 08-11 May 2017

Participants: Gareth Hughes, Jack Doyle, Daniel Catalin.

Day 1: Zermatt – Kl. Matterhorn – Breithorn (4164 m) – Guide D’Ayas Hut

Day 2: Guide D’Ayas Hut – Mezzalama Hut – Passo del Naso (4100 m)- Gnifetti Hut

Day 3: Gnifetti Hut – Zumstein Sp (4563 m) – Margherita (4554 m) – Monte Rosa Hut

Day 4: Monte Rosa Hut – Stockhornpass (3387 m) – Findelgletscher – Zermatt


Day 3Gnifetti Hut (3647 m) – Zumstein Sp (4563 m) – Margherita (4554 m) – Monte Rosa Hut

Woke up at 06:00 in the morning and did some pictures with sun rise. Left the hut at 07:45 am and start skinning up the same way as we came for 400 m. As we got higher, we had amazing views with Gran Paradiso  and Mont Blanc towards South and SW. Liskamm (4527 m) on the West, Parrot (4432 m) on the Est and Zumstein Sp (4563 m) and Dufourspitze (4633 m) towards North.

Decided to climb 2 peaks of the Monte Rosa massif today: Zumstein Sp (4563 m) and Gnifetti Spitze (4554 m) which has the Margherita Refuge on it’s top.

Skiing down from 4452 m to 2883 m (Monte Rosa hut) was perfect: we had powder all the way and amazing views towards the wild Liskamm ridge and towards Matterhorn.

Monte Rosa hut (2883 m) is a a hi-tech, energy-wise almost self-sufficient, environmentally friendly mountain hut based on wood with an aluminum shell.

The guardian that works there with his family is very nice and helpful. Did I forget to mention that the cat looks alike Matterhorn peak from profile?!


Day 4Monte Rosa Hut – Stockhornpass (3387 m) – Findelgletscher – Zermatt

Next day started with strong winds and bad visibility. We decided to stick with our initial plan: skinning up from Monte Rosa Hut (2883 m) to Sockhornpass (3387 m) and from there to ski down all the way to Zermatt.

The adventure was there and we almost had some epic once Gareth’s ski binding decided to brake. But Gareth fixed it with some wires and could go on.

Once in Sockhornpass (3387 m), the sky cleared for a moment and we had a view towards Adlerpass. From here, I was at home. I perfectly remembered my ski tour from Zermatt to Saas Fee I did in one day with Silvia back in 2014 (see here).

So, the ski descend on Findelgletscher went smooth though the visibility was far from great.

At some point down the glacier, we found a toilet in the middle of nowhere and Jack went to try it.

From 2150 m, we had to take the skis on the backpacks and descend another hour to Zermatt.

Thank you guys for such a great trip!

See Day 1 & 2 here.




Schmid route, Matterhorn (TD,V,4+,M5,1280m)


Topo for Schmid route, Matterhorn N face: click here, here and here.

After finding out the route was in excellent condition, the idea of climbing it was discussed at Chamonix’s swimming pool. As we were 4 people, we decided to climb in two teams: Mihnea Radulescu & Pascal/Sorin Nichiforiuc & myself.

So the next day, 1st October 2014, 3 Romanians and one French are happily walking down the streets of Zermatt gazing at the beautiful Mont Cervin.

Logistic: cable car from Zermatt to Schwartzsee Paradise station (2583m), than a hike to refuge Hornli (3260 m) – which at the moment is closed for maintenance.

Our bivy spot at the base of Matterhorn had a nice panoramic view towards SE, with Monterosa, Klein Matterhorn and the ski slopes that were opened at this time of year. There were footprints marking the start of our route and the traverse on the glacier, so we tried to memorize the line, to make it easier for the night start.

We left our bivy at 3.30 am. The climb was nice, not hard in particular, but long. A lots of traversing make it quite easy to get lost, so you have to pay attention all the time. The last 200 m to exit in Zmutt ridge are easy but difficult to protect.

At 7:00 pm we were exiting in Zmutt ridge and then summited Matterhorn (4478m) at 7:43 pm. The descent via Hörnli ridge took us longer than we expected, we got to Solvay hut at 1 am and finally got a good sleep.

Below you will find some photos from our climb. I am grateful that I could share this experience with Mihnea, Pascal and finally, special thanks goes to Sorin Nichiforiuc, who trusted & allowed me to be his partner for this commitment climb. It meant a lot to me.

Equipment: 2 half ropes (50 m), 9 ice screws (short ones are very useful), 1 set of cams (size 00 – 1).

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More photos from our climb you may find here.