Climbing the Eiger - 3970m - Grindelwald, Switzerland

There are not many mountains that demand as much respect and inspire awe such as the Eiger. The daunting north face was the last of "the great problems" of the Alps to be solved.  Not all routes leading to the summit of the Eiger are hardcore. The Mittellegi ridge is a perfect example of a classic mountaineering route which most competent climbers can accomplish. 

The best way by far to prepare for climbing the Eiger is by spending the week doing similar climbs. This will not only help you acclimatise, but also improve your general level of competence and skills in mountaineering. This 7 day program allows for specific preparation on shorter routes of the same nature to better optimise your chance for success. My customised Eiger program is run on a 1:1 ratio, allowing for optimal time to hone the needed skills for success.


 

 

Course Highlights:

  • 7 days - optimised time to practice with the equipment AND acclimate by summitting a 4000m peak beforehand - essential for success.
  • Reserved Huts - Any pre-booked course guarantees that you have your space in the huts. 
  • Climbing the entire week with the guide you will attempt the Eiger with.
  • Tried and tested program – practice makes perfect and only by training in similar conditions will you become comfortable and therefore improve your technique. The entire weeks focus has this in mind.
Included

Cost Includes:

  • Guide fees
  • huts and half board when in the huts with breakfast and dinner
  • local transportation included during the entire course
  • hut reservations
  • group equipment
  • assistance for travel logistics and planning


Cost Exclusions:

  • Lodging when in town - typically 4 nights 
  • drinks and lift fees for you and the guide
  • lunches
  • personal equipment
  • travel to or from the course departure point of Chamonix
  • rescue insurance
Program

CLIMBING THE EIGER COURSE DETAILS

The daunting north face was the last of “the great problems” of the Alps to be solved.  Not all routes leading to the summit of the Eiger are hardcore. The Mittellegi ridge is a perfect example of a classic mountaineering route which most competent climbers can accomplish. 
The Eiger and its infamous history. Become part of that history with an ascent of your own. This course is the perfect way to prepare for this challenging ascent.

Typical 7 Day Eiger Program

Day 0 - Evening meeting
Welcome drink and evening brief of the course, weather forecast and gear check.

Day 1 – Altitude training
Today will be your first experience with the high mountains and we get underway with a tram ride to the top of the new Helbronner lift on the Italian side of the massif. From the top of this lift we are directly dropped off on a glacier and can quickly commence practicing some techniques that we will need for the week.
Night at the newly refurbished Torino hut to better acclimate.

Day 2 – Aiguille d’Entreves
Your first alpine start of the week and we leave the hut and head out onto the glacier for a stunning ascent up to the Aiguile d”Entreves. This peak offers a stunning thin ridge line and spectacular views to the impressive south side of Mont Blanc. We will spend another evening at the Torino hut.

Day 3 – Dent du Geant
This peak reaching just over 4,000m is a perfect training climb for the Matterhorn. The ascent and altitude make it the ideal test prior to the Matterhorn. The start is early and we cross the a vast glacier to reach some easy mixed ground that takes us to the “salle a manger” located at the very foot of the Dent du Geant. From here the climbing gets more technical and heads up some steep granite, some stretches offering a fixed for help. Once we have reached the summit, we have a series of steep rappels that bring us back down to the base of this tooth.
Evening in Chamonix.

Day 4 – Training climb in Chamonix
Do a short climb such as the Aiguille de l’M or the Cosmiques Arete. Which climb will depend upon which skills you need to work on most. We will spend time talking about the following days ascent and do any last minute preparations needed that afternoon in town. The idea is to have a short day to and be fresh for the Matterhorn.
Evening in Chamonix.

Day 5 -Mittelligi cabin
From the train station in Grindelwald, we will take the famous cog wheel train up through the pastures and alpine meadows lying below the North Face of the Eiger to the Kleine Scheidegg hotel/restaurant, and then on through the inside of the Eiger up to the Eismeer station 3160m. From here we head out onto a part of the glacier and a short bit of scrambling to reach the Mittelligi Hut 3356m. We’ll have a light lunch and then rest up for the following day whilst we enjoy the spectacular surroundings and awesome views!

Day 6 – The Eiger
A quick alpine breakfast and we are off on our way by the light of our headlamps. The climbing heads up the along the narrow Mittelligi ridge, past several sections of fixed ropes which come in very handy at times, to finally reach the snow covered summit of the Eiger. Once at the summit, the views down towards the North Face are literally breathtaking. However, our journey doesn’t stop here, as we need to continue on with our decent. We have two options:
1) Make a long traverse to back to the Jungfraujoch station or
2) Make the classic decent down the west face of the mountain back to the rail station at the Klein Scheidegg. Which ever one we choose, the celebratory beer will sure taste great!
Late afternoon return to Chamonix.

Day 7 - Extra weather day or additional climb
This day is designed to be used as a buffer in the event we encounter unstable weather during the course - we have the option to use this for an extra climb should all go to plan - and you still have the energy for more adventure!

* Actual course details and climbs may vary depending on conditions and or participants level.
    Dates

    Length:
    7 days, 6 nights

    2018 COURSE DATES
    June 30-6 July
    July 7-13
    July 21-27
    Aug 4-10
    Aug 18-24
    Sep 1-7
    Sep 15-21

    This course is also available on a custom basis from the beginning of June through the end of September. You can custom choose your dates. Please inquire for availability.

    *Please note that I do not add an extra "fluff" days before or after. I  consider that to be false advertising. My program is 7 actual days of activity.

    Skills
    some useful climbing tips from petzl.com

    some useful climbing tips from petzl.com

    Required Level:
    Excellent base fitness – prior experience is very helpful but not absolutely necessary.
    Please do not under-estimate the nature of the course. This is full on mountaineering and not a simple walk up a hill. There are some minimum standards that have to be met, such as uphill per hour and being successful on the training peaks.

    Climbing Grade:
    AD - grade 4
    Some moderate to steep snow, mixed terrain and exposed climbing on rock. 

    Technical Level:
    3 out of 5

    Fitness Level:
    4 out of 5

    Price

    3,995 € private arrangement

    Group Size:
    Maximum group size is 1 : 1 - the entire course is run on a private basis.
    For the ascent of the Eiger the max ratio is 1:1. 
    If more than 1 participant (friends, significant other) signs up at the same time, each group will climb with their own guide the entire week.
    *This is a super important detail that pays dividends when on the Eiger - you want to know your guide just as much as your guide wants to know you! Meeting your guide the day before an ascent is far from ideal.  I don't believe in courses where the climber to guide ratio is different than that of the actual ascent. This is how "guide companies" become greedy....at your personal expense.

    Local links

    Course Base:
    Chamonix, France

    Local Airport:
    Geneva Intl Airport, Switzerland - GVA

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    Map
     
    Equipment List

    Here is what you will typically have in your pack when going to a hut and or climbing

    CLOTHING

    • Gore-Tex (or similar breathable hardshell clothing) Jacket and pants
    • Gaiters
    • Lightweight softshell climbing pants
    • Lightweight thermal top (polypro, smartwool or capilene)
    • Fleece or synthetic insulation jacket
    • Warm ski gloves w/ leather palms if possible and a shell over-mitt
    • Spare pair of lightweight spring gloves or wool liners
    • Warm hat or balaclava
    • Baseball cap (for the sun)
    • 2 pairs of socks
    • Glacier glasses or Cat 4 sunglasses

    GEAR

    • Harness * w/ 2 locking carabiners and a belaying device
    • 2 prussik loops
    • 1 long sling
    • ice axe *  typically anything over 60cm is too long
    • Crampons * w/ anti- balling plates
    • Mountaineering boots *. Leather is the preferred choice. Make certain your crampons work on them !
    • helmet
    • Rock shoes *
    • A small rucksack 30-35l (2000c.i.) is plenty big enough
    • Headlamp with new batteries
    • Telescopic poles - help take a load off you legs and back
    • Small compact camera, GoPro or just simply your camera phone (avoid bringing along a heavy DSLR)
    • Personal first aid kit (second skin, aspirin, toilet articles)
    • Sun block and lip cream
    • Water bottle 1 liter minimum - I prefer metallic bottles
    • sleeping bag liner for the huts

    (items with * can be rented in most alpine areas such as Chamonix or Zermatt)

    Reserve

    To book this course - just hit the book now button