Matterhorn Trip Report (#22399)
- Signed By: Roy Lindman
- Date submitted: August 05, 2013
- Date(s) climbed: 09-12.07.2013
- Number of People Encountered:11-25 people
- Recommend to a Friend: Highly
This is my second climb on the Matterhorn mountain.
I was doing some aclimatizing in the Mattertal valley. I did only some, because my time was limited. I had waited my luggage at the Geneva airport and I had to wait another thing too from UK. It really was not my best year to climb on mountains. I had also suffered from inflammation several months and weather in Lapland was not the best to heal it. Anyway I could raise my condition on the level I wanted, the inflammation disturbed me only when I tried to sleep. I had managed 700 push ups and 40 km painfree walk one day, it told me that I was enough fit to climb Matterhorn.
It would rain on the 10th of July so I decided to start my ascending already on the 9th. I walked through the village of Zmutt and arrived on the Hörnli ridge four hours later on. Weather had changed, the rain weather had sent some clouds before the actual rain started. I had to ascend the last one hour in miserable conditions. One climber had stopped and was wearing a rainjacket, it was one of the ways to prevent weather disturbing equipment.
I had reserved my place only a day before and I had received a cheaper stay with my climbing membership card.
I went into the hut and introduced myself.
The receptionist gave me some usefull information and I decided to go and sleep. There was also other climbers in the room, so I had to keep quiet whilst checking possible water damages. It said H2O on my new ruck sack...looks there was not any !
Trying to sleep and planning my climbs, then I slept. I took my headlight which was laying under my bed, so it would be like a one piece after I had slept ! I went outside. the sky was clear and hardly any wind, but the rain and also thunder was on the way.
I went back to sleep and woke up later in the morning, I was not in hurry.
I went to see the glacier on the north face. Snow was incredible soft...it was not even noon yet. The risk of avalanche was very high. It was too hot. I wanted actually to climb over the north glacier and then follow up the Zmutt ridge.
My expedition finished real soon, this was not the route I wanted to follow. There was also three big visible cracks on the glacier and how many I could not see was the other thing. It was not the best glacier to do solo climbing.
Ok fine I was thinking...I could then climb the Hörnli ridge up...it was my last change.
I spent my day by talking to other climbers and tried to take some photos, it was a long day. The rain and thunder started later on.
I started to dream of a foldable pole, actually there was two of them fitted on my climbers belt...together they were making a big cross. Would it prevent one dropping into a glacier crack...yes it would ! Unfortunately those were not on sale yet...I slept again !
It was one O'clock in the morning. I packed my equipment besides the reception, it would not disturb anyone. I ate bread, fennel and had some juice. I was the the first climber outside the Hörnli hut... it was time to go ! My new headlight was better than last year, but more heavy. Going up the three hills. Naturally I had trained the route yesterday, I really could not remember where to climb after one year had gone from my first climb. I felt really happy...incredible headlight! I avoided part of the ridge I climbed last time, it was more safe. I saw some climbers nearing me when I was climbing nearby the last two hills before the Solvay hut.
They went faster, but they did not have ruck sacks either.
I was a solo climber and I had to have more equipment.
There was not so much snow like last time. It was easy to climb the last 100 m up to Solvay hut. I ate again and put my crampons on.
I greeted a guide and a client who where also having a break.
There was no use of crampons yet, but one could not see it from the hut. I took my crampons of and continued on the ridge. Guide and the client were nearing, I let them go by. They were slightly faster. I followed theirs climb. The guide surprised me. Where I had decided to climb he sort of walked. For me it was easy to guess that the guide had trained how to fall down. It would be on my new training list too, even I had done some before. Much more sitting places because there was no snow...last time it was difficult to find any.
Plenty of rope support too, thick manilla rope was steady to climb on.
The dome was nearing...it was time to put crampons on...I was a bit late this time...and same time other climbers were coming down.
Rope and cord...what a day !
Snow was soft...and this was the dome. It was naturally easier to ascend, but it included a few risks, like avalanches from the other climbers. It took only one hour to ascend the dome. The guide and the client were first on the top of the Switzerland summit. They went to eat a bit lower down. Finally I was on the top of the Matterhorn...incredible...it was my second time !!! Some photos, a text message to Finland and then a proper meal ! It included banana, chocolate and cola. I spent more time on the top...weather was almost pleasant. It was about 11 O'clock, so I had time to go down.
I went after the guide and the client. Now they used more rope and so did I, it was time to belay on the very steep dome.
I also tried to avoid moving to much snow, but it was impossible sometimes...avalanche risk had increased. Some more climbers were on the way up.
When I descended on the ridge like formation underneath the dome I had a longer break. I wanted to think my climb. I had been very calm...I actually did not feel any fear. It was a good sign...I had also planned more my climbing moves and learned some new things from the guide. My use of ice axe had also increased and I had a new place for it on my belt. I had also learned to handle my rope on a different way, when belaying. I took half of the rope up made a bunch and then I made a second bunch from the other half. It was much easier to open one bunch, then the another bunch, than opening 50 m in a one go !
I started also to use my cord more often, it was very rocky and there was no use of crampons anymore. I ate some fish at the Solvay hut and drunk more liquid. I had enough cola and water with me.
A massive explosion...an avalanche ...tons of snow and stones were falling down in the middle of east face...down to Italy It was a scary thing...there was more on the way. Melting conditions started to move stones...water lifting them up. I was on the ridge and it was quite safe, but still water could move stones even there was no snow...I had experienced it before. I had to controll surfaces more properly on the way down.
It was time to slow down. I had flight on the 12th, also tomorrow.
I needed plenty of energy after had climbed the Hörnli ridge up and down. I arrived to Hörnli hut around nine O'clock. I had spent roughly 19 hours for the ridge climb...I really was not a fast climber this time, but I knew my skills and my speed...that was enough.
I gave my headlight and my gloves for a Hungarian climber, he had forgot to buy some equipment. Then it was time to leave the hut and descend down towards Zermatt. I still had one hour daylight, it was enough to reach the path where the ridge period was ending.
No scramble, no climbing just walking...heyyyy looks the path disappeared into darkness...never mind. Then I met somebody in the darkness. She had come all the way from Australia and was roughly twenty years old. I wished her well and continued.
In darkness one would need to know where is a rain cover and where is a wind cover...one kept eye for these places on the way up. I was happy I had enough time to reach the train.
Next morning I returned my waterproof climbing trousers for the sport gear rental shop in Zermatt...and thereafter I took a train to Geneva ! On the same day I also had my flights to Frankfurt and later to Helsinki.