The Eiger is infamous in world mountaineering and has captured the adventurous mind with images of daring, exposure and historic consequence.
- Trip Overview
- Trip Outline
- Pricing + Dates
- Trip Excludes
The Eiger is infamous in world mountaineering and has captured the adventurous mind with images of daring, exposure and historic consequence. While not the highest peak in the Berner Oberland range, it’s North face will scare all but the most committed with its stories of suffering and objective danger. We choose to climb instead, one of the most aesthetic and classic lines in all of the alps; the Mittellegi ridge.
We will meet in Chamonix, France for our training and acclimatization. Chamonix, in the heart of the Alps, is a hub of alpine climbing and the perfect setting to prepare for our main objective. Climbing the Eiger via the Mettellegi ridge is a technical and committing climb. Once we begin our summit push it is easier to go up and over, than it is to retrace our steps. Therefore, thorough preparation is imperative to our ultimate success. We don’t have specific objectives during these four days, instead, we will choose routes and objectives based on conditions and your needs. That said, we will focus on rock movement both up and down, as well as transitions and repelling. We will spend 2 nights in mountain huts to help us acclimate to the altitude so we can move efficiently on summit day.
We begin our climb of the Eiger from the town of Grindelwald Switzerland, where we board the Jungfrau Railway. This famous train winds its way, literally through the mountains of the Monch and Eiger where eventually we disembark at the Eismeer station. Here we access a tunnel that leads to a door out of the mountain, from which we rappel onto the glacier. We then rope up and cross the glacier, quickly reaching a rock cliff that we must traverse and climb to the Mittellegi hut. At the Mittellegi hut, we rest and spend a short night before heading for the summit.
With similar technical difficulties as the Matterhorn, the Eiger has none of the crowds that you often find on the Hornli ridge, as the Mittellegi hut holds only 40 people. We awake early to freshly baked bread, hot drinks and Muesli to fuel us for our climb. As dawn approaches we set off on a fantastic ridge climb with breathtaking views down into the valley below, the north face chattering with constant rockfall to our right and the sunny Oberland cheering us on to our left. Solid rock and moderate technical difficulties make this climb enjoyable with every step to the summit.
From the summit, as always, our journey is only halfway through. But this climb is unique because we traverse the summit and descend the South Ridge, rather than returning the way we came up. Rappelling and down climbing to the glacier before reaching the Jungfraujoch, where we can rest and grab a beer or coffee before loading on the train that will take us back to where we began. The climb will take 2 days Gwinderwald to Gwinderwald and will be a highlight of your climbing memoirs.
Arrive in Chamonix the evening before. We will talk the evening before to make sure you’re all set for our week.
Training climbs around Chamonix with 2 nights in huts.
We will catch an early morning train to Gwinderwald, continuing on the Jungfrau Railway. We will arrive at the Mittellegi hut early afternoon.
Summit and descend to the train and continue our journey back to Chamonix.
How Pricing Works
$4500 (6 Days, 1 person)
$6500 (6 Days, 2 people)
Jul – Sep
* Custom Dates Available
- Hotel & hut accommodations
- Transportation between
- Personal gear
While the difficulty of climbing required on every trip is different, there are some basic skills that are required on any climbing trip. Every climber needs to be able to put on their own equipment correctly, as well as have basic understanding of climbing jargon adequate to follow your guides directions. Each climber needs to be able to tie a figure eight rethread knot as well as a clove hitch, and have basic belay and rappel experience.
If we are on glacier during the trip, you should have previous experience using crampons and ice axe, as well as training on self arrest. Crevasse Rescue training, while not required on every trip is a good skill every climber should have in their tool box.
This stuff can all be learned in a day or two out with an ITCOG guide or one of our colleagues. Get in touch and set up a training class today.
Each climb has a technical grade ranging from class 1 (hiking) to class 5 (technical rock climbing). Most of our Alpine offerings start at Class 3, which is described as scrambling on rock with the use of both feet and hands. Being comfortable moving in this terrain while being short roped or coached by a guide is our base line.
Many of our Alpine climbs require 5th class climbing, described as technical rock climbing. Terrain where you would not want to fall without a rope. The class is then divided by grades: 5.0 to 5.10 for example. You will need to climb proficiently at the grade of the objective for which you are signing up for. For example: The Matterhorn is rated 5.4, you will need to move at a good steady pace for 8-12 hours , up and down in 5.4 terrain. (please check out our climbing grades comparison chart at the end of this document.)
Most Summit days are big! On our alpine climbs you can expect to be moving at a steady pace for 8 to 14 hours. That’s a big time difference, I know! But that ultimately depends on you! A good guide won’t waste time, he/she sets good pacing and route finding sure! but your fitness and skill level will be the biggest determinate between a big and a huge day. Ultimately speed is safety. The longer you are out the more tired you become. Standard times on mountains are always a consideration and are generally adhered to.
A positive attitude, which includes being mentally prepared goes a long way in the mountains. But determination will only get you so far. I always ask people what their average week of exercise looks like, and what is their biggest day of exercise in the past year. I look for a regular exercise program of 2-3 days a week and many weekends. Having a big activity like; a big hike or a long run, or past experience Alpine climbing and mountaineering are good indicators for adequate fitness.
strong heart! If you show up cardio fit. You should be pushing your cardio in the months and weeks prior to your climb. Your strong heart and lungs will adapt to altitude better than they otherwise would.
We have lot’s of experience helping people get fit for trips. The last thing in the world you want is for your fitness to stop you from doing your trip of a life time. We are happy to work with you to establish a training program that fits your goals and lifestyle. If you can make it to Salt Lake City, we would love to take you out and give you an idea of where you are at with your climbing ability and skills, as well as your over all fitness. Don’t forget if you have different abilities or a different agenda, we are always happy to do a private trip for you and your group.