Colorado • North Cascades • Europe
Every September I head out West for some alpine fun in the mountain range where I grew up. September is the perfect time to try some of the mega classics like the West Ridge of Forbidden (fifty classic) or possibly Mt. Shuksan (pictured left) via several classic lines. If ice and snow is more your thing then consider the North Ridge of Mt Baker.
The Matterhorn above Zermatt is one of the most iconic peaks in all of the world and one that should be on everyone's bucket list. I offer this trip once a year in late July or early August. I only book about 14 days in the country so book this early if you would like a spot. The training, acclimatization and summit climb is typically 6 days. The standard itinerary runs as follows:
- Day One – climb the Riffelhorn above Zermatt. A fun day with a train approach to a 5-7 pitch rock climb. You will climb in your mountain boots to prepare for the Matterhorn.
- Day Two – ride the lifts up to the Klein Matterhorn and traverse in to Italy and climb Pollux via easy rock and a great snow arete to the summit. Night in the Val D Ayas hut.
- Day Three – Climb Castor above the Val D Ayas hut and one more night at the hut.
- Day Four – Ascend back up the glacier and traverse the half Breithorn. Amazing climb and perfect training for the Matterhorn. Night back in Zermatt.
- Day Five – Ascent to Hornli Hut at the base of the Matterhorn.
- Day Six – Matterhorn! Wake up call at 3:30 and 3:50 depart for the base of the ridge. The climb typically takes 4-5.5 hours to the top and another 5-5.5 hours down. Descend to Zermatt and enjoy a celebratory dinner and drinks.
Rocky Mountain National Park
I am able to guest guide in RMNP through the Colorado Mountain School where there are too many classics to list. A few of my favorite are the Petit Grepon, Spiral Route on Notchtop or Hallets Peak.