‘The Mission’ tackles the 3 highest mountains in the Alps but ‘Mission Impossible‘ challenges you to attempt the Alps 3 most renowned peaks and 3 of the worlds great iconic mountains…The Eiger, The Matterhorn & Mont Blanc.
To climb these peaks in an entire mountaineering career would be an achievement but to climb them over two weeks would surely be ‘a bridge too far’…not possible…for most anyway…or maybe, for those with the right credentials, it might just be achievable!? Those with sufficient fitness, determination and mountaineering skill can apply to take on a truly memorable and demanding alpine mountaineering challenge, The Mission Impossible…
- To Climb the Matterhorn, Eiger & Mont Blanc over a 2 week period
- To climb some other good quality alpine mountaineering routes as part of the training and spare days
- To experience a very tough mountain challenge and improve as an alpinist
This course starts in Chamonix and aims to make three training & acclimatistation climbs before starting the business of tackling the big three demanding peaks. See below for a detailed itinerary.
The three iconic mountains all present their own set of different challenges. These will put your mountaineering skills, as well as your fitness and mental resilience sternly to the test :
- The Eiger (3970m) Alpine Grade D / AD. Whilst relatively low, the Eiger is the most technical of the three peaks and presents steep rocky sections of ridge with some physical fixed rope handling. This is all topped off with a beautiful exposed and narrow snow ridge to a classic lofty summit and sustained and intricate descent. The Mittelegi or South Ridges can be taken according to conditions. Plan A is to traverse the mountain via the two.
- The Matterhorn (4478m) Alpine Grade AD. The Matterhorn combines some of the technicality of the Eiger with some of the high altitude and big mountain feel of Mont Blanc. The result is a long, tough and spectacular days alpine mountaineering. We usually climb the iconic ‘Hornli’ Ridge from Zermatt but it is also possible to climb the Italian Ridge from Cervinia.
- Mont Blanc (4810m) Alpine Grade PD. With less steep rock than the other 2 famous peaks Mont Blanc provides the huge snow peak, alpine & glacial dimension to the challenge. By either the 3 Monts or Gouter route the ascent of Mont Blanc is long, physical and tough. For those on a 1:1 guiding ratio there is the option of trying the classic traverse via the Aiguille de Bionnassay.
12 Day Mission Impossible Itinerary
This is a suggested itinerary based on good weather. It may be necessary to change the programme to make best use of local mountain conditions.
- Pre-Course full on fitness training 3-6 months prior to the course and then, ideally, some walking and acclimatisation training in the hills above Chamonix for a few days before the course starts. We can offer advice on how to get the most out of these pre-course elements.
- Day 0: Evening introductory talk, meet other group members and ask any questions about the week. Weather and itinerary briefing. Kit check & sort out any hire equipment needed for the week.
- Days 1-3: Acclimatise for the ascent of Mont Blanc whilst tackling some of the classic technical alpine ascents of the Chamonix Valley up to Alpine grade AD. Check out the link below for some suggestions. The routes undertaken will combine scrambling and climbing on rock, snow & ice and will include at least one night spent in a mountain hut to aid acclimatisation.
- Days 4-6: The Ascent of Mont Blanc. Please check our detailed Climb Mont Blanc page for a lot more information, inspiration and FAQ’s etc
- Day 7: Well earned rest day!
- Days 8-9: The ascent of the Matterhorn. Please check our detailed Climb The Matterhorn page for a lot more information, inspiration and FAQ’s etc
- Days 10-11: The Ascent of the Eiger. Please check our detailed Climb The Eiger page for a lot more information & inspiration
- Days 12-13: These days acts as contingency days if any of the ascents are delayed due to inclement weather or unsuitable conditions. If weather, conditions and energy levels allow they are spare days to enjoy another fine ascent.
John from Colorado, Mission Impossible Completed August 2016
“I am back home now, savoring the wonderful memories I collected in the Alps — and readjusting to the time-zone change. I enjoyed my Alpine adventures very much, and I enjoyed Phil’s company and expertise — and his willingness to accommodate my wishes. All my objectives were met, and I am especially pleased that I was able to add on the Monch and the Jungfrau to my list of summits climbed. Thanks again for arranging for me to climb Mont Blanc earlier than planned so that we could enjoy the superb weather. Thanks to both of you for making my Alpine adventures so pleasant and successful.”
Who Can Climb The Mission Impossible?
Similar to our ‘Mission’ course, high levels of fitness, stamina and determination are required to complete these 3 tough mountaineering challenges. Some strong previous hill walking, mountaineering and climbing experience will be beneficial and we usually find that people who are only able to train in the gym do not do very well on such an extended mountain challenge. Furthermore the Eiger & Matterhorn present technical mountaineering challenges so some rock climbing experience is required (up to around Alpine IV / UK Hard Severe / U.S. 5.6) and experience and competence is required with the use of ice axe and crampons. Further training will be given at the start of the course but this is not a challenge for newcomers to mountaineering. The summit days will be 9-13 hours long, technical and at altitude, so you should be physically and mentally prepared for this considerable challenge. Please get in touch to discuss your mountaineering experience and fitness levels if you are not sure.
2019 Mission Impossible Course Dates & Prices
Our course includes 11 climbing / guided days, within a 12 day block, and an introductory talk the evening before the first day. We can increase this number of days and add more rest days between the peaks as per your preference on a private guiding basis.
Courses are run on a private guiding basis in July, August & early September..
Guide to client ratio is 1:1 or 1:2 for days 1-6 and 1:1 for days 7-12
£5445 based on an individual booking with 1:1 guiding for days 1-12
A team of 2 booking together could reduce this fee by sharing a guide for the training & Mt Blanc phases of the trip although this may compromise flexibility slightly during the course. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.
What’s included in the Price?
Our courses are priced on a ‘guiding only’ basis which means you pay the exact cost price for all other expenses like hotels, mountain huts and lift passes. These expenses amount to about 1500 euros which includes 13 nights half board accommodation in a hotel & mountain huts & lift passes. You could reduce this figure if you wanted to stay in a gite or camp and increase it if you want to stay in a more luxury hotel.
- 12 full days mountain guiding with an IFMGA Mountain Guide
- Car transport during the course
- Loan of any technical mountaineering equipment required
What’s not included?
- Chamonix accommodation. Prices start from camping at C.10 euros per night, Bunkhouse for C.20 euros per night and hotel accommodation from around 50 euros upwards. Please see our Chamonix Accommodation notes.
- Accommodation for the Mission Impossible is generally best arranged with a flexible component e.g. self catering to allow for changes to make the most of the programme according to weather and conditions.
- Mountain huts & lift passes, for you and the guides. Allow about 50 euros per night half board accommodation. The guides expenses are split between the group members and are discounted in huts, hotels and on lifts and trains. The best way to deal with these expenses is to make a communal group ‘kitty’ which you contribute to and all expenses are paid out of.
- Flights and transfer from the airport to Chamonix.
- Lunches, extra drinks, snacks etc during the course
Course Kit List
For more details on our terms & conditions, to fill in a booking form and make a payment, please visit our booking page via the link below