Matterhorn, Switzerland

With a height of 4,477m and its majestic pyramid shape, the Matterhorn is the epitome of a mountain and the landmark of Switzerland. Every year, around 3,000 climbers attempt to scale the summit of the Matterhorn - only two-thirds of them succeed.

The Matterhorn in Switzerland is considered by mountaineers to be the quintessential mountain. The peak above the famous mountaineering center of Zermatt is 4,477m high. Due to its natural and almost perfect pyramid shape, the Matterhorn is one of the most beautiful and probably most photographed mountains on our planet.


No other mountain can hold a candle to the majestic sight. The landmark of Switzerland is also among our top 10 sights of Switzerland and our 10 most famous and beautiful mountains in the world.

PICTURES: Zermatt and Matterhorn

Photo gallery: Zermatt and Matterhorn

Ascent of the Matterhorn

Every year about 3,000 climbers try to climb to the top of the Matterhorn. Most of them take the normal route from the village of Zermatt via the Hörnligrat - this is the easiest ascent. Two thirds of them also arrive at the top.

For the others, reason probably often wins out at the last moment and they give up and turn back in time. Nevertheless, an average of 10 climbers die each summer season. Countless others are regularly rescued by the mountain rescue service.

Requirements for climbing the Matterhorn

From the Gornergrat Observatory you have an ideal view of the Matterhorn, probably the most famous mountain in Switzerland - © TheYok / Shutterstock
© TheYok / Shutterstock

Best time to climb the Matterhorn is early July to mid-September. Top fitness and condition and experience in rock and ice climbing is an absolute must to climb the Matterhorn.

Since the normal route over the Hörnligrat is difficult to find, you must either have excellent local knowledge or climb with a local mountain guide. This is highly recommended even for experienced alpinists by the Alpincenter Zermatt. However, this fun does not come cheap.

Each mountain guide takes only one climber on the rope. For the ascent you have to expect about 4-5 hours, the descent takes the same amount of time. So you have to bring 10 hours of endurance. For the mountain guide you have to calculate with a daily fee of about 1.000,- EUR. However, there is no guarantee of reaching the summit.


The summit victory is of course also dependent on the weather conditions or the congestion (!) - yes read correctly - that results from the mass crowds in the summer.

Regarding the alternative of trying one's luck oneself, one should take into account that orientation is sometimes very difficult and that there have already been over 800 deaths on the Matterhorn.

The Matterhorn as a destination for mass tourism

The Matterhorn is considered by mountaineers to be the epitome of a mountain and is the emblem of Switzerland - © Frank Fischbach / Shutterstock
© Frank Fischbach / Shutterstock

When planning an ascent, one should be aware that the Matterhorn has become a destination for mass tourism because of its fame. Even old people and leg amputees have allegedly been taken to the Matterhorn. Congestion at the entrance is always to be expected.

You won't find a quiet, enjoyable mountain experience here. As an alternative (also in terms of price), the other 4,000-meter peaks in the area offer themselves. There are still enough quiet mountain experiences, some of which are no less impressive.

Related links:

Official website of the Alpine Center in Zermatt