‘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!
- Climb the Matterhorn, Eiger & Mont Blanc over a 2 week period
- Climb some other good quality alpine mountaineering routes as part of the training and spare days
- Experience a very tough mountain challenge and improve as an alpinist
- Enjoy an action packed & sociable couple of weeks in the high mountains with numerous nights spent in high mountain huts
This course starts in Chamonix and aims to make three training & acclimatisation 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, for 12 climbing days out of 13 days in total (1 rest day in the middle) 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 welcome drink & chat. Conditions, weather and itinerary briefing and ask any questions about the week. Kit check & sort out any hire equipment needed.
- 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 10-12: The Ascent of the Eiger. Please check our detailed Climb The Eiger page for a lot more information & inspiration. After the traverse of the Eiger and a night in the high altitude Monchjoch Hut, a final ascent – the Monch or Jungfrau can be completed before returning to Chamonix.
- Day 13. Final ascent in Chamonix – A classic alpine day route or enjoy some quality rock climbing in the sun after the 2 weeks of high mountain exertion! This last day also acts as a contingency if any of the ascents are delayed due to inclement weather or unsuitable conditions.
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.
2021 Mission Impossible Course Dates & Prices
Courses are run on a private guiding basis in July, August & early September. We generally run these programmes at a 1:1 guiding ratio however the maximum guide to client ratio is 1:1 or 1:2 for days 1-6 and 1:1 for days 7-12.
Our course include 12 climbing / guided days, within a 13 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.
£5825 based on an individual booking with 1:1 guiding.
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
- We make all your mountain hut bookings – you book the valley / hotel accommodation
- Professional bespoke management of your programme both in the planning & climbing phases
- Car transport during the course
- Loan of harness, helmet, crampons & ice axe as required
What’s not included?
- Valley accommodation. This course is based in Chamonix and a variety of accommodation options are available. Please see our Chamonix Accommodation Notes with overnight rates starting at C. 25 euros per night for guest house style accommodation through to 5* Hotel options.
- 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.
- All mountain huts & lift passes, for you and the guides. Allow about 70-90 euros per night for your half board accommodation plus at least half this again for the Guide.
- Some huts and lifts are more expensive, like the Gouter & Hornli Hut and the Jungfraujoch Railway. Plus some other specific expenses like those below.
- Hornli Hut fees, 150 CHF for you and 140 CHF for the guide, thus 290 CHF in total for the guest to pay.
- Return train fare for you and the guides from Tasch to Zermatt (around 60 CHF)
- Parking in Tasch (around 30 CHF)
- Lift from Zermatt to Schwarzee for you and the guide (around 80 CHF)
- Parking in Grindlewald and the brilliant but very expensive train to Jungfraujoch (195 CHF per adult)!
- Your personal mountaineering equipment – see our alpine mountaineering kit list and options for mountain equipment hire.
- Flights and transfer from the airport to Chamonix.
- Lunches, extra drinks, snacks etc during the course
- Any other expenses
- Please refer to our Alpine Expenses page for current costs of Chamonix accommodation, mountain hut costs and mountain lift prices
More Details & Booking
Please contact us via the form at the base of this page and let us know your experience & fitness details and aims. Also what dates you are available. We can then reply and discuss availability and mail over an invoice for a 25% non refundable deposit payment with the balance then due 3 months before the course start date.