The peak takes the form of a gigantic pyramid having three huge faces and three long ridges. It is beautiful from every side – a great white cone dominating the view from so many summits in the Oberland and Swiss Valais.
It is essential to be in good shape to climb the Weisshorn. The total ascent from the valley is over 3000m and there are no cable cars; every metre has to be climbed and descended. The climb itself from the hut is nearly 1600m, making it one of the biggest summit days in the Alps.
This is a week for experienced alpinists who have climbed other high peaks either in the Alps or greater ranges. We start with a training/acclimatisation peak (probably in the Saas Valley) where we check out and perhaps freshen up the skills demanded by the Weisshorn, which include good technique with ice axe and crampons, efficient rope work and the ability to climb at a good steady pace on the rocky terrain typical of alpine ridges.
This week is based entirely on a 1:1 guiding ratio.
Taking into account your previous experience, acclimatisation and the expected weather pattern, the guides will plan any preparation required and decide the best day for a summit attempt (which would normally be by the normal route of the East Ridge, although alternatives can be discussed with your guide). We offer this either as 5 days of 1:1 guiding or 6 days of 1:1 guiding, the latter providing an even higher probability of success as it gives more time for acclimatisation/training as well as more options for the summit day.
It will be of great benefit for anyone attempting the Weisshorn to be acclimatised before the start of the week (preferably having taken another ISM course so that we are happy with your capabilities and have had a chance to work on any weaker areas). This would give us the option of attempting the Weisshorn earlier in the week if the weather was more favourable then.
Note on costs. We charge for this course on a personal guiding basis. You cover expenses as they are incurred. Please contact the ISM office for our private guiding rates and for more information.