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A world-famous mountain in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, Eiger’s iconic reputation is well-earned and well-known. Standing at just under 4,000 meters above sea level (13,120 ft), it’s been testing even the most seasoned alpinists for over 150 years now. Home to plenty of classic climbs, like the impressive Mittellegi Ridge or the historic North Face route, it’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping. While other classic peaks of the Alps were being summited, it wasn’t until 1938 that the North Face—also known as the Death Face—of Eiger was first ascended. Since then, it’s held an allure that draws climbers from all over the world. Just a few hours from Chamonix, Eiger’s challenging alpine routes make for some of the best guided climbing experiences you’ll find in all of Europe. Find out more about climbing Eiger’s North Face from Jeff Witt, IFMGA-certified guide.
One of Europe’s most challenging ascents at almost 4,000 m
Practice on classic Chamonix routes as preparation for the summit
Choose between the superbly exposed Mittellegi Ridge and the biggest North Face in the Alps
Mittellegi Ridge is the classic Eiger introduction for aspiring alpinists and the perfect training ground for the Matterhorn. This rock and snow alpine route requires solid skills with crampons and an ice ax as well as the ability to climb mid-5th class rock in mountaineering boots. You’ll spend several days preparing on some classic Chamonix routes to get ready. The Mittellegi Ridge is long and intricate, with moderately technical exposed terrain. You’ll follow the east ridge of the mountain overlooking the famous North Face.
Climbing the Mittellegi requires some prep time and planning with your guide, so you’ll arrive in Chamonix two days prior to the climb. You’ll spend the night in Chamonix.
Today you’re continuing your training for the big climb. The Mont Blanc Massif has plenty of peaks on which you can acclimatize and practice for the Eiger, such as the Arête des Cosmiques. There’s not a set number of climbs for these first two days, they will depend on a number of factors and will be decided by you and your guide after booking. After a day out, return to your accommodation.
Drive to Grindelwald, a charming village in Switzerland around 3.5 hours away from Chamonix. Take the 1.5-hour train to the Jungfrauhoch saddle. When you get there, complete the technical ascent up to the Mittellegi Hut, where you’ll spend the night.
Today’s the day when you finally get to the top of Eiger! Wake up early because there’s a long day of climbing ahead of you. When you reach the summit, standing at an altitude of 4,215 m (13,830 ft), take a moment to appreciate the incredible view. Descend the South Ridge to the Monchsjoch Hut at 3,658 m (12,000 ft). If conditions aren’t optimal, you’ll climb the South Ridge instead.
Depending on the weather and energy levels, spend another day mountaineering on the area’s classic routes. From the Monchsjoch Hut, choose between the Monch, Jungfrau, or Grosses Fiescherhorn. At the end of the day, take the Jungfraujoch train back to Grindelwald and return to Chamonix to celebrate your achievements!
The North Face of Eiger is one of the classic alpine routes that climbers long to conquer. With worn out gear from the 50s still in place, climbers will find themselves battling fickle weather, rock fall, ice, snow, and ever-changing conditions in tricky alpine terrain to reach the top. Routes require a high level of skill, experience, and mental strength. Duration is dependent on a number of factors, and usually requires a few days of prep before taking on the North Face. It’s a demanding endeavor, but with the right training, planning and guidance, you can summit Eiger’s North Face and add your name to the list of those who dared to take on this iconic route.
Arrive in Chamonix and settle into your chosen accommodation. Meet with your guide and discuss the ascent up the North Face.
The North Face is a tough and challenging ascent. Allow yourself enough time to practice on nearby peaks and familiarize yourself with the terrain—your guide will be with you the whole time and help you every step of the way. The day of the summit, you’re going to get up very early, climbing on snow and rock terrain until you reach the summit.
Note: Keep in mind that this is a customizable ascent. The North Face isn’t a walk in the park and not every climber is the same regarding how much prep time they need. Contact us to make proper arrangements and a tailored tour for you.
After a hard day in the field, this day is all about rest. It’s time to say goodbye to your guide, but feel free to stay a bit longer in the Chamonix area!
What you get on this adventure:
What’s not included:
In order to climb Eiger’s Mittellegi Ridge or the North Face Route, you need to be an experienced alpine climber on rock, snow, and ice. You need to have excellent physical fitness, strong mental stamina, and be capable of strenuous exercise for the entire duration of your tour. Multi-pitch climbing rope skills, including belaying and lead climbing, are essential. On some days, you’ll be climbing for 10 to 15 hours a day on technical terrain, which requires full focus and confidence.
Alpine climbing the Eiger mountain isn’t a walk in the park. Like many rewarding ascents, successful ascent of the Eiger is a result of a long preparation. That being said, this tour is not suitable for beginners. If you’re looking to get into the climbing world, we recommend this course of Chamonix rock climbing basics or a day of alpine climbing in Chamonix.
This is a list of technical climbing equipment that you’ll need:
Here’s a list of clothing we suggest you bring:
Here are other personal items you’ll need:
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and prices:
Alpine climbing the Eiger can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
To get to Chamonix, most people fly into Geneva International Airport (GVA), one hour away. Once you arrive, there are several ways to reach your destination, including public transport. Looking to make the airport transfer hassle-free? Check out Mountain Drop-Offs—they provide door-to-door service in their comfy and spacious shuttles.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in France and Switzerland, please refer to the official website of France Diplomacy and COVID-19 entry restrictions in Switzerland.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!