Come and climb the Eiger this summer! This 3-day course is a perfect add on to one of our week-long trips such as the Technical Alpine, Monte Rosa, or Chamonix Alpinist weeks – which allow good acclimatisation and solid training beforehand. Meeting in either Chamonix of Grindelwald we get into position for our summit attempt, with any spare time being used for an ascent of the Monch.
Please visit our Covid-19 Climb Information page for Covid FAQs, details of our new participation requirements, travel advice and what to expect on your trip.
The Eiger is guided at 1:1 to allow safe and efficient progress. Both the South ridge and the Mittellegi ridge are long and committing days, so good conditions are required to safely reach the summit.
This trip is available on dates of your choice throughout the season, to follow on from an intermediate or advanced level Alpine Guides course, or following a period of personal acclimatisation. In the latter case, we need to know your acclimatisation plans at the time of booking, so we can advise accordingly.
Trip Reports >> Report 1
This is an advanced level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 3 and Tech Level 3 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines below). You need previous good quality AD alpine climbing experience as well as being able to climb Uk grade V Diff/Severe rock easily in big boots with a rucksack on. Depending on conditions, the routes involve high-quality ridge climbing with pitches up to grade V Diff/Severe rock or Scottish III mixed. Climbing the Eiger requires good levels of fitness and stamina, as the summit day involves 8-10 hours technical climbing at altitude.
One IFMGA guide climbing with one client for the 3 days.
Included in price
- 3 days of guiding
- All guides expenses
- 2 nights accommodation in the Chamonix valley including breakfast and evening meals**
- 2 nights accommodation in mountain huts, including breakfast and evening meals
- Local travel in the guide’s vehicle to complete the course itinerary (including travel to Grindelwald and return)
Excluded from price (see course factsheet for cost estimates)
- Cable cars
- Lunches and drinks
- Travel to resort
- Equipment hire
Our meeting point and Chamonix valley base is Chalet Tissieres in Les Bossons, just 5 mins by car/bus from Chamonix centre. The chalet stands in its own 2000m2 alpine garden with stunning panoramic views of Mont Blanc and the entire Chamonix valley. It offers simple but comfortable shared rooms, a large lounge/dining area, honesty bar, and a huge balcony for al fresco dining on warm summer evenings: a great place to relax after a big day in the mountains. The chalet serves a buffet breakfast and varied 3 course evening meal**, with special diets catered for upon request. Rooms are provided on a twin (or occasionally 4-6 person) sharing basis, but if you prefer a single room please let us know and we will confirm availability. **The chef has one night off each week – this day will include bed and breakfast only, but the chalet will recommend an alternative local restaurant.
We can also meet in a different location, eg Zermatt, depending upon your initial warmup course.
Hotel details can be found on our Accommodation page.
For overnights in the high mountains, we will use mountain huts. For more info please read the Using Alpine Huts article which provides an overview of typical facilities, average costs to help you budget for lunches/drinks, and general info on hut etiquette.
(NB ‘Course Only’ Options are also available. If you’d like to book a place on the course only and arrange your own accommodation, then please get in touch).
Meeting/briefing at your accommodation. Your guide will run through safety routines and kit checks, before we go on to a detailed discussion of the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our planning. If you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up before we head on to dinner. PM Overnight in the valley
Travel To Grindelwald
Travel across to Grindelwald in the morning, then take the mountain railway up through the Eiger itself, before heading to either the Mittellegi Hut or Monchjoch Hut for the night.
NB Route Choice and Climbing Conditions on the Eiger – the choice of route depends on the ability of the party and current mountain conditions; Eg the Mittellegi Ridge has a more difficult approach and more technical climbing, but it’s a slightly shorter summit day and needs to be dry and relatively free of snow to make a safe ascent, whereas the South Ridge out and back is a very long summit day, but remains climbable more often in snowier conditions.
If the Eiger is heavily corniced and out of condition (this can sometimes happen after a prolonged period of bad weather), then a similar high quality alternative on another peak will be offered.
Climb The Eiger
Mittellegi Ridge: The climb starts with the ascent to the Mittellegi Hut from the Eismeer station, which is a technical day in it’s own right. The hut is in a magnificent spot, right on the crest of the ridge ready for the climb the next day. Leaving at dawn, the climbing begins straight away, on rocky ridge terrain, with several sections of fixed rope in the upper half. The final section of the Mittellegi Ridge to the summit is snowier, usually requiring crampons. The descent is via the long South Ridge – see below.
South Ridge: Leaving the Monchjoch Hut before dawn, we drop down onto the glacier and skirt around the base of Monch in order to reach the South Eigerjoch where the climbing begins. A narrow 1km long ridge seperates the South Eigerjoch from the North Eigerjoch – this has to be traversed in both directions. Snowy to start, the ridge becomes mixed then rocky, with a final abseil off the end. Finally the South Ridge of the Eiger proper leads up to the summit – this can be either on rock, snow or mixed ground depending on conditions. The descent involves reversing the whole route – so it’s definitely a long day out!
Either we make a morning ascent of the Monch before returning to Chamonix, or or use Friday for a final attempt at the Eiger. We have the Monchjoch Hut booked for both Wednesday and Thursday nights in order to allow for this. If we climb the Eiger on Friday in good time, then it’s possible to take the train down to Grindelwald afterwards and drive back to Chamonix in the evening. Overnight in Chamonix.
Return travel should be arranged on Wednesday morning, after your final nights accommodation.
We base ourselves for the week in the famous French resort of Chamonix, in the shadow of Mont Blanc. Chamonix is one of the most famous Alpine centres in the world, with an unparalleled range of quality climbing across all grades and styles, and much of it with convenient cablecar access. The most common way to reach Chamonix is fly to Geneva, then take a shared taxi transfer to the Chamonix valley – transfers will drop off at the destination of your choice, but must be booked in advance.
Flight and transfers
- Fly to Geneva with numerous budget airlines: for an overview of the best options check out the excellent Sky Scanner flight comparison website.
- Airport transfer from Geneva to Chamonix: Mountain Drop-offs offer the best all round service, with regular reliable transfers through the season. They offer a shared minibus taxi service which meets you in the airport and drops you off at the door of your hotel. Book your transfer here and use promo code ALPGUID to receive a discount on your journey.
- Alternatively hire a car at Geneva airport (1.2 hrs drive to Cham): www.arguscarhire.com / www.holidayautos.co.uk
For flights and other travel options, including train, coach and driving, visit our Travel Planning page.
To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 3, and Tech Level 3 (as appropriate for the style of climbing on this trip ie Alpine, rock climbing or ice climbing).
Fitness Level 3
You do 3-4 hours CV training/sport per week. At this level you are happy doing a 5-6 hour hillwalk, 50 mile cycle or 3-4hr mountain bike ride without being totally exhausted. If you are into challenges – then the thought of doing a road sportive, or training to do a 1/2 (or maybe even a full) marathon, wouldn’t seem too ridiculous. Eg: you should be able to do the full Langdale Horseshoe: Langdale – Pike of Stickle – Angle Tarn – Bow Fell – Crinkle Crags – Pike of Blisco – Langdale in a day without finishing up exhausted.
Tech Level 3
Intermediate climber. Leading single or multi pitch trad rock climbs at Severe – VS / ice climbing experience seconding routes to Scottish grade 2 – 3 / familiar with multipitch abseil descents / alpine peaks at PD – easy AD standard.
To view all climbing Technical and Fitness Levels, and for advice on trip preparation and training, please visit our training advice page.
Summer Alpine Kit List
Above all, alpine climbing kit needs to do the job, but be as light as possible. We work with various manufacturers including Arc’teryx, whose products we can thoroughly recommend.
- Waterproof jacket – lightweight breathable model
- Overtrousers – with long side zips
- Socks – warm ‘Smartwool’ type, plus thin liner socks and spares
- Gaiters – made from breathable material (or trim fitting trousers with ankle volume adjuster)
- Wicking thermal tops – long sleeved and light colour is ideal!
- Fleece mid layer – or equivalent light insulating layer
- Mountain trousers – light/mid-weight windproof softshell model
- Thin gloves – windproof ‘hardfleece’ model is good
- Warm insulated gloves – wind and waterproof
- Warm hat – must fit under a helmet
- Spare warm layer – fleece or lightweight synthetic belay jacket
- Water Container – at least 1 litre
- Headtorch and batteries
- Map, compass and whistle (optional, but a good idea)
- Personal medications and blister kit – zinc oxide tape, compeed, painkillers etc
- Sun Glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
- Goggles – for windy/snowy conditions
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Sun hat
- Wallet and passport
- Alpine Club/BMC card (if you are a member) and insurance docs
Hut Overnight Items
- Small wash kit
- Spare lightweight t-shirt/socks/pants
- Silk sheet sleeping bag liner
- Ear plugs
- (Hut slippers for indoor use, and blankets/duvets and pillows are provided by the huts)
- Rucsac – 35/45l is perfect for general use
- Rucsac – superlight 15/20l model, for taking on long multi-pitch rock routes (for technical courses/private guiding)
- *Rigid mountaineering boots – Axe, Boot and Crampon advice
- Rock boots – must be comfortable enough to wear for several hours (can be hired in resort if nec)
- Approach shoes or trainers
- Trekking poles
- Harness, locking karabiner and belay device
- 2 prussik loops + karabiner – if in doubt, bring 3m of 6mm climbing cord!
- 120cm sling + locking karabiner
- Climbing helmet
- Crampons with antiball plates
- Ice Axe classic type for intro and general mountaineering courses
- Technical Ice Axe and Hammer – required for parts of the Tech Alpine/Cham Alpinist/Ice and Mixed/North Faces courses
Your guide will have ropes, climbing rack, first aid and survival equipment.
*Boots: These are VERY important to the success of your trip! Its best to have your own boots and break them in well before the start of the trip – see advice below.
Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website or our blog for equipment advice. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!
Backcountry UK in Ilkley offer an excellent mountain boot fitting service and general equipment advice.
Please see our Equipment Hire page for more details.
For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for climbing and mountaineering activities as outlined in the course itinerary. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury. Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.
Please find further details on our insurance info page.