"Beta"

 

On Deja News:

Q: 
Any beta on matterhorn north face routes. any easy ones.
A:
Hi,
On the north face of Matterhorn is no really easy route. The
easiest route is the classical way of the brothers Schmidt,
gradually UIAA IV. At beginning there is a 300 meter
iceclimb with ~ 55 grade.
The most parts are mixed climbing and hard for protecting. 
The best time is the later spring, the end of winter - it`s depended
from the conditions of snow and ice.  
In the later winter  it is cold and not so dangerous because 
rock and icefall. 
Greetings from Salzburg

Robert



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From http://library.thinkquest.org/27337/e/sports_centre/mountain_guides_office/nordwand1.htm

Kurzinformation

This face is 1000m high from the Matterhorn glacier to the summit. Because the rays of the sun rarely reach here, this face is icy. The rock is not good for climbing and is the least firm in the top third of the climb.

Because falling rocks affect the north face of the Matterhorn too, winter climbing is safer.

Each route on this face is a milestone in the history of climbing. The Matterhorn north face is reserved for the boldest and best climbers. It has been climbed quite frequently.
Duration

12-14 hours from the Hörnli hut

Grade of difficulty

very difficult
most difficult place: 5

Erstbegehungen

This face was for a long time one of the last great challenges in the Alps. The first complete ascent of the north face was achieved by Franz and Toni Schmid on 31 July and 1 August 1931. The bothers had ridden by bicycle from Munich. They pitched their tent at Stafel at the foot of the Matterhorn glacier. They set off around midnight on 31 July. They first walked up to the Hörnli hut and told the warden about their intended climb. They climbed down to the Matterhorn glacier and began their extremely difficult ascent. They bivouacked overnight at 4150m.

It was a complete sensation when the unknown young climbers reached the summit of the Matterhorn in stormy weather at 2 p.m. on the Swiss national day. The whole world was amazed at their achievement. It was the first time the two German climbers had climbed one of the great mountains in the Valais. It seemed all the more astonishing that they had climbed the Matterhorn north face, which was considered unconquerable, at the first attempt. And they achieved it in such a bad summer as that of 1931, when there was constant bad weather and a lot of snow lay on the mountains.

The snow in fact helped them. It covered the smooth slabs on the north face, which tilt downwards like roof tiles, with a layer of ice and snow, which was easy for them to climb.

Franz and Toni Schmid were awarded an Olympic gold medal for their extraordinary achievement. It is the only gold medal that the international Olympic committee has ever awarded for an achievement in climbing.

First winter climb:
Hilti van Allmen and Paul Etter 3. /4. Februar 1962

 

The Schmid route (SAC n:o 1134)
This route is not extremely difficult. However, there is the danger of falling rocks, especially in the lower part. This tour should only be undertaken when the bad rock is held firm by snow and ice.
Duration: 12-14 hours from the Hörnli hut
Grade of difficulty: very difficult, most difficult place: 5

 

Another picture from Schmid-route:

http://www.artvisuell.de/climbing/climbing_pages/north_faces/north_faces_wall_pages/matterhorn/matterhorn.htm

 

From Peakware.com's Summit Log:

"We made the classic "Schmid-Route" (North-Face), starting half past midnight at the Hoernli hut and "entered" the summit at 7:30 in the evening. We had a lot of rocks and stones falling down the wall caused by the people on the standard way, but - ... - we made it."

Klaus-Georg Deck
Maikammer, Germany
Date(s) summited: August 1, 1990
Date signed: February 16, 1999