Published on 06/07/2020
Route: Lion Ridge (Italian normal route)
The Lion Ridge is the queen of normal routes: it is never easy nor banal, it is simply unique.
It is a classic mountaineering climb where progression is almost always by walking on a rope except on the more demanding passages where a few pitches are required.
The most demanding sections have been equipped with fixed ropes since the time of the first ascent and there is a lot of gear on the route (bolts, stops, pitons, etc.). The presence of this gear on site does not lower the technical level of the climb.
The route can be covered in one day starting from the Duca degli Abruzzi refuge located at an altitude of 2885 m. or in two days staying overnight at the Carrel hut located at 3835 m. In total, the climb has a positive vertical ascent of about 1600 meters.
Although on paper the difficulties may appear simple, never underestimate this climb. The climb always takes place on a very severe high mountain terrain where exposure to emptiness and the difficulty in finding the right way are the masters. In addition, the difficulties can vary greatly depending on the conditions of the mountain and the weather.
a. Air Tech Crampon: its short but very aggressive and manageable points are the best for climbing easily on mixed terrain where we find both rock and snow. Just like on the Lion ridge.
b. Ghost Evo Ice Axe: an ice axe is not always necessary on the Matterhorn, but when conditions require it, it is perfect. Aggressive and precise but at the same time so light that it doesn't seem to have it in your backpack.
c. Mistral harness: it allows maximum mobility and the best possible comfort. All this combined with maximum safety.
d. Stealth helmet: for years, it has been my inseparable climbing partner, I put it on in the morning and forget all day that I wore it.
e. 3 Mega K6N carabiners: on the Matterhorn the anchors have very large attachment points (cemented eyebolts), and this carabiner allows you to work easily at any time.
f. 1 Magic Ring: a small firend that can be useful in many situations, both on adjusting the lenght while walking on a rope and rappelling.
g. 2 Alpine ring (120 cm): two comfortable rings that allow us to quickly create an anchor and more.
h. 2 Plume K3W carabiners: small and light, I have them on the rings.
j. Radical Light backpack: practical and light, if it is used correctly it can easily carry all the gear you need to climb the Matterhorn.
k. 1 neck gaiter: always useful and versatile, almost with no weight
1 Gore-Tex jacket
1 down jacket
1 lightweight fleece
1 pair of mountaineering pants
1 wool hat
1 pair of thin gloves (preferably in leather)
1 pair of thick gloves (preferably in leather)
1 30-meter rope
1 medical kit
1 pair of cat. 4 sunglasses
1 pair of Mountain boots
1 water bottle
Last but not least, a lot of determination and a good adventure companion.
With the right gear and these elements, your adventure on the "Noble Rock of Europe" can begin! Happy climbing and good fun to all of you.
François Cazzanelli, born in 1990 and based in Cervinia (Italy), is part of the Grivel team since when he was a child. Mountain Guide, mountaineer and member of Società Guide del Cervino since 2012, he collected many extra-European expeditions, from Patagonia to Himalayas, to the unknown massifs of Sichuan, opening many new routes. Favorite Grivel product: North Machine Carbon ice axes.