Chamonix to Zermatt Biker's Haute Route

A Classic Mountain Journey by Mountain Bike




From $1,620 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • The Alpine towns of Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Some of the best Single-Track riding in the Alps
  • The Ultimate Enduro/Freeride Mountain Biking Holiday
  • Take your Mountain Biking to a new Alpine High

The Haute Route is one of the most famous routes in the Alps and our this exciting mountain biking holiday follows a variation of the 'walkers high level route' between the two great Alpine towns of Chamonix and Zermatt. We begin our mountain bike journey in the French Alpine town of Chamonix, which lies in the shadow of the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc. We ride for 6 days to Zermatt in Switzerland, using cable cars where we can, across mountain passes and following trails which have been used for centuries to link the valleys which lie below. En route, we will have challenging climbs, superb views and sample some of the best singletrack in the Alps. The final day of riding above Zermatt is a fitting climax and makes use of the Gornergrat train to reach 3016 metres, high above the town and directly opposite the iconic peak of the Matterhorn. This cycling holiday offers a week of stunning views of snow capped peaks and glaciers, with great technical riding both up and down!

explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?

FAT TYRE ADVENTURE. This trip has big climbs, mainly on forest tracks, shepherd trails and some footpaths. On occasion you will have to carry your bike, but normally for no more than 30 minutes at a time. The singletrack descents are technical and make the trip only suitable for experienced riders. Enduro or cross-country riders looking to push their limits on the downhills sections will find this holiday to be perfect. As for the 6 day journey through the Alps, well it doesn't get much better - superb trails, views, accommodation, support and above all the local knowledge of the guide which will help you find the best biking sections of the ride from Chamonix to Zermatt. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY 

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Chamonix. A single transfer from Geneva Airport is provided
  • Cable car to Col de Balme and climb to Col de la Forclaz. Descend to Martigny and cable car to Verbier.
  • Cycle the Grand Raid Cristalp via the Croix de Coeur (2174m). Ride onto Evolene.
  • Ride the high passes of Pas de Lona and Basset de Lona (2792m). Singletrack descent to Grimentz.
  • Climb to the Illsee Pass (2544m). Superb views of Mt Blanc and the Matterhorn. Descend to Eischol.
  • Steady ride to Moose Pass (2048m), onward descent to Zermatt Valley to arrive in St Nicholas.
  • Gorgenergrat train to reach 3016m. Huge descent to Zermatt with Matterhorn views.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Geneva Airport is provided.
Sat 16 Jul - Sat 23 Jul Code CZMB/01/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Available Book now
Sat 20 Aug - Sat 27 Aug Code CZMB/02/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Available Book now
The dates above are for the LAND ONLY itinerary, joining at the group hotel in Chamonix. The nearest airport is Geneva, approximately an hour and a half's drive away. Please refer to Joining Arrangements and Transfers in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Geneva. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow and Jet 2 who have flights from Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Belfast. Other airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • bike
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Chamonix. A single transfer from Geneva Airport is provided

    The group will meet at the group hotel in Chamonix. The nearest airport is at Geneva and a single airport transfer will be provided at 1630 hrs. There will be a welcome meeting at the hotel at 1800 hrs, during which the guide will be available to answer questions about the trip ahead. There will be time to assemble your bikes, before sitting down to dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Cable car to Col de Balme and climb to Col de la Forclaz. Descend to Martigny and cable car to Verbier.

    Setting off in the shadow of the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc, we ride up to Le Tour at the top of the Chamonix Valley. We save some energy by taking the gondola lift to the Col de Balme and then enjoy our first technical descent to the village of Trient in Switzerland. Then, it's up to the Col de la Forclaz, followed by a descent into the Martigny Valley with its vineyards. Our day continues with the ride to Verbier on a mix of road and off-road trail. We end the day by taking the cable car up to the ski resort of Verbier.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1000m

    • Distance 40km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1500m

  • Cycle the Grand Raid Cristalp via the Croix de Coeur (2174m). Ride onto Evolene.

    Starting from Verbier with an amazing view of the Grand Combin and the Mont Blanc range we ride towards Evolène following the itinerary of the 'Grand Raid Cristalp' race route. We pass the Croix de Coeur pass and descend on a swooping singletrack which gives you a taste of things to come. The rest of the day provides several climbs and descents over ridges and along high level trails. At one point we take a lift with the reward of a long descent on a brilliant singletrack. A long final climb takes us to the top of Sex Pey, followed by the technical descent of the day to the quaint Swiss village of Evolene.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1900m

    • Distance 65km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2400m

  • Ride the high passes of Pas de Lona and Basset de Lona (2792m). Singletrack descent to Grimentz.

    Today involves the ascent of the 2 highest passes of this tour, the Pas de Lona (2787m) and the Basset de Lona (2792m). We first climb the Pas de Lona on a jeep track, followed by a 30-minute hike-a-bike section to the top, with the reward of stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of the Weisshorn. The ride between the Pas de Lona and the Basset de Lona involves a great descent through Alpine meadows and passes close to a blue green lake. The reward is a long and varied descent via the beautiful Lac Moiry and finishing with a fun singletrack into the village of Grimentz.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1900m

    • Distance 45km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1900m

  • Climb to the Illsee Pass (2544m). Superb views of Mt Blanc and the Matterhorn. Descend to Eischol.

    An early start for another long day on the bike. We will ride via the Illsee Pass at 2544 metres, from where we can see both the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. Then, after a short descent to the lake, there's a 30 minute hike-a-bike section, followed by an epic and well-deserved downhill. This descent is a mix of all the best trails you've ever dreamed about - fast tracks, swooping and technical sections and tight corners. No less than 1200 metres of absolutely brilliant riding. Then a scenic traversing trail on both singletrack and jeep track brings us to a point above Eischol, finishing with an easy downhill for the night.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1400m

    • Distance 55km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2000m

  • Steady ride to Moose Pass (2048m), onward descent to Zermatt Valley to arrive in St Nicholas.

    We will ride on the ridge of the Swiss Rhone Valley today and enter into the German speaking area of Switzerland. After a warm up on a jeep track, we ride a singletrack and finish the climb with a hike-a-bike section to the highest point for the day, the Moose Pass at 2048 metres. The view of the neighbouring peaks is stunning, as we stand at the junction of the Zermatt and Saas-Fee valleys. The descent to St Niklaus and the Zermatt Valley is excellent, as we drop down on both singletrack and broader trails and pass through Alpine villages barely clinging to the mountain side.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1100m

    • Distance 40km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1100m

  • Gorgenergrat train to reach 3016m. Huge descent to Zermatt with Matterhorn views.

    The final day riding will be engraved on your memory forever! From Saint Niklaus we will head to Zermatt using trails and road. We will then ride the terrific trails of the Zermatt Valley. From Zermatt, we can choose to use either the Gornergrat train (which goes up to 3016 metres) or the Sunnegga funicular to gain some serious height. From each of these lifts, the view of the Matterhorn, the Breithorn and of Monte Rosa is totally jaw-dropping! The descent to Zermatt is also fantastic and will definitely make your disc brakes burn! Riding this tour is what dreams are made of...

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 700m

    • Distance 40km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1800m

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Geneva Airport is provided.

    After breakfast at our accommodation, we make the 3 hour drive to Geneva Airport, aiming to arrive at 1200 hrs. Late afternoon flights are recommended. KE Land Only package services end on arrival at Geneva Airport.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A KE biking leader
  • All accommodation as detailed in the trip dossier
  • Single timed transfer from/to Geneva (see trip dossier for timings)
  • All meals including packed lunches
  • Support vehicle and driver
  • Baggage transfer between overnight stops

  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas (if required)
  • Tips for guide and support driver
  • Transfers from airport to Chamonix - other than a single timed transfer from Geneva
  • Transfers from Zermatt other than a single timed transfer to Geneva at the end of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please check with your carrier for charges

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The easiest way to get to Chamonix is to fly to Geneva Airport. We will provide a single group transfer from Geneva Airport to the group hotel in Chamonix at 1630 hrs on Day 1. The journey time to the group hotel is an hour and a half.

At the end of the holiday, on Day 8, we will provide a transfer back to Geneva Airport from Zermatt, which will arrive at 1200 hrs.

If you have booked flights that do not work with the arrival transfer on Day 1, you should use an airport transfer service. Geneva Airport to Chamonix transfers are available from around 25 euros per person each way. We recommend Mountain Dropoffs. Enter PROMO CODE KE11 when making your booking.

If your flights out of Geneva on Day 8 are late in the day and you do not want to take advantage of our relatively early transfer, the most convenient alternative is to travel by train. To make a booking with Swiss Federal Railways, go to their website at If you intend to book your ticket in advance, note that the Swiss Rail website defaults to the concessionary fare which is half the normal fare. You must untick the 'Reduced fare' tick box before making your purchase. There is a station in Geneva Airport and there are several connections throughout the day. The journey takes approximately 3.5 hours from Zermatt and costs approximately 95 Swiss francs.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

During this trip, the group will spend 7 nights in 2* Hotels, where the accommodation is in twin or triple rooms. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with someone of the same gender.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included in the trip price. Breakfasts are usually continental style. Lunches will be a sandwich provided by our vehicle support crew and usually carried in your rucksack. Dinner will be taken at our accommodation. The hotels we use are used to feeding hungry cyclists and generally provide a three-course meal, with tasty and large portions of quality local cuisine.

All meals are included in the holiday price, from dinner on Day 1, to breakfast on Day 8.

We recommend that £150 will be sufficient for miscellaneous expenses and should also cover your bar bills - beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM’s using a credit or debit card. There are cash point facilities in Chamonix and at Geneva Airport. Please note that although part of the route is in Switzerland, euros are accepted throughout.

The trip will be led by an experienced English speaking bike guide, along with a support vehicle and driver.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local team. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. We recommend that you give a tip if you feel that the bike guide and support driver have done a good job. Around €10-€20 per person is appropriate.

Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We strongly advise that you check the current policy of your chosen airline for carrying bikes and their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. The baggage section on your chosen airline’s website will usually contain this information. We suggest that you are aware of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport as airlines may charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. If you are using a domestic flight to connect with your International flight then it is likely that a different baggage policy will exist for the domestic and international flight sections. Again you should check the baggage policy with your chosen domestic airline prior to booking your domestic flight tickets. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure (international, domestic and internal flights within the trip itinerary - if applicable) are the responsibility of each individual client.

We recommend CROSS COUNTRY KNOBBLY tyres for this holiday. Your Bike should be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Stumpjumper, Specialized Enduro or Trek 6500. Front suspension is essential and full suspension highly recommended. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday and across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:

a) Check rims and if they are worn, cracked or dented replace with a new rim or wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that the rims on rim-braked bikes are not worn concave by the brake blocks - replace them if they are.

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight.

c) Check ALL bearings and quick release skewers, adjust / grease bearings as required.

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables.

e) Check brake discs, brake pads, calliper mounts and cables / hydraulic lines - replace if necessary.

f) Check, lube / threadlock (as required) and tighten all bolts to specified torque settings (esp. suspension pivots, bottom brackets, disc rotor bolts & disk mount bolts).

g) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear - replace if worn.

h) Make sure you have the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES for your bike.

You should familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. fixing a puncture and changing an inner tube. Naturally, our bike guides will always be happy to assist with any repairs. However, due to the often-remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and the inconvenience of waiting for assistance.

Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage -providing you have packed it adequately. We have many years experience of travelling with our bikes, and nowadays we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape -ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harms way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home.

PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box -these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.

Throughout the entirety of the trip we have the back up of our support vehicle and a KE bike leader will be cycling with the group. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle and taken to our next night’s accommodation. Whilst our support vehicle cannot transport the whole group, baggage and bikes, it is also there to assist the occasional tired cyclist. So if you want to opt out of a morning, afternoon or even a full days cycling, it may be possible to travel in the vehicle.

It is possible to hire bikes for this holiday through Zero G in Chamonix. Zero G have Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29’er bikes available in several sizes. These are light, full suspension (140 mm travel) trailbikes with 29 inch wheels, Rockshox front forks and hydraulic disc brakes. The bikes are equipped with flat pedals. If you prefer to use spd or clip-in pedals, you will need to bring these with you, along with your regular cycling shoes and cleats. Another item which you might choose to take with you on the holiday is your saddle. The hire bikes have standard saddles and anyone requiring more comfort, or a women-specific saddle, should consider taking their own. Bike hire for the duration of the holiday for the model of bike specified is 340 euros (January 2014, subject to change). You will make your booking directly with Zero G ( - +33 (0) 450 53 01 01) and will be asked to pay a deposit equivalent to 30% of the value of the bike when you book. The bike hire payment does not cover you if you lose the bike or damage it beyond 'fair wear and tear'. You will pick up your bike on arrival in Chamonix. At the end of the holiday, we will arrange to drop the bike off with Zero G. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company and that KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

A passport with 3 months remaining validity is required. Passport holders from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any EU countries do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the respective consulate in their own country.

Whilst we keep our information up to date, you should be advised that visa requirements can change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in case of recent amendments.

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for varying climatic conditions. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.

Your Bike MUST be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Stumpjumper, Specialized Enduro or Trek 6500. Front suspension is essential. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.



  • Stiff soled cycling / SPD shoes
  • Overshoes for use in wet weather


  • Base layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 2)
  • Mid layer - long sleeved cycling top (x 1)
  • Outer layer - lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Fleece top or jumper

Daypack and contents

  • A cycling daypack (e.g. Camelbak or Deuter Trans Alp) of at least 25 litres total capacity is recommended. (Note there is no vehicle support during the day and so your daypack needs to be big enough to take the contents below and a packed lunch.)
  • Water bladder - min. 2 litre capacity
  • Lightweight waterproof top
  • Multi-tool
  • Puncture repair kit and tyre levers
  • Inner tube(s)
  • Pump
  • Camera
  • Sun cream
  • Small roll of gaffer tape
  • Fleece jacket
  • Head torch
  • Basic First Aid Kit. Including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).


  • Regular biking gloves


  • Padded cycling shorts (x 2)
  • Cycling tights or tracksters


  • Eyewear - Biking glasses
  • Cycling helmet - mandatory

Trek Bag Contents

  • Travel and apres biking clothes
  • Training/Leisure shoes for apres biking
  • Wash bag, towel and toiletries
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
  • Swimwear
  • Headtorch
  • Chamois cream (e.g. Assos/Ozone)


Please note: If you are hiring a bike, you do not need to bring any spares – but you should still take a pump, a puncture repair kit and a couple of 29 x 2 inch standard mountain bike inner tubes with Presta valves.

  • You should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. changing an inner tube, fixing a puncture. Naturally our bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.
  • Tyres - for this trip you will need: 1.9 to 2.2 cross-county tyres suitable for mostly dry, but occasionally wet, conditions.
  • Pump
  • Plastic tyre levers
  • Small tube of grease
  • Spare set of brake blocks / disc pads (front and rear)
  • 2 spare spokes for front and rear wheels
  • 2 x inner tubes
  • Spare chain links
  • Liquid chain lube (bottle not aerosol)
  • Multi-tool with Allen keys
  • Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)
  • Puncture repair kit
  • A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train.
  • Spares specific to your bike**

KE tools and spares

  • On all of our trips we carry a toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. As bikes become increasingly part specific it is impossible to carry a comprehensive range of spares compatible with all makes and models of bike. **Please ensure you bring any bike-specific spares that might be needed - such as disc brake bleed kits, appropriate brake fluid, shock pump, etc.

Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

  • We do provide ample supplies of water, and packed lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.In most towns we staythere will be a small supermarket where you can easily purchase extra snacks if needed.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your cycling holiday. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, at around 25 degrees centigrade. However, at higher elevations, on the tops of the passes, it will be considerably cooler, potentially as low as 10 degrees centigrade. The weather is usually stable at the time of year we run this trip, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and thunderstorms cannot be ruled out. Early July and September tend to be cooler than in late July and August but all on departures, you should be prepared for all eventualities.

The locals generally speak English in the areas that we visit. However, learning a few phrases in the local language is a great way of enhancing your cultural experiences along the way.

Chamonix – Zermatt. Cicerone Press

Swiss Survey Hiking Maps. 1: 50,000

Two sheets are required to cover the route, namely: 5027T Grand St.Bernard - Combins – Arolla, and 5028T Monte Rosa – Matterhorn.

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