The most difficult 4000+ meter challenge in the Alps is the Schreckhorn

When you mention the Schreckhorn (Switzerland) in a conversation with a mountaineer, a little bit of fear is seen in their eyes. It is a notorious peak in the Bernese Alps often regarded as the most difficult 4000-meter mountain to climb in the Alps. The advantage is that there are few crowds seen on its faces and can bring you closer to mastery.

Facts about the Schreckhorn

The Schreckhorn (4078 m.) is located in the eastern part of the Berner Oberland near Grindelwald. It forms an impressive twin summit with the Lauteraarhorn. Both these peaks are located on a 10- kilometer long ridge, upon which there are more peaks, mostly between 3100 and 3700 meters.

The mountain is considered as the most technical and difficult 4000’er in the Alps and a huge challenge on any face. The main advantage is that not many people climb this peak, and there is a great mountaineering atmosphere for those who do. The tough part of the climb is the route towards the ridge. 

The adventure starts in the village of Grindelwald, but the route is long and there are almost no mountain huts. This makes these mountains some of the most remote in Europe, and when an emergency situation occurs, you are on your own. From the normal route, that starts from the Schreckhornhütte, it takes about 6-8 hours to climb to the summit. The Schreckhorn is the northernmost Alpine four-thousander and the northernmost summit rising above 4,000 meters in Europe. It reaches an altitude of 4078 meters and was first ascended in 1861 by P & C Michel, U. Kaufmann and L. Stephen.

Climbing the Schreckhorn

 

Accommodations in the region of the Schreckhorn

The Schreckhorn is one of the most remote mountains in the Alps: there aren’t too many villages and mountain huts around. The closest village is Grindelwald, a popular place for climbers and hikers who want to catch a glimpse of the notorious Eiger. Another option, though a lot further, is the village of Wengen in the Lauterbrunnen Valley,if you are looking for fine hotel these are worth checking out:

Hotel Spinne located in the heart of the glacier village of Grindelwald at the foot of the Eiger North Wall. The 4-star hotel comprises 43 rooms in a welcoming Alpine Chic design. Most include a balcony or terrace with superb views of our majestic mountain world.

Hotel Alpenblick located in Grindelwald, probably the most beautiful valley in the world, is worth a visit in summer as well as in winter. The Alpenblick stands for reasonably priced overnight stays, spontaneous parties in the pub and tasty, inexpensive food in the restaurant.

Hotel Lauberhorn located on the sunny side of grindelwald with the best views of the eiger north face. if you go hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, winter hiking, relaxing or do not do anything to grindelwald, they are very happy to be there for you and will make sure that you can enjoy your stay with all your senses.

Grindelwald

Village of Grindelwald
Grindelwald Photo by chriskench

Grindelwald is a village in the canton of Bern located at the base of the Jungfrau. From the village center, one can take a train via Kleine Scheidegg to the railway station at Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe.

This ride takes 70 minutes and costs FR for a return ticket costs between €124 and €190. Get a Swiss Travel Pass to get 25% discount.

Not only is it a popular base for hikers, but climbers who have set their minds on the notorious Eiger North Face start their quest here as well.

Grindelwald has several types of accommodations. Besides hotels, there is the option to spend your nights at one of the three campsites: camping Eigernordwand, camping Gletscherdorf or camping Holdrio.

Wengen

Village of Wengen
Wengen Village Photo by Sinava

The village of Wengen is located in the canton of Bern, close to the border of Wallis. There are several hotels in the village and even a youth hostel. A train leading from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen continues its journey to Kleine Scheidegg. Here you can change to trains that lead to Jungfraujoch. The traffic-free village center with its traditional charming wooden chalets make for a perfect holiday setting.

Handegg

Handegg is a small village in the municipality of Guttannen, Switzerland, situated near the lake Gelmersee. There are a number of hotels available near the village, but the hotel and naturresort Handeck offers one of the best experiences. Like most hotels in this area, it is found in Gutannen, just outside the center of Handegg.

Schreckhornhütte

Mountain Hut - Schreckhornhütte

The Schreckhornhütte at an altitude of 2530 meters is often used to climb the peak from its normal route. For active travelers, the trail leading towards it might be a beautiful day hike as it has a very long approach of about 6 hours; it is considered one of the most splendid approaches in the entire Alps. To shorten the hike, it is possible to take the cable car to the Pfingstegg station and do the 4h 30 minute hike from there. The hut was built in 1979 and has 90 places to accommodate visitors in the summer season (July to late August). In winter, there are only 57 places.

Glecksteinhütte

Mountain Hut - Glecksteinhütte

There are two options to do the hike to Glecksteinhütte. You can start at the Hotel Wetterhorn (3h 30 minutes) or from the village of Grindelwald (4h 30 minutes). The latter option offers rare beauty with amazing views f the northe4ast side of the Schreckhorn. Those who wish to spend the night in the hut at 2317meters might be lucky enough to spot a colony of steinbocks. Spending a night here is a truly unique experience, and they serve the best breakfast. There are 120 beds available.

Lauteraarhütte

Mountain Hut - Lauteraarhütte

At an altitude of 2392 meters, the Lauteraarhütte is a third option to climb the Schreckhorn. It is located southwest of Handegg in the canton of Bern. It lies above the Unteraar Glacier, at the foot of the Hienderstock in the Bernese Alps. The shortest access to the hut is from the Grimsel Hospice, below the Grimsel Pass.

Hiking in the region around Schreckhorn

Grosse Scheidegg to Bussalp

This scenic hike, traveling from Grosse Scheidegg to Bussalp, features magnificent panoramic views of several peaks, including the Schreckhorn, Fiescherhorn, the Finsteraarhorn and more from a variety of different angles. Along the way, the path travels through lovely meadows, traverses rocky ridges and meanders through pretty pastures. The complete hike is about 13 km long and has an elevation gain of 700 meters.

Murren to Grutschalp

Village of Murren
Murren Village Photo by deltrems

Another popular day hike is the wooded stroll from the village of Murren to Grutschalp,located high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The route goes along the western plateau and crosses forests and grasslands. If offers plenty of photo opportunities of the famous peaks in the region. The hike runs parallel to the railway between both villages, making it possible to continue your journey by train half-way.

Grosse Scheidegg to Meiringen

This hike leading through meadows and forests is a good option for hikers who need a bit of a challenge. The trail is more difficult than most options in the region as it gains about 1300 meters of altitude. Hiking time is about 4 hours, but make sure to provide lots of time as you will be stopping frequently to enjoy the views.  The starting point is easily reachable by car or train from the village Grindelwald.

Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg

Take a short and easy hike in the Lauterbrunnen valley. You will be granted an almost continuous view of the surrounding rock walls and pass by beautiful waterfalls, including the famous Staubbach Fall, situated just outside Lauterbrunnen.

Things to do in the region of Schreckhorn

Chances are high that Grindelwald will be the location of your accommodations during your stay in the Schreckhorn region. Here are a few options of things to do that offer great alternatives for a rainy or rest day.

The Jungfraujoch railway is a must when visiting the Jungfrau region. This scenic train journey brings you to the highest railway station in Europe (3454m). From this point, you get tremendous views of the neighbouring peaksk of Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau. With a guarantee of snow and ice, a visit to the Top of Europe building is the ultimate activity during your stay in the Berner Oberland.

Just west of the saddle is the Sphinx station, one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world. The Top of Europe building a little higher up has several panoramic restaurants and hiking trails leading over the crevassed glacier to the Möncsjoch Hut.

Along the way to the Top of Europe buildingis Kleine Scheidegg, another railway station at 2061meters. It is situated directly at the base of the notorious Eiger North Face and the starting point of the Jungfraubahn.

The village of Interlaken, a short distance from Grindelwald, is the closest city to the Jungfrau. The name derives from the fact that two lakes, Brienzersee and Thunersee, are connected by the river Aare that flows through the city. Interlaken has a charming atmosphere. From its center, it’s possible to see the summit of the Jungfrau. The Höheweg, an avenue between both stations, affords great views of the peak.

Hiking with kids

The hike from First to Bachalpsee is an easy trail that is very popular among travelers, as it delivers jaw-dropping views of alpine peaks and glaciers. The trail leading through meadows and alpine terrain has close to no elevation difference, so you can complete the hike in about 2 to 3 hours. This lack of difficulty makes it a great hike to do with your children.

Another option is a fantastic 3.7km-long theme trail from Männlichen for children called Lieselotteweg, with thirteen interactive stations along the trail. The cow Lieselotte is a favorite children´s storybook character, living in a small village in the German Westphalia, that decides to go on a trip to the Bernese Alps.

Schreckhorn map

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Schreckhorn

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Schreckhorn 46.589900, 8.118200

Fletschhorn – Holiday in the Saas valley

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Fletschhorn

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Fletschhorn 46.168100, 8.003300

The Fletschhorn, lacking only 7 meters from being a 4000-meter peak, is an impressive peak nonetheless. Located in the Weissmies group, bordering the Saas Valley, it is part of the skyline often viewed by travelers visiting the Saas valley. Lacking the allure of a 4000-meter peak, it is not climbed as the mountains that cross that magical border of 4000 meters, but it is still considereda difficult and complex climb.

About the Fletschhorn

The Fletschhorn is located in the eastern part of the Wallis region, close to the Italian border. Together with neighbouring peaks, Lagginhorn (4010m) and Weissmies (4023m), it is part of a massif between the Saas valley and the Simplon pass. Just beneath its summit, two large glaciers complicate a summit ascent: the Gruben glacier and the Rosboden glacier. With an altitude of 3993 meters, it lacks 7 meters from being a 4000-meter peak. However, until 1956, the mountain was mentioned as having an altitude of 4001 meters, but remeasuringthat same year concluded that the summit was located eight meters lower probably due to a mountain collapse or a miscalculation in the past. This meant that the Fletscherhorn didn’t cross that 4000-meter borderline anymore, leading toless interest in climbing the peak for amateur mountaineers who have their goal set on the highest mountains in the Alps. There are several surrounding peaks in the region that do reach higher than 4000 meters.

The Fletschhorn was first ascended in July of 1889, by JD James and Ambros Supersaxo. The most commonly used starting point for a summit ascent is the Weissmieshütte, located at an altitude of 2726meters. This NW ridge route is considered as the normal route. However, there are several others leading to its summit, all of which haveexisting difficulties. Its imposing north face and east side ridges provide some of the most demanding routes in the Alps, and thus the Fletschhorn has sometimes been called the most beautiful Swiss 3000- meter peak.

Accommodations in the Fletschhorn region

There are numerous camping sites, hotels, pensions and condos available in the villages on both sides of the range. It is a popular area, so reservations are advised, if you are looking for fine hotel these are worth checking out:

Haus Alfa, is a comfortable 3 apartment house in a quiet, sunny location with views of the mountains.The house is about 350m from the village center, 800m from the cable car, 50m from the car park and playground and 500m from the cross-country ski trail.

The Capra, is an intimate five-star, alpine luxury lodge in a spectacular natural setting. There’s nowhere else in the world where so many 4,000 metre peaks are visible at a single glance.  The car-free Swiss ski resort of Saas-Fee is a favourite among winter sports connoisseurs for its long ski season, guaranteed high-quality snow, and authentic charm.

Hotel La Collina, the hotel offers a combination of modern and traditional Swiss features. Most of the fully equipped 18 rooms offer an unforgettable view of the surrounding mountain peaks.

Saas Valley

The Saas valley is described as a hospitable place in the Alps, with plenty of snow in the winter season and a diverse range of activities in the summer. Besides a wide variety of hotels and accommodations, there are a few campsites to be found in the valley. Camping Mischabel is located 15 minutes from the village center and offers an idyllic setting. Views of the Mischabel group, with the Dom (4545m) as the highest on Swiss terrain, offer plenty of inspiration for hiking and climbing. Camping Schönblick is another option nearby affording the option of renting a caravan.

Simplon Area

The municipality of Simplon is located in the Brig district, on the south side of the Simplon Pass near the Italian border. It consists of the village of Simplon and the hamlets of Gabi, Egga and Maschihüs as well as the Hospiz (Hospice) in the Simplon Pass. However, despite being smaller than the Saas Valley, there are still plenty of accommodation options to spend your holiday here.

Weissmies Hut

Mountain Hut - Weissmies HutThe Weissmies Hut (2,726 m) is a mountain hut above Saas Grund in the Pennine Alps in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. There are actually two huts, a smallish old one and a reasonably large and modern one, situated 2 km west of the Lagginjoch below the frontal moraines of the glacier forming the flank of the col on this side. The hut warden is Arthur Anthamatten. The location is often a starting point for ascents of Weissmies, Lagginhorn and Fletschhorn and can accommodate up to 150 people. To reach the hut from Saas Grund, it takes about 3 hours, or 1 hour if you use the cable car to Chrizbode.

Hohsaas Hut

Mountain Hut - Hohsaas Hut

Close to the Weissmies Hut, you will find the Hohsaas Hut. It is only a 30 minute walk to reach it. Although it started life as a traditional mountain hut, over the years, it was converted into a modern mountain restaurant (2006). Signature cheeses and excellent local wines are some of the Swiss specialties served here, and the welcoming atmosphere at 3200 above sea level makes lunch or dinner an experience never to forget. Besides being a restaurant serving traditional dishes, it is still possible to book a cozy room.

Fletschhorn Hut

This hut at 3040 meters is a bivouac hut on the flanks of the Fletschhorn. It takes about 5-6 hours to reach it from Siwiboden.

Almageller Hut

Mountain Hut - Almageller HutFrom this hut, views on 9 4000-meter peaks are not an exception. It was opened in 1984 and accommodates up to 120 people per night in the summer season. It is located at an altitude of 2894 meters and has both electricity and water available, making it a pleasant stay for guests.

Brittannia Hut

The Britannia Hut at 3030meters above sea level is one of the most-booked SAC huts and marks the start of the legendary Haute Route. In 1997, it was fully renovated and now offers 134 comfortable beds, three dining rooms and modern bathrooms. Solar energy delivers the power for the lighting and phones, and the hut collects snowmelt and rain. Saving the environment is a priority when it comes to waste disposal: rubbish is separated and flown down to the valley by helicopter along with waste water.

Langfluh Hut

This mountain hut has views of the highest mountains and most impressive glaciers in Switzerland. Beside delicious meals, the mountain hut also offers the possibility to sleep–15 beds are available for guests.

Hiking in the Fletschhorn region

Unter dem Berg – Saas Fee

This hike from Unter Dem Berg to Saas Fee passes along three churches, 16 chapels and let’s you experience alpine nature at its best. Completing the trail takes about 2h40 minutes and there is only a little altitude difference gained (400m).

Hiking in the Furggtälli

Furgtälli
Furgtälli Photo by Sander Vancanneyt

A more challenging trail is the hike to the Furgtälli, through the forests. The trail leads you to the Antrona Pass where you can extend your hike by taking a longer and higher path. However, the route into the valley is more advisable and will take about 3h30 minutes to complete. The altitude difference is around 600 meters.

Gspon – Saas Grund

Saas Grund
Saas Grund Photo by mjw

The hike connecting Gspon to Saas Grund is an all-time favorite among those who know this area well. It is part of the “Great Walser Trail” which traces the historic West-East migration pattern of the Walser. High above the gorge that houses the babbling Saaser Vispa, the trail is mostly just above the treeline. Because of this, it offers wonderful views of the glaciers of the mighty Mischabel range. Walking time: 4h 10 minutes. Altitude difference: 430m ascent and 770m descent.

Grachen to Saas Fee

Saas Fee
Saas Fee By Jackie and Dennis

The Saas Fee Hohenweg is one of the great hikes in the Valais. This challenging trail follows a high route along the west side of the Saastal with stunning views of the peaks towering above the Saas Valley and the Bernese Alps to the north. The trail is about 15 km long and makes a great day hike.

Hohenweg Kreuzboden

This scenic walk, with panoramic views of the Mischabel Range, traverses high above the east side of the Saas Valley before entering the beautiful Almageller Valley. You can end the hike by descending to Saas Almagell or take the challenging Adventure Trail to Furggstalden.

Things to do in the Fletschhorn region

Saas Fee is often described as the Pearl of the Alps, and this has more to do than with the hiking options. On the peak of Mittelallalin, you will find the world’s biggest ice grotto. This ice cave is accessible by cable car year-round. After your visit,have a drink or something to eat in the world’s highest revolving restaurant, ThreeSixty, where stunning 360-degree panoramic views are paired with delicious meals.

The Saaser Museum is a good option for a rainy day or when you want to take a break from hiking. It features a typical apartment from the turn of the 20th century, folklore items and traditional costumes of the region.

When all that hiking has made your legs sore, a relaxing day at a spa might be just what you need. There are five day spas in Saas-Fee alone, and even more further down in the valley.

Hiking with kids

The Fletschhorn region has options for little hikers as well. From Hohsaas, you can take the cable car up to the glacier to hike the 18 4000-meter peak theme trail with your kids. Although it might seem a little bit challenging at first for children, the trail gets easier, isn’t too long and is well worth it.

At Kreuzboden, the middle station to Hohsaas, there is a big playground for children and a short sensory trail quite doable for kids.

Gletscherhorn – Lonely mountain in the Bernese Alps

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Gletscherhorn

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Gletscherhorn 46.512800, 7.967700

With summits such as the Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch a little to the north of the peak, visitors tend to spend the summertime in other places. Those who do spend their holiday in the region of the Gletscherhorn will find themselves alone, which makes the mountain experience even better.

About the Gletscherhorn

The Gletscherhorn does not have the same appeal to travelers as the Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch which are located north of the peak. With an altitude of 3983 meters, the Gletscherhorn is an impressive peak, but not making it on the list of 4000-meter peaks. The mountain is located in the Bernese Alps on the border between the Swiss cantons of Bern and Valais. The Gletscherhorn forms the eastern edge of Lauterbrunnen Wall, a mountain wall located south of the Jungfrau.

 

The Gletscherhorn is rarely ascended. One of the reasons is that it is surrounded by more reputated peaks surpassing the magical border of “4000 meters”. On the other hand, all routes leading to the summit are extremely demanding. Normal routes lead over the southeastern and western ridge and offer similar difficulties. Possible bases for a summit ascent are the Lötschenhütte Hollandia at 3240 meters above sea level or the Konkordiahütte at 2850 meters.

Places to stay around the Gletscherhorn

Due to the proximity of the Gletscherhorn to famous peaks such as Jungfrau and Eiger, the holiday bases are prettysimilar. While these villages might be crowded in the summer, it is easy to escape the crowds by hiking in the Gletscherhorn region instead of the surroundings of the Eiger and Jungfrau.

Lauterbrunnen

The Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the most impressive in the Alps. With villages such as Lauterbrunnen surrounded by gigantic mountain faces and peaks, it is an idyllic place for a holiday. No less than 72 waterfalls make their way down to the valley bottom while alpine meadows and sole mountain chalets make the valley one of the largest protected nature reserves in Switzerland.

Wengen

Village of Wengen
Wengen Village Photo by Sinava

The village of Wengen is located in the canton of Bern, close to the border of Wallis. There are several hotels in the village and even a youth hostel. A train leading from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen continues its journey to Kleine Scheidegg, where you can change trains to Jungfraujoch. The traffic-free village center with its traditional charming wooden chalets make for a perfect holiday setting.

Konkordia Hut

Mountain Hut - Konkordia HutThe Konkordia Hut is a mountain refuge in the canton of Valais, situated above Konkordiaplatz, where several glaciers meet in the Aletsch glacier system. It is located about 2850 meters above sea level and its remote location makes it a long way from villages. The shortest way to reach the cabin is via the Jungfraujoch railway station (4 hours).

Lötschenhütte Hollandia

This mountain hut at 3240 meters above sea level is often used as a base for ascents of the Aletschhorn, Mittaghorn and Gletscherhorn. However, its remote location iss tough for hikers and climbers who have to make quite a journey to reach it. It takes no less than 7 hours to reach the hut from the valley. However, most visitors make a overnight stop at the Annenhütte or reach the cabin from Jungfraujoch or Konkordia (4-5 hours).

Annenhütte

Mountain Hut - AnnenhütteSituated at 2358 meters;the Annenhütte is a great goal for hikers. Not only is it a great place to spend the night, but there are good options for hikes around the area as well. Via ferrata routes are available suitable for families, glacier hikes and even a 5-minute hike to the nearby located Anen lake.

Finsteraarhornhütte

Mountain Hut - FinsteraarhornhütteFew mountain huts have such an amazing setting as the Finsteraarhornhütte. The refuge allows visitors to enjoy splendid views typical of the Oberland region: huge glaciers and high mountain peaks. The hut is often reached by mountaineers looking for an overnight stay before summiting the Finsteraarhorn via the normal route. However, the location at 3048 meters and the views that come with it make it a great goal to set for hikers as well.

Cabane de Mönch

This mountain refuge is located at the base of the Mönch, one of the famous peaks in the region. Since it is located close to the arrival station of the Jungfraujoch (45min) and the upper part of the Aletsch glacier, it is a wonderful place to stay or have lunch.

Hiking in the Gletscherhorn region

Eiger
Eiger Photo by Andreas Thomet

With peaks like the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch, hikers cannot wish for a better setting for their hiking holiday. The charming villages of the Berner Oberland are a great starting point for day hikes or multi-day routes in the Gletscherhorn region.

Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg

This is a short and easy hike in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. You will be granted an almost continuous view of the surrounding rock walls and pass by some beautiful waterfalls, including the famous Staubbach Fall, situated just outside Lauterbrunnen.

Murren to Grutschalp

Another popular day hike is the wooded stroll from the village Murren to Grutschalp,located high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The route goes along the western plateau and crosses forests and grasslands, offering plenty of photo opportunities of the famous peaks in the region. The hike runs parallel to the railway between both villages, making it possible to continue your journey by train half-way if you like.

Hike to Konkordia Hut

Aletsch glacier
Aletsch glacier Photo by Sabri Karadogan

Few mountain huts are more remote than the Konkordia, located above the Aletsch glacier system where several glaciers meet, about 150 meters above the ice. The route from the Jungfrau railway station is the shortest and therefore the most popular. However, all access routes to the hut are over glaciated terrain, so an experience of crossing is necessary. Hiring a guide is an option.

Lauberhorn Trail

Lauberhorn trail
Lauberhorn trail Photo by Izakigur

The Lauberhorn trail is a 3h30 minute summer hike of the track that is the longest downhill of the alpine ski world cup, one of the true classics from the starting area, all the way down to the village of Wengen. Information boards along the way provide interesting facts about the racetrack.

Things to do in the Gletscherhorn region

While hiking in this part of the Alps is unforgettable, there are many other activities to fill your day. Whether your legs need a break or you just want to enjoy some alpine views without too much effort, the Jungfraujoch railway is a must when visiting the Jungfrau region. This scenic train journey brings you to the highest railway station in Europe (3454m). From this point, you get tremendous views of the neighbouring peaks of Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau. With a guarantee of snow and ice, a visit to the Top of Europe building is the ultimate experience during your stay in the Berner Oberland.

Just west of the saddle is the Sphinx station, one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world. The Top of Europe building a little higher up has several panoramic restaurants and hiking trails leading over the crevassed glacier to the Mönchsjoch Hut.

Along the way to the Top of Europe building is Kleine Scheidegg, another railway station at 2061meters. It is situated directly at the base of the notorious Eiger North Face and the starting point of the Jungfraubahn.

The village of Interlaken, a short distance from the Lauterbrunnen Valley, is the closest city to the Gletscherhorn. The name is derived from the fact that two lakes, Brienzersee and Thunersee, are connected by the river Aare that flows through the city. Interlaken has a charming atmosphere. From its center, it’s possible to see the summit of the Jungfrau. The Höheweg, an avenue between both stations, affords great views of the peak.

Hiking with kids

Great views often come with great effort, though that is not always the case. When traveling with children, families often look for hikes that don’t require too much experience. But why should you give up on tremendous views? The hike to Cabane de Mönch might seem like a huge effort due to its location at 3650 meters, but the proximity of the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in the Alps, makes it an easy and short one (45minutes). It might well be the best option to combine amazing views of some notable peaks along theshort trail leading to it.

Ober Gabelhorn – Part of the most famous skyline in Switzerland

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Ober Gabelhorn

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Ober Gabelhorn 46.037200, 7.668500

The Ober Gabelhorn is a 4000-meter peak in the Pennine Alps in the west of the well-known mountaineering village of Zermatt. From its summit, climbers have views of some of the most famous mountains in the Alps including the Dom (4545m), the Matterhorn (4478m), Monte Rosa (4634m) and the Breithorn (4185m). The same views make the region around Ober Gabelhorn a true hiker’s paradise.

About the Ober Gabelhorn

The Ober Gabelhorn reaches an altitude of 4063meters and is located in the Swiss canton of Valais at the southern end of the Zinal valley, a part of the Val d’Anniviers. The peak has a pyramidal shape, similar to the nearby Matterhorn, but smaller. The north face of the Ober Gabelhorn is completely glaciated while the other faces are mostly rocky. It is part of the glaciated mountain massif that includes the Dent Blanche. Together with the Dent Blanche and the Zinalrothorn, it rises above the Zinal glacier.

The mountain was first ascended on July 6, 1865 by A.W. Moore, Horace Walker and Jakob Anderegg. The second ascent of the peak, and the first on the north-north-west ridge, was made one day later by Lord Francis Douglas, Peter Taugwalder and Joseph Vianin on July 7, 1865. At the time of their ascent, the hikers were not aware of Moore and his party’s success the previous day. It is considered as one of the nicest Valais mountains due the fact that it provides great viewsfon some of the most famous peaks in the Alps. There is no easy way to the summit: the easiest route from Rothornhütte is AD. The south-west ridge is called the Arbengrat while the north-north-west ridge is Arête du Coeur. The south-east ridge looking over the Ober Gabeljoch (3,597 m) is the Gabelhorngrat. The Wellenkuppe on the side is a lower prominence on the north-east ridge; it is usually climbed as part of the normal route. Huts serving the peak are the Rothorn Hut (3,198 m), the Grand Mountet Hut (2,886 m) and the Arben Bivouac (3,224 m).

Accommodations around the Ober Gabelhorn

The Ober Gabelhorn has some famous and notorious neighbouring peaks, which makes ita popular region amongst travelers and climbers. With Zinal and Zermatt serving as great bases for an active holiday, you could not wish for a better setting, if you are looking for fine hotel these are worth checking out:

Hotel Firefly, It is a family owned hotel located in zermatt. This is the kind of hotel where you’d be pleased to spend the day thanks to the unusual concept of this four-star superior hotel. Your choice to relax and enjoy extraordinary service through out the day is paramount here.

Hotel Alex, This unique hotel in Zermatt combines modernity and tradition to create an attractive world of experiences with many surprises.

Christiania Hotels & Spa, The Franzen Family welcome you with a cosy informal atmosphere and boost your natural resources in their modern spa or in the wonderful natural setting with views of the Matterhorn.

Zermatt

Zermatt is a not-to-be-missed destination when it comes to visiting the Swiss Alps. One of the main reasons is the Matterhorn’s shadow hanging above the village center. Zermatt is to the Matterhorn what Chamonix is to Mont Blanc. The traffic-free center gives the village a charming atmosphere, not often surpassed in the Alps. The center of Zermatt can be reached on foot or by taking the Glacier Express from the neighbouring village of Täsh. There are plenty of options for accommodations, even though most hotels are quite pricey due to the location. Budget travelers may find alternative options at the nearby campsite, just outside the village center.

Zinal

Zinal is a small Swiss alpine village situated in Val d’Anniviers, close to the Mattertal.  It is surrounded by the highest mountains in the Alps, making it a favorite place to stay for active travelers seeking splendid hikes in the region. Despite the fact that Zinal is quite small, it has several hotels in its center. Prices tend to be a bit more affordable than Zermatt, and it has rooms for all budgets. However, keep in mind that this is according to Swiss standards.

Rothorn Hut (3,198 m)

Mountain Hut - Rothorn HutThe hut can be reached in 4.5 hours from Zermatt. The easiest way is to follow the signs from the village center. The alpine hut is located above Zermatt, at the base of the Zinalrothorn. It attracts a colorful variety of mountaineers and hikers seeking high-altitude challenges.

Grand Mountet Hut (2,886 m)

Mountain hut - Rothorn HutThis mountain hut is located near Zinal and is often used as a starting point for climbs of Zinalrothorn, Ober Gabelhorn, Pointe de Zinal and Dent Blanche. It was originally built in 1887, but has been modified multiple times, the last in 1996. At the moment, about 115 people can spend the night here. Situated in the middle of glaciers, it has an impressive setting, although accessibility by trail makesthe cabin frequented by hikerslooking to get good views of the Zinal Glacier and surrounding peaks.

Arben Bivouac (3,224 m)

This bivouac hut is an unguarded place that can accommodate about 15 people. It is often used for climbers who are after the summit of Ober Gabelhorn. The hut is provided with gas and utensils, but there is no food or drink. Light is provided from solar panels. The best way to reach it is from Zermatt via Schwarzsee to Staffelalp restaurant, Arben waterfalls and finally towards the Arben glacier. The last 150meters to the hut are very steep and equipped with ladders and cables.

Schönbielhütte

Mountain hut - SchönbielhütteThe Schönbielhütte is surrounded by some of the most mighty peaks in the Alps such as the Matterhorn, the Dent Blanche and the Obergabelhorn. It is a popular starting point for classic routes like the Tour du Ciel. From Schwarzsee, it takes about 2.5 hours to reach the hut, making for a splendid walk. The hut has 6 dormitories hosting 80 people at the maximum. Hikers often spend the night here to enjoy the beautiful sunset and the delicious meals. They serve a mountaineer’s menu as well as Swiss cheese toast, rösti, etc. The rösti, prepared by the host with fresh potatoes, is a well-appreciated dish here.

Hiking in the region of the Ober Gabelhorn

The region of the Ober Gabelhorn is dotted with famous peaks such as the Weisshorn, the Dom, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Breithorn, making it a true paradise for hikers.

Zinal glacier

Glacier
Zinal glacier Photo by Barbara Michalowska

If regular hiking is too routine for you, the hike to Zinal Glacier might offer a new dimension. However, this hike is available in winter season only and it requires snow shoes. Guides can take you up to the glacier located above the village of Zinal, and best of all, take you inside the icy world of a crevassed glacier. Duration: 2 hours.

Historic Trail of Zinal

For those who wish to combine hiking with learning about the local culture, the historic trail of Zinal is a good option. This educational trail will take you along 17 information boards that give good insight into the history of the small town and region. Be sure to visit the tourist information center first where you will be given a book that provides additional information.

Tracuit Hut

Mountain Hut - Tracuit Hut
Tracuit Hut Photo by Neil M

Located above Zinal in the canton of Valais, this hut lies at an elevation of 3,256 meters above sea level at the Tracuit Pass, between Les Diablons and the Tête de Milon in the Pennine Alps. The trail  leads to one of the highest cabanes of the Alps at an amazing height of 3256meters. From Cabane de Tracuit, you’ll get an amazing view over the 4000+ meter mountains and the Turtmann glacier.

Hike to Schonbielhutte

This hike combines two great trails, the Matterhorn and Schonbielhutte, for a fantastic point-to-point hike with stunning views of the Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, the Ober Gabelhorn massif and the Zmutt Glacier. It starts in Zermatt with a gondola ride to Schwarzsee and descends to the beautiful meadows of Obere Stafelalp with impressive views of the Matterhorn’s sheer north face along with the Ober Gabelhorn massif and Dent Blanche. The trail to Schonbielhutte is about 10km (one way) and 600meters of elevation gain.

Oberrothorn

Mountain - Oberrothorn
Oberrothorn Photo by PaiviSvanback

Hikers climbing the strenuous trail to the top of the Oberrothorn (3,414 meters) are rewarded with stunning panoramic views of 38 peaks over 4,000 meters. From the summit, you will enjoy glorious views of the Ober Gabelhorn-Weisshorn Group towering above the Zermatt valley. Ski lifts facilitate the climb to the top while a good network of hiking trails allows parties to create interesting loop hikes, incorporated into a trip to the summit. Distance: 14 km round trip.

Things to do in the Ober Gabelhorn region

Hiking every day can be physically challenging. Fortunately, the region around the Ober Gabelhorn offers plenty of options for a rest day. The Glacier Express is one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world, passing some of the finest alpine vistas. Starting in Zermatt, it heads towards Brig in the north traversing several viaducts and amazing panoramas. This is the best way to enjoy the Swiss Alps without much effort.

The copper mine, La Lee, in Zinal offers an entirely different experience of the Alps. Exploring the 500-meter trails inside the mountain is unique, and it is the only mine accessible to the public. Looking for some Swiss history? The old farm in Zinal dates back to 1768 and has a historic cheese cellar with the traditional “fromage des mortes” (cheese of the death). Tours are possible.

Hiking with kids

The Animal Trail leading from Grimentz to St. Jean is one of the top picks when it comes to family hiking. During this short trek, you get to know the alpine animals in a fun and educational way. The trail leads through the regional forests and affords several fun activities including recognizing animal footprints and silhouettes of animals and answering riddles.

Easy 4000m peaks

7 Easy 3000m+ and 4000m+ peaks to Climb

There are many experiences in this in this world, but few can compare to that of reaching the summit of a mountain. The feeling is indescribable, the view is fantastic, and the physical sensations really speak for themselves. The perception that mountaineering (mountain climbing) is a dangerous, difficult endeavor that pushes climbers to the very limits of their physical and mental abilities is not necessarily true. The fact is that, mountains come in different shapes and sizes, with peaks of up to 8,848m above sea level (Everest) and most are climbable depending on your skill level. But beginners may need to set their sights a little closer to earth and the easy 4000m peaks are reachable even for complete beginners.

Read here about 7 easy 4000m peaks in the Alps

You don’t necessarily need to have years of mountain climbing experience to summit some of the world’s highest peaks, you just have to be reasonably fit and able to adapt to the weather and snow conditions. You also need basic mountaineering knowledge in terms of rope work, glacier safety, using the ice axe, and crampons. Beginners can begin scaling easy 4000m peaks after just a few weeks or even days of training and acclimatization. The following seven easy 4000m peaks are by no means a walk in the park but they can be achieved with the help of a guide.

1. Mount Kilimanjaro — Tanzania, Africa

Elevation: 5,895m (19,341ft)

Mount Kilimanjaro is undoubtedly the highest peak in Africa and the one of the easiest to climb. It also has one of the most accessible moderate-altitude treks in the world with several easy-to-moderate routes up the summit. The mountain is a freestanding peak not attached to any mountain range as it was once a volcano, this makes adjusting to the thin air at altitude the biggest challenge in climbing it. Taking longer routes up the mountain guarantees a much higher rate of success since altitude is the biggest obstacle. Climbing the Kilimanjaro can take between five and nine days to complete depending on the route taken and speed of acclimatization. It is also the perfect place for aspiring mountaineers to see how their bodies react at high altitude without the technical risks of other higher mountains.

Paths up the mountain pass through five famously unique climate zones each different from the last. Climbers going up the mountain will first pass through cultivated lands at its base followed by rainforests, moorlands, alpine desert and, finally, arctic conditions near the summit. The mountain is accessible during most months of the year since it sits just off the equator and more than 37,000 people attempt climbing up Kilimanjaro each year. However, the raining season runs from March through May and this may make the trek a little uncomfortable during that time. There are several guide services take climbers from the start of the climb to the 5,895m summit over the course of five or six days, allowing climbers to acclimatize to the increasingly thin air.       READ MORE ABOUT KILIMANJARO…

2. Mount Fuji — Honshu Island, Japan

Elevation: 3,776m (12,388ft)

mount fuji

Japan’s Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and one of the most climbed mountain peaks in the entire world. It is one of the country’s three sacred peaks as it towers over the surrounding landscape making it a beautiful sight from above or below. Hiking up the mountain side doesn’t resent much technical difficulties making it a great introduction to the stamina needed for climbing even higher mountains. There are several well well-established trail that climbers can make use of, they generally start at about 2,000m and ends at the summit at 3,776m. This journey takes about eight hours round-trip for fit individuals if they set out early enough and more than 300,000 people trek to the summit each year.

If you want to experience one of the most beautiful sunrises possible, you can make the ascent at night so that you can reach the top in time before dawn. The main trails can get very crowded during the summer months as the official hiking season lasts for only two months from July 1 to August 31. Winter climbs are not advised for beginners as the weather can prove dangerous at times making the climb 4 to 5 times harder to accomplish. However, for the most part, this is an easy hike that only requires strong legs, stamina and bit of determination to complete.    READ MORE ABOUT MOUNT FUJI…

3. Mont Blanc — Europe

Elevation: 4,808.7m (15,777ft)

You can wet your mountaineering appetite with this easy 4000m peak that is also the highest in Western Europe. Mont Blanc which translates to White Mountain is one of Europe’s most iconic climbing peaks and it straddles the French/Italian border. More than 30,000 people attempting climbing to the summit of Mont Blanc annually (as many as 200 people on a busy day) and reaching the summit is considered a rite of passage for most European climbers. The main problem for beginners will be getting used to the altitude as there are numerous routes to the summit from both the French and Italian sides, the level of challenge can vary greatly.

Typical it takes about two days to complete the climb to the summit, with several comfortable mountain huts located at notable points along the trail to the summit that climbers can stay in. Ascending the Mont Blanc may not be all that technically challenging, but it still requires a high level of physical fitness and experience using crampons and an ice axe. Climbers can choose one of the two most common routes to climb the Mont Blanc from Chamonix. The first route that starts from the Aiguille du Midi plains, over Mont Blanc du Tacul is easier and more popular while the Mont Maudit route is generally quieter but slightly more technical depending on the conditions. READ MORE ABOUT THE MOUNT BLANC…

4. Mount Elbrus — Russia, Europe

Elevation: 5,642m (18,510ft)

Mount Elbrus is the tallest mountain in all of Europe and its height makes for a most imposing sight. The summit is usually covered in snow all year long but accessible via a chairlift that takes most climbers up to the traditional starting point located at 12,500 feet. This greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to reach the top so that climbers can reach the mountain summit in one or two days. Most routes up the mountain are fortified with a string of huts, making it easy to plan for accommodation and acclimatization. Potential climbers may require several permits before they can attempt the Elbrus, so be sure to plan well in advance.

Climbing up Mount Elbrus is completely nontechnical if you are using the normal route, the only concerns you need to be worried about along the way are the weather and altitude. If you like to hike up the summit with a party then July and August are the best times for an attempt, as the mountain can be very crowded during those months. However, if you prefer fewer people around when attempting the climb, you can go in the months of June and September. The weather during this time can be more unpredictable, with possible high winds and heavier snow. Over 10,000 people attempt the mountain climb each year.   READ MORE ABOUT THE ELBRUS…

5. Mount Temple — Canada, North America

Elevation: ‎3,544m (11,627ft)

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Mount Temple is one of the easiest 4000m peaks in the Canadian Rockies and also one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the area. The summit is an impressive one dominating the landscape around Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada. However, thanks to its relatively low elevation gain, climbers can reach the summit in a day with an early start. The climb does not require much technical knowledge as the summit is accessible by most fit hikers willing to work their way up the trail, which can be a bit of a scramble at times.

Although Mount Temple is relatively accessible, it should be noted that it is a giant and finding easy routes can be a particular challenge. However, this can easily be overcome with the use of an experienced mountain guide. Climbing Mount Temple provides all of the adventures of climbing a massive mountain, without requiring any advanced technical knowledge. The best part is that the views from the top are unbeatable and the trip is enjoyable throughout (despite the scrambling involved).

6. Mount Rainier — Washington, USA

Elevation: ‎ 4,392m (14,411ft)

Easy 4000m peaks

Mount Rainier offers limitless mountaineering possibilities and is considered to be the most extensively glaciated mountain in the United States. The mountaineering experience is heightened by the combination of high altitude, a variety of routes, and unpredictable Northwest weather. This also makes the mountain a great place for beginner climbers to gain important skills that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Some basic rope skills are necessary when attempting to climb Mount Rainier’s slopes as the extra layers of ice and snow can make both the climb up and the descent a bit more treacherous.

This is why it is a common location for beginners to gain valuable experience not just with glacier trekking and crevasse avoidance, but also with ropes and scrambling techniques. It is also the perfect setting for beginner/mid-level climbers who are considering moving on to more challenging peaks. It is possible to attempt the mountain all year long, depending on weather conditions. However, the season between May and September is best for inexperienced climbers as the weather is less severe. About 13,000 people make the attempt each year and the climb takes about two to three days to complete. READ MORE ABOUT MOUNT REINIER…

7. Jbel Toubkal — Morocco, Africa

Elevation: ‎ 4.167m (13,671ft)

Standing at 4,167m, Mount Jbel Toubkal is the highest peak in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It offers a non-technical and relatively easy trek to the summit, although poor weather conditions, high winds, and altitude sickness can still be of concern. The climb requires only a reasonable degree of fitness and determination as the mountain is easily reachable from Marrakech. There is also the presence of a network of trekking trails that offer striking high altitude lush valleys, mountain scenery, and relatively untouched Berber communities.

The Jbel Toubkal is accessible all year round, but the best time to take on this peak is between May and September. This is because snow settles above 3000m in winter, from Nov – May, and crampons and ice axes are required. Even with its considerable height, it only takes about two days to complete the hike to the summit and beginners are advised to stick to climbing during the warmer, drier season instead. The summit provides some outstanding views of the surrounding peaks and valleys and it is a perfect setting for those looking to dip their toe in the mountaineering waters for the first time.

These seven easy 4000m peaks are all possible for beginning mountaineers with the help of a guide. It also helps to be fit and to have some basic training regarding your equipment and the terrain you are attempting to climb. Although not every climb is a success, your drive and motivation can make your sojourn up these easy 4000m peaks an exciting experience.

Dent Blanche – The border guard of the French and German languages

dent blanche

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Dent Blanche

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Dent Blanche 46.034900, 7.611900

Located at the end of the Mattertal in the west of Zermatt, the Dent Blanche marks the border between French-speaking Switzerland and the German part of the country. Surrounded by several 4000-meter peaks, including Obergabelhorn and Zinalrothorn, it one of the most popular regions in the Swiss Alps for mountaineers and travelers looking for hikes.

About the Dent Blanche

The Dent Blanche is a 4357-meter high mountain peak, located in the Swiss Alps between the Zinaltal and Mattertal. The Dent Blanche marks the linguistic border of the French and German-speaking parts of Switzerland. It used to have a German name as well, Steinbockhorn, because of the large number of ibex found near the mountain. It was first ascended on July 18th, 1862 by Jean Baptiste Croz, Johann Kronig, William Wigram and Thomas Stuart Kennedy.
The normal route, the southern Wandfluhgrat, starts at Cabane de la Dent Blance (3507m) owned by the Swiss Alpine Club. Other well-known routes are the Westgrat and the Ostnortostgrat. The latter one has the Schönbielhütte as a starting point. The Dent Blanche is regarded as one of the most difficult 4000-meter peaks in the Alps.

Accommodations around the Dent Blanche

The Mattertal is a popular holiday region in the Swiss Alps as it is home to several iconic mountains such as the Weisshorn, the Breithorn and, ofcourse, the Matterhorn. It provides several charming villages as a base for hiking holidays. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Hotel Helvetia, the cheap and centrally located two-star hotel in Zermatt! At Helvetia, cleanliness and friendliness are very important. The excellent location within walking distance of the train station and mountain railway station in the very heart of Zermatt and our staff guarantee an unforgettable stay.

Hotel Veisivi is pleased to welcome you in a village setting, quiet, typical of central Valais. You can easily reach it by road, by post bus or by car, 25 minutes from the motorway N9 exit Sion-est Val d’Hérens.

Hôtel des Haudères is located in the center of the village of Haudères. Built in 1869, Renovated in 1968, it consists of 25 rooms with breathtaking views of the Alps, located on the central square near all necessary services.

Zermatt

Zermatt is a not-to-be-missed destination when it comes to visiting the Swiss Alps. One of the main reasons is the Matterhorn’s shadow hanging above the village center. Zermatt is to the Matterhorn what Chamonix is to Mont Blanc. The traffic-free center gives the village a charming atmosphere not often surpassed in the Alps. The center of Zermatt can be reached on foot or by taking the Glacier Express from the neighbouring village of Täsh. There are plenty of options for accommodations, eventhough most hotels are quite pricy due to the location. Budget travelers may find alternative options at the nearby campsite, just outside the village center.

Zinal

Zinal is a small Swiss alpine village situated in Val d’Anniviers, close to the Mattertal. It is surrounded by the highest mountains in the Alps, making it a favorite place to stay for active travelers seeking some splendid hikes in the region. Despite the fact that Zinal is quite small, it has several hotels in its center. Prices tend to be a bit more affordable than Zermatt and it has rooms for all types of budget. However, do keep in mind that this is still according to Swiss standards.

Cabane de la Dent Blanche cabane dent blanche

The Cabane de la Dent Blanche is situated near the Ferbècle glacier at an altitude of 3507 meters. It is often used by mountaineers as a stayover for a summit bid of the Dent Blanche. Reaching the cabane glacier crossings is involved and experienceis required. From Ferpècle, about 1700 meters of altitude,to reach the hut necessitates an early start. The hut is owned by Marlyse Vuadens and has 45 beds. When planning to spend the night here, reservations might be a good idea. Half-board accommodations costs about 42CHF.

Schönbielhütte

The Schönbielhütte Mountain Hut - Schönbielhütteis surrounded by some of the most mighty peaks in the Alps such as the Matterhorn, the Dent Blanche and the Obergabelhorn. It is a popular starting point for classic routes like the Tour du Ciel. From Schwarzsee, it takes about 2.5 hours to reach the hut, making for a splendid walk. The hut has 6 dormitories hosting 80 people maximum. Hikers often spend the night here to enjoy the beautiful sunset scenery and the delicious meals. They serve a mountaineer’s menu as well as Swiss cheese toast, rösti, etc. The rösti, prepared by the hostwith fresh potatoes, is a well- appreciated dish here.

Cabane de Moiry

Cabane de Moiry

One of my favorite mountain cabins is the Cabane de Moiry, located above the Moiry glacier. Renovated to reach high standards, this is one of the finest huts to visit. From Zinal, the trail leads along the Haute Route, a 200-kilometer trek from Chamonix to Zermatt. The hut has a large dining area with panoramic windows offering views of the Moiry Glacier. On some occasions, you can see experienced mountaineers crossing it. Spending the night here costs 38 CHF (meals excluded). It is reached in 1h30 from the end of the road of the dam of Moiry. The trail is alpine, steep in places and we recommend the use of good walking equipment and a rope for children and people who are not used to alpine trails at the most delicate passages. Snow may cover parts of the trail until late in the season, sometimes even in late July or early August

Hiking in the region around Dent Blanche

Hiking is one of the top activities in the Swiss Alps. With thousands of kilometers of marked trails, there are endless options to explore the beauty of the mountains–whether your goal is a mountain hut, a scenic viewpoint, or just a circular hike.

Zinal glacier

Zinal glacierIf regular hiking is too routine for you, the hike to Zinal Glacier might offer a new dimension. However, this hike is available in winter season only as it requires snow shoes. Guides can take you up to the glacier located above the village of Zinal, and even best of all, take you inside the icy world of a crevassed glacier. Duration: 2 hours.

Historic Trail of Zinal

For those who wish to combine hiking with learning about the local culture, the historic trail of Zinal is a good option. This educational trail will take you along 17 information boards that will give you good insight into the history of the small town and region. Be sure to visit the tourist information center first as you will be given a book that provides additional information.

Hike to Cabane Petit Mountet

Cabane Petit Mountet

The hike to Cabane Petit Mountet is a panoramic day hike starting in Zinal by taking the cable car to col de Sorebois (2438 meter). From this location, it takes about 13 kilometers and up to 5 hours to reach Zinal. Along the way, Cabane de Petit Mountet is a great rest stop to get some refreshments or have a nice meal. Bear in mind that this is a challenging hike, not to be undertaken by families with children.

Europaweg to Zermatt

One of the most scenic multi-day hikes in the Alps is the Walkers Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. This trail passes Zinal in the Val d’Anniviers and ends in Zermatt at the end of the Mattertal. From the Val d’Anniviers, the Mattertal is easily reached via Turtmanntal and Augustbordpass. From St Niklaus, the Europaweg marks the final two stages of your journey. It is an epic multi-day hike with the reward of a splendid view of the Matterhorn. Duration: 4-5 days.

Edelweissweg trail

The Edelweiss trail via Höhbalmen is a strenuous day hike that can take up to 8 hours, but it is well worth it. Not only will you catch unique glimpses of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa massif, but you will have the opportunity to see edelweiss flowers in the alpine pastures–any hiker’s dream. During this hike, you can even see them at eye level. Take the route via the Höhbalmen as this is one of the finest vantage points in the region.

Rotenboden – Riffelberg

This trail provides winter options. The wow factor is huge on this hike as a view of the Matterhorn against a blue winter sky is an unique experience. Besides the Matterhorn, other 4000-meter peaks can be enjoyed as well, including the Dent Blanche. The trail is even suitable for families with children as there are options to pull your kids on a sled.

Other activities in the region around Dent Blanche train glacier express

Hiking every day can be physically challenging. Fortunately the region around Dent Blanche offers plenty of other options for a rest day. The Glacier Express is one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world as it passes some of the finest alpine vistas. Starting in Zermatt, it heads towards Brig in the north traversing several viaducts and amazing panoramas. This is the best way to enjoy the Swiss Alps without much effort.
The copper mine, La Lee, in Zinal offers a whole different experience in the Alps. Exploring the 500 meter trails inside the mountain is unique as it is the only mine accessible to the public. Looking for some Swiss history? The old farm in Zinal dates back from 1768 and has a historic cheese cellar with the traditional “fromage des mortes” (cheese of the death). Tours are possible.

Hiking with kids

The Animal Trail leading from Grimentz to St-Jean is one of the top picks when it comes to family hiking. During this short trek, you get to know the alpine animals in a fun and educational way. The trail leads through the regional forests and affords several fun activities including: recognizing animal footprints, recognizing silhouettes of animals and answering riddles.

Jungfrau – the top of Europe

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Jungfrau

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Jungfrau 46.536800, 7.962600

The Jungfrau region is one of the best mountaineous landscapes you can find. With famous neighbors such as the Mönch and the Eiger, this trio of mountian peaks offers the perfect setting for your hiking holiday. The Jungrau is the highest, and since tourists can take a train up to one of the high peaks in between, it is often referred to as the top of Europe.

About

Located in the Bernese Alps, the Jungfrau is the highest mountain of the three peaks that are often seen as one group: Jungfrau and the Eiger. With an altitude of 4185 meters, the Jungfrau is the highest of the three. In between the Mönch and the Jungfrau, you can find the Jungfraujoch, a saddle reachable for tourists by the Jungfrau line, a scenic railway that connects Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg, partially through a tunnel that goes through the Eiger and Mönch. The Jungfraujoch railway station on top of the saddle is at an elevation of 3454 meters, the highest in Europe.
The Jungfrau was first succesfully climbed in 1811 by the brothers, Johann Rudolf and Hieronymus Meyer, as part of a team with Joseph Bortis and Alois Volken. It was the first Swiss 4000-meter peak succesfully climbed. They used the route via the Jungfraufirn and the Rottalsattel.

Accommodations in the region of the Jungfrau

Partially because of these famous peaks, including the Jungfrau and the notorious Eiger, this region is well-known as a wintersport destination. The villages of Grindelwald and Wengen attract travelers from all over the world to its snowy slopes in winter and its hiking trails in summer. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Hotel Stechelberg visiting in one of the most beautiful place in Alps, this hotel is one of the best choice to stay in. It is a family friendly, cozy and well maintained hotel. The hotel is a family business and is endangered in the 3 generation.

Hotel Staubbach offers simple, homey accommodation in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Swiss Alps. lly, Amy, Craig from California, Corinne from Switzerland are looking forward to welcoming you and hope to help make your stay in the Bernese Oberland a memorable one.

Sportchalet Mürren  If you are looking for a place where you can find peace and quite, you love flora and fauna and are looking for the original Bernese Oberland with its rustic character, then you can’t go wrong with the Sportchalet in Mürren is perfect for you.

Grindelwald

Village of Grindelwald
Grindelwald Photo by Vins 64

Grindelwald is a village in the canton Bern located at the base of the Jungfrau. From the village center, one can take a train via Kleine Scheidegg to the railway station Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. Not only is it a popular base for hikers, but climbers who have set their mind on the notorious Eiger North Face start their quest here as well.
Grindelwald has several types of accommodations. Besides hotels, there is the option to spend your nights at one of the three campsites: camping Eigernordwand, camping Gletscherdorf or camping Holdrio.

Wengen

Wengen Village
Village of Wengen. Photo by Marcel Van Den Berge

The village of Wengen is located in the canton Bern, close to the border of Wallis. There are several hotels in the village and even a youth hostel. A train leading from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen continues its journey to Kleine Scheidegg. Here you can change trains that lead to Jungfraujoch. The traffic-free village center withits traditional charming wooden chalets make for a perfect holiday setting.

Mönchsjoch hut

The Mountain Hut - Mönchsjoch hutMönchsjoch hut is one of the highest mountain huts owned by the Swiss Alpine club. It is located at an elevation of 3658 meters, and is often used for ascents of Jungfrau and Mönch. However, despite the altitude, the mountain hut is easily reachable due to the Jungfrau railway. From the highest station, a secured piste over the crevassed glacier makes it possible for hikers to reach. From the hut, one can view the Aletsch glacier, the largest in the Alps.

Konkordia Hut

Mountain Hut - Konkordia HutThe Konkordia Hut is a mountain refuge in the canton of Valais, situated above Konkordiaplatz, where several glaciers meet in the Aletsch glacier system. It is located about 2850 meters above sea level and its remote location makes it a long way from villages. The shortest way to reach the cabin is via the Jungfraujoch railway station (4 hours).

Suls Lobhornhütte

This charming wooden mountain hut has great views on the Eiger, Mönch and the Jungfrau. It is located at a plateau high up in the Alps at an altitude of 1955 meters, well above the Isenfluh in the Lauterbrunnental. There are only 24 beds, making reservation necessary when planning an overnight stay. There are three different routes to reach the hut, varying from 1hour 30 minutes to 4hours 30minutes.The hut makes a good starting place for several hikes in the region.

Hiking in the Jungfrau region

With peaks like the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch, hikers cannot wish for a better setting for their hiking holiday. The charming villages of the Berner Oberland are a great starting point for day hikes or mult-day routes in the Jungfrau region.

Hike to Konkordia Hut

Few mountain huts are more remote than the Konkordia. It is located above the Aletsch glacier system where several glaciers meet, about 150 meters above the ice. The route from the Jungfrau railway station is the shortest and therefore the most popular. However, all access routes to the hut are over glaciated terrain, so an experience of crossing it is necessary. Hiring a guide is anoption.

Eigertrail

Eigertrail
Eiger trail, Photo by Matthew Smith

The Eiger trail is a moderate mountain hike at the base of the notorious North Face. It’s a 2-to-3 hour hike leading from the Eigergletscher station (Jungfrau railway) to Alpiglen at 1615 meters or Grindelwald. It is well-marked and offers spectacular views of the north face. With binoculars, it’s even possible to see some daredevils climbing the face.

First to Bachalpsee

This easy trail is a very popular one amongst travelers as it delivers jaw-dropping views of alpine peaks and glaciers. The trail leading through meadows and alpine terrain has close to no elevation difference, so you can complete the hike in about 2 to 3 hours.

Murren to Grutschalp

Another popular day hike is the wooded stroll from the village Murren to Grutschalp,located high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The route goes along the western plateau and crosses forests and grasslands. If offers plenty of photo opportunities of the famous peaks in the region. The hike runs parallel to the railway between both villages, making it possible to continue your journey by train half-way.

Grosse Scheidegg to Meiringen

This hike leading through meadows and forests is a good option for hikers who need a bit of a challenge. The trail is more difficult than most options in the region as it gains about 1300 meters of altitude. Hiking time is about 4 hours, but make sure to provide lots of time as you will be stopping frequently to enjoy the views. The starting point is easily reachable by car or train from the village Grindewald.

Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg

A short and easy hike in the Lauterbrunnen valley. You will be granted an almost continuous view of the surrounding rock walls and pass by some beautiful waterfalls, including the famous Staubbacg-h Fall, situated just outside Lauterbrunnen.

Things to do in the Jungfrau region

While hiking in this part of the Alps is an unforgettable experience, there are many other activities to fill your day. Whether your legs need a break or you just want to enjoy some alpine views without too much effort, the Jungfraujoch railway is a must when visiting the Jungfrau region. This scenic train journey brings you to the highest railway station in Europe (3454m). From this point, you get tremendous views of the neighbouring peaks Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau. With a guarantee of snow and ice, a visit to the Top of Europe building is the ultimate activity during your stay in the Berner Oberland.
Just west of the saddle is the Sphinx station, one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world. The Top of Europe building a little higher up has several panoramic restaurants and hiking trails leading over the crevassed glacier to the Möncsjoch Hut.
Along the way to the Top of Europe buildingis Kleine Scheidegg, another railway station at 2061m. It is situated directly at the base of the notorious Eiger North Face and the starting point of the Jungfraubahn.
The village of Interlaken, a short distance from Grindelwald, is the closest city to the Jungfrau. The name is derived from the fact that two lakes, Brienzersee and Thunersee, are connected by the river Aare that flows through the city. Interlaken has a charming atmosphere. From its center, it’s possible to see the summit of the Jungfrau. The Höheweg, an avenue between both stations, affords great views of the peak.

Hiking with kids

In the Jungfrau region, great views don’t only come with strenuous walks. Even if you are traveling with children, some easy hikes will give you and your family the possibility of seeing some of the best mountain landscapes. The hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is a classic amongpanoramic walks. This easy and short hike will enchant you with tremendous views of the Eiger, Mönch and the Jungfrau. From the village Wengen, the cable lift will take you up to Männlichen, the starting point of the hike. The hike takes about 1hour 30 minutes from where you can take the train back to Grindelwald or Wengen. Close to the Kleine Scheidegg, your final destination, there is the mountain restaurant Grindelwaldblick, a recommended place to stop for lunch.

Aiguille d’Argentière – Lesser known peak in the Chamonix valley

AIGUILLE D’ARGENTIÈRE

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Aiguille d’Argentière

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Aiguille d’Argentière 45.959800, 7.020300

Mont Blanc is probably the best-known mountain in the Chamonix valley, but the Mont Blanc massif has many peaks with a dramatic look over the valley. The Aiguille d’Argentière is one of the lesser known peaks at the less-crowded end of the valley offering great trails for active travelers.

About the Aiguille d’Argentière

AIGUILLE D’ARGENTIÈREThe Aiguille d’Argentière is a 3902-meters high peak in the Mont Blanc massif near Chamonix. The peak is located near the village of Argentière at the end of the Chamonix valley in the Haute Savoie, France. It was first ascended by Edward Whymper, A. Reilly, M. Croz, M. Payot and H. Charlet on July 15th, 1864. Nowadays, the glacier milieu is regarded as the easiest route to the summit of Aiguille d’Argentière. For this reason it’s a popular ski mountaineering route. Only the last 200 meters to the summit are a bittechnical. Climbs often start from the Grand Montets Hut or the Argentière Hut.

Accommodations around the Aiguille d’Argentière

The valley of Chamonix is one of the hotspots in the French Alps. The Mont Blanc massif is home to several hiking trails, offering splendid views to day hikers and diehards. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Boutique Hotel Le Morgane, combines the refinement of a 4-star hotel with the lively air of Chamonix. The style and idea of the Morgane emerge from the customary Alpine inns.

Hôtel de L’Arve lies in a stunning setting amidst Brévent, Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles de Chamonix in the heart of town. Peace and quiet guaranteed as the hotel stands at the end of a cul-de-sac near the Arve River by footpaths for relaxing strolls or more challenging steep hikes up to the mountain peaks.

Hôtel Mont-Blanc is the must address to visit in the valley of Chamonix. Every morning, the hotel offers the pleasure of waking up facing the most beautiful peak, the Mont Blanc. After the exhilaration of the summits, you can dive into the outdoor heated pool all year long. Unless if you prefer to relax in the 250m2 spa by Clarins’. Round off the day with a gourmet break at Matafan, where every dish on the seasonal menu invites you to partake in a moment of sharing and conviviality.

Argentière

While most people spend their holiday in sometimes over-crowded Chamonix, Argentière some 10 kilometers further is the closest village to the Aiguille d’Argentière. This small village may not have the same reputation as Chamonix, but it still is a popular ski resort in winter and a great base for hikers in the summer season. It is located close to the Swiss border and the cable cars leading to the nearby mountain ranges facilitate access to more difficult trails. There are some nice hotels in Chamonix as well as a campsite with views of Mont Blanc.

Argentière Hut

Mountain Hut - Argentière HutThe Argentière Refuge is located at an impressive altitude of 2771 meters. It offers views of the full Mont Blanc range, including its highest peak. It accommodates 91 people, and rooms cost 30 euros per night or 65 euros (half board). The refuge is often used for long distance hiking and the skitouring trails between Argentière and Zermatt, also known as the Haute Route. The refuge is open in the summer and from February to May, the latter period offering beds toskitouring visitors.

Albert Premier Refuge

Albert Premier RefugeThe slightly larger Albert Premier Refuge (140 beds) is situated besides the Le Tour glacier. It is a great goal for a short day hike, or a nice stopover to the glacier or the neighbouring peaks of Aiguille du Tour, Aiguille d’Argentière, Les Drus and the Aiguilles Rouges. The refuge is only manned in the summer season but is open year-round. It is owned by the CAF, the Club Alpin France. Getting to the hut is easy by taking the Charamillon gondola from Le Tour and the Col de Balme chairlift. This helps you gain a lot of altitude in a short amount of time and reduces the hiking time to 1h30minutes. Those who want to go on a longer hike, can follow the trails to Col de Balme underneath the cable car as (strenuous, add 3 hours).

Col de Balme refuge

Col de Balme refugeThe Col de Balme refuge (2191m) is a mountain hut located on the border between France and Switzerland. Due to its location on the col, you will be granted views of France as well as Switzerland. Col de Balme is a popular stop for hikers attempting the Tour de Mont Blanc or Walkers Haute Route, and provides refreshments to day hikers as well. Getting there is easy with the aid of the Charamillon gondola and the Col de Balme chairlift (5 minutes) or with a strenuous uphill hike (3 hours).

Hiking around the Aiguille d’Argentière

The Chamonix valley has lured tourists and active travelers ever since Mont Blanc was ascended and the mountaineering sport was born. There are numerous of trails in the region just waiting to be explored. All of them are rewarding and challenging at times, but no matter what, hiking in the Mont Blanc region is an experience to treasure.

Tour de Mont Blanc

The Tour de Mont Blanc is a 10-day trek around the Mont Blanc massif crossing three countries: France, Switzerland and Italy. Since it’s regarded as the most beautiful trek in Europe, the number of hikers can get high during the peak season. While most people start their hike in neighbouring Chamonix, the village of Argentière is an often-used stop.

Walkers Haute Route

The Walkers Haute Route is a contestant for the best hike in the Alps. This two-week trek from Chamonix to Zermatt leads you along the most impressive peaks from the Mont Blanc massif to the notorious Matterhorn along 4000 meter peaks such as Grand Combin, Weisshorn and the Dom. This trail originates from the Haute Route skitouring route and is often done in April. Despite the fact that the official start is in Chamonix, a lot of hikers skip the prelude to Argentière and start their adventure on the latter one.

Aiguilles des Posettes

This short 5.8-kilometer hike has great rewards. From the Tre le Champs carpark, you can follow your way up to “Aiguilette via la crète”. It is rough and strenuous trail gaining 750m of ascent, but there is a real summit as a goal. Besides having reached an alpine summit, the views over the Chamonix valley are breathtaking. On clear days it’s possible to get a panoramic view all the way to the Jungfrau region. You have the option to hike the same way down or use the Vallorcine gondola; however, this option will require a car shuttle.

Grand Balcon Sud

Grand Balcon Sud
Grand Balcon Sud, Photo by Michael Wahlin

This 13.6-kilometer trail leads you through the Reserve Naturelle des Aiguille Rouges. Despite the strenuous start of the trail, the hike is relatively easy and flat. You will get views over the entire valley and have plenty of opportunities to spot an ibex. To enlarge your chances, head off early in the morning! Descending back to the valley floor can be done by taking the Flegere lift down.

Glacier d’Argentière

Glacier d’Argentière
Glacier d’Argentière, Photo by Snowbird1972

The nearby glacier d’Argentière is an impressive sight. This trail starting from the car park in Argentière is not an easy one as it leads all the way up to the glacier, locating a little over 2700 meters. The route starts by following the trail to Refuge de Lognan, where refreshments are available. If the hike is a bit too challenging, there are plenty of viewpoints more easily reachable as well that offer spectactular views of the seracs of the glacier.

Petit Balcon Nord

Petit Balcon NordThis hiking trail beneath Chamonix and Le Tour is situated some 200 meters above the valley floor. However, the lack ofelevation differences along the way make it a trail doable for everyone. Bus services in between Chamonix, Argentière and Le Tour make it easy to return to the starting point. Most of the trail leads to the forested flanks of the Aiguille rouges.

Lac Noir

The other side of the valley offers splendid views of Aguille du Midi and Mont Blanc. The hike to Lac Noir (2540m) is not an easy one, but has great rewards. From Col Cornu, you head towards Col de Gliere via a marked path. To complete the trail, it requires about 2h30minutes from PlanPraz. The lake is a beautiful but not crowded picnic setting since it’s often partially covered in snow and ice.

Things to do around the Aiguille d’Argentière

The Chamonix valley is a hotspot for thrillseeking adventurers. Challenging peaks are the playground for experienced mountaineers while the air streams offer great conditions for paragliders. Active travelers will feel at home here, but for those looking for an effortless day in the valley, there are a few options. The Aguille du Midi in Chamonix has a cable car leading all the way to its 3842-meters high summit. It offers not only great views of Mont Blanc, but it also has a museum as well about the history of the Aguille and its tall neighbor. The small train to Montenenvers is a great alternative. It leads from the Chamonix station to Montenvers, at the base of the Mer de Glace glacier.

Hiking with kids near Aiguille d’Argentière

Mountain Hut - Lac Blanc hutHiking with children near the Aiguille d’Argentière or in the French Alps may seem difficult due to the altitude differences, however there quite a few trails suitable for families. Fortunately, cable cars will help you gain most of the elevation without much effort. For this reason, the Lac Bleu hike is well worth mentioning, since it only requires 15 minutes to reach from the cable car station. Whether you want to add more kilometers / hiking hours is up to you.
Lac Blanc is a 2-hour easy hike from the Flegere lift station. The nearby Lac Blanc hut offers facilities and refreshments well earned. Another option is the the hike along the Petit Balcon Sud, a relatively flat trail high above the valley floor.

Aiguille du Midi – best view on Mont Blanc

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Aiguille du Midi

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Aiguille du Midi 45.879300, 6.887400

Aiguille du Midi is a mountain peak in the Mont Blanc massif dominating the skyline from the village center of Chamonix, France. Reaching 3842 meters in altitude with accessibilty by cable car from the center of Chamonix, it is one of the closest places one can get to Mont Blanc without having to climb it.

About Aiguille du Midi

For more than 50 years, Aiguille du Midi has been the highlight of Chamonix. With an altitude of 3842 meters, Mont Blanc’s little brother offers a splendid view over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Aiguille is French for “needle,” and when you see the peak you will understand why they call it thisname. Every year, about half a million people visit the Aiguille du Midi by cable car, reaching the summit in two stages. A viewing platform on top offers a panoramic shot of the Mont Blanc and the surrounding Alps and a restaurant. On clear days, it’s even possible to see the Grand Combin and the Monte Rosa massif, some 200km away. The peak was first succesfully climbed in 1818.

Accommodations around the Aguille du Midi

The Aguille du Midi is part of the Mont Blanc massif located on the France/Italy border. Both Chamonix and Courmayeur are great places to stay to explore the region around the Aiguille du Midi, with Chamonix being the best. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Chamonix Lodge owned and operated by mountain lovers! Whether you are here to take part in the numerous winter and summer outdoor activities or just for sightseeing, we want you to feel the love that we have for the amazing town of Chamonix and the stunning mountains that surround us.

Hôtel Le Chamonix is located in the center of Chamonix, 50 meters from the tourist office and bus stops that will take you to the foot of the slopes of Chamonix. You will have close to the hotel all the shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs to relax after a good day of skiing. Most of the rooms are facing Mont Blanc and you can admire from your bed the beautiful landscapes of this mountain range.

Hotel Gustavia is a significant landmark in the Chamonix valley. Many of our rooms has a fantastic view of Chamonix’s greatest attraction, Mont Blanc. With its 4810 meters it is the highest summit in western Europe.

Chamonix

The valley in the Haute Savoie is one of the top destinations in the French Alps for hiking, paragliding, biking and as a starting base for the ascent of Mont Blanc. The reputation of this large village mainly comes from the first ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786. This was the birth of mountaineering as we know it today. The main street is full of bars, restaurants and outdoor shops offering the best gear for your hiking or climbing adventure. Accommodations in Chamonix is – as you can expect – pricey. The many campsites offer a budget alternative but for thoselooking for a cheaper place to stay; the neighbouring villages of Argentière and Les Houches are your best choices.

Courmayeur

Courmayeur is to Italy what Chamonix is to France. It is the base for Mont Blanc ascents on the Italian side of the massif. The village is situated at the end of the Aosta Valley, near the entrance of the Mont Blanc tunnel. Views of Mont Blanc are more impressive from Courmayer due to the steeper Italian face. Accommodationsare similar to those in Chamonix.

Refuge des Cosmiques

Refuge des CosmiquesThe Refuge des Cosmiques is located on the shoulder between Col du Midi and the southwest ridge of Aiguille du Midi. This makes it the closest mountain hut near the peak and the second highest in the French Alps. Located at an altitude of 3593 me it is ters often used as a starting base for Mont Blanc ascents (Three Monts route) . The hut has about 140 beds at 42 euros (breakfast included) to 66 euro (half pension).

Refuge du Plan d’Aiguille

Refuge du Plan d’AiguilleThe Refuge du Plan d’Aiguille is easily reachable by getting off at the first stop of the Aiguille du Midi cable car (Plan d’Aiguille). Not only is this a great place to start your hike, but the overlook views over the Chamonix Valley make it a great place for lunch. There is one room with ten beds available, even in the winter season. Owners, Claude and Marie-Noelle, accommodate visitors at 2207 meters of altitude. Spending the night here costs 24 euro per person or 54 euros with meals included. Wifi is available and pets are allowed as well.

Refuge du Lac Bleu

Refuge du Lac BleuThis mountain hut can be found in the heart of the Aiguille Rouges mountain range close to Lac Bleu, a popular hiking destination. This makes the refuge a popular lunch stopover during a hike to Lac Bleu. Besides lunchtime meals, the 2352-meter high mountain hut can accommodate up to 40 people. The hut can easily be reached from the Plan d’Aiguille cable car station.

Bellachat Refuge

Bellachat RefugeThe Bellachat Refuge is a very basic mountain cabin at 2152 meters of altitude. There are no hot showers and the only restroom is an outside toilet. Three dormitories are available for overnightsside by side, and you should bring your own sheets. Still, the Bellachat refuge is a popular place to visit due to its exceptional views of Mont Blanc. The sunny terrace is a great place for a lunch stop. Lunch includes typical alpine food such as homemade soups, salads, local cheeses, meat and blueberry tarts.

Hiking around the Aiguille du Midi

Plan d’Aiguille, the first stop on the Aiguille du Midi Cable car at 2207 meters, is a popular hiking starting point. Walks along the Grand Balcon Nord to Montenvers, Lac Bleu or descending to Chamonix valley are among the best to explore the area.

Grand Balcon Nord to Montenvers

The hike starts from the Plan d’Aiguille cable car station and leads via the Grand Balcon Nord to Montenvers, near Mer de Glace. Most people hike the trail one-way before returning on the Montenvers scenic train to Chamonix station. The hike takes about 2.5 hours and is a great way to admire the impressive mountain ranges of Chamonix Aiguilles and Mont Blanc.

Lac Bleu trail

Views of the Mont Blanc massif from Lac Blue are found on many postcards sold on the village streets. Needless to say,Lac Bleu is a popular hiking destination for active travelers. The lake itself is not big nor that impressive, but it’s the way there and the views on the nearby Mont Blanc that makeit worthwhile. Hiking from the Plan d’Aiguille cable car station requires only a 15-minute walk, making it an option for families with children.

Hike to Refuge des Grands Mulets

Another, though more challenging, hike from Plan d’Aiguille is the 3.5-hours hike to Refuge des Grands Mulets. The hut is located just above 3000 meters making for a big ascent and requiring glacier crossing. It is a popular route in winter for ski descents from Mont Blanc.

Lac Noir

Lac Noir
Lac Noir, Photo by Philippe Saire

The other side of the valley offers splendid views of Aguille du Midi and Mont Blanc. The hike to Lac Noir (2540m) is not an easy one, but has great rewards. From Col Cornu, you head towards Col de Gliere via a marked path. To complete the trail, it requires about 2 hours and 30minutes from PlanPraz. The lake is a beautiful but not very crowded picnic setting since it’s often partially covered in snow and ice.

Tour du Mont Blanc

The tour du Mont Blanc is a multi-day hike often completed in ten days. This is one of the best options for experienced hikers with enough time during their holidays, and is regarded as one of the best hikes in Europe. The trail contours around the Mont Blanc massif and crosses three countries: France, Switzerland and Italy. Nights are spent in mountain huts or accommodations in the valleys. The many different angleson Mont Blanc make it a hike with diverse views.
Hiking with kids
Hiking with children in the French Alps may seem difficult due to the altitude difference, however there quite a few trails suitable for families. Fortunately, cable cars will help you gain most of the elevation without much effort. For this reason, the Lac Bleu hike is well worth mentioning, since it only requires 15 minutes to reach from the cable car station. Whether you want to add more kilometers / hiking hours is up to you. Lac Blanc is a 2-hour easy hike from the Flegere lift station. The nearby Lac Blanc hut offers facilities and refreshments well earned.

Things to do around the Aiguille du Midi

The cable car leading to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi is without doubt the top tourist attraction in Chamonix. Return tickets cost about 58 euros. From this point, you can take an elevator through the rocks of the peak to a viewing platform, some 42 meter higher. Here, you get to see Mont Blanc up close. On clear days, views of the Grand Combin and the Monte Rosa are admirable. The restaurant is a great place to have lunch before taking the Panoramic Mont Blanc tramway to Hellbronner on the Italian side of the massif; you can descend all the way to Courmayeur.
Another main tourist attraction is the Mer the Glace train to Montenvers. It departs from the Chamonix train station and leads to the famous Mer de Glace, a glacier between Aiguille du Midi and Les Drus, that used to reach all the way to the valley base.

Titlis – Great views and the highest suspension bridge

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Titlis

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Titlis 46.772000, 8.437800

A holiday in the region of Mount Titlis is quite an experience. With an elevation of 3238 meters, it is located on the border of the cantons, Obwalden and Berne. The mountain has become famous forTitlis Rotair, the world’s first rotating cable car, which connects Engelberg and the summit of Klein Titlis. A few years ago, they added another exciting tourist attraction: the Titlis Cliff Walk, which is up to this day the highest suspension bridgein Europe.

About Titlis, Switzerland. More then a wintersport destination.

The Titlis reaches 3238 meters above sea level and is situated on the border of the Obwalden and Bern cantons, in central Switzerland. It is believed that the first successful ascent of the mountain took place in the year 1739 by Ignaz Hess, J.E. Waser and two local men. However, the first recorded summit climb was made in 1744. Because of the mountain’s elevation, it is above the snow line, resulting in permanent snow on the summit. It is even possible to ski down from the main summit to the Klein Titlis, hence it’s reputation as a wintersport destination.
The mountain is particularly famous for its cable car, the Titlis Rotair, the world’s first rotating cable car that reaches Klein Titlis, half an hour below the actual summit. Reaching the summit is quite easy for anyone in decent shape. On top, one has views over notorious peaks such as the JungFrau, Mönch and Eiger, stretching all the way to Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn on clear days.

Accommodations around the Titlis

Famed as a wintersport destination, the Titlis region has all facilities to accommodate travelers in winter as well as summer. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Ski Lodge Engelberg, located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, is a beautiful holiday resort that is very popular with families. Visitors are greeted in Engelberg by picturesque panoramas and guaranteed snow.

Pension St. Jakob, Impressive and with a wonderful panoramic view of the famous mountain scenery, we are in a prime location right on the small Eugenie Lake in Engelberg. With a restaurant, bar, garden terrace and plenty of free parking spaces, the Pension St. Jakob offers beautiful and individual rooms and is an ideal starting point for trips and highlights in summer and winter alike. After an eventful day, you will find restful sleep in the cozy rooms next to the Eugenie Lake.

Hotel Garni Hostatt is located in a sunny location on the edge of the village Engelberg in a quiet and idyllic surroundings. Enjoy the fascinating mountain panorama and a cozy atmosphere in the family hotel in chalet style.

Villages

The Titlis is surrounded by the villages of Engelberg and Gadmen on the West. Engelberg probably is the best known as it is a winter resort with access to 82 kilometers of skiing slopes. However, in summer, it is all about hiking, mountaineering, climbing, biking and golf. As a monastery village, the character of this authentic place has lured tourists for decades. De Benedictin monastery, built in 1120, still has a great influence on village life. Monks still live and work here and the oldest buildings date back from the Belle Epoque. All of this makes a nice plus for Swiss charm. Their trademark “families welcome” has guaranteed them a place on the list of best family holidays in Switzerland. With an offer aiming at chiildren, it has lived up to its expectations as well. Gadmen, on the other hand, is much smaller with just a few hotels.

Trift Hut

Mountain Hut - Trift Hut
Trift Hut, Photo by Ron Layters

The Trift Hut is a mountain refuge located near the Trift Glacier, at an altitude of 2520m. It takes about two hours to reach it from the valley, but taking the cable car is an option as well. From the hut it is a 1h30min walk to the Trift Bridge. Rooms are available from 25CHF (food not included). However, we recommend eating here as the meals are prepared with local products. A grappa is a perfect way of closing the evening.

Brunnihütte

Mountain Hut - BrunnihütThe Brunnihütte is situated along the Benediktusweg and Brunni trail. It takes a little over two hours to reach it from the village of Engelberg. If you are looking for a lunch stop during your hike, they serve the typical wintersport meals, such as rösti, bratwurst and schnitzels.

Spannorthütte

Mountain Hut - SpannorthütteThis hut is located at an altitude of 1956mabout 3 hours to reach from the valley. At the moment, the hut is being modernized, but it is expected to reopen in July of 2018.

Rugghubel hut

Mountain Hut - Rugghubel hutThis mountain refuge has had new owners since 2012. Chrigel Menon and Andrea Marti will try to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Not only do they serve delicious pies and meals, but it is possible to spend the night in one of the 20 beds. Whether you choose to sleep here or just have a quick meal, the Rugghubel hut is not to miss. The views from the hut at 2296 m are splendid.

Hiking in the Titlis region

Advertised as a place for family holidays, the region around Titlis has hikes for all abilities whether you are a die-hard hiker or looking for a fun walk with your children.

Trubsee trail

Trubsee trail
Trubsee trail, Photo by SteveSloj

Starting in Engelberg, this 3-hour hike takes you to Untertrubsee and Trubsee via Stapfmattli. It has an elevation change of 800 meters and is one of the popular hikes in the region.

Titlis Marmot Trail

Despite the easy nature of this trail, it makes a long day’s hike to complete. The roundtrip to and from Trubsee to Jochpass and Schaftal takes about five hours. The trail starts near the Trubsee mountain station and follows a path along the lake. Most hikers take the chairlift up to Jochpass to reduce hiking time. No doubt about it, you will be stunned by the natural beauty of the mountain scenery surrounding Engstlensee lake. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a chamois, ibex or marmot.

The 4 Lakes Hike

The 4 lakes hike is a splendidroute from the mirror-like Trubsee to the deep-blue Engstlensee, the turqoise Tannensee and finally, the picturesque Melchsee. This four-hour hike will introduce you to some of the most beautiful places incentral Switzerland. The hike starts by taking the cable car to Trubsee and walking to the Jochpass chair lift. Once at the top, it takes you further to Engstelnalp and Tannalp. There is little elevation change on this route which takes 4 hours to complete.

Trubsee – Stand geology trail

How were the Alps formed? This and much more you will learn during your hike on the geology trail from Trubsee to Stand. Informative boards along the route give insight into how the titlis area has developed geologically over the centuries. This steep trail (600m+) provides some magnificent views of the intriguing glacier world.

Things to do in the Titlis region

Two items should be on your bucket list for sure: the Trift Bridge and the Titlis Cliff Walk. The Trift Bridge is a suspension bridge built after the Trift Glacier was heavily reduced due to global warming. Since this meant that the Trift Hut was no longer reachable over the glacier tongue, a suspension bridge was built in 2004. It turned out that the 100-meter high bridge became a tourist attraction and led to the construction of a safer bridge. At 100-metersabove the glacier lake, it is one of the highest pedestrian suspension bridges in the Alps.
However, this record is easily broken by the nearby Titlis Cliff Walk, a suspension bridge in Engelbergregarded as the highest in Europe. Not less than 3000 meters above sea level, and a 500-meter drop, it is a challenge hikers face when crossing it. Those who can conquer their vertigoare rewarded with impressive views over the Alps. The bridge spans from Titlis’ south face to the cable car station of the Ice Flyer chairlift. Crossing the bridge is free, but tickets for the cable car costs 12 euro for a return ticket.
The Titlis Rotair is another cable car well worth the ride. It is one of two rotating cable cars in the world and brings you up to a world of eternal snow on top of the Titlis mountain. Here you will find an ice grotto, the Titlis Cliff Walk and the Ice-Flyer cable car. In winter it is often used for accessing the ski pistes. The return ticket costs 92 euro.

Hiking with Kids near Titlis

Pretty much every trail along the Trubsee isdoable for children. If we had to choose one, the Trubsee Circular trail would be it. This trail offers a great hiking option for families with young children as it only takes about an hour to complete. Since you are able to take pushchairs on this route, it offers possibilties for young families for a leisurely stroll. Firepits along the way provide options for small picnics in the great outdoors. The trail leads you around Trubsee lake, one of the top tourist destinations around Mount Titlis. The lack of elevation change makes this an easy family walk.
The Trubsee Alpine flower trail is another easy trail option. This 3-kilometer trail takes you along some of the most beautiful flower fields in the Alps, such as the Edelweiss.

Monte Rosa climb and hikes – highest massif in Switzerland

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Monte Rosa

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Monte Rosa 45.937027, 7.867625

The Monte Rosa massif is the second highest mountain massif in the Alps after the Mont Blanc. When Monte Rosa is mentioned, more often than not people are referring to the Dufourspitze, the highest of 10 4,000-meter peaks, such as Signalkuppe, Nordend and Zumsteinspitze. Being located on the Swiss and Italian border, as you explore the surroundings of Monte Rosa, you get to experience the Italian as well as the Swiss alpine life.

About

With an altitude of 4,634 meters, Dufourspitze is the second highest peak in the Alps and the highest mountain in Switzerland. Still, the mountain is often referred to as the Monte Rosa, the name of the massif. It is located in the Pennine Alps on the border between the Valais region (Switzerland) and the Aosta Valley (Italy). It was first climbed in 1855 by a party of eight climbers, led by three guides.

Every summer season, a large number of mountaineers set out from the

Mountain hut - Monte Rosa Hut
Monte Rosa Hut

Monte Rosa Hut on the Swiss side to traverse the range to its many summits and the Margherita Hut on the Signalkuppe, the highest mountain cabin in the Alps. Hikers and tourists limit themselves to the Gornergrat, a ridge on the northwest side of the mountain massif. This offers epic views over Alpine giants such as the Monte Rosa, Breithorn and the Matterhorn.

One of the most recognizable features of the Monte Rosa is the Macugnaga wall, located at the eastern side of the mountain. It’s the tallest wall in the Alps and has Himalayan properties as it reaches nearly 2,500 meters in altitude straight up.

Accommodations near the Monte Rosa

The Monte Rosa massif is one of the largest in the Alps. This means that several villages are located at the base surrounding it. Zermatt is without doubt the most famous Swiss base for climbing and hiking around the massif, while Macugnaga, Alagna, Gressoney-La-Trinité and Staffal are bases on the Italian side. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Hotel Monterosa is located in the picturesque ski resort of Alagna Valsesia in Northern Italy. Alagna is renowned for its fantastic skiing but also for its wonderful trekking and rafting and canyoning in the Sesia river.

Hotel Lo Scoiattolo is ready to welcome its guests in a  comfortable, familiar and cared for in every single detail . The scent of wood, the flavors of traditional local cuisine , the Wellness Center and all the services offered make the stay unforgettable.

Hotel Helvetia, the cheap and centrally located two-star hotel in Zermatt! At Helvetia, cleanliness and friendliness are very important. The excellent location within walking distance of the train station and mountain railway station right in the heart of Zermatt and our staff guarantee an unforgettable stay.

 

Zermatt

Zermatt Village
© Zermatt Tourist Office

Zermatt is located on the Swiss side of the Monte Rosa massif and is the starting point for mountaineers to climb the mountain via the normal route. It is a well-known wintersport destination and a highyly-visited town in the summer by day tourists. The center of the village is traffic-free except for the electric taxis that gives the place a special atmosphere. Enjoying a delicious raclette or cheese fondue is one of the best things to do after a hike in the region. There are both campsites and hotels available in the village.

Macugnaga

Macugnaga Village
© DOMENICO

Macugnaga is a small village in the Valle Anzasca, Italy famous for the name given to the Macugnaga wall, the east face of the Monte Rosa with Himalayan proportions since it is about 2,500 meters tall. There is a camping/sporting center where you can park your mobilhome and several hotels.

Alagna

Alagna is the smallest village around the Monte Rosa, but it has a big reputation when it comes to wintersports as there are several pistes to ski in winter. Thus, there are accommodations to be found in the area. Also, Gressoney-La-Trinité is nearby.

Gressoney-La-Trinité

Gressoney-La-Trinité is the highest village in the Val de Gressoney, which is part of the Aosta valley. You may find some Swiss influence here as the village was founded by people from Wallis, Switzerland. Some characteristics can be seem is the Walser houses.

Monte Rosa Hut

The modern-looking Monte Rosa hut is probably the most famous mountain cabin in the massif. It is the base for mountaineers setting out to climb Dufourspitze, the highest peak of the Monte Rosa massif, via the normal route. The cabin is constructed in an innovative way since it integrates solar panels and thermal solar collectors which make it 90% self-sufficient. This sustainable mountain hut is often visited by hikers and tourists looking to experience a night in this environment. However, to reach the cabin, a guide is advisory since you will be crossing glaciated terrain.

Margherita Hut

Mountain hut - Margherita Hut
Margherita Hut

The Margherita Hut is the highest mountain hut in the Alps; and to reach it, you have to have mountaineering skills. The cabin is located on top of the Signalkuppe / Punta Gnifetti at an altitude of 4,554 meters. It is owned by the central committee of the Italian Alpine Club and stands entirely on Italian ground. Margherita Hut can only be reached on foot and is often done in a two-day climb.

Zamboni-Zappa

The Zamboni-Zappa mountain hut is a wooden refuge located in the Pedriola valley. It offers a 180 degree panoramic view of the east face of the Monte Rosa. Located at an altitude of 2,070 meter, it is easily accessible, making it very popular among hikers who wish to see the Macugnaga wall up close.

Pastore Mountain Hut

Pastore Hut is one of the mountain huts that has been restored in the heart of the Alta Valsesia Natural park. It is located at an altitude of 1,575m, offering views of the spectaculair southern wall of the Monte Rosa. It can accommodate up to 65 people and even has a few tent sites. It takes about 45 minutes from Alagna to reach the hut.

Gnifetti Hut

The Gnifetti Hut can be found on the Italian side of the Monte Rosa at an elevation of 3,647m. It is a popular accommodation for climbers starting in Staffal who are attempting to climb several peaks in the Monte Rosa massif, including the Dufourspitze via the Italian route. However, since there are no glaciers to be crossed, the rifugio can be reached by hikers as long as they have steady feet. The walk-up may involve some scrambling; however, no ice axe or crampons are needed during the summer.

Mantova Hut

Mountain hut - Mantova hut
Mantova Hut

The Mantova Hut is an alternative starting point for most important climbs of Monte Rosa from the Italian side. It is located at an altitude of 3,498m on the Garselet glacier. It is owned by  the Alpine Guides of Gressoney and has recently been renovated. Nowadays it has a spacious dining room with great views of the glacier.

Hiking around the Monte Rosa

The Monte Rosa is one of the most famous and beautiful mountain massifs in the Alps. Located on the Swiss-Italian border, hiking around it offers different experiences.

Tour de Monte Rosa

The Tour de Monte Rosa is a 10-day trek around the Monte Rosa massif. Along the way, you will pass villages like Zermatt, Gressoney-La-Trinité and Staffal. This circular tour is harder than the Tour de Mont Blanc as it crosses high passes like the Theodulpass and glaciated terrain at some points. It is often started in Zermatt and proceeds via the Europaweg. The hike offers views from the Swiss and Italian sides, which gives different perspectives of these high peaks.

Hike to the Zamboni-Zappa hut

The Zamboni-Zappa hut offers panoramic views of the Macugnaga wall, making it a popular destination for hikers. The hike itself is quite straightforward and can be done starting from the village Macugnaga. From the village, two cable cars can be taken to Alpe Burki (1500m) and Belvedere (1914m). From here a short 45-minute walk leads you to the mountain hut.

Spaghetti Tour

The Spaghetti tour is the name of an intense 5-day crossing over the Monte Rosa massif. The tour starts in Cervinia and ends in the Gressoney Valley. Along the way, you will be staying in mountain huts such as the Margherita Hut and climb several 4,000-meter peaks. It is strongly advised to hire a guide as you will be crossing glaciated terrain. However, the Spaghetti tour is not very technical and only requires basic ice axe and crampon techniques. With ten peaks over 4,000 meters, the Monte Rosa offers several great ascents all within easy reach. You will be able to cross Pollux, Castor and Zumsteinspitze off your list. The more technical Dufourspitze, however, is avoided during the Spaghetti Tour. This mountaineering route is within the abilities of strong hikers.

Hiking with kids

The option of taking a cable car makes the region in the Aosta valley a perfect choice for families with children. If you’re looking the reward of great views after a short hike, the hike to the Zamboni-Zappa hut is an interesting option. Two cable cars starting from Macugnaga take you up to nearly 2000m. A short hike from this point, leads you to a great lookout point on the Macugnaga wall.

Things to do in the Monte Rosa Region

Besides hiking in the area of the Monte Rosa, there are a lot of cultural things to do as well. The Monte Rosa has a total of 27 ski-lifts, a great way to reach viewpoints in the summer period. Most of them are found in the Alagna and Gressoney-La Trinité area.

The Swiss side of the Monte Rosa has Zermatt as the best base for exploring. This Swiss village has several day tourists all year long looking to catch a glimpse of the Matterhorn. Even though the Monte Rosa cannot be seen from down in the Mattertal, it is a great starting point for hiking in this region.

On the Italian side you get views of the Monte Rosa from down the valley. The Aosta Valley is a popular destination for travelers hoping to see some of the most majestic peaks in the Alps, including the Monte Rosa, Breithorn and the Matterhorn.

 

 

Gran Paradiso hikes – Highest mountain of Italy, that is completely in Italy

Most mountaineers get to know Gran Paradiso hikes as an acclimatization climb for the nearby Mont Blanc. However, this 4061-meter high-rising peak located between the Aosta Valley and the Piedmont regions deserves more than that. The Gran Paradiso National Park, named after the peak, is a great environment for hiking, whether you are looking for a short day trip or a multi-day trek from hut to hut.

About the Gran Paradiso

Mountain Peak Gran Paradiso

The Mont Blanc massif and the Monte Rosa massif both lie on the border between France and Italy. The Gran Paradiso, on the other hand, is the only peak whose summit reaches over 4000 meters and is entirely within Italian territory. This makes it the highest peak in Italy, with an altitude of 4061m. The summit of the mountain was first ascended on September 4, 1860 by Cowell, Dundas, Payot and Tairraz. Up to this day, by high alpine mountaineering standards, the Gran Paradiso is regarded as an easy 4000’er, even though climbers must ascend 1300 meter of altitude. Most of the climb requires basic alpine skills as it goes over glaciated snow slopes. Only the final section covers rocky terrain that is a bit more technical. With the huge crowds of mountaineers climbing this peak in high season, this section may become a bottleneck. On the summit, there is a Madonna statue. Most climbs start at the Refuge Chabod or the Refuge Victor Emmanuel II.

Fauna
gran paradiso hikes

Within the boundaries of the park there are about 5,000 ibexes in total (Capra Ibex). Chamois also occur in large numbers. In addition, many mountain marmots, vultures and water starlings.

Best time to visit Gran Paradiso National Park

Mid-June to mid-September, with the greatest crowds from mid-July to the end of August. The most beautiful period is autumn, just before the first winter snow will fall.

Here are different ways to get to the park.

Accommodations around the Gran Paradiso

Due to its location in a national park, Gran Paradiso is only surrounded by small villages that are self-sufficient. Offcourse there is Courmayeur to the north, but it serves more as a base for those who wish to explore the Mont Blanc massif from the Italian side. In the Gran Paradiso area, you can find any type of accommodations: from bivouacs to mountain huts and camping. Even hotels, bed & breakfasts and rest areas for camper vans are available, If you are looking for a fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Petit Hotel,  The Petit Hotel has been in Cogne since 1968. It was founded by our grandparents Lucia and Innocenzo who still very actively help in looking after the garden and flowers. It is a charming place where children and  their parents feel at home.

Mountain Hotel Gran Paradiso, 2000 meters of emotions. It is one of the few hotels that is located directly inside the delicate natural ecosystem of the Park National of the Gran Paradis

Hostellerie du Paradis The tranquility reigns. Nicely located guarding the quite for the peace-loving guest. The characteristics and tranquility of the surroundings give the hotel a friendly atmosphere.

Camper van rest areas

Camper van rest areas offer places where you can load fresh water and unload your dirty water. On some occassions, there is electricity as well and bathrooms with showers. Sometimes there are facilities such as a hotel, bar, restaurant or a minimarket nearby. In the Gran Paradiso area, these types of rest areas can be found in the Cogne Valley, the Rhemes and Savarenche valleys, the Orco valley and the Soana Valley.

Campsites

Pitching your tent is possible at designated campsites in the area. These offer all the facilities you need such as toilets, showers, restaurants, etc. Some of the best campsites include Campeggio Piccolo Paradiso, Campeggio Casa Bianca and Camping Gran Paradiso in Valsavarenche.

Gran Paradiso hikes

The Gran Paradiso national park www.pngp.it offers splendid scenic beauty for active travelers. Not only do you get views of the Gran Paradiso, the highest mountain of Italy, but the panoramas over the surrounding valleys are well worth the effort.

Traverse Chabod Hut to Refuge Vittorio Emanuele II

Two of the main mountain huts on the Gran Paradiso are linked by a scenic traverse. During this journey, it is possible to admire the whole of Valsavarenche in this section. Views on the northwestern wall of the Gran Paradiso are also seen along the way. This traverse can be done in one full day although some people tend to do it in three, with the ascent up the Gran Paradiso on day two.

Montesuc Ring-route

This hike starts at the Montesuc cable car station at 2100m and takes about an hour to walk. There are about 15 stops and observation points while descending through the woods in this ring-route. Along the way, you will enjoy splendid views over the Valnontey and the glaciers of the Gran Paradiso massif.

Dres Lake

Dres Lake is situated at an altitude of 2087m and takes about 2 hours 30 minutes to reach. The trail starts at Villa Poma in the Orco Valley and is well-marked.

Colle Bora

The hike to Colle Bora is a little more strenuous as it gains 1027m of altitude. The trail starts at Piamprato Soana, a little town at the end of the Soana valley that leads through a grassy basin surrounded by woods—a charming setting for a good hike. The duration of the hike is about three hours, allowing plenty of time to rest.

Vaudaletta – Col Leynir

Gran Paradiso T-shirt
Gran Paradiso T-shirt Check out my Gran Paradiso T-shirt!

This trail is for experienced hikers as it takes about 7 hours to reach Col Leynir. With an altitude difference of 1205m, you will be ascending most of the way.  The trail departs from the small town of Thumel in the Rhemes Valley before crossing a small wood and leads to the recovered huts of Vaudaletta, where you can spend the night before returning or continuing your journey.

Sylvenoire – Gontier

Located in the Cogne Valley, this hike starts in the charming village Sylvenoire, following a dirt trail to Plan Pessey. A mule track continues your hike and afterabout 4 hours, you will reach Gontier. Gaining about 985m, it’s a hike for those withdecent stamina.

If you are planning a long hike, be sure to bring some giuraje, which are sugared almonds, or hazelnuts, for energy. They are made by several bakeries in the park. Mecoulin, a typical regional raisin bread is another option. Pont ham and potato salami are other local delicacies to be enjoyed during or after your walk.

Refuge Chabod

The Chabod Hut is one of the two most-used mountain huts for climbing the Gran Paradiso. It is located at the footof the northwestface of the mountain in the heart of the national park. Situated at an elevation of 2750 meters, a hike of several hours (2.5h) is needed to reach it. The footpath leading up to itdates from the hunting days of king Vittorio Emanuele II and winds through the woods. The refuge offers services with 85 beds during the summer season and in springtime (for skiing). In the summer, it is a meeting point for hikers and climbers who wish to explore the area.

Refuge Victor Emmanuel II
Mountain hut

This mountain hut is the second refuge often used for Gran Paradiso climbs. It is named after king Vittorio Emanuele II who hunted in the area in the past and gave the national park its status. It takes about two hours to reach from the village of Valsavarenche. With an altitude of 2735m, it is similar in height to the Chabod Hut. It is capable of hosting 120 people, but is only open during the summer season. Prices to stay range from  €3 (sleeping bag) – €65 (all-inclusive).

Tetras Lyre mountain hut

This cabin is located about fifteen minutes from the Vasavarenche bridge on the path to Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II. It is possible to spend the night here, but you can enjoy some great dishes as well. So, it makes a good stop during your hike.

Rifugio Bezzi

Further from Gran Paradiso, this refuge in Valgrisenche makes a good hike. It is best reached from Surier. The walk takes about 2 hours during which you climb 500 altitude meters.

Bivouac Huts

Unlike mountain huts, these are shelters where no caretaker is present. You can spend the night when out trekking. Most of them are open for use, but in some cases you may need to obtain the key beforehand.

Three Best Ways to Climb the Gran Paradiso

Gran Paradiso is located between the Piedmont and Aosta Valley regions, in the Graian Alps, Italy. It is positioned south of the Mont Blanc massif.

With an elevation 4,061m and a prominence of 1,879m, it is ranked the 7th highest peak in the Graian Alps.

Its first ascent was in September, 1860.

Best Time to Climb Gran Paradiso

The months of June through to September are considered ideal for summiting. One can attempt ski-alpinism during spring season and get to just a few meters below the peak.

Climbing Routes

The Gran Paradiso is a relatively straightforward peak to summit, however, unlike other 4000m peaks in the Alps, there are no mechanical lifts to assist you summit the mountain partly.

It has two main climbing routes; the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele and the Rifugio Chabod. Both routes end with a 20-minute technical climb.

The Rifugio Chabod

This route is slightly longer than the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele, but it offers a scenic and wonderful hike approach.

From the Chabod Hut, climb up the glaciers that are on the north-western side of the peak. Cross the mound while heading right to an altitude of 3,300m. Here, you will reach the north-west ridge. Proceed to the glacier valley till its end. Then climb upwards till you get to the “schiena d’asino”. The trail here intersects with the Vittorio Emanuele refuge at 3,700m.

Head left towards the Montcorve pass. After a steep climb and crossing the final crevasse, you will get to the “Madonnina” summit of Gran Paradiso.

The North East Ridge

On the north-west face before reaching the base, head left to start climbing the glacier through a rocky area while aiming for the Piccolo Paradiso pass. Press on towards the ridge using the easiest path along this steep slope.

Once you reach 3,975m, head downwards towards the Cogne valley and follow the rocky passages. Climb up the ridge on the north western face until you find another ridge that will lead you straight to the summit.

You can either use the Figurio Chabod or the Vittorio Emannuel for descent.

The Rifugio Vitttorio Emmanuel

Head north-east from the refuge along the well-marked path to a couloir on the Laveciau glacier. Climb up the glacier till you reach schiena d’asino which will roughly take 2 hours. Make a left turn to traverse along a glacier that will bring you to a terminal crevasse. You will be a few meters shy of the summit.

Descent can be along the same route.

A few Tips for you

Acclimatize beforehand. You need to be in top physical condition to manage the large elevation gains and high altitude.

You will also need to be competent at alpine scrambling and glacial travel.

The absence of cable cars may have put your knees under so much pressure during ascent, and you may find it a tad bit difficult while descending. It is therefore recommended that you cover the 2,000m descent to the valley floor in two phases. You can opt to space it out by covering about 800m then camp overnight. Proceed the next morning after your muscles and joints have recovered.

Gran Paradiso hikes

Things to do in the Gran Paradiso region

Gran Paradiso National Park is a destinition well worth putting on your list of desireable adventures. Winter tends to be the time for skiing and snowboarding, but summer has plenty of activities to choose from as well. A typical activity in summer for visitors is to go on a hike to the many alpine lakes, mountainhuts or viewpoints to soak in the views of the surrounding nature. If you are looking for something more challenging, alpine guides can take you to one of the peaks, with the Gran Paradiso being the most popular, as it is the highest in Italy and reaches above 4000 meters. However, the normal route isn’t too demanding and is within the capabilities of anyone used to a long day of hiking.

Other sports such as mountainbiking, rock climbing, rafting, canyoning and via ferrata are possible here as well. During your stay, you have the chance to see an ibex, chamois, deer, marmot or wild boar.

Hiking with kids near Gran Paradiso

Waterfalls Gran Paradiso hikes
Lillaz Waterfalls photo: Antonio Monaco

Despite plenty of options for people with mountaineering ambitions, there is something for families traveling with children as well. The Valley of Cogne has two great walks aiming at youngsters. From Capoluogo, you can hike to the Lillaz Waterfalls, a 4km hike taking about 1h20min. This path leads to the village of Lillaz where you can continue the trail that runs alongside the stream until you reach the falls.

A different option is the easy hike from Capoluogo that leads to Valnontey. This takes about an hour.

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Gran Paradiso Map

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Gran Paradiso Map 45.518400, 7.266600

Zugspitze – highest mountain in Germany

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Zugspitze Map

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Zugspitze Map 47.421066, 10.985365

The Zugspitze is, with 2962m above sea level, the highest mountain in Germany. On its summit, you will find a building with a restaurant, kiosk, a museum and a panoramic terrace offering views of four neighbouring countries. On clear days it is possible to see the Eibsee, the Grossglockner, de Piz Bernina and even the television tower in Munich. Winter season lures skiers and snowboarders to the pistes around the mountain, while the facility of the gondolas makes it easier for active travelers during the summer season.

About the Zugspitze

With an elevation of 2962 meters, the Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. It is located closely to the border of Austrian Tyrol, from whereyou can see impressive peaks such as the Grossglockner on clear days. The first person to climb the peak was Josef Naus on August 27, 1820. However, that might not have been the most impressive feat at the time. At the end of the 19th century, they started building the Muncher Haus, a building just below the summit of the Zugspitze. In 1926, the first gondola to the summit, the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, was opened. Up to this day, the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn is one of the most modern gondolas in Europe and offers seats to 101 people. The return voyage from Garmisch Partenkirchen costs about 52 euros. From Ehrwald, the Tyrolean side, it’s 40 euros.

The panoramic terrace with restaurant and kiosk is a popular tourist attraction in the region. On clear days, sights of thesgl Grosockner, Piz Bernina and television tower in Munich are not unusual. From this place, it’s a short but technical hike to the actual summit. On the summit, a gipfelkreuz marks the fact that someone has already successfully reached the peak.

Accommodations around the Zugspitze

Villages

Garmisch Partenkirchen and Ehrwald are two popular starting points to ascend the Zugspitze. Garmisch Partenkirchen is located on the German side of the Zugspitze, in Bayern. In winter, it is a well-known skiresort, while there are hundreds of hiking trails waiting to be explored in summer. Several hotels offer a base for your holiday, as well as campsites. Alpencamp, Camping Resort Zugspitze and Camping experience Zugspitze are three located just outside the village center. Ehrwald is the village on the Tyrolean side of the mountain, in Austria. The village itself is situated in Lermooser Moos, a place that was once a swamp. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Sentido Zugspitze Berghotel Hammersbach” in Grainau. An impressive history connects the “Sentido Zugspitze Berghotel Hammersbach” with its surroundings – the charm of the wild-romantic Alpine landscape, the magnificent Zugspitz massif and the roaring Hammersbach. Elegant country house style characterizes the personal ambience of this gem of Bavarian hospitality.

MyTirol, the urban style hotel with Zugspitzblick. At over 1.000m, between dreamy mountain landscapes of the Zugspitz Arena and the picturesque Tyrolean nature, they are on you and you. Price-conscious vacationers and guests enjoy an appealing and high-quality holiday directly in the Tyrolean Zugspitzarena. In our design hotel, we offer you every season a comprehensive indoor and outdoor offer and an unforgettable active, sports and spa vacation.

Landhotel Garni Grainauer Hof, Located at the entrance to Grainau you will find peace and relaxation in a unique environment in our family-run house. Let yourself be pampered with a service with a heart.

Wankhaus

Mountain refuge - Wankhaus
© Erik Gregg

The mountain refuge Wankhaus (1780m) has about 30 beds to accommodate visitors. From Garmisch Partenkirchen, the hut is easily reachable by cable car. Those who hike from the village will need about 2.5 hours to reach it.

Höllentalangerhütte

mountain hut - Höllentalangerhüt
Höllentalangerhüt

The Höllentalangerhüt (1381m) is one of the best places for experienced mountaineers to climb the Zugspitze from the famous Höllentalroute. Even for a family of hikers, the hut is a nice goal to set for a day’s hike. The hut accommodates 106 people starting from 31 euros for a place to sleep.

Knorrhütte

mountain hut - Knorrhütte
Knorrhütte

The Knorrhütte is the perfect starting place if you want to take the easiest route to the summit of Zugspitze. It used to be one of the oldest mountain refuges in Germany, but it has been renovated in the past few years. Located at 2051m, you are on the border of the treeline, and a visit to the hut makes you feel like you are in high alpine territory. Reaching the hut is doable even for people without much experience in hiking, since it only takes about three hours.

August-Schuster-Haus

High above the Lindertazl at an elevation of 1564m, you wo;; find the romantic August-Schuster – Haus. It is open in the winter and summer seasons, making it a great place to stop for hiking, touring and skiing. Hikes to the Teufelsstättkopf and the Brunnekopfhütte are easily done via this cabin.

Brunnenkopfhütte

mountain hut - Brunnenkopfhütte
Brunnenkopfhütte

The Brunnenkopfhütte is located along the E4, a long distance route across Europe. Starting from the castle Linderhof, it takes about 1h30 min to reach the refuge. Once there, you can enjoy views of the Graswangtal and Ammergauer mountains from the terrace.

Münchner Haus

The Münchener Haus is without doubt the highest mountain hut in the German Alps as it is located just below the summit of the Zugspitze. It was built in 1897 and has known a few modernizations since then. Anyone who wants to spend the night here will have to book well in advance to avoid disappointment as there are only 36 sleeping places offered. Comfort is not a high standard in comparison to other mountain huts in the area. Fortunately, the view makes it worthwhile. When the last cable car has descended towards the valley at 16.45u, a quiet charm falls over the hut as the huge crowds have left for the day.

Hiking around the Zugspitze

The Bavarian Alps are scattered with long-distance trails, many originally routes used by bandits, cattle drovers and even the military. As you can expect from the Germans, all of them are well organized and carefully signposted. They connect a large network of mountain refuges or alpine huts. This makes it easier for hikers since it allows you to hike without carrying too much gear, or even food.

Erlebniswege

This trail starts at the AlpspiX viewing platform, so after having looked into its depth, you can hike this Erlebniswege to experience the beauty of the surroundings. The hike down takes about 2 hours and leads from the topstation of the Alpspitzbahn to the Kreuzeckbahn station. Along the way, you will pass the Giant’s Stone Kingdom.

Konigsweg

The Konigsweg to Schachen begins at the forest road in Wanderpark Elmau. Along the route, you will see the Royal house on Schachen, called the Swiss House. Wettersteinalm and Schachenhaus make great refreshment stops during this 20 kilometer round trip.

Mount Wank

Mount Wak
© Shoba Cole

Mount Wak is one of the most popular mountains in the Bavarian Alps as its summit gives you exceptional views of the foothills of the Alps. The route via Esterbergalm to the summit of this peak is less-frequented and therefore more enjoyable. A round trip to the summit takes about 7 hours as you will be ascending a little over 1200 meters.

Circular hike via Wamberg, Graseck and the Partnachklamm

This is a shorter option for those active travelers who wish to enjoy the lush green meadows and shadowy forests of the Bavarian Alps. Wamberg is the highest altitude village in the whole country and is under historical preservation for this reason. It is the first village you will encounter on this circular hike. The old farmhouses and wooden balconies have an enchanting atmosphere, and this romantic setting only gets better as you continue your journey towards the Wamberger Sattel. The Partnach Gorge is a geological highlightfound along the route. This natural monument is a combination of roaring waterfalls and crystal clear pools. The natural swimming pool of the Kainzenbad makes a great refreshing swim when the weather is hot.

Things to around Zugspitze

For those who need a rest day after a hiking trip, there are plenty of options of things to do around Zugspitze. The biggest tourist attraction without doubt is the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, a cable car leading all the way to the summit of Zugspitze from the villages Ehrwald and Garmisch Partenkirchen. The viewing platform of AlpspiX is another great place to visit if you are looking for panoramic views.

Wandering through the streets of Garmisch Partenkirchen is always a good idea, as the 1936 Winter Olympics has left its legacy in the town. Many of the colorful chalets and buildings you see were built for this occassion. The picturesque half-timberd houses and murals in the Fruhlingstrasse are worth a visit as well. Gashof Husar and Polznkasparhaus are the oldest buildings in the village. The banks of the river Loisach are a great place to walk in an cozy atmosphere.

Hiking with kids

Hiking with kids offers a different experience as children are only occupied with what they see right in front of them. This means that hiking with kids must be done on trails where they can be intrigued by streams, big tree roots or waterfalls at all times. The Wassererlebnisweg “Zugspitz am Gaisbach” is a trail similar to geocaching. Along the route, you will find eight numbers to discover that make a code. At the end of the trail, you will be able to enter the code and see if it’s correct to find the treasure.

Moosles Zauberwald is a trail dedicated to the mascotte of the Bavarian Alps, leading families through his own home: the magic forest. The 4-kilometer trail has nine interactive stations for all ages that will help you discover the password. The password can be entered in the tourist information center in Lermoos where you will be offered a souvenir to Moosle.

Großvenediger – the Ancient Majesty

Generally the Grossvenediger is considered to be the fourth highest mountain in Austria. The glaciated peak is part of the Hohe Tauern National Park, a hiking and biking paradise in East Tyrol. With the many villages situated close to the base of the peak, the mountain is often the setting for many day hikes as well as multi-day treks.

About the Grossvenediger

map grossvenediger

The Grossvenediger (3666m) is the fourth highest mountain in Austria after Grossglockner (3798m), Wildspitze (3774m) and Weisskugel (3739m). The origin of the name is not quite clear. Some claim it is derived from the Venetian merchants, who were passing by via a trade route over the mountain passes. Others say it is named Grossvenediger (translation: Great Venetian) since the view from the summit reaches as far as Venice, some 200 kilometers away. However, in reality, Venice is not to be seen from the summit.

gipfelgrat
Grossvenediger Gipfelgrat ©coyote05

Several attempts were made in the early 19th century to climb to the summit of the Grossvenediger; however, it was only reach about 40 years after the first ascent of the nearby Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria. In 1828, 17 expedition members failed to reach the summit due to an avalanche. It was only on September 3d, 1841, that a team led by Josef Schwab successfully summited. Their expedition started in Neukirchen, in the Salzach Valley.

Villages around the Grossvenediger

The mountain is located in the Hohe Tauern National Park where several valleys separate the mountain massifs. The village, Neukirchen am Grossvenediger, is one of the best places to stay if you wish to hike in the region of this peak.  It is a traditional and charming Austrian village that offers skiing fun in the winter as well. Being in the middle of the national park, you spend most of your time surrounded by mountains, valleys and in the proximity to several hiking trails.

Another small settlement is the village Prägraten in the Virgental Valley. The summit of the Grossvenediger is officially a part of the village and makes a great starting point for hikes varying from easy day hikes to challenging multi-day treks such as the Venediger High Alpine Trail. Also, villages such as Krimml, Hollersbach, Bruck, Rauris and Virgen are great options.

Live view from Virgen

Mellitz: Virgen − Sonnberg − Blick nach Westen

Ochsnerhütte

Mountain hut - Ochsnerhütte
Ochsnerhütte

The Ochsnerhütte is located at an altitude of 1835m and about half an hour from the Leppner Alm and 1h30 min from the valley. For many years, you have been able to buy freshly-made cheese and milk products at the cabin. After having enjoyed these local specialities, don’t forget to hike to Wetterkreuz and Froschlacke, two viewing points that are well worth the effort.

Johannis Hütte

On the southern side of the Grossvenediger, at an altitude of 2121m, you will find the Johannis Hütte. Hiking towards it takes about two hours from Hinterbichl. It accommodates about 50 people and has several facilities including a shower, laundry room and a dry room,ideal for active travelers who have been surprised by an afternoon shower. The terrace is not only a great place to have a drink, but it also offers amazing views of the Grossvenediger.

Eissee Hütte

A 3h30 min hike from the village of Prägraten through the Timmeltal takes you to the Eissee Hütte. The hut, located at 2521m, offers 45 beds and is a popular starting base for climbs to 10 peaks that reach over 3000 meters, including Weissspitze.

Stabant Hütte

Mountain hut - Stabant Hut
Stabant Hut

Stabant Hut is often described as “Austria’s most beautiful hiking hut” and those who have made the effort to visit it will agree. The hut is located along the Hochalpiner Pilgerweg and is easily reachable from the valley in about 1h to 1h30 minutes. For this reason, it makes a great family trip.

Neue Prager Hütte

Mountain hut - Neue Prager Hütte
Neue Prager Hütte

The Neue Prager Hütte is one of the highestin the region (2796m). Due to its location in the Innergschloss, one of the finest alpine valleys in Austria, it has an impressive setting with glaciers surrounding it. Thus, not only experienced mountaineers comes to see the panoramas. Despite its height, the hut is reachable on foot in about 1 hour. The hut is hosted by Wilfried, Sylvia and Claudia.

Hiking around the Grossvenediger

The Hohe Tauern National Park in which the Grossvenediger is located is a true hiker’s paradise. A total of 256 hiking trails, 52 long distance hiking stages and 2 thematic trail routes are waiting to be explored by the many active travelers that spend their holidays here during the summer season.

Venediger Track

With a total distance of 50 kilometers, it takes about 3 to 5 days to hike the Venediger track. The linear route runs from Parcheggio Ströden or Prägraten to Matreier Tauernhaus. Along the way, you can spend your nights in one of the many mountain huts offering real mountain charm.

Venediger High Alpine Trail

Venediger Höhenweg
© Schwarz Jens

Better known as the Venediger Höhenweg, this trail is a great way to get acquinted with an extremely beautiful part of the Austrian Alps. It leads around the Virgental in Ost Tirol, with famous peaks such as the Grossvenediger in the vicinity. Your nights will be spent in one of the many mountain cabins along the route. Hiking the full trail will take about nine days. The start of trail is at Matreier Tauernhaus and ends in Virgen. Those who have extra hiking days during their holiday can prelude the hike with the Venediger track.

Lasörling track

Lasörling track
© Uwe Grinzinger

This trail leads hikers through forests, alpine meadows and viewpoints offering spectacular sights of mountain peaks. All mountain huts along this route are reachable from the valley, making it a walk suitable for children as well, despite the extreme differences in altitude. If you wish to hike the complete trail, prepare yourself for a 53 kilometer hike during which you gain about 4000 meters of altitude.

Muhs-Panorama-path

This challenging day hike takes about 6 hours, but it is well worth the effort. You start off at Dorfer Säge in Prägraten and take a steep path towards Bergersee Hütte, a mountain hut with refreshment options. Shortly after gaining some altitude, scenic views start to break in and continue for the rest of your journey. Via the Lasnitzenhütte, the route leads you back to the parking area. The total elevation gain is 1098m.

 Virgin via Obermauern naar Prägraten

For those looking for a short day hike, the trail from the National park- Infostelle Virgin (1194m) to Infostelle Prägraten (1309m) is a great option. To cover the distance of 8 kilometers, average hikers need about three hours. There is not too much of an elevation gain (a mere 350m), making the hike not too difficult.

Accommodations around the Grossvenediger

Today, many mountain huts surround the mountain as a base for summit ascents. Climbing this peak is only for experienced mountaineers as there are several crevasses on route.If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Hotel HEIMAT – the Nature Resort  offers 22 rooms with 2 beds and 3 rooms with “Grandlit Total 47” plus extra beds. All rooms have shower room, toilet, TV and balcony. The rooms are decorated in natural colors and have wooden larch floors, black-out linen curtains, comfortable armchairs, shelves and beds (height 55 cm) of international quality.

Familienhotel Replerhof, A wonderful destination for families in every season. After all, the Replerhof and the entire host team have been specializing for many years and gaining notoriety. Families with small, very small and large children will find here a varied 4 star hotel complex with adjoining farm.

Gasthof Islitzer is a cozy little hotel in the district of Hinterbichl. They value a pleasant atmosphere and traditions, after all, the house has been run by our family for centuries. The guests should feel comfortable, relax and recover. Of course, the incomparable location in the middle of the Hohe Tauern National Park also contributes to this.

Things to do in the Grossvenediger region

The Hohe Tauern National Park has lured active travelers looking for splendid mountain views for decades. With impressive peaks like Grossvenediger and Grossglockner all within its boundaries, it lives up to its reputation. The quaint traditional Austrian villages are great bases for exploring the expansive network of trails leading to mountain passes, mountain huts and peaks.

Besides hiking and biking, this region in Tyrol has plenty of other outdoor activities. Those who don’t suffer from vertigo (or wish to conquer it) can go on a paragliding flight or glide along waterfalls during a canyoning session. Adrenalin junkies probably will want to paddle the rapids on a rafting trip. Relaxing can be done during horseback riding, a golf session in a mountainous environment or a day in one of the many spas and thermal baths.

Those who have spent some time in alpine valleys and meadows will have spotted animals like horses, cows, sheep and goats. They spend the entire summer season in these meadows, but when winter comes, they want to return back to their stables. This “returning of the cattle” is a traditional annual event celebrated at the end of every summer. Those who are lucky enough to spend their vacation in Tyrol at this time of the year can witness this event and enjoy the music, entertainment and traditional delicacies that go along with it.

Ice Climbing in Tirol

eis park
Ice Climbing

Ice Park East Tyrol near the Grossvenediger has the the largest outdoor artificial ice climbing park in Austria. This will make any serious mountaineers heart beat faster.

This ice crag, opened in January 2016, has optimum conditions to all ice climbing fans.
The search for the perfect location lasted a full year, and it was found just a 20 minute walk from the far side of Matreier Tauernhaus. When they have prepared, the artificial ice falls, created by fine mist from conduits, it provides a frozen wall with some 70 routes in a very compact space.

Hiking with kids

For kids, hiking needs a reward, whether it is a mountain hut where refreshments are waiting, or a splendid waterfall such as the Umbalfälle waterfall. Located near the Isel river, the trail takes families past churning whirlpools and deep gorges. Along the way, there are about 14 places where you can see how the force of water has shaped the landscape. The 11km trail is easy and non-challenging, making it a great family trip. The elevation change is about 445m.

If you are looking for something shorter, the Innergschlöss is a good option. This valley is considered as one of the most beautiful in the Eastern Alps. Surrounded by the nature of the Hohe Tauern National Park with views over the impressive glaciers of the Grossvenediger, it offers plenty of photo opportunities. The ascent of 250 meters over the 8km distance makes it a trail well within the ability of young children.

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Großglockner – “King of the Alps” and the highest mountain in Austria

Großglockner

The Grossglockner, with an altitude of 3798 meters, is the highest mountain in Austria. Located in Tyrol, it is a popular trip for travelers staying in one of the diverse holiday destinations in the region. From the top of the Grossglocknerstrasse, one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world, which can be reached from Heiligenblut and Bruck an der Grossglocknerstrasse, you have splendid views of the “King of the Alps”. This mighty mountain is part of the Hohe Tauern national park. Grossglockner is often visited by day tourists, but lots of hikers and bikers explore the trails nearby as well.

About the Großglockner

grossglockner
Der Großglockner

The Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria with an elevation of 3798 meters. It is located in the Hohe Tauern, on the border of Austrian states Carinthia and East Tyrol, close to the Pasterze glacier. It was first ascended on July 28, 1800 after several failed attempts the year before. An expedition with 62 members succeeded: Martin Klotz, Sepp Klotz, Martin Reicher and Joseph Orrasch are often named as the first to have reached the summit.

Despite being in the Eastern Alps, the heavily glaciated rocky summit is often compared to the mountains in the Western Alps. Still, it’s not the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps. Both Piz Bernina (4049m) and the Ortler (3905m) are higher.

The Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, leading from Zell am See to Heiligenblut via Bruck, has made the mountain a tourist attraction.

Three Best Ways to Climb the Grossglockner

The Grossglockner is Austria’s highest mountain standing at 3,798m above sea level and also the highest mountain in the Alps. The Grossglockner forms part of the Glockner Group which belongs to the Hohe Tauern range. It lies on the Carinthia-Tyrol border.

Best Time to Climb

The months of July through to September are ideal for ascents attempted on the normal routes. However, these routes are mostly crowded, so avoid the weekends if you can.

Climbing Routes

  1. The Normal Route

This route can be approached from Kals (west side) or Heiligenblut (east side). The two routes later join at Erzherzog Johann Hut where you will find one distinct route all the way to the summit.

If you choose the Kals route to Erzherzog Johann Hut, from Kalser Glocknerstrasse you will use a scenic route that leads to Lucknerhut.  Make a left turn at the yellow signpost to get to Studlhut.

Once at Studlhut, proceed to the Kodnitzkees glacier which will be an easy trek. It is advisable to wear crampons and rope up at this point. Walk along the glacier onto a rocky ridge while watching out for crevasses until you reach Adlersruhe (3,450m). Scramble onwards to the Erzherzog Johann Hut.

If you choose the Heiligenblut route, proceed upwards to Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. The trail starts at the Glocknerhaus all the way to Margaritzen reservoir. The trail will be marked. Cross the wall onto the beautiful Leiter valley then descend to Stockerscharte. Via the Wiener Hohenweg you will reach Salm hut. From this hut, proceed onwards to Hohenwartkees, climb a few rocks to get to Hohenwartscharte. Then go across the Auserre Hofmannkees to Salmkamp. Proceed onwards to get to the hut.

Once you have reached Erzherzog Johann Hut, the walk will be easy across snow to Bahnhof, and then it becomes steeper as you get into Glocknerleitl. At the top of this point you will find Sattele. Continue upwards across a rocky ridge to reach Kleinglockner which is the fore summit at 3,770m. The route will then descend slightly onto Glocknerscharte. It is however very narrow and has steep drops on either side, so exercising caution is of importance. Further climbing will lead you to the summit cross.

Descent is along the same route.

  1. Mayerlrampe

This route is considered to be the best ice route on this mountain and less exposed to rock fall compared to Pallavicini-Rinne. Starting from Franz-Jozefs-Hohe (2,362m), pass the Pasterze and ascend onto the Glockner bivaouc. The route has many crevasses so you need to be roped up.

Once at the bivaouc, cross over the bergschrund to reach the actual Mayrelrampe. Proceed onwards applying proper alpine ice climbing skills through to Grogerschneid. From this point, head upwards to the summit via the North West ridge.

  1. Berglerrinne

Starting from Biwakschachtel, follow the ridge then head south till you get to the base of Berglerrinne. Cross the bergschrund at the base of this couloir. Proceed upwards amidst great difficulty and steepness onto a narrow couloir. Watch out for rock fall. After about 50m, you will reach a snow-ridge; follow it all the way to the summit.

Accommodation around the Grossglockner

The region where the Austrian states Salzburg, Carinthia and Tyrol join together is a popular holiday destination for active travelers. Not only are there many hikes around the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria, but it is very close to the Hohe Tauern National Park. This offers great options for outdoor enthusiastics and active families. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Hotel Post Fusch is a premier Alps village, and an exceptional place for family holidays, adventure trips, a romantic gateway or group holidays. Fusch village, together with surrounding areas, offers endless activities and special events for you to enjoy on your free time. Hotel Post offers a variety of resources for guests – great hospitality, family atmosphere, comfortable leisure in an affordable price and perfect cuisine.

Hotel Nationalpark Lodge Grossglockner, formerly Hotel Glocknerhof, is located in the middle of the famous mountaineering village Heiligenblut am Großglockner. Where alpine history was written and where you breathe pioneering spirit everywhere. Nature experiences and mountain adventures are in Heiligenblut right on the doorstep.

Bergerhof is located on the sunny side of Kals , surrounded by meadows with a wonderful panoramic view . The guest area is reached through a separate entrance and staircase plus elevator and offers with a holiday apartment , three double bedrooms , a family room and a twin room , the ideal place for groups, families with children, couples, solo travelers and mountaineers.

Salzburgerland

Salzburgerland
Zell am See

In the state Salzburgerland, the traditional villages, Fusch and Bruck, are great options to stay. Bruck is a stop along the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, a panoramic mountain route. Besides going on a scenic drive, both villages are well-placed bases to go hiking in the mountains. However, the most famous village on this side of the Grossglockner is probably Zell am See, situated at the Zeller See. It has a classy reputation as a winter resort, but the traffic-free village center makes it also a pleasant place to be in the summer. Zell am See has plenty of options regarding restaurants, bars, clubs and sport facilities.

Carinthia

Heiligenblut is the best-known village in the Carinthia region and the end-stop of the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. The village is surrounded by the nature of Hohe Tauern National Park, making it a well-visited place for outdoor enthusiastics and families looking for some quality time in nature.

Tyrol

Tyrol
© Edgar Barany C

The Tyrolean side of the Grossglockner lures mountaineers and hikers with its 250 kilometers of trails. Kals is an idyllic village located at the base of the mountain. Despite being quite small, it has all the facilities such as a supermarket, restaurants, bars and even a bank. A cable lift takes tourists to a viewpoint at an altitude of 2000 meters, offering great views on the Grossglockner and surrounding peaks.

Stuedl Hütte

Situated at a mere 2802 meters, this is the most important mountain hut for climbs starting from Kals. It takes about two and a half hours to walk from the Lucknerhaus or four hours from the Taurer Inn. It has about 104 beds and is also a stopover for climbers taking on the Stuedlgrat.

website Studel Hütte

Erzherzog – Johann – Hütte

Mountain hut - Erzherzog – Johann – Hütte
Erzherzog–Johan –Hütte

The Erzherzog–Johan –Hütte is the highest mountain hut in Austria, located on a unique spot at the shoulder of the Grossglockner. The view from this hut can easily be compared to the view from the summit of a peak in the Alps. However, getting to the hut isn’t too easy as it requires gear for glacier climbs. The most popular route is from the Stuedl Hut which takes three hours. It requires you to cross the Koednitz glacier and a short steep scramble.

Glockner-Haus

This historic inn served as an alpine hut, but is now located along the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse between Heiligenblut and the Franz-Josefs-Hoehe at an altitude of 2132m.

Oberwalderhütte

Mountain hut - Oberwalderhütte
Oberwalderhütte

Despite its location on the Grossglockner, this mountain hut is not a starting point for climbing the mountain directly since it lies on the opposite side of the Pasterze glacier. However, it is the biggest mountain hut in the region and an important meeting location for the Austrian Alpine Club. It is a great destination for hikers, starting at the Franz-Josefs-Hoehe, who take the Gasgrubenweg, a two and a half hour hike. In the winter season, the hut is a popular starting point for the famous ski trip around the Grossglockner.

Salm Hut

Mountain hut - Salm Hut
Salm Hut

The Salm Hut is the mountain hut from which the historic first ascent of the Grossglockner started. It is situated on the south side of the mountain and is still a recommended point on your way to climbing the mountain, as the route to the Erzherhog Johann Hut has no crevasse danger. The hut can be reached from Heiligenblut in 4.5h by following the Leiter Valley, or 3 hours from the Stuedl Hütte.

Edelweisshutte

This mountain hut is located at the Edelweissspitze,the highest accessible point along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, about 2571 meters above sea level. You can enjoy culinary specialties of the region here while taking in the views of 37 peaks, reaching higher than 3000 meters, and several glaciers. The hut is owned by the descendants of Peter and Julianna Lederer, who built the hut in 1935.

Hiking around the Grossglockner

Austria is a popular destination for hiking holidays. The Hohe Tauern National Park is one of the most beautiful hiking locations in the country. It is the largest national park of Central-Europe, located on the border of Carinthia, Salzburg and OstTyrol. From the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe,you can make several walks, such as the Gamsgrubenweg that brings you to the Hofmannshütte in about half an hour, or the Pasterzen Rundweg to enjoy views on the glacier. Here are some of the best walks to do during your holiday in Tyrol.

Pasterzen Rundweg

This glacier trail runs from the Alpine center Glocknerhaus to the ecologically-important area in front of the Pasterze glacier, the largest in the Eastern Alps. It shows everything shaped by the last Ice Age, from rock formations and moraines to rock plates. You can hike to the glacier tongue, but be carefulas hiking on the glacier is not allowed due to crevasse danger. The hike takes about 3 hours.

Großglockner
Großglockner

Glocknerrrunde

This route circumnavigates the Grossglockner in seven days and allows you to sleep in the many mountain huts along the way. This hike was a project created by the Austrian Alpine Club and the German Alpine Club collaborating with the Hohe Tauern National Park. It has a high level of difficulty with a strenuous day stage, requiring good stamina.

Best season: July – August

Arlhöhe

For hikers who wish to enjoy a great panoramic view but don’t want to hike too far, the ascent up the Arlhöhe is a great recommendation. The route leads to the Osnabrücker Hütte and onwards to the Arlscharte (2252m), and further to the summit of Arlhöhe.  Climbing up and down takes about 3.5 hours.

Nature trail Elendträler

A strenuous hike, but well worth the effort affordingpanoramic views over the Kleinelendtal and the Zwischenelendscarte. The route starts at the parking near Kölnbreinsperre at the end of the Malta Hochalmstrasse and takes about 7 hours to complete.

Things to do in the region of Grossglockner

The region of the Grossglockner offers a wide variety of hiking and mountainbiking trails. However, most tourists who visit OstTyrol intend to drive the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, an impressive panoramic route that leads to the best mountain views.

To gain access to this highest surfaced mountain pass road, a toll is assessed. Cars are charged €35 to drive the full 47.8 kilometers. The route starts at Zell am See at an altitude of 805m and ascends to 2504m, before descending again to Heiligenblut at an altitude of 1301m. It connects the regions Salzburg and Carinthia via the Hoge Tauern National Park where the Grossglockner is located, Austria’s highest mountain.

Along the way, you can make several stops to soak up the views, learn more about the route, or explore the area by taking a cable car. With views of 3000m peaks such as the Großglockner (3798 m), the Sonnenwelleck (3261 m), the Johannisberg (3460 m), the Fuscherkarkopf (3331 m), the Hohe Dock (3348 m), the Großes Wiesbachhorn (3564 m) and the Hoher Tenn (3368 m), it’s easy not to get bored.

Hiking with kids

Hiking with children often means you are looking for a short and easy hike. The route from Hüttschlag to Schödertal is a great option as it is not only short ( 1-2 hours), but it also offers the chance to see some wildlife. The trail ends near the Schödersee, a lake that is mostly dry in summer, but fills up in the spring with melting water. It starts at the information boot of the Talwirt National Park.

Another option is the hike to Krimml Falls. The 380 meter falls are the biggest in Central Europe and the sixth highest in the world. A hike to the upper falls takes about 1h15min and goes along some great viewpoints for a impressive nature experience.

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Matterhorn – Hiking around Switzerland’s icon

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The Matterhorn and Switzerland go hand in hand. This pyramid-shaped peak, which is very hard to climb, is one of the most photographed mountains in the world. Nearby is the cable car to  the more accessible Klein Matterhorn, the starting point for some great hikes. Day tourists and active travelers can be found year round in the village of Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn not only to see majestic views of Switzerland’s icon, but to feel the presence of the mountain throughout the village.

About

The Matterhorn is a pyramid-shaped mountain located at the end of the Mattertal, close to the mountaineering village Zermatt. The mountain itself is located in the region Wallis (Switzerland) as well as in Valle d’Aosta (Italy), hence the Italian name Cervino as it is often referred to. With an altitude of 4478 meter, it’s not the highest mountain in the area (this honor is reserved for the Monte Rosa massif), but its shape makes it one of the most remarkable and attractive peaks for hikers as well as climbers.

First climbed in 1865 by Edward Whyper, the mountain has called to several lives before and ever since. However, hiking can offer a similar breathtaking experience. With so many trails leading to and around this massive peak, a hiking holiday never is too far off.

Accommodation near the Matterhorn

Zermatt is the base for those who wish to catch a glimpse of the majestic Matterhorn. Zermatt is to Switzerland what Chamonix is to France. This mountaineering village breaths history, as you will see traces of the past, not in the least the Zermatt cemetery where several mountaineers lie buried.

Hotels/ Campsites in Zermatt

Zermatt is flocked with day tourists taking the Glacier Express train to the village, since no cars are allowed in the center. Most of them spend the night in one of the many hotels in the village. However, for those on a budget, or spending a night in Zermatt before commencing their hike, there is a campsite available–the closest being camping Matterhorn at the entry of the village, about two minutes from the train station. It is only for tents as there is no way to reach the campsite by car. Cost is 15 CHF/ day. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Hotel Bristol is very centrally located and has free WIFI, spa, half-board restaurant and a cozy lobby with log fire. They are only a short distance from the cable cars.

Hotel Pollux is located in the heart of Zermatt – 200 meters from the train station. All valley stations of the mountain railways are within walking distance. The hotel has two restaurants. The Pinte is a typically wooden Valais restaurant in which they serve among other things cheese fondue specialities and raclette. The Arvenstube is an elegant restaurant with alpine chic in which they serve international and mediterranean delicacies.

Matterhorn Hostel provides the perfect accommodation in winter and summer for low budget travelers. They are well located in Zermatt which is not only a picturesque village but also one of the top-ranked ski resorts in Europe. The great location gives our guests great access to the mountains. The ski slopes, hiking and biking trails are only a hundred meters away

Mountain huts in the area

Spending a night in a mountain hut in the area around Zermatt offers splendid views ofsome amazing 4,000 meter peaks. Not only can you get views of the Matterhorn, but the Monte Rosa massif and Weisshorn are close as well.

The hut at Schwarzsee probably offers the most photographic views of the Matterhorn with the small lake in the foreground. The hut has a fine restaurant offering Italian dishes, raclette and Swiss specialties.

Another mountain hut well worth the hike (or the cable car) is Gandegg hut. It is situated between the Monte Rosa massif and the Matterhorn, close to the Klein Matterhorn and the Teodulglacier. A short hike from this cabin leads to Teodulpass, which is not only one of the highest mountain passes in the Alps, but also the border of the Aosta Valley.

Mountain hut - Dom hutte
Dom hutte

Further down the valley, you will find the Dom hutte, reconstructed in 2012. It is located at an altitude of 2,940 meter and is the base for climbs up the surrounding 4,000-meter mountains such as Dom, Täschhorn, Lenzspitze, Durrenhorn, Hohberghorn, Nadelhorn and Stecknadelhorn. Even if you have no plans to climb the peaks, the views are well worth the visit.

Mountain hut - Täshhutte
Täshhutte

Wit a patio offering splendid views, Täshhutte is a great day trip from Zermatt. Once at the cabin, you can enjoy Swiss specialities as well as Valais specialities. The same could be said for the Rothornhutte.

Another 4,000 meter peak in the Mattertal is the Weisshorn. While its name is not as reputable as the Matterhorn or the Monte Rosa, it is one of the most dominant peaks in the area. The Weisshorn cabin is the starting point for ascents to this recognizable peak. It offers panoramic views over 19 mountains reaching higher than 4,000 meter in the Valais Alps.

 

Hiking with views of the Matterhorn

While visiting the Mattertal in the Valais region, hiking is one of the top activities to do here. With several 4,000-meter peaks, the views are just awesome. Still, the Matterhorn is one mountain that will always stand out, so we really recommend doing one of these hikes to get some of the best views of this iconic peak.

Tour the Matterhorn

The Tour de Matterhorn probably is the best known multi-day hike in the region. It is the ultimate hike around the world’s most beautiful mountain. In 8 days, this route circumnavigates the Matterhorn along some great cable-secured passages, boulder fields and even glaciers. Along the way, you can spend the night in mountain cabins such as Rifugio del Teodulo, Rifugia Prarayer and Europaweghütte. Suffering from vertigo is no option as there are a lot of altitude meters to be conquered. One of the hardest sections is a 2,100-meter descent, so stamina is required.

Hornli Hut

Mountain hut - Hornli Hut
Hornli Hut

The hike from Zermatt to Hornli Hut is a classic in the Swiss Alps. Hornli Hut is basecamp for mountaineersattempting to climb the Matterhorn via the normal route. The cabin located at the base of the pyramid peak is where quite some mountaineering history has taken place. The hike takes about two hours to complete one way. For those who want to feel the excitement of a Matterhorn climb, we recommend spending a night. The total cost is CHF 150 (dinner and breakfast included) for a shared room. Even though the cabin accommodates about 130 people, it is highly recommended to book in advance. From the hut’s terrace, you can see the main part of the route to the summit. One of the best experiences (except of climbing it) is to get up early in the morning and see mountaineers ascend the Hornli ridge, equipped with head torches. It’s fascinating to watch the queue of small lights up on the mountain as they get closer to the summit.

Best time: August / September

Tour de Monte Rosa

While this multi day hike circumnavigates the Monte Rosa massif, it still offers some great views of the Matterhorn worth mentioning. It crosses the Theodulpass, the second highest mountain pass in the Alps and explores the Valais region as well as Valle D’Aoste. Along the way, spending your nights in cabins such as Europahutte and Gandegghutte makes the experience of hiking in the Alps even better.

Flower walk

Blauherd
Blauherd Photo by Andreas Mordhorst

If you enjoy walking through alpine meadows, then this short day hike is for you. The walk is about a 3-hour round trip from Blauherd to Tuftern back to Sunnega. Along the way, you will see some rare alpine flora including edelweiss.

Best season: June to September

Marmot Trail

Sunnegga
Sunnegga Photo by Uwe Dornbrack

The alps are home to ibex, chamois and … marmots. The 3-hour walk from Blauherd to Sunnegga takes you past several information boards and observation points giving you glimpses of the area where the marmot lives. They are often seen in this region. Can you spot one?

Best season: June to September

Matterhorn Glacier trail

Ever hiked alongside a glacier? Why not do so with the Matterhorn as a backdrop? The trail between Trockener Steg and Schwarzsee leads you along 23 sites of interest that explain the history of the Furgg glacier. The length of the hike is about 6.5 km and takes 4 hours round trip.

Best season: June to September

Five Lakes Walk

Few sights are better than the reflection of the Matterhorn in a mountain lake. In between Blauherd and Sunnega, there are five mountain lakes that will captivate your attention. Not only are they great places for taking photos of the Matterhorn, but Leisee and Grunsee provide options for a refreshing swim as well. The distance of the trail is about 9.3 kilometers and will take around 5 hours. Be sure to bring a picnic or have a nice lunch at the Sunegga restaurant.

Best season: June to September

Hiking with kids

Spending your holiday with children in Switzerland is a vacation to remember. However, depending on the age of your offspring, some hiking trails may be a bit too hard for them. When staying in Zermatt with children, the Marmot trail is a recommended hike to do with your children. There is little elevation difference – about 100 m ascent and 400 descending – making it ideal for families to enjoy some of the beauty here. There are plenty of refreshment stops along the way and offcourse the faunistic highlights of seeing marmots makes it all worth while!

Things to do in the Matterhorn region

The Alps offer some of the best hiking locations and the area around the Matterhorn is no exception. Views of the majestic peak during one of your hikes surpasses those you get from the village of Zermatt as the angle is much better higher up the valley flanks. The cable car leading to Schwarzsee, Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn makes the ascent easier for those who want to shorten their hike. Also, with over 100 kilometer of biking trails reaching 1,400 to 3,100 meters of altitude, the region around Zermat offers a unique mountainbiking experience suitable for all levels.

Afterwards, be sure to enjoy a delicious cheese fondue or raclette in one of the fine restaurants in the center of Zermatt. Those who wish to learn more about the Matterhorn can visit the Matterhorn museum on their rest day.

Ortler

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Ortler

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Ortler 46.510600, 10.544500

Planning A Hiking Trip To the Ortler

The Ortler, photo by John Mason

The Ortler mountain, or ‘King Ortles’ as it’s known by mountaineers and folklorists, is one of the most impressive mountains in the eastern Alps. With its peak being 3905 m above sea level, it’s the highest mountain in the Italian province of Tyrol. The Ortler towers above the other mountains in the Ortler Range, and offers some of the most impressive views. So it’s definitely one you want to conquer.

As any keen mountaineer will know though, with such an impressive mountain comes the opportunity not just for breath-taking views, but for extreme adventure. Whether that be killer hikes, summer climbing, or winter skiing, the Ortler is a great destination for any passionate mountaineer.

Villages on and around the Ortler

There are a couple of different villages and towns around the mountain that make good starting points for hikes. These towns and villages are also where you can expect to find some of the best accommodation whilst visiting the mountain. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Stelvio Residence is located there, where nature has still preserved its authenticity: in the village of Trafoi, within the Stelvio Natural Park, with a breathtaking view of an amphitheater of the most beautiful and impressive mountains in South Tyrol / Südtirol: the Ortles group which geologically belongs to the “Engadine Dolomites”.

Hotel Meublè Sertorelli Reit , a few steps from the center , from the ski facilities and the Bormio thermal baths , is the solution for those who want a B & B in Bormio welcoming and private. A pleasant and refined atmosphere, thanks also to the modern interior design , to the use of woods, stone, lights and soft colors, will help to make your stay unforgettable.

Hotel Nives  is located directly in the village center of  Sulden am Ortler  at  1,900 meters above sea level , at the foot of the highest mountain in South Tyrol, making it your ideal starting point for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. In  winter  , the free ski shuttle stops in front of our hotel and takes you to the ski lift, 500 meters away, and in summer you can start your hikes directly from Hotel Nives

Trafoi

Trafoi Village
Trafoi Photo by iLMeteo

The village of Trafoi is a truly idyllic location, situated at the foot of the Ortler. With a population of only 90 people, it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and remote, where you can relax after a day of adventure.

It’s a great base for those looking to fit in as many hikes or winter sports as possible during their stay. It’s the starting point for many of the most popular hikes around the Ortler, and it even has its own ski area, making it the perfect place to visit if you’re into winter sports.

During the summer, people also enjoy cycling around the area, especially on the Stelvio Pass Road which can be easily reached from Trafoi.

So whilst the village may be small, its ideal location and quaint atmosphere makes it a popular stop for those visiting the Ortler.

Sulden, or Solda

Sulden near Ortler
Sulden photo by Armin Kübelbeck

Solda is a great town if you’re hoping to see not just the Ortler, but other impressive summits like Gran Zebru and Monte Cevedale.

The town is located in the middle of a National Park, so its definitely one of the most scenic towns around the Ortler. The town is nestled deep in the Ortler Range, so you can enjoy green open space and peaceful lakes, with an incredible mountain backdrop. There’s also 14 glaciers in the Ortler Range, some of which can be reached from Solda.

With a population of 400, it’s a bigger location than Trafoi, and much more geared towards exploration of the Ortler Range and of course the Ortler itself. There are clearly signposted hiking trails that start in Solda, and trail up through the mountains, many of which pass by mountain huts and cabins.

So if you’re hoping for a hiking holiday, it’s the place to be. You can easily navigate self guided walks, or if you wanted to join a tour this is the meeting point for many walking tours.

As if that wasn’t reason enough that this town is the place to be, in winter there are also 44km of ski slopes. And in summer, climbing is all the rage in Solda.

Reaching the summit of the Ortler

Those that want to go all the way and make it to the very top of King Ortler should expect a challenging climb. That being said though, there are different routes of different difficulties, some of which are some of the most popular routes in the eastern Alps.

The normal route

First off, there’s the ‘normal route’, which is one of the easiest routes, but is still fairly challenging. It takes around two or three days to complete, and is a mixed climb, graded PD+ (slightly difficult).

The first leg of the journey is from Solda to the Payer Hut on the North Ridge, following Trail 4. This takes about 3-5 hours, depending on the conditions, and brings you to just above 3000 m. This part of the journey isn’t difficult at all if you’re used to mountain hikes. It’s graded T3-, and there’s a good footpath for most of the way. However, if you fancy shortening this part of the hike, and saving your energy for day two, the summit day, you can always get the Langenstein chairlift which will bring you part of the way up.

Mountain hut - tabaretta hut
Tabaretta hut

Following Trail 4, or Trail 4A if you got the lift up, you’ll pass Tabaretta Hut, which is a great pit stop if you need a break or refreshment. You can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat on their balcony, overlooking the mountains and distant lakes. It’s also possible to stay at the Tabaretta Hut, but this isn’t usually done by those following the normal route. The preferred Payer Hut can be reached from the Tabaretta Hut by Via Ferrata if you have the proper gear.

The second part of the journey is where things get a little trickier. This day will be the ‘summit day’, trekking from the Payer Hut to the summit and back in around 8-11 hours. Be prepared for rock climbing, as this part of the route involves third grade rock climbing if you want to reach the top. There’s going to be a lot of rock and ice, which makes for an interesting climb, but one that requires caution.

One thing to note with this route is that it’s the most popular route up the Ortler, so it can get fairly busy, especially during the summer months.

The East Ridge route (Hintergrat)

This route is perhaps the most impressive route up the Ortler, offering stunning views and difficult climbs. It’s an AD graded climb with snow and ice slopes up to 65 degrees. There’ll also be rock climbing in the fourth grade.

Mountain hut - Hintergrat Hut
Hintergrat Hut

Before you can start this climb, you’ll need to reach the Hintergrathuette (Hintergrat Hut), a cosy little mountain refuge above Sulden. You can hike the hut from Solda and spend the night in surprisingly comfortable beds (for a mountain hut).

From the hut, it’s a mixed route up to the summit, some stretches being fairly easy, others involving rock climbing in the fourth grade.

The descent can be just as challenging as the climb up, so leave the hut early in the morning (around 4:30am latest), so that you’ll have plenty of time to take the climb at your own pace, enjoy the views, and get down before dark. You can descend via the normal route, rather than going back the way you came.

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Facts About Ortler.

Ortler is a mountain found at the Italian Alps right at South Tyrol, Italy. Standing at 3905m above sea level. The mountain stood out among other mountains in the Eastern Alps outside the Bernina Range. This peak also stood out among other mountains found in the range of the same name. One of the prominent peaks worth climbing at the Southern Limestone Alps. South Tyrol’s unofficial hymn, the Bozner Bergsteigerlied, immortalized this summit by calling it “König Ortler”. Its closest noted peak discussed in this site is Piz Bernina.

How to get to the peak of Ortler?

First off, brace yourself for a mixed climb in terms of difficulty. This happens after reaching the last stopover before the peak, Payer Hut. You can drive from Solden, South Tyrol. Drive northwest using Via Forestale. Go forward to SS622. Drive for 1.4km to reach Haupstrasse at Via Principale. Turn left to reach the Payer Hut.

What to expect at Ortler?

The mixed climb part is relatively advanced. Having companions familiar with the glacial terrain is highly advisable. The upper part of the route could go as steep as 40 degrees. Have the right equipment from crampons to ice axes to get the climbing part right. Get some additional pointers from the Payer Hut reservations desk itself by calling them at +39 0473 613 010.

 

Check out the Ortler T-Shirts!

Which Hiking or Mountaineering Travel Insurance Should You Buy for Your Trip?

hiking mountaineering travel insuranceTravel insurance can’t prevent emergencies while in the mountains.  However, it can mitigate the extent of negative consequences.  For this reason, insurance registration should become your top priority before every hiking adventure.  Through buying travel insurance, you invest in your health and safety.

* I do not sell insurances, I sell T-shirts. This article is just to inform you*

Nowadays, with so many insurance options to choose from, many hikers are concerned with how to choose a reliable one that will cover all possible emergencies in the mountains.  Choosing proper insurance is not easy, especially considering the variety of factors at play.  Let this article guide you towards making the right decision!

 

What a Standard Travel Insurance Package Must Cover?

mountain rescue helicopter

Travel insurance is one of the most popular and profitable types of insurance, hence why the niche is so competitive.  Although in many countries it is not compulsory to obtain everyday insurance, hiking routes are still potentially dangerous.  In addition, the cost of medical treatment may be more expensive depending on the country you choose to hike in.

Thus, you can always count on quality travel insurance to relieve you of worries concerning your health.  Let’s discuss standard travel insurance, and point out “must-haves” that you need to include in each insurance package you create:

 

  1. Organization of medical treatment abroad, including: negotiations, transportation, etc.
  2. Fees from medical services a doctor may provide you.
  3. Dental treatment.
  4. Price of medical supplies required for recovery.
  5. Compensation for delayed flights or luggage, as well as assistance in finding lost items.
  6. Organization and all fees for medical evacuation or repatriation of the body.
  7. Compensation for any other unexpected expenses according to your particular insurance program.

 

What to Consider When Choosing Quality Insurance for Hiking?

 

Hiking insurance generally costs more than generic travel insurance, as it includes a higher probability that an emergency may occur.  However, there is no ideal for hiking insurance, as trekking routes are not always similar.  The following is a list of individual cases for you to consider when choosing quality insurance for your particular mountain adventure:

 

●          Sports Insurance for Mountaineers

Generic insurance packages are usually not enough when hiking or approaching mountain peaks.  Mountain climbing is a far more extreme activity compared to package tours and ordinary independent traveling

 

Don’t hesitate to mention that you intend to climb mountains, and require a “sporting” type of insurance.  Yes, its 2 – 3 times more expensive than standard travel insurance, however the cost is worth every cent.  Otherwise, you may be very disappointed to find out that your travel insurance does not cover all your expenses in the event of an emergency in the highlands.

 

●          Accident Insurance

An accident case is an unexpected incident that entails:

  • injury
  • harm to health
  • death
  • or disability occurrence of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd groups within a year as a result of the accident.

 

Having accident insurance is critical in the mountains.  Even though accident insurance comes with most packages by default, ensure that this is the case for yours.  Otherwise, only medical treatment is covered, not accident cases.

The cheapest versions of medical insurance do not cover accident risks, which are highly probable in the mountains.  Do not skimp on your health!

 

 

●          Contacting the Travel Insurance Company

Inform the insurance company of all details related to your hiking route to make sure you are able to contact them quickly while hiking.

In any case that the insurance company is not available 24/7, get the contact information of an assistant company.  If you have a bad feeling about it, muse over your decision to deal with the company in the first place.

 

●          Terms of Insurance

You can get insurance for any period following your insurance policies.  Some hiking and mountaineering enthusiasts consider buying coverage around the world for a whole year; but this is quite costly.

Instead, it is much cheaper to buy coverage for specific periods of your hiking trip and the countries you intend to visit.

 

●          Amount of travel Insurance Coverage

Always check the sum insured, since this amount depends on the insurance company and the type of insurance.

Also, check all cases when you receive the sum insured.  Read the whole insurance contract carefully.

 

●          Country Where You Are Going to Hike

The price of travel insurance depends on your intended mountaineering destination.  If your route belongs to several countries (like Peaks of the Balkans), then your insurance must cover risks in each included country.  Who knows where you might have an emergency!

Keep in mind that travel insurance covering some countries are costlier than others.  The insurance price depends on the given country’s medical care price level, as well as general living conditions.

If you don’t know exactly which countries you are going to hike in, you can always get insurance for the whole year and the entire world.  This option provides extra security, although it is much more expensive than getting insurance separately for cheap countries.

 

●          Altitude Sickness

Consider the highest altitude you are going to reach on your next hiking trip.  Most travel insurances are only applied up to 3000 meters.  This is not cheating policies, but rather a condition you must confirm before paying for your insurance package.

 

Most insurance companies do not want to cover the risk of altitude sickness.  Unfortunately, the risk for altitude sickness is high when 3000+ meters above sea level.  In most cases, qualified assistance requires helicopter transportation and extraordinarily expensive treatments.

 

Although general insurance is entirely suitable for most hiking routes in the Alps, the Dolomites, and other average-height mountains, it is insufficient for the majority of trekking routes in the Himalayas or Pamir.

 

●          Viper Bites

The possibility of meeting a viper along your trail is pretty low, but the risk should not be underestimated.  The probability of encountering a viper only increases if you have an explorer’s spirit, and can’t stand tourist trails.  There are an abundance of vipers and insects lying in wait along remote paths, usually hiding in the terrain.

 

If you plan on taking your route off the beaten path, get-to-know how to deal with viper bites in the region you seek to hike in.  Moreover, ensure that your insurance covers the possibility of an unexpected meeting with a venomous creature of the wild.

 

●          Emergency Transportation

In substance, trekking really isn’t that dangerous.  In fact, it is much safer than rock climbing, scuba diving, paragliding and base jumping, all in which require premium insurance.  However, no one can avoid an emergency situation without doubt.

Even benign health problems such as a pulled muscle or a twisted ankle can quickly become dangerous when climbing mountains.  Most seasoned mountaineers have experienced avalanches, thunderstorms, altitude sickness, and other emergencies in the highlands.  However skilled you may be, the possibility for emergencies outside of your control still remain.

Efforts to trek down on your own after an accident might lead to terrible consequences.  That’s why you should always pay attention to whether or not accident transportation is covered.

Every mountain climber should always be well-prepared for an emergency.  Get to know the whereabouts of the nearest rescue center, and always keep their contact information on hand.  Believe us, it’s not heavy!  Also, figure out whether registration for your hiking route is required.  It is beneficial, as rescuers can track your location in case of an emergency.

 

 

●          Non-Mountain Accidents

Mountains are dangerous by definition, but don’t overestimate the overall risks while traveling to another country.  Be careful wherever you go, as any region may hold dangers in their own right.  No wonder there are many cases of hikers climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or the Himalayas safely, but feeling the need for insurance as they come down.

Hikers from Europe, the US, Canada or Australia are often not used to the spicy food or levels of hygiene they face in Asia or Africa.  Countries like India have cuisine that are much hotter than what Westerners are used to.

 

 

●          Organization Issues

 

1.         Lost or stolen luggage

Some of us are familiar with the feeling of a “pit” in your stomach when you can’t find your luggage upon arrival.  Whether the luggage was lost or stolen, does it really matter?  What matters is that you urgently need to buy new equipment for your designated trekking period.  The situation becomes especially dire if your lost luggage includes some expensive gear – not funny at all.

Most insurance companies cover the risk of baggage loss nowadays.  However, you should still ensure on your own time that this option is checked off, as it usually does not come by default.

 

2. Delay or cancellation of flights

Consider whether or not the insurance you may choose covers delayed or cancelled flights.  If you only have one direct flight, then a several hour delay is probably not going to be much of a problem for your mountain journey in the long run.  But if you are anticipating connecting flights that belong to a different airline, a delay can be quite a nerve-wracking experience.

 

Insurance Policy: What to Remember?

When buying insurance, always double check to make sure your personal data (name, date of birth, passport number, etc.) are written correctly.  Also, be very attentive when checking the dates of hiking and the amount due.  Even a minor typo can cause significant problems in the case of an emergency.

 

While leaving the insurance company, don’t forget to take your insurance policy as well as your payment check, and carry them with you when traveling.  As an extended measure of security, companies make extra copies of the documents and store them in their office.  These documents legally legitimize your agreement with the insurance company.  You may present them in case of an emergency to get your insurance options.

Travel Insurance

Insurance Case: Action Plan

 

Emergencies usually appear suddenly, and leave travelers in shock.  Don’t be panicked if you cannot think clearly.  Try to understand that shock is a natural reaction of your mind in response to accidents that don’t occur every day – luckily for us!

 

No matter what happens, try to pull yourself together and think clearly.  Remember to contact your insurance company as soon as possible.  Here is a precise action plan to ensure you do not forget anything important:

 

  1. Open your insurance policy. The action plan is written down in detail.  Every true adventurer must remember it.
  2. For extra security, save the numbers of your insurance company or an assistance company on your mobile device, as well as other gadgets.
  3. Contact the assistant company first to coordinate your actions.
  4. Save all original documents, checks proving payment, prescriptions, and diagnoses in a sealed case in the event that you ever need to show it to the insurance company.
  5. If hiking with a tour company, don’t hesitate to report the number of your insurance policy to the tour company representatives.

 

Insurance registration must be an essential part of preparing for every hiking adventure.  It’s up to you to choose which company best suites your needs.  But remember, only a quality and well-informed package from a reliable insurance company will give you peace of mind.

 

Get insurance for every hiking adventure, while hoping you will never need it.  Let your beautiful hiking vacation remain a safe travel!

 

P.S. Even though we provide information about insurance companies, that is not our field of expertise.  The article does not aim to promote any travel insurance company, and is based on personal experience and internet research.

 

 

Rosengarten hiking and via ferrata’s in the Dolomiti

mountain in the dolomiti

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Rosengarten

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Rosengarten 49.063519, 9.731483

Rosengarten And Its Direct Surroundings

Rosengarten holds a special place in the hearts of many people around the globe, not only because of its beauty but also due to the wonderful pink hues that are dancing on the huge rock faces during twilight. Legend has it that King Laurin lived there and grew a huge garden of roses, so there really is something special about this place.

In this article, you will find out more about the summer offers that these mountains have in store for you. You will learn a lot of things such as the food you should order for lunch and the rifugios where you should stop on your hike.

ABOUT

The Rosengarten group is a massif in the Dolomites of Northern Italy, which is surrouned by Tieser Tal, Eggental and Fassa Valley. The highest peak is known as Kesselkogel and is 3002 meters tall. You can access the massiv from many towns. Among the most popular ones are Carezza, Nova Levante, Vigo di Fassa and San Cipriano.

This is a great holiday destination for all four seasons. As for as sports are concerned, skiing, hiking, golfing and other sports are popular among those that choose this area to spend their vacations and have a lot of fun at the same time.

The ski areas and hiking trails are well organized and there are trail markings everywhere so you don’t need to worry about getting lost. You have a couple of high mountain rifugios to choose from to spend a night or have delicious lunch in.

WHAT IS A RIFUGIO?

Rifugio is a type of mountain house/hut/refuges. Rifugios that attract a lot of visitors are more like small hotels and great restaurants with comfortable rooms that you can rent to spend your nights in. Higher up in the more demanding slopes of the Dolomites, the primary purpose of rifugio is to provide shelter for alpinists and mountaineers in case of bad weather. No matter which one you choose to stay in, they all evoke feelings of safety, and nourishment.

WHAT TO DO?

For first time visitors, we suggest that you choose the summer season to enjoy the beautiful sights. If hiking and delicious food are your favorites, summer is the best time of the year.

HIKING

Rosengarten is one of the best hiking destinations for beginners. If you are just starting out, we have a couple of suggestions for you. You can choose any of the suggestions depending on your skill set and fitness level.

ELISABETHAN PROMENADE

Dedicated to Empress Elisabeth, this is a nice destination for hiker where you may want to go if you just want to enjoy your surroundings without spending a good deal of energy. It is a round 8km long trip and will take you about 3 and a half hours to complete. It starts and finishes in Nova Levante and the height that you will reach will be just 430 meters. It might feel a big deal if you are new to this, but I can assure you that it is just enough to make you feel like you’ve made an achievement. However, it won’t make you feel sore the next day. For directions and map, click here.

RODA DI VAÈL HIKE

This beautiful hike takes you to the center of the massif where you can enjoy beautiful views and have wonderful lunch as well.

You will start your day in Carezza, a popular winter ski resort town that turns into hikers’ paradise in summer. You can also visit Carezzalake just outside of the village. its amazing bluish-green color will mesmerize you!

You need to get a pass for Paolina ski lift, so you can start your hike a bit higher up. You can also hike up to the top station of the lift. However, keep in mind that it will take you around 1 or 1.5h to get to the top station. From there, you will follow the path no. 522 that will lead you to North. You will climb Vaiolon pass on the other side of the massif where you can stop at the RifugioRoda di Vaèl and eat your lunch. The whole hike will take you about 4 hours.

This rifugio is a good destination for families with small children. Instead of doing the whole lap, you will turn right at the top station of Paolina lift, walk for about 1h to the rifugio, have lunch, and go back the same way. For exact information about the lap hike, click here.

VIA FERRATA

These high mountain routes are not very well known outside the Alpine region of Europe. Soldiers constructed the first routes during the First World War to cross high mountains as fast as possible. They installed metal ropes that were attached to the rock face for support while climbing up a steep mountain.

Nowadays, these mountains allow you to experience the exhilaration of climbing in addition to help you cover more distance than the traditional rock climbing. Special gear is needed, such as a belt and a special safety rope that tie you to the cable. You may also need a helmet and proper shoes with good sticky sole and ample ankle support.

All via ferratas routes are described on different websites, so you can decide on one based on your knowledge and experience.

VIA FERRATA SANTNER

This is a relatively short hike, only about 4 hours, but can be extended to see more of the Rosengarten group. It requires ferrata gear and a steady footing. Rock climbing experience is required to avoid any problems on the way. You will climb all the way to 2700m to experience the beautiful surroundings.

To learn more about this beautiful experience, click here!

VIA FERRATA MASARÈ

This is another interesting via ferrata route that passes RifugioRoda di Vaèl. You will start at the top station of Paolinalift. You can get the necessary information by clicking here.

Wake up early in the morning so you have all day for hiking. Starting early is a good idea as weather gets worse in the afternoon. The highest peak you will visit is over 2700m tall, so get ready for some serious views!

RIFUGIOS

These wonderful mountain huts are what most hikers look forward to. Some of the huts described below are popular weekend destination. The practice of going on an easy hike and then having lunch is quite common in Trentino and Alto Adige regions of Northern Italy. On these high mountains, you can eat delicious food and enjoy great views all around!

mountain hut
Photo Ansgar Koreng

RIFUGIO RE ALBERTO

Situated at around 2600m, surrounded by majestic Vajolet towers, rifugio Re Alberto is truly a gem of the Rosengarten massif. It was first built in 1929 and is still in great shape. Many people keep coming back to this place for inspiration.

People who are managing this place are known for their hospitality. You can stay in shared rooms and meet other avid hikers, while the owners will serve you with incredible traditional dishes. Order a cheese and meat plate to understand the tradition of this area, and enjoy some traditional desserts. They taste even better at an altitude! If this is where you are going to spend the night, ask for some traditional mountain bitters at the end of the dinner. Besides, if you just need a refreshing drink during a hot day, ask for a radler.

Rosengarten
Photo by Matthias Schmidt

RIFUGIO RODA DI VAÈL

This is my personal favorite. This place gets busy during summer weekends due to easy access so you may want to visit it on a weekday if possible. The staff is always nice and each member of the staff carries a big smile on their face.

And the food… oh the food! Order eggs, potato and speck if you need a serious portion of pick-me-up food. Get yourself some kaiserschmarrn – a traditional alpine dessert, often served with some apple or berry jam. Cheese and meat plates are always a good choice but I like their desserts. Eating desserts is a great way of giving a treat to your sweet tooth. After all, you deserve it at the end of a long hike.

THINGS TO SEE CLOSE BY

The above listed hikes, via ferratas and rifugios are highly recommend as I’ve been there before. There are many other rifugios to visit. And all of them hold the spectacular soul of Rosengarten massif in their hearts.

I highly recommend Carezzalake that I mentioned before. If you prefer rugged mountains that don’t attract a lot of hikers, explore Latemar. You can rent a bike to explore the mountain passes or head to the center of any small village. In a village, you can buy a coffee and dive right into the special culture that is a mixture of Italian, Tirolean and Ladin.

 

Check out the Rotwand, Rosengarten T-shirt

 

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The World’s Most Dangerous Hike, Mount Huashan

The World’s Most Dangerous Hike

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Mount Huashan

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Mount Huashan 34.477900, 110.084800

Mount Huashan: Folklore and Fear

The World’s Most Dangerous Hike
Mount Huashan

Piz Roseg in Switzerland and La Grivola in Italy are absolutely stunning and whether you’re a mountaineering enthusiast, a nature photographer or just someone who appreciates unique mountains, I would highly recommend you visit. Both of these mountains, as well as others mentioned on the blog such as Grand Cornier and Eiger in Switzerland, stand at over 3900 meters above sea level. Can you imagine the views from these heights? There’s no denying that the world-renowned mountains in Europe such as these are astonishing and intriguing natural miracles. However, there are praiseworthy mountains in all corners of the world, from the Tafelberg in South Africa, also called Table Mountain, to Mount Huashan in North Western China.

Mount Huashan is arguably one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Its beauty is acknowledged by the hundreds of people who visit annually. The greenery on the mountain, combined with the clouds that frequently rest on the mountain top is picturesque. However, anyone who appreciates mountains knows that, while beautiful, they can also be dangerous. Mount Huashan is both the site of legendary folklore and dangerous, fearful hiking paths.

 

The Legends of Mount Huashan

Mount Hua, also known as Mount Huashan, is located in North Western China near the city of Huayin in the Shaanxi province. It is one of the Five Great Mountains of China, also known as the Sacred Mountains of China. This mountain range holds particular religious significance for the Chinese and is an important pilgrimage destination. Huashan, which translates to “Splendid Mountain,” is the Western Great Mountain. While the Sacred Mountains of China are a popular pilgrimage destination, the summits on Mount Huashan aren’t as easily accessible as those on other mountains in the range, so those who pilgrimage there are mostly locals. Mount Huashan has a rich history that stretches back thousands of years. There are two temples that rest at the base of Mount Huashan and have existed since as far back as 2 BCE. The Yuquan Temple, also known as the Jade Spring Temple, was built during the Northern Song Dynasty to honor Chen Tuan and was named by the legendary Golden Fairy Princess. The Xinyue Temple was built to honor and communicate with the god that Daoists believed lived inside the mountain. It’s so large and beautiful that it earned the nickname “The Forbidden City of Shaanxi Province.” However, those aren’t the only temples on Mount Huashan. Taoist temples, shrines and teahouses are scattered across the mountainside, offering a cultural experience and resting spot for those brave enough to hike the mountain.

 

There is a mystical feel that visitors get when they’re walking along the summit and can see the clouds gently rolling in, covering the bottom of the mountain and leaving only the smaller summits at the top of the mountain visible. For several millenium, Mouth Huashan has been revered as a source of Chinese folklore. There are many myths about the mountain, which draw the attention of both local and international visitors. Located high up on Mount Huashan is the Immortal’s Palm Peak. Legend has it that Immortal’s Palm Peak is the site of deity Juling’s handprint. The story goes that the Jade Emperor sent Juling to stem a flood on earth that was as result of jade wine spilled by the Queen Mother of the West. Juling descended from the heavens on a cloud and reached for Mount Huashan with his left hand and right leg, ripping the mountain in half. Thus, it’s said that Juling’s handprint can still be seen on Immortal’s Palm Peak.

 

There is a different legend for each of The Five Great Mountains of China. Today, these myths are regarded as part legend and part history, as they have been around for many, many centuries. Mount Huashan’s legend is related to the folktale “The Magic Lotus Lantern.” In addition to being called Mount Huashan, the mountain also has a second name- Lotus Flower Peak. This name was given to the mountain thanks to Cuiyun Palace, a Taoist temple located on the mountain, which is home to a large rock that strongly resembles a lotus flower. Seven other rocks surround Cuiyun Palace and are said to be the location where Chenxiang, a mythical hero, rescued his mother, Heavenly Goddess San Sheng Mu, in the tale known as “The Magic Lotus Lantern.”

 

Mount Huashan is filled with unparalleled culture, history and legends. Today, people come from all over the world to experience the magic that is Mount Huashan. However, they come to experience the terrifying hike, as well.

 

The World’s Most Dangerous Hike

Those who are hiking, climbing or mountaineering enthusiasts will know that, while exhilarating, climbing mountains can also prove dangerous. The Matterhorn in Switzerland has been the site of over 500 deaths, not to mention the amount of near-death experiences hikers and rescue workers alike have faced on the Matterhorn. While mountaineering can be risky anywhere, did you know that Mount Huashan is referred to as the most dangerous hike in the world?

 

A surprising fact is that Mount Huashan only stands at 2154 meters tall. While it may be shorter than other dangerous mountains in Europe, don’t let its height fool you. Mount Huashan is beautiful, but climbing it is not for the faint of heart; it’s called the world’s most dangerous hike for a reason. The trails that lead up to Mount huashan are riddled with vertical paths, incredibly steep staircases and a plank trail that will make your stomach drop. The plank trail is made only of wooden platforms that are secured to the mountainside with bolts.

 

The routes up to Mount Huashan may be filled with uneven paths, sharp inclines and mountain-hugging trails, but there is an easier way up if you’re wary of dangerous hikes. There are two cable cars that transport hundreds of people to the summit of the mountain daily. The first cable car was installed in the 1990’s and drastically increased the amount of visitors to Mount Huashan. However, if you’re a thrill-seeker, or enjoy living vicariously through those who are, then you’ll find the adventures of those who have taken on Mount Huashan of particular interest.

 

It’s impossible to hike Mount Huashan and leave without any riveting stories. When climbing the mountain, it’s not uncommon to come across pathways that barely leave enough room for one person to pass through safely. And if you take after the Chinese, you may even hike the terrifying mountain at night! Many Chinese prefer to hike at this time because they believe it’s safer to climb Mount Huashan when you can’t see its dangerous tracks. Plus, it’s said that watching the sun rise from high up on Mount Huashan is a sight to see. Climbing the mountain from its base to its summit isn’t only incredibly risky, but it’s also time-consuming. However, for what some trails may lack in safety, they make up for in beauty. You can find quiet streams weaving along the mountain, trickling past the many Taoist temples. The walkways are sometimes flat, but more often than not, hikers must walk on steps carved into stone or along vertical ladders bordering steep drops, with only the guides of steel bars or chains on the sides. The most treacherous part of the journey is always the Plank Walk in the Sky. When walking across the Plank Walk in the Sky, visitors have to buy a compulsory upper body harness- it’s that risky! The only thing ensuring that you don’t fall to a painful death is a steel cable, which your harness is securely fastened onto. The adrenaline rush that a visitor gets when they’re fastened into their harness, walking tentatively across steel bars bolted into the mountainside is unparalleled. It’s terrifying. It’s breathtaking. It’s exhilarating! When the sky walk is filled with terrified hikers who cling to the mountainside, you often have to use the chains secured to the mountain to swing your body around the other visitors so you can proceed walking. It’s at that point that hikers usually recall the rumors of 100 visitors dying per year on the Plank Walk in the Sky. But they’re just rumors…right?

 

Assuming visitors finish the terrifying Plank Walk in the Sky, there are several other dangerous paths to try. One is the hike up to the Chess Pavilion. The hike to the Chess Pavilion, precariously perched on a peak across from the Plank Walk in the Sky, may not involve as many heights, but it is still risky. Visitors have to scale a slippery mountainside, guided again only by chains mounted into the ground. Not to mention that the only way to get there is via a terrifying steep descent from the sky walk. However, the trip is rewarding. When standing in the pavilion, visitors can take in the beautiful sights of Mount Huashan, from rivers along the base of the mountain to the higher summits above, lined with beautiful green foliage. Regardless of the paths that you take and the varying sights you may see while hiking Mount Huashan, all who have visited say that the trip was well worth it.

 

No matter who you are, there is an aspect of Mount Huashan that will draw you in. If you’re a history and culture fan, the rich tales of the mountain will intrigue you and make you want to see the source of the folklore for yourself. If you enjoy nature photography, capturing shots of the legendary and stunning Mount Huashan will be a dream come true. Similarly, if you love climbing mountains or are constantly seeking your next adventure, you have to visit Huayin and climb the mountain known to be the most dangerous hike in the world.

Grande Casse

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Grande Casse

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Grande Casse 45.405300, 6.827500

Facts About Grande Casse

Grande Casse is a mountain found at the Vanoise range in Savoie, France. Standing at 3855m above sea level. This is the range’s highest point. The peak is occasionally noted as Vanoise’s answer to the Mont Blanc massif’s king of white peaks, the Mont Blanc. Hikers enjoy trekking by the north face since it is easy compared to some peaks in adjacent massifs.

How to get to the peak of Grande Casse?

So you are driving from the Geneva Airport, for example. Google Maps teach you how by clicking here. Summit Post has an alternative though. Drive towards Albertville via A43. Drive at least 27km on Route de Tarentaise towards Moutiers next. You will reach Brides les Bains to the right. Reach Bozel and Pralognan next 26km after. There is a parking lot by Pralognan in Les Fontanettes. Prepare for the uphill climb by foot.

Traverse the teleski along the GR55 trail. You will get to Cabane des Barmettes at 2010m above sea level. Cross the Glière torrent. Reach Chalets de la Glière. Climb towards the Pont de Chanton first and the Lac des Vaches next. Pass by the left side to reach the Aiguille de la Vanoise. You get to Refuge du Col de la Vanoise at this point. Stop over for the night to prepare for the early morning climb.

Getting to the summit takes you from the hut to the stonefield. This leads you to Glacier des Grand Couloirs. Reach for the tong at the right shore to go up. Turn left to traverse over several crevasses. Get to the middle of the glacier to walk towards the right bank. Reach the Col des Grand Couloirs. The main peak is just right behind this landmark. Enjoy the view of the entire French Alps from this spot.

What to expect at Grande Casse?

The path along Lac des Vaches turns into an icy swamp in June. This is the first part of summer. Summer in this area spans from June to September. Campsites at Le Chamois and Le Parc Isertan offer alternatives to the huts as stop overs. For details, contact Parc de la Vanoise at 04 79 62 30 54.

Aiguille de Triolet

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Aiguille de Triolet

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Aiguille de Triolet 45.916900, 7.024600

Facts About Aiguille de Triolet.

Aiguille de Triolet stands at 3870m above sea level at the Mont Blanc massif. This stood between the boundary of Aosta Valley in Italy and Haute Savoie in France. A rather complex peak to climb. It split the basins of Argentiere in the north and the Talefre in the west through its big glaciers at the French side of the mountain. The peak started a massif that included Aiguille Verte, Les Droits and Les Courtes.

How to reach the peak of Aiguille de Triolet?

Drive from Train du Montenvers-Mer de Glace in Chamonix. Follow the path from Place de la Mer towards Avenue Cachat le Geant, about 120m. Turn right to the D1506 part of Avenue Cachat le Geant. Continue driving by 29m. Drive straight ahead by 6.2 km. You will reach Refuge du Couvercle shortly. This is your last stop over before traversing the path towards the peak.

If you would rather start from Refuge d’Argentière, simply follow the same directions as the ones written in the Aiguille d’Argentière article. There is also a summit station. Hop into a cable car on the summit station at Aiguille des Grands Montets. You will reach Col des Grandes Montets. Walk by a bergschrund. Make sure to hand on to the rope by the Glacier Rognons. You reach P.300 to P.2754m then by the Glacier d’Argentière just above the ice break. Walk 2 more hours to reach the Refuge.

What to expect at Aiguille de Triolet?

Apart from the previously mentioned huts, you can choose other stop overs. When taking the Italian side, Bivouac Fiorio and Refugio Dalmazzi are the stop overs. Specific directions based on chosen hut are found here.

La Ruinette

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La Ruinette

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La Ruinette 45.979300, 7.400600

Facts About La Ruinette.

La Ruinette stood at 3875m above sea level. This is the top summit between Dent d’Herens in the east and Grand Combin in the west. You can find this in the Swiss Alps right at Valais, Switzerland. Mauvoisin Dam is useful as a landmark at the west side. Wal des Dix will guide you on the east side.  Those landmarks will be useful knowing the disparity in heights of the three summits in this side of the Mont Blanc.

How to get to the peak of La Ruinette?

By car, Val d’Hérémence is the recommended starting point. Start driving from here. Expect tolls along the way. Enter Tsaumetta and drive 5.1 km on this road. Drive then into A9 Route 21. The sequence goes as Route d’Hérens, A9 Route 21 and Route de la Valle to Route de Mauvoisin in Bagnes by 73.8 km. Driving time takes about an hour and 10 minutes. To say the least. Enter Route de Mauvoisin. Keep driving by 7.9km at most. You will see the Chanrion hut along the way. Stop over at this hut before taking the uphill stroll to the peak.

What to expect at La Ruinette?

Call Chanrion hut’s reservations desk for more specifications, if any. Call them at 027 779 12 09. This hut is usually open between April and May and between July and late September. These are the months when it is best to book at the hut. Inform them about which peak in particular to climb. Other hikers stay the night here before taking the early morning walk.

Grosses Wannenhorn

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Grosses Wannenhorn

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Grosses Wannenhorn 46.493900, 8.097200

Facts About Grosses Wannenhorn.

Grosses Wannenhorn is a mountain found at the Swiss canton close to the village of Fiesch. Standing at 3906m above sea level. This is the mountain found in the Bernese Alps. It stood between the Fiescher Glacier in the east side and the Aletsch Glacier to the west side. It is an occasional inclusion in itineraries to hiking trips at the Valais, Switzeland. Particularly towards the peaks of Aletschhorn and Finsteraarhorn.

How to reach the peak of Grosses Wannenhorn?

If you are starting at Hotel Restaurant Schmitta Fiesch, use these directions. Walk 170m on Furkastrasses toward Bahnofstrasse heading north. Continue walking onto Fieschertalerstrasse by 450m. Turn slightly right on the Fieschertalestrasse by 2.2km. Turn left on Fieschertalerstrasse and walk by 10m. Turn right again on the Fierschertalerstrasse by 25m. Walk 1.1km more towards Zur Brucke. Turn right still on Zur Brucke by 600m. Then turn left still on the Zur Brucke by 230m. Turn sharply to your right to Marjelenweg. Reach the peak afterwards.

What to expect at the Grosses Wannenhorn?

Remember the sides on this mountain. Steep slopes make it hard to climb this peak. The east side has many glaciers. Not advisable to climb in summer. The west side has the prominent steep slope with several ice fields.

Pic Sans Nom

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Pic Sans

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Pic Sans 44.893800, 6.383100

Facts About Pic Sans Nom.

Pic Sans Nom is literally translated as “Nameless Peak”. Standing at 3914m above sea level. This peak is included in the Pelvoux-Ailefroides Group within the Ecrins massif. The High Dauphine Alps in France also includes this summit. Compared to Barres des Ecrins, this peak is at the southeast part of the massif in the Alps. The usual route leads to the north face just above the Glacier Noir.

How to get to the peak of Pic Sans Nom?

The Glacier Noir is the main landmark used to get to several peaks in the Pelvoux-Ailefroides Group including Barres des Ecrins and Ailefroide. The closest stopover from the Glacier Noir is the Cezanne hut. Just follow the sequence of Durance Valley – Argentière – Vallouise – Ailefroide to reach the hut.

From the Cezanne hut, go to the Glacier Noir by foot. Bring crampons and ice axe to climb the rock ledge in this glacier. Avoid the big gully found at the right side of the north face. Rocks fall from there. Be safe at all times. Use your tools to connect to the bolt found at the start of the part. Expect some time spent looking for that bolt. It will be worth it. You then get to the buttress in the center of the north face upwards. From here, you reach the head of the buttress and soon the peak itself.

What to expect at the Pic Sans Nom?

Don’t risk walking farther from the spot where the bolt should be. Your guide will help you find it especially if he is familiar with hidden bolts in the Glacier Noir. There are bolts in the route itself. Don’t go in unfamiliar spots especially in areas where rocks fall.

Aiguilles de Trélatéte

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Aiguilles de Trélatéte

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Aiguilles de Trélatéte 45.794700, 6.815000

Facts About Aiguilles de Trélatéte.

Aiguilles de Trélatéte is a mountain right between the boundary of the Italian Alps and the French Alps. Standing at 3920m above sea level. Its Italian address is at Valle d’Aosta (Aosta Valley), Italy. And its French address is at Haute Savoie, France. It is more often climbed from the Italian side despite being on the west side of the Mont Blanc massif.

How to get to the peak of Aiguilles de Trélatéte?

Before reaching the peak, you must reach one of the huts to stop over first. Recommended hut is the Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini. Start by driving from the La Visaille. Cross the bridge to the closed car road. That route takes about 3 km. You will reach the Combal plain from here. (You can stop at a bar restaurant here before moving on with the drive.) From here you see and get to the glacial Lac Miage.

Cross the bridge on the left side where you may park the car. Cross the dirt road on the plain. The road is almost horizontal. Once you reach the end of the plain, follow the trail towards a couple of steep turns. You then reach the hut just below the Pyramides spur. This is your stopover before the peak itself.

What to expect at Aiguilles de Trélatéte?

Regardless of the route taken to the top, you need to be in complete mountain gear. Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini is one of the stopovers. Other notable stopovers are the Giovane Montagna and Hotellerie de Trélatête. Only the latter is found on the French side of the mountain though.

Trugberg

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Trugberg

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Trugberg 46.546600, 8.015400

Facts About Trugberg.

Trugberg stands at the Bernese Oberland area at 3933m above sea level. It got its name from a mistake that a glacier researcher, Agazziz, committed. He mistook this mountain for the Jungfrau. Upon realizing said mistake, he named the mountain in 1841 as Trugberg. It’s one of the few mountains below the 4000m height found in this area apart from Eiger.

How to get to the peak of Trugberg?

Starting point before reaching the peak is the Monchjoch hut. This is the same starting point or stopover before climbing Monch. This is just a short walk away from the Jungfraujoch using the Eiger Ultra Trail. Getting to Jungfraujoch starts at Kleine Scheidegg by train. So the sequence is Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch to the Monchjoch hut via the Eiger Ultra Trail. So expect walking and taking the train ride on your way to the hut. Then walk from the hut to the peak.

What to expect at Trugberg?

Monchjoch hut is the common starting point for hiking trips around the Aletsch region. This place is usually open late in March and closes in October. It’s usually included in ski trip itineraries. This is one mountain to climb to see panoramic views of the Finsteraarhorn, too. Contact the reservations desk at +41 (0) 33/ 971 34 72 for further details about this hut.

Bietschhorn

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Bietschhorn

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Bietschhorn 46.391500, 7.850800

Facts About Bietschhorn.

Bietschhorn is the prominent mountain found at the northern side of the Rhone Valley right at Lötschental. Standing at 3934m above sea level. Some hikers only recommend this mountain after earning enough experience in the Alps. Like doing the rounds of Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger respectively. The peaks mentioned are some of the closest found from here. They are also seen from the summit itself for the Alpine fans to enjoy.

How to get to the peak of Bietschhorn?

The best starting point is at Berne if you’re coming from the north. Start at Brig though if you’re coming from the south. Either way, hop on a train to Goppenstein. Take the bus to Blatten. From here, walk to the Bietschhorn hut. It takes about 3 and a half hours to walk. The paths have signs and markings to guide you. Stop over at the hut to prepare for the climb to the summit.

What to expect at the peak of Bietschhorn?

The other alternative to climbing your way to the peak is the Baltschiederklause. The walk from the train station at Ausserberg takes 7 hours though. The route to Bietschhornhutte is still viable. 2 alternatives to Blatten exist as described here. You can start from Wiler or from Ried.

Piz Roseg

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Piz Roseg

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Piz Roseg 46.373600, 9.883000

Facts About Piz Roseg.

Piz Roseg is a mountain located at the Bernese Alps at Graubunden, Bernina, Switzerland. Standing at 3937m above sea level. Heavy ice balconies and hanging glaciers consist of the north face. It has 3 summits with the other two labeled to differentiate them from the 3937m-peak. The second peak is named Schnekuppe. The third peak is named Roseg Pitschen. The other high profile peak found in the same group is Lyskamm.

How to reach the peak of Piz Roseg?

Two landmarks guide hikers to the peak. One is the Tschierva hut. The other is the Schnekuppe itself. You can reach Tschierva hut first by driving from MilanZurich Airport or Geneva Airport.

From north of the hut, walk to the saddle south of Piz Aguagliouls. This saddle is called Fuorcia dals Aguagliouls. Walk for an hour more to the south side to reach the main junction. This spot gives you 3 options to reach the peak including Schnekuppe. Climb the route to Schnekuppe with the help of crampons. Traverse the path from the saddle to your left to reach the main peak.

What to expect at Piz Roseg?

Walking from the hut to the main peak takes at least 6 hours. This includes crampon use.  Starting north of the Tschierva hut means an extra hour spent walking from the hut to the peak. Make a reservation at the hut. The hut’s reception desk will brief you about other necessities in the trek itself. Contact the reservations desk by clicking here.

Mont Pelvoux

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Mont Pelvoux

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Mont Pelvoux 44.898800, 6.399900

Facts About Mont Pelvoux.

Mont Pelvoux is a mountain mistaken as the highest peak found in the Ecrins massif. This is because if viewed from the Durance Valley, you don’t see the Barres des Ecrins.  Barres des Ecrins is found right behind Mont Pelvoux. Standing at 3946m above sea level. This is located at the High Dauphine Alps in Dauphine, France. One of the most complicated summits to reach in the French Alps.

How to get to the peak of Mont Pelvoux?

There are two huts often used as stopovers before reaching the one. One is the Pelvoux hut. And the other is the Sele hut. You may have read about the Sele hut at our article about Ailefroide. Similarities in path traversed exist. Just adjust depending on your choice of hut to stop for the night. Summit Post provided the particular latitude to follow at  N 44° 52′ 57” E 006° 24′ 20.

What to expect at Mont Pelvoux?

Due to its proximity to the Ailefroide, climbing this mountain after the other makes the stopovers useful. Pelvoux hut has a capacity of at least 58 persons. But make sure to contact the reservations desk to book a night or two. Contact them through their landline number at 04 92 23 39 47. The hut is only open between the 15th of June and the 8th of September.