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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
From 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.