Approach to the Aar Bivouac Hut

Bernese Oberland

A massive flog or a long and wild journey, according to your take on it!

Alpine Climbing Easy

Distance
17 km
Ascent
1.2 km
Descent
276 m
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
2.7 km
Gradient
19˚
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Approach to the Aar Bivouac Hut Map

Description

The Aar bivouac hut is truly remote, requiring one of the longest hut approaches in the Alps. It is non-technical but involves walking a long way up several glaciers, covering a lot of horizontal distance. It is a journey into true mountain wilderness. Most people come here to climb the Lauteraarhorn, one of the most difficult and remote of the 4000m peaks. The hut is well placed for the most commonly climbed route, the S Couloir. It is in a great spot, above the Strahlegg Glacier, with impressive views of the wild and rarely climbed E Face of the Finsteraarhorn opposite.

The traditional approach was to park at the Grimsel Hospice. There is work going on at the Spittellamm dam, so until that is finished you need to park lower down at Summerloch. Take the path on the N side of the Grimselsee and continue beyond it, onto the Unteraar Glacier. Some people choose to break the journey and spend a night at the Lauteraar Hut, but if not you carry on up the boulder strewn glacier. At a glacial junction take the L split up the Finsteraar Glacier, then at the next junction the R split up the Strahlegg Glacier. The hut is short distance up here, on the rocks on the R. It was rebuilt in 1977, after being destroyed in a winter storm 2 years previously. It sleeps up to 17 people and has basic cooking facilities like pots and pans – bring your own stove and gas. There are blankets and an emergency distress radio.

Difficulty

Easy

The ascent involves simple glacier hiking and/or short, straightforward rock scrambles. Equivalent to Alpine F, F+

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The route is well protected or easy enough that protection is not required.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Bivy Kit
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Guidebooks in this area