Allalinhorn Hohlaubgrat

Saas Fee

The Mischabel Range

A classic route and an aesthetic line.

Alpine Climbing Moderate

Distance
6.1 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
674 m
Low Point
3 km
High Point
4 km
Gradient
24˚
VIEW ON MAP
Allalinhorn Hohlaubgrat Map

Description

The Allalinhorn is an understandably popular peak and this is the best route on it. Largely a snow route, it does involve a rocky step close to the summit, and therefore taking a few pieces of mid-sized rock climbing protection hardware (as well as a few slings) is well advised.

The route starts at the Britannia Hut, which is easily approached in just over an hour from the Saas Fee cable car network. Get an early start from the hut to give you the best chance of finding frozen snow on this route, which will make life considerably easier than if conditions are poor.

Descend from the hut to the toe of the Hohlaub Glacier and cross this in the pre-dawn darkness. Follow the blunt lower section of the Hohlaubgrat ridge to where it narrows at around 3500 metres, just after a snowy dome.

Follow the crest of the ridge via some exposed (but never difficult) snow slopes to the foot of a 50 metre rock band. Climb up and diagonally right through this, clipping some metal stanchions for protection en route. The rock step is, when dry, pretty straightforward (around UIAA Grade II), but it feels a little awkward and is more time consuming when snow covered. As such, this route is best done after a day or 2 of good weather has removed any recent snowfall.

Once above the rockband, follow a short and stunning ridge onto the summit of the Allalinhorn.

Either descend the Allalinhorn's Normal Route (as drawn here) down to the Mittelallalin station or descend this line, abseiling the rock step using the metal stanchions. The majority of teams descend the normal route so as to complete an aesthetic traverse of the mountain.

Difficulty

Moderate

May involve slightly more complex glacier hikes, easy but possibly long rock ridges and steep snow up to 45 degrees. Equivalent to PD, PD+

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The route features some exposed and/or difficult to protect sections.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit
  • Wires and Friends

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area