Bishorn North-west Flank

A classic, easy alpine route which has some crevasse danger, particularly late in the summer.

Alpine Climbing Easy

Distance
9.3 km
Ascent
913 m
Descent
911 m
Low Point
3.3 km
High Point
4.1 km
Gradient
24˚
Bishorn North-west Flank Map

This is a popular first 4000 metre summit because it's well served by a good hut, the route is non-technical and the views are fabulous. However, although the route is "easy", the glacier you climb it via is heavily crevassed in places so make sure you either hire a guide or are skilled and experienced in all aspects of glacier travel before embarking on this trip.

Description

Get a pre-dawn start from the Tracuit Hut and head south-east for about 500 metres on the Turtmann Glacier before turning east and climbing up to the northern branch of the glacier. By the time you reach the northern branch of the glacier the sun will likely be coming up and hopefully giving you up a bit of motivation for the final climb to the summit.

Go up the glacier, which is largely featureless and feels barren, to a col separating the Bishorn and the Pointe Burnaby. It's perfectly possible to turn left at the col and tag the summit of Pointe Burnaby but most climbers ignore that peak and instead go right from the col and directly onto the summit of the Bishorn.

From the summit you've got a close up view of the Weisshorn, a truly epic mountain which does not see many ascents and is one of the toughest 4000ers in the Alps. Further away the Monte Rosa Massif is visible too as are the Dom and Nadelhorn, directly across the Mattertal valley.

Descend by the same route back to the Tracuit Hut and then down to Zinal.

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
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area