Lagginhorn West Ridge

Saas Fee

A great one day trip to the summit of a gorgeous 4000er

Alpine Climbing Moderate

Distance
6.6 km
Ascent
1 km
Descent
1 km
Low Point
3.1 km
High Point
4 km
Gradient
36˚
Lagginhorn West Ridge Map

The Saas valley is home to many 4000ers and the Lagginhorn is - with good reason - one of the most popular. It can be climbed after a night in the nearby Weissmies Hut but is also perfectly possible as a return trip from the top of the Hohsaas cable car. We've described it that way.

Description

From the cable car station make an ascending traverse northwards across an open bowl of scree and then cross a small ridge to reach the snow patch at the foot of the Lagginhorn's south-west face.

The snow patch is slightly exposed to stone fall from above so although there's no need to rush across it, don't linger any longer than necessary when crossing it. Once on the far side of it scramble up easily onto the blunt bottom section of the Lagginhorn's West ridge.

Once on the ridge there are no major landmarks to aim for, just mile after mile of fun, easy scrambling and the occasional steep (but still easy) step. The ridge leads almost to the summit but ends just shy of the top when it reaches a snowfield. Climb the snowfield, which is around 40 degrees and exposed above a pretty big drop - take your time when climbing it and don't pat yourself on the back until you're safely up (and back down) it!

The view from the summit across the other 4000ers of the Saas valley is utterly spectacular, and the vista across the nearby Weissmies is particularly impressive.

Descend the same way back to the Hohsaas station or, if you've got some extra energy, follow the Lagginhorn's West ridge all the way down until it dissipates into a scree slope and descend this on a good path down to the top of the Kreuzboden lift (the first of 2 cable cars you ride to reach Hohsaas).

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

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