Haute Route Imperiale: The Bishorn and Arpitettaz Hut

Day 3: Our high point of the week, the Bishorn at 4153m, followed by descent and one reascent to the Arpitettaz Hut at 2786m

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
12 km
Ascent
1.3 km
Descent
1.8 km
Duration
6-7 hrs
Low Point
2.7 km
High Point
4.1 km
Gradient
40˚
Haute Route Imperiale: The Bishorn and Arpitettaz Hut Map

Although high you have done most of your hard work already by getting to the hut. It is a relatively simple skin to the top, rewarded by a magnificent view of both the mighty Weisshorn nearby, with its Grande Gendarme on the ridge, but also panoramic views of most of the Western Alps. You can grab lunch back at the hut, before continuing on to the next hut.

Description

From the Tracuit it is a relatively simple skin to the SE, flattening at about 3400m, then traversing underneath the spur that comes down NW from the summit of the Bishorn. From here upwards it is slightly steeper and can be wind scoured, needing the use of ski crampons, all the way to the saddle between the two summits. You bootpack the final steep snow slope to the summit. Reverse your line of ascent to the hut. From here head to the nearby Col de Tracuit then descend steeply to the W, hopefully on snow that has been softened slightly by the sun. Ski down to point 2703m, below some steep ground. There now follows a skin to the Col de Milon Est at 3020m. This is well to the L of the marked ski route on the Swiss map, and allows you an easier continuation to the hut. You may need to boot down steeply for a short way, before getting to gentle ground which traverses and descends easily to the magnificent Arpitetta Hut at 2786m.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

March, April

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area