Swiss 4000ers: Wiessmies, 4017m alternative route from the S

Saas Fee

Traversing this fine and isolated mountain from a beautiful and remote, unguarded mountain hut provides an aesthetic and excellent day.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
8.8 km
Ascent
2.4 km
Descent
45 m
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
4 km
Gradient
50˚
VIEW ON MAP
Swiss 4000ers: Wiessmies, 4017m alternative route from the S Map

Description

This is one of the best classic 4000m peak traverses in the Alps and begins from the (unguarded in winter) Almageller hut which you approach the day before. It is never too difficult, though involves some easy scrambling. From the summit you descend by the ordinary route to the Hohsaas Hut, described as Swiss 4000ers- Weissmies 4017m . This route is certainly considerably more effort than using the lift system on the N side of the mountain, as it involves skinning from the valley floor the previous day to get to the Almageller Hut. However you are rewarded with solitude and the pleasure of traversing the summit, as opposed to the usual out and back trip. Another bonus is that you will spend minimal time under the threatening seracs on the N side of the mountain. In addition you are unlikely to see anyone else in ascent, so get a true sense of remoteness and the joy of having the climb to yourself.

For the approach day take the line of least resistance up the steep wooded slopes from Saas Almagell. following as best you can the summer footpath then the easier angled hanging valley above, before taking steeper ground up to the hut. This upper slope below the hut heats up in the afternoon sun, so is best done with an early start from Saas. For the summit day take initially easy slopes then steepening up towards the ridge, where you turn N and go over a small minor summit. You now descend slightly, before climbing again following the ridge either on its crest, or, perhaps more easily off to the R. You will need to get back onto the ridge by about 3800m, which will certainly be skis on packs. It is pleasant scrambling, not too difficult on well travelled rock. Cross a foresummit at about 3970m , before taking the sensational final ridge to the true summit, joining the hordes from the other side!

Difficulty

Difficult

Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June

Features

  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area