FATMAP by Strava

Tour de Ciel: Schonbiel Hut to Mountet Hut

Le Mammouth

Starting with an amazing backdrop of the Matterhorn in the morning light this unforgettable traverse takes you over a high pass into remote mountain wilderness to the N.

Ski Touring Difficult

14 km
1.5 km
1.3 km
7-8 hrs
Low Point
2.3 km
High Point
3.5 km
Tour de Ciel: Schonbiel Hut to Mountet Hut Map


Imagine, as you leave in the morning and look at the enormity of the N Face of the Matterhorn, how much of an epic it must have been for the Schmid brothers to make the first ascent in 1931. Oh, and they cycled there and back from Munich! There are numerous other 4000m peaks in all directions and you should brush up on their history; this area has the highest density of 4000m peaks in the Alps and they are all iconic.

The scenery is off the scale today, but it shouldn't be too physically demanding, other than the acclimatisation. Start early as you are skinning up sunny slopes, but initially you descend onto the shelf behind the large moraine wall (the ablation valley, as a geologist would call it), down to about 2340m, reversing your ascent of yesterday. Now climb more steeply to the N. You are aiming to do a near-complete semi-circle to the N, NW, W and SW as you climb up the slope. You imperceptibly pass onto the Arben Glacier, arriving at an unnamed col at 3409m, under the Abihorn to the S. Skins off now and ski gently down to the SW to about 3250m, before climbing again to Col Durand at 3435m. An additional option is to carry on up to the summit of Mt Durand at 3712m, usually requiring a bit of bootpacking.

The descent the far side is steep initially, then easy and wide as you drop onto and then down the Durand Glacier. Take the easiest line from about 2800m up to the Mountet Hut at 2886m, which is impressively situated in an amazing and remote cirque of 4000 metre peaks. You've earned a drink in the sunshine to relax and take in the magnificent surroundings.



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.


4 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

between March and May


  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area