Guidebook

Climb Switzerland's 10 Highest Peaks!

The 10 biggest mountains in the most 4000er-dense Alpine country, plus a couple of "bonus" summits en route.

Description

Switzerland is home to more than half of the 82 Alpine 4000 metre peaks, and there's no question that it is the best country in Europe for peak baggers. Some of the mountains there are legendary - think the Matterhorn, Eiger, Monte Rosa and Jungfrau - whereas others, such as the Zinal Rothorn, are slightly less known but equally deserving of attention.

In here you'll find everything you'll need to climb the 10 highest mountains in the country, plus a couple of nice little bonus summits too. The 2 bonus summits are also 4000ers (Castor and the Breithorn) and lie en route to the hut from which you climb Lyskamm and Monte Rosa.

The logical place to start on this list is with the Finsteraarhorn because even getting to the peak involves 2 glacier treks and 2 nights in mountain huts so you should be acclimatised enough to summit by the time you're in position. Once that acclimatisation is in the bag, the Dent Blanche and Grand Combin are good next stops, and then it's on to the Zermatt and Saas Fee area to get started on the legendary peaks in that region.

In case it isn't immediately obvious, working through this guidebook is a huge undertaking requiring skill, fitness, acclimatisation and a healthy dose of luck with weather and conditions. Don't expect to be done with this lot within a month - consider it a long term project and enjoy the journey!

Breithorn South Face to the Guide d'Ayas Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Breithorn South Face to the Guide d'Ayas Hut

Cervinia
6.3 km
388 m
A popular route on a beautifully positioned peak.
Moderate
Private
Castor traverse, 4223m
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Castor traverse, 4223m

5.3 km
823 m
A classic high traverse of a major 4000m peak
Moderate
Private
Monte Rosa, 4634m
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monte Rosa, 4634m

Monte Rosa
18.2 km
2,102 m
A huge journey for the very ambitious and very well acclimatised mountain athlete.
Moderate
Private
Descent from Gnifetti Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Descent from Gnifetti Hut

Monte Rosa
1.6 km
16 m
A steady descent to the Punta Indren lift
Easy
Private
Approach to Dom Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Approach to Dom Hut

The Mischabel Range
3 - 4 hrs
5.4 km
1,528 m
0 m
A bruiser of a hut approach, but in a beautiful environment.
Severe
Private
Dom N Flank
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Dom N Flank

The Mischabel Range
10.6 km
1,669 m
A long and impressive glacial journey to a remote summit, after a big hut approach the day before
Moderate
Private
Approach to Weisshorn Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Approach to Weisshorn Hut

The Mischabel Range
3 - 4 hrs
6.7 km
1,556 m
35 m
A lovely but long walk through the forest with panoramic views of the 4000m giants
Difficult
Private
Weisshorn E Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Weisshorn E Ridge

7.2 km
1,578 m
This is without doubt one of the finest ridges on one of the finest peaks in the Alps.
Difficult
Private
Hörnliweg

Hörnliweg

Zermatt - Breuil-Cervinia
1 - 2 hrs
4.3 km
726 m
47 m
This trail leads to what is probably the key location in Zermatt, the Hörnli Hut ¦ Base Camp Matterhorn at the foot of the Matterhorn. Historically this has been the heart of all the action, and remains so today.
Extreme
Private
Matterhorn, 4478m. Hörnli Ridge.
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Matterhorn, 4478m. Hörnli Ridge.

Cervinia
3.5 km
1,237 m
The least difficult route up the most famous mountain in the Alps, if not the world.
Difficult
Private
Approach to the Dent Blanche Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Approach to the Dent Blanche Hut

3 - 4 hrs
8.1 km
1,662 m
40 m
A long, tough climb to a spectacularly situated Swiss mountain hut.
Difficult
Private
Dent Blanche South Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Dent Blanche South Ridge

4.2 km
851 m
A true alpine classic with utterly spectacular views across the other 4000ers of the Swiss Valais.
Difficult
Private
Approach to the Valsorey Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Approach to the Valsorey Hut

3 - 4 hrs
7.2 km
1,369 m
0 m
A long but beautiful hut approach up a wild valley
Severe
Private
Grand Combin. Meitin (West) Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Grand Combin. Meitin (West) Ridge

5.4 km
1,307 m
A relatively straightforward scramble on mainly reasonable rock and snow, traversing a high foresummit
Difficult
Private
Jungfraujoch to the Konkordia Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Jungfraujoch to the Konkordia Hut

Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren
8.0 km
155 m
A physically easy (ish) start to a high mountain adventure.
Easy
Private
Konkordia Hut to Finsteraarhorn Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Konkordia Hut to Finsteraarhorn Hut

Bernese Oberland
5.7 km
673 m
A high altitude glacial journey which will provide good acclimatisation
Easy
Private
Finsteraarhorn, SW Flank and N Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Finsteraarhorn, SW Flank and N Ridge

Bernese Oberland
5.7 km
1,200 m
A mega-classic route up the highest peak in the area
Moderate
Private
Alphubel, 4206m
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alphubel, 4206m

Saas Fee
7.5 km
1,316 m
A long glacial journey up a complicated glacier to a remote summit.
Moderate
Private
Approach to the Rothorn Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Approach to the Rothorn Hut

3 - 4 hrs
7.4 km
1,603 m
18 m
A tough climb from a classic alpine village to a classic alpine hut.
Difficult
Private
Zinalrothorn, 4221m. Traverse of SE Ridge, descending N Ridge.
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Zinalrothorn, 4221m. Traverse of SE Ridge, descending N Ridge.

6.3 km
984 m
A justifiably popular traverse of a beautiful mountain, on very good rock.
Difficult
Private
Zinal: Cabane du Grand Mountet

Zinal: Cabane du Grand Mountet

Zinal
6 - 7 hrs
22.5 km
1,342 m
1,342 m
Spectacular tour for all those who love the high mountains and glaciers and are in excellent condition.
Severe
Private