Guidebook

Ski Switzerland's Biggest Mountains: The 4000er Challenge

Tick off more than a dozen of the Alps' legendary 4000ers in the coolest way possible - on your skis!

Description

Of the 82 Alpine 4000 metre peaks, no less than 48 of them are in Switzerland. For such a small country that's an exceptionally dense collection of huge mountains and this guidebook will give you all the information you need to ski some of those famous peaks.

The most legendary Swiss mountain of all - the Matterhorn - has never been skied from its summit but we've included here a route description for the East face; the only feasible way of making any turns on the mountain and a much sought after prize even if it doesn't start right from the top.

Elsewhere the routes listed in this guidebook are much more amenable but the height of the mountains and the sheer size of the terrain around them means that none of the lines described are easy. Each one requires perfect weather as well as good snow conditions and they should only be attempted by skilled, fit and acclimatised skiers.

If, before tackling these routes, you want to build up some Swiss ski touring experience on slightly lower peaks, check out our guidebook to the Traverse of the Western Bernese Oberland, a classic hut to hut trip.

https://fatmap.com/guidebooks/3667/a-swiss-ski-tour-classic:-the-western-oberland-traverse

Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: Jungfraujoch Train
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: Jungfraujoch Train

Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren
4 - 5 hrs
12.8 km
692 m
1,106 m
44 °
Day 1: A positioning day from the top of the Jungfraujoch train, easily down the glacier then a 500m skin over a pass at 3820m.
Moderate
Private
Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: Gross Fiescherhorn and Hinter Fiescherhorn
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: Gross Fiescherhorn and Hinter Fiescherhorn

Bernese Oberland
6 - 7 hrs
12.7 km
1,255 m
1,255 m
41 °
Day 2: Two summits of 4000m that can easily be combined in a single outing.
Difficult
Private
Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: The Finsteraarhorn
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: The Finsteraarhorn

Bernese Oberland
4 - 5 hrs
5.9 km
1,261 m
1,258 m
58 °
Day 3: The largest summit in the Bernese Oberland and the 15th highest major 4000m peak in the Alps.
Difficult
Private
Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: Finsteraarhorn Hut to the Aletschorn
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: Finsteraarhorn Hut to the Aletschorn

Bernese Oberland
7 - 8 hrs
19.3 km
1,211 m
1,246 m
21 °
Day 4: This is a long distance journey to relocate to the bivouac hut beneath the Aletschhorn.
Moderate
Private
Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: The Aletschhorn
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bernese Oberland 4000m Peak Tour: The Aletschhorn

Bernese Oberland
1 day +
19.3 km
1,585 m
2,609 m
30 °
Day 5: The easiest, though not easy, route to one of the remotest and most coveted 4000m peaks in the Alps.
Severe
Private
Monte Rosa Haute Route: Klein Matterhorn to Rifugio Guide d'Ayas
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monte Rosa Haute Route: Klein Matterhorn to Rifugio Guide d'Ayas

Cervinia
1 - 2 hrs
5.9 km
200 m
643 m
36 °
Day 1: Zermatt/Cervinia, Breithorn, Ayas Hut using the cable car to the Klein Matterhorn to start
Difficult
Private
Monte Rosa Haute Route: Castor Traverse and Pollux Summit
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monte Rosa Haute Route: Castor Traverse and Pollux Summit

4 - 5 hrs
6.5 km
1,128 m
909 m
42 °
Day 2: Traverse of Castor, optional extra summit of Pollux, beginning at Rifugio Guide d'Ayas and ending at Rifugio Quintino Sella
Severe
Private
Monte Rosa Haute Route: Passo del Naso of Lyskamm Traverse and Pyramid Vincent Summit
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monte Rosa Haute Route: Passo del Naso of Lyskamm Traverse and Pyramid Vincent Summit

Monte Rosa
3 - 4 hrs
7.9 km
646 m
631 m
38 °
Day 3: Traverse of Passo del Naso of Lyskamm and summit of Pyramid Vincent, beginning at Rifugio Quintino Sella and ending at Capanna Gnifetti.
Severe
Private
Monte Rosa Haute Route: Margherita Hut and the Grenz Glacier
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monte Rosa Haute Route: Margherita Hut and the Grenz Glacier

Monte Rosa
5 - 6 hrs
11.5 km
1,025 m
1,750 m
34 °
Day 4: Margherita Hut and the Grenz Glacier, beginning at Gnifettti Hut and ending at Neue Monte Rosa Hut
Difficult
Private
Monte Rosa Haute Route: Neue Monte Rosa Hut to Zermatt via Dufourspitze Monte Rosa
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monte Rosa Haute Route: Neue Monte Rosa Hut to Zermatt via Dufourspitze Monte Rosa

1 day +
21.3 km
1,567 m
2,844 m
29 °
Day 5: A huge skin to a high col and optional climb up Europe's 2nd highest peak
Severe
Private
Swiss 4000ers: Strahlhorn, 4190m.
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Swiss 4000ers: Strahlhorn, 4190m.

Saas Fee
1 day +
21.5 km
1,278 m
2,631 m
31 °
A long journey to a watershed peak between the Saas and Zermatt valleys, with a nearly 3000m descent to finish!
Difficult
Private
Allalinhorn, 4027m
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Allalinhorn, 4027m

Saas Fee
2 - 3 hrs
4.4 km
649 m
579 m
40 °
One of the easier 4000m peaks in the Alps
Moderate
Private
Alphubel, 4206m via East Flank
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alphubel, 4206m via East Flank

Saas Fee
5 - 6 hrs
7.6 km
1,317 m
1,316 m
41 °
A long but relatively steady ascent up a big remote glacial peak, with great views of the giant Weisshorn nearby.
Severe
Private
Swiss 4000ers: Weissmies 4017m
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Swiss 4000ers: Weissmies 4017m

Saas Fee
3 - 4 hrs
5.2 km
951 m
951 m
41 °
A complicated and isolated glacial peak with amazing views.
Severe
Private
Bernina Haute Route. Marco e Rosa Hut to Marinelli Hut.
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bernina Haute Route. Marco e Rosa Hut to Marinelli Hut.

4 - 5 hrs
11.1 km
812 m
1,590 m
41 °
Optional ascent of Piz Bernina, 4048m, returning to the hut, then through a col and a descent to the Marinelli Hut.
Difficult
Private
Matterhorn East Face
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Matterhorn East Face

Cervinia
3 - 4 hrs
3.8 km
1,077 m
1,077 m
60 °
A major extreme line on one of the World's most famous mountains
Extreme
Private