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Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Wallis, Switzerland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.04592°N / 7.89578°E

Object Title: Allalinhorn

Activities: Mountaineering

Elevation: 13211 ft / 4027 m


Page By: Huberschwiller, Lodewijk

Created/Edited: Mar 28, 2001 / Jun 25, 2016

Object ID: 150292

Hits: 63377 

Page Score: 95.83%  - 56 Votes 

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I recently adopted this page from SP member Huberschwiller. I will make additions to this page in the coming week(s). When I am finished with the page I will remove this passage again.

-Lodewijk  (June 24, 2016)


Allalinhorn 4027m
Allalinhorn West Face by Cyrill

Allalinhorn is a famous mountain in the Swiss Alps. There are two main reasons for this fame, the first one being the altitude of 4027 meters, making it one of the 82 mountains above 4000 meters in the Alps and therefore a (very) popular objective for climbers. The second reason is the ease of the ascent. Allalinhorn is considered (together with Breithorn) the easiest 4000 meter peak in the Alps. The vicinity of the Mittelallalin top station, which drops climbers off at an altitude of 3500 meters, adds to Allalinhorn’s label of an easy mountain. Still, even if considered easy, Allalinhorn is a real alpine climb and should not te be taken lightly. Weather can change rapidly at these high altitudes and the whole climb along the normal route consists of glaciated terrain with large crevasses present throughout the route. It is advised to take a guide if you do not have the proper experience to climb an alpine peak like Allalinhorn.

Allalinhorn is considered as one of the home mountains of the famous ski resort Saas Fee. It’s heavily glaciated North face is looming above Saas Fee attracting many hikers and climbers looking for to climb this peak. Many climbers and gatherers of 4000 meter peaks will give you the exact same answer when asked: What was your first 4000 meter peak? The answer will probably be either Breithorn or Allalinhorn.  As a result, especially in the summer period with good weather, the mountain can get crowded. Mountain guides from the Saas valley and beyond organize guided tours up the mountain on a daily routine. The mountain guide Camillo Supersaxo from Saas Fee has climbed the Allalinhorn more than a 1000 times. To celebrate the anniversary, Bishop Eldingen said mass on the summit.  Although crowded, Allalinhorn is a beautiful mountain and offers fantastic views. It is located in the heart of the ‘Walliser 4000ers’ and many of them can be seen from the summit:  Weissmies, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Breithorn & Dom to name a few.  Allalinhorn has several faces, the North face is heavily glaciated. However, the south face is a near vertical wall with poor rock quality and from the east Allalinhorn does justice to its own name: It looks like a horn (a spire).

Allalinhorn from Mittel Allalin
North Face

Allalinhorn SE-Wall (13211 ft / 4027 m)


Allalinghorn was first climbed on August 28 ,1856. Priest Johann Josef Imseng from Saas-Grund and his servant Franz Josef Andenmatten led the Englishman Edward Levi Ames to the summit. Today’s normal route, the northwest ridge, was first used on 1 August 1860 by Franz-Josef Andenmatten, together with Sir LeslieStephen, F. W. Short, Frederick William Jacomb, C. Fisher, Moritz Anthamatten, Peter Taugwalder and Johann Kronig. See the History  section below for more information.

Besides the heavily ascended Normal route,  which is graded F (Facile) and has no real difficulties, there are other, more interesting routes. A good example is the Hohlaubgrat, graded AD, along the East ridge of Allalinhorn. This route involves some mixed climbing and is a good, more challenging alternative to the normal route.  Other, less climbed, and more difficult routes are the North-East ridge (AD+),  the North-East Face (TD) and the South Wall (AD+, IV).  See the ‘’Routes’’ section for more detailed information about the routes on Allalinhorn.

Allalinhorn seen at sunrise...
N-NW Face

Allalinhorn NE-Face (13211 ft / 4027 m) Alpenglow

From shadow to the sun
South Face

Allalinhorn is part of the Mischabel ridge between Saas Valley in the east and the Mattertal to the west and is part of the Allalin Group together with 3 other, higher peaks:  Alphubel , Strahlhorn and Rimpfischhorn. Allalinhorn is located 7 kilometers southwest of Saas-Fee and is surrounded by four large glaciers : the Fee glacier to the North , the Hohlaubgletscher to the east  ,the Allalingletscher to the  southeast and the Mellichgletscher to the  southwest. There are four ridges that lead to the summit of Allalinhorn, three of them are covered under a thick ice cap with the exception of the East Ridge – mostly referred to as the Hohlaubgrat. Directly west of Allalinhorn are Feekopf (3888m ) and Alphubel (4206 m) separated by the Feejoch (3826m) and Alphubeljoch (3772m). To the south the Allalinpass (3564 m) separates Allalinhorn from Rimpfischhorn (4199m).

Climbing History

Allalinhorn, old view
Old photo of Allalinhorn

In 1828, Heinrich Michaelis and a guide crossed the Allalin Pass and thereby opened up the route to the south-west ridge. The first ascent of the Allalinhorn via the same ridge only took place 28 years later. On 28 August 1856, the parish priest Johann Josef Imseng from Saas-Grund and his servant Franz Josef Andenmatten led the Englishman Edward Levi Ames to the summit. Today’s normal route, the north-west ridge, was first used on 1. August 1860 by Franz-Josef Andenmatten, together with Sir Leslie Stephen, F. W. Short, Frederick William Jacomb, C.Fisher, Moritz Anthamatten, Peter Taugwalder and Johann Kronig. The Bernese high school teacher and historian Heinrich Dübi ascended the summit via the difficult north-east ridge on 27 July 1882 with the guides Alphons and Peter Supersaxo, and then descended via the Hohlaubgrat ridge. This represented the first crossing of both ridges. The Hohlaub ridge was conquered as an ascent for the first time five years later, on 12 July 1887, by the Englishmen Harold Ward Topham, C. H. Redall and the guide Aloys Supersaxo. A year earlier, Aloy Supersaxo and the Briton C. A. C. Bowlker were the first to climb the south face, a grade IV climb. The first winter ascent of the Allalin was by the Swiss mountaineer R. Bracken, climbing solo, in 1907. The first ascent on skis was on 17 April of the same year by A. Hurter und Max Stahel, both from Zürich, together with the local mountaineers Othmar and Oskar Supersaxo.

The disclosure of Allalinhorn started as early as 1912, when the construction of the Britannia Hut was completed. In 1938, Berghaus Längfluh opened making it the second mountain hut in the vicinity of the mountain .In 1954 a cable car was built to Spielboden, which was extended to Längfluh (2869m) in 1959. Längfluh is the area between the two tongues of the Fee glacier. In 1969 it was possible to get even closer to the mountain with the construction of the cable car to the Felskinn (2989m). In the 1970s, it was planned to extend the system further to Feekopf (3888m). This project has been denied a license by the Swiss Federal Council.  As an alternative, the Metro Alpin to Mittelallalin (3456m) was built on what is now a summer ski area. In January 2011, the operating company of the mountain railways announced an expansion to the Feejoch (3826m) , from where the summit could be reached in just 45 minutes. This expansion, fortunately, hasn’t been built to this date.

Origin of the Name

The name Allalin refers to the area to the east of the summit as well as the mountain itself. There is large dispute about the origin of the name though. The emphasis at the end of the word suggests a pre-German origin. On the other hand, the name Allalin led the archaeologist and writer Christian Moritz Engelhardt to his “Saracen hypothesis” in 1840, according to which Saracens in the 10th century left behind a series of names in the Saas valley and as far as the Simplon area. Engelhardt specifies the name as Alalain and traces this back to the Arabicala ain” (at the spring). Another explanation comes from the year 1976. The writer Jules Guex cited a letter from Johann Ulrich Hubschmied, which derived the name Allalin from the Celtic “akarnos” (“maple”). A diminutive, “agarinus”, gradually evolved into “agalin”, which means “small maple” in the Valle Verzasca. This became “ayalin” in the Saas valley, which was not yet Germanised, from which Hubschmied constructed the hybrid form “all’ayalin”, later made into Allalin by the Alemannic settlers. This theory, too, is not widely accepted. Without any historical proof, no definitive explanation exists.


There are several books describing one or more climbing routes on Allalinhorn. The ''Hochtouren Westalpen'' by Rother Verlag is a very popular choice. This guidebook includes photos, route descriptions and detailed route maps for many climbs in the Western Alps, including the Hohlaubgrat on Allalinhorn. For me this is the best guide book at this moment. The ''Viertausender der Alpen'' by Dumler is a true classic. It is a 2014 reprint of one of the classic mountain books. The English version is still accessible as ''The high mountains of the Alps''. If you are looking for a smaller format the 4000er tourenfuhrer by Goedeke is a good choice as well. This guidebook has a description on every normal route on a 4000 meter peak in the Alps. If you are planning a ski-touring ascent of Allalinhorn the guidebook ''Walliser Alpen'' by Rother Verlag is the guide to go with. Other recent publications like ''the 4000m peaks of the Alps'' and ''Topo Verlag Walliser Alpen'' are shown below.


Year (last Print) 
Rother Verlag
Hochtouren Westalpen Band I
Wolfgang Pusch
Rother Verlag
Viertausender der Alpen
Helmut Dumler
Rother Verlag
The High mountains of the Alps
Helmut Dumler
Idea Montagna
4000m peaks of the Alps
Marco Romelli
Rother Verlag
Walliser Alpen Skitourenfuhrer
Daniel Haussinger
Topo Verlag
Walliser Alpen
Daniel Silbernagel
Bruckmann Verlag
4000er Tourenfuhrer
Richard Goedeke


There are several good maps for climbing Allalinhorn. However, the only map on a 1:25.000 scale that covers all routes on Allalinhorn  is the Swisstopo map ''1328 Randa''. For Climbing Allalinhorn I would recommend this map. The other 1:25.000 map ''Zermatt - Gornergrat is fine as well, but does not cover the eastern parts of Allalinhorn. The Hohlaubgrat route is only partially on this map.  From the 1:50.000 scale maps both the Kompass map and the ''Matterhorn Mischabel'' map cover the entire area surrounding Allalinhorn.

1:25.000 Randa
2515 Zermatt Gornergrat
Kompass Zermatt Saas Fee

Additional Info.
Schweizer Landeskarte            
5006 Matterhorn Michabel 
Covers_the entire_area                          
Schweizer Landeskarte
1328 Randa
Covers the entire area
Schweizer Landeskarte
2515 Zermatt Gornergrat
Covers all routes except from the East
Kompass Map117 Zermatt Saas Fee 1:50.0009783850269261 Covers the entire area

Getting There

- To Mittelallalallin (3440 m)
For the normal route go to Saas Fee (Wallis, Switzerland) and take the Metro alpin up to Mittelallalin station. From there you can not miss the track.

- To Britannia Hut
(3030 m)
For the Hohlaubgrat it is recommended to spend the night at the Britannia-Hut. To get there take the metro alpin, get off at Felskinn station, then head east via the Egginerjoch (2.989m) to the hut on a good visible track.

- To Saas Fee

1) By train and bus : next stations are Brig or Visp. Dirct connection by bus (Postauto) to Saas-Fee/Saastal each hour until 20.15 h fromBrig (20.30 h from Visp).Stop in Saas Grund, not in Saas Balen. To Saas Almagell change in Saas Grund (Postplatz)
At saturday in winter, direct bus line from Goppenstein to Saas-Fee/Saastal.
Infos : Postautodienst Saas-Fee:
Tel. +41 (0)27 958 11 45
Reservation :
from Goppenstein at 10.50 h/11.50 h/12.15 h
from Saas-Fee at 9.00 h/10.00h/15.00h.
The parking fee in Saas Fee is 11 CHF a day. To avoid this there is the possibility to park slightly outside of Saas Grund an use the bus to Saas Fee.

To reach the Britannia Hut you also can park outside of Saas Almagell near a very small reservoir approx 1 km from Almagell in direction to the Mattmark reservoir and take the route in 4 hours to the hut.

2) By plane
Next airports :
*Geneva - to Brig via Lausanne 1:58 h
*Zürich - to Brig via Bern 2:57 h
*Basel - to Brig via Bern 2:56 h
*Milano C. - to Brig 2:14 h
(Airport Malpensa to Milano C.: Bus from 7.00 -
22.15;Time :50 Min.)
*Sion Airport

Routes overview

1) Normal route from Mittelallalin :
PD. 40° under the summit - 580 m - 2 h.

2) Hohlaubgrat :
PD + , Rock climbing (II) 30 m under the summit (equiped)- otherwise easy climbing (I) - snow 40° - 1000 m level difference from Britania Hut.

3) SO crest :
PD from Allalinpass (3 h from Britania Hut) - Climbing II - 2 h

4) NE crest :
AD + , direct way from Metro - Steep ice 50° - 580 m - 3 h.

5) NE face :
TD , 60° to 90° - 8 h.

6)S face :
rocks (IV), steep ice - 4 h

The summit

You have a fantastic view . In the west the near Rimpfischhorn and Strahlhorn; the Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Weisshorn, Mont Blanc Massif. In the north, Alphubel and Mischabel group with Täschhorn and Dom. In the east, Mittelallalin, Saas Fee, Fletschhorn, Lagginhorn and Weissmies.

Red Tape

No permits required, no closures, parking fees in Saas Fee.
Technical equipment: rope, harness, ice axe, crampons

When To Climb

Climbing season: July, August, September. Normal route with skis during winter season


SAC Genevoise, Class 1, 134 Beds

Open : 1.3. - 31.5. / 1.7. - 30.9.
Tel.: ++41 (0)27 957 22 88

Reservation - Information
Thérèse Andenmatten Renaud
Haus Felskinn, 3906 Saas Fee
Tel.: ++41 (0)27 957 21 80
Tel.: ++41 (0)27 957 23 45
Fax: ++41 (0)27 957 12 46

Home page

Infos about Saas Valley

Pearls are much sought-after. And the Saas Valley is
such a pearl. The Valais village of Saas-Fee, situated at 1,800 metres above sealevel,
is called the “Pearl of the Alps”. 13 four-thousand-metre peaks protect it like a shell. The
snow-covered peaks with the highest mountain in Switzerland, the Dom (4,545 m above
sea-level), form a unique backdrop. Or as the famous writer Carl Zuckmayer described
it: “You stand at the end of the world and at the same time at its beginning.”

Home page of Saas Fee

Camping site in Saas Grund (next to Saas Fee), also low budget hostels

Saas Fee meteo

Saas Fee snow info

Saas Tal map

Saas Tal map part II

Map of Saas Fee

Skiresort Saas Fee

Skiresort Saas Grund

Skiresort Saas Almagell

External Links

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-3 of 3    
GarfieldUntitled Comment

Hasn't voted

Posted Dec 12, 2005 8:41 am


Hasn't voted

The 1:25.000 map is this one:

SLK 1328 Randa 1:25000

Posted Sep 25, 2006 3:28 pm
WouterBHighest mountain of Switzerland


Hasn't voted

The highest mountain of Switzerland is not the Dom, it's Dufourspitze.
Posted Apr 26, 2011 5:08 pm

Viewing: 1-3 of 3