Other Views of Hörnligrat
Approach / Overnight
Most climbers will probably opt to take the lifts from Zermatt to Schwarzsee and follow the well marked and maintained trail from there to the hut / hotel. From Schwarzsee to the hut is about 700 meters of vertical and takes about two hours. If one chooses to climb from Zermatt, add another 950 meters and 3 hours to the time.
Some groups camp or bivouac in the area near the hut or very low on the route.
The hut is operated in association with the Berghaus Matterhorn (Formerly Hotel Belvedere).
Berghaus Matterhorn / Hörnlihütte
während den geöffneten Monaten Juli bis September
Telefon +41 27 967 22 64
Fax +41 27 967 54 75
Telefon +41 27 967 27 69 (Hörnlihütte)
während den geschlossenen Monaten Oktober bis Juni
Telefon +41 27 967 54 68
It is about 1,200 vertical meters with an estimated 1,700 meters of climbing from the Hörnli Hut to the summit. Except for the Moseley Slabs, which are III-, most of the climbing is II with some I. A certain amount of variation is possible, but generally when one gets off the main line a great deal of loose rock is encountered. There is enough traffic up and down that getting too far off route should not be an issue, but it does happen especially on the lower part of the route where some fairly long traverses are made on to the east face.
From the Hörnli Hut one walks horizontally to the first step on the ridge. This is climbed upwards to the left, usually with a fixed rope or chain. From this step a traverse is made left to a small shoulder which is climbed a short ways before traversing left again on to the east face to the second couloir which is climbed for about 25 meters. Then on to the rib to the left, which is followed back to the ridge crest. The ridge crest is followed for about 100 meters before another detour on to the east face via a ledge in yellowish colored rock. From the end of the ledge, one climbs back to the ridge under a large tower where the remains of an old hut are located.
From the rock tower, another swing onto the east face is made to a point more or less directly below the Solvay Hut. One then climbs steepening rock to the base of the famous Moseley Slab, which leads almost directly on to the "balcony" of the Solvay Hut.
From the Solvay Hut, move left and climb the Upper Moseley Slab directly back to the ridge crest, which is then followed closely (turning any difficulties to the left) to the top of the Shoulder and the fixed ropes.
Climb the fixed ropes or very near them and climb the final steep slopes from the top of the ropes to the summit.
Ice axe, crampons, rope, and several slings & carabiners. A helmet is highly recommended.
The Solvay Hut is an emergency shelter located directly on the Hörnligrat at 4,003 meters (about 13,130 feet). It is described as accommodating 10 persons, but will hold more. It is supposed to be used only in true emergencies, but I suspect that it is very frequently misused. (SP Solvay Hut Page)
An emergency shelter was first suggested in the late 1800s because of the great number of accidents occurring on the mountain. A primitive cable car system was built to the site and construction was finally started in August of 1915. It took just five days to complete the original shelter which was named for the wealthy Belgian industrialist Ernest Solvay who financed the project.
The hut was rebuilt in 1966.
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