The last maintainer of this page and early SummitPost member Rahel Maria Liu) died for hypotermia 24/25 August 2004 after being caught in a freak snowstorm while attempting to climb the Innominata Spur on the southern (Italian) face of Mont Blanc. Edward Allen, her climbing companion (a british climber known some days early), was saved by an helicopter of Italian Rescue team.
Rahel was a charter member during SP's early days, and her work here remains among the best of SP's collected contributions. Her knowledge and experience has made an impact on the world mountaineering community, and her warmth and friendship will be long remembered among her many friends and fellow members here at SummitPost. She will be greatly missed by us all. She was only 34 years old. Continued maintenance of this page is in her memory.
The Lyskamm builds a colossal massif with its almost 1000m high ice NE-face. The best view is availeable from the Gornergrat or the Monte-Rosa-Hütte. The summit ridge with a length of more than 1000 m (Waeber) or rather 2000 m (Biner) between the West-summit (4479m) and the little higher East- summit makes the end of this northface. The biggest problems are the cornices. Therefore people call it "Menschenfresser" (maneater). The concret reason: on the 6th September 1877, 2 english alpinist fell down to death (William Arnold Lewis and Noel Paterson), and in 1896, Dr. Max Günther with his guides Roman Imboden and Peter Ruppen died as well because of the cornices. It is very difficult and dangerous if weather changes.
The S-side is built by a 500 m high rockflank, which is interrupted by a small hanging glacier. This rockflank stands on the Lysglacier with its two broken tongues. It goes down to the Gressoneyvalley.
Especially the traverse from the Lysjoch to the Felikjoch is a great classic tour, which is technically not very difficult, but dangerous because of the cornices. It takes 4 to 5 hours, if the conditions are good. Because of the cornices you often have to traverse in the steep NE-flank.
Sometimes the E-summit is reached via the WSW-ridge and the S-ridge. The different ascents through the NE-face are all very difficult and objectively dangerous because of icefall. Buth the view to the Northface-wall with its many kilometers is impressing. It seems to be steeper than it actually is if you look directly to it from the north, for example from the Monte-Rosa-Hütte of from the ascent to the Dufourspitze.
The first climb of the summit-ridge was undertaken together with the first ascent of the W-summit on 16th of August 1864 by Sir Leslie Stephen and Edward N. Buxton with the guides Jakob Anderegg and Franz Biner. The main-summit (E-summit) was already climbed for the first time on the 19th of August 1861 by 8 english mountaineers together with 6 swiss guides. It was like an expedition.
For the Routes compare the section Routes-Overview below.
Getting There1. To the Lyskamm:
- a. You can come from the MONTE-ROSA-HÜTTE (2795m).
- b. You can come from the RIF. GNIFETTI (3647 m).
2. To the MONTE-ROSA-HÜTTE (2795m):
- You reach the hut from the station Rotenboden (Gornergrat cable car) over the Gornerglacier in 2 - 2,5 h, 200hm up and down. The way over the glacier is partly marked by poles. From the station Rotenboden, you choose the way with S-direction to the ridge saddle in the E of the Riffelhorn (signs). After a few 100 meters, the way goes up over the Gornerglacier to the E and slightly down to the S-flank of the Gorner-ridge. You reach the Grenzglaicer and traverse it to the S till you reach the E-side of the Grenzglacier. You climb up on the glacier below the hut. You reach via the moraine in short zigzag (100hm).
- You can also come from the station Stockhorn. You pass the Stockhorn in 30 min. to the E to the Stockhornpass and traverse the Gornerglacier at the foot of the Nordend (NW). Then you go at the left side down and along the Monte-Rosa-Glacierbreak and the rocks. You reach the edge on about 3120m (pole). You go up slightly on the S-side and traverse the middle tongue of the Monte-Rosa-glacier to the Unteren Plattje and the hut (2-3h)
- You can also make the long ascent over the whole Gornerglacier (about 9 km from Furi, 4 h, 940 hm). About 1 km northwestern of the icy glacier-tongue, the road from Furi ends.
- You reach the train to the Gornerridge from Zermatt.
- You reach Zermatt (1616m) with car or bus from Visp/Brig and by train from Täsch. Zermatt is well-know in the whole world as one center of the Walliser Alps. You are not allowed to drive your car in the village.
- Brig is the main city of the upper Wallis and the junction of the trains:
- In Brig, many busses arrive as well:
- You reach Visp/Brig by car:
- a. Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon-Domodossola
b. Furka-Oberalppass (Andermatt/Disentis, Glacierexpress)
d. Lake of Geneva-Milano
- a. Simplon-Gondo
a. from the West: From Geneva (airport) on the A1 to Lausanne, on the A9 via Montreux, Martigny and Sion to Sierre. From Sierre the road no. 9 with direction to Brig. But at Visp, you turn already right to the S with directin to the Saaser valley. In Stalden, you turn right and leave the Saaser valley to the left. Here, the Matter valley beginns. Via St. Niklaus, Randa and Täsch, you reach Zermatt.
b. from the North: from Bern on the A6 to Spiez, from here the road to Kandersteg, at Kandersteg, you drive your car on a train and go by train through a tunnel; end of the tunnel: Goppenstein; you continue the road to the S and reach the main road from Sierre. On the crossroad, you turn left (E) and reach Visp. From here, continue as route a.
c. from the East: from Bregenz on the A13 to Chur; turn off at Reichenau and continue the road no. 19 to Brig/Visp via Flims - Sedrun - Andermatt - Gletsch - Fiesch. From Visp, continue as described in a.
d. from the South: either from Como on the A2 via Bellinzona to Airollo, then road no.2 till Hospental and here to the left on the road no. 19 to Brig/Visp or from Arona till the end von the A26 and then the E62 via Domodóssola to Brig.
3. To the RIF. GNIFETTI (3611 m):
- You reach the hut from Punta Indren, 3260 m (cable car from Alagna), in 1,5 h via Rif. Città di Mantova (350 hm), 45 min. from Rif. Mantova, 7 h from Alagna (2420hm). In the lower part, it is a marked way (no. 5). The traverse of the glacier is not marked. From Punta Indren, You traverse the ski-run, slowly going up on the Indrenglacier till you reach the outstanding rock band above which the Mantova-hut is situated (yellow-red signs). You climb up the rock steps (fixed ropes). From the hut, you go up over the E-side of the Lysglacier to the N and at the end over rocks to the Gnifettihut.
- You reach Punta Indren on the marked hiking way no. 5 from Alagna via Dosso (1357m). You go to the Alpe Oltu (1847m, cable car station, 1,5 h) and furth in the Valle d'Olen up. You go along the Sasso del Diavolo and reach almost Colle d'Olen, wher you turn right to the Vigevano-hut (3 h). You go further along Passo Salati (2936m) to the ridge-crest and traverse Stolemberg. Over the side of the Indrenglacier, you reach the station (1 1/4 h, totally 6 h).
- You reach the Gnifetti hut also from Gressoney in 6-7 h (1800hm). The lower part is a marked way (no. 6). Lift to Alpe Gabiet (1270 hm, 4,5 h). In the upper part: easy glacier walk.
- You reach Alagna by car on the road no. E62 from Brig via Simplonpass. You turn off at Ornavasso (near the Lago Maggiore) and follow the small route to the S via Omegna. Here turn right and drive along the western side of the Lago d. Orta to Borgosésia. In Borgosésia you take the road to the N an reach Alagna via Varallo and Scopello.
- You reach Borgosésia also from the S from Torino on the A4 till. Turn off with direction to the N to Gattinara and Borgosésia.
Routes-Overview1. E-ridge (normal route) from the Lysjoch to the E-summit:
- -G 4, snow till 45°, 1 1/2 - 2 h, 380 hm (Waeber)
- ZS, 2 h from Lysjoch (Biner)
- PD, II, till 40 °, 4-5 h from Gnifettihütte, 890 hm, firn and ice, as skitour possible, skidepot at Lysjoch (Dumler)
2. Traverse to the W-summit:
- - II, G 7, 1 - 2 h, 1 km (Waeber)
- ZS, III, 1,5 h , 6 h from the Cap. Quintino Sella to Lysjoch (Biner)
- ZS, 4-6 h (totally) (Vaucher)
3. SW-ridge from the Felikjoch to the W-summit:
- - G 4, 420 hm, 2 h (Waeber)
- WS, 3, 5 h (Biner)
- PD, II (passages), till 40°, 2-3 h from Felikjoch, 390 hm,mixed, as skitour possible, depot at Felikjoch (Dumler)
4. S-ridge to the E-summit:
- - II (passages), G 5, 960 hm, 4-5 h (Waeber)
- PD, II, mixed, 5 h from Gnifettihütte, 890 hm (Dumler)
- - very difficult (Waeber)
- Neruda-Klucker-route to the E-summit (the most secure route through the face):
- Nessi-Andreani-route to the W-summit (ojectively dangerous):
- D, till 55°, 7 h from the foot, 700 hm, very difficult and dangerous (Dumler)
- SS, IV+, 4 h for the face, 1- 3 h to the foot (Biner)
- 50°-55°, 700 hm, 5-6 h, 3 h from the Monte-Rosa-Hütte (Vanis)
- SS, 6-8 h, 727 hm (Vaucher)
- SS, 8-10 h (Vaucher)
- - very difficult, big bergschrund, seldom climbed (Waeber)
- - very difficult, big bergschrund, seldom climbed (Waeber)
- - AD+, III+, mixed, 7 h from Gnifettihütte 890 hm (Dumler)
- 1:25000 no. 1348 Zermatt
1:50000 no. 5006 Matterhorn-Mischabel
(to order at DAV Service)
Infos1. GENERAL INFOS:
Accomodation1. MONTE-ROSA-HÜTTE (2795m):
The Monte-Rosa-Hütte is situated northwestern of the Monte Rosa at the west side of the Plattje above the Grenzglacier.
- (according to Waeber)
- 170 beds
- run from middle March till middle September
- winter room with 12 beds always open
- phone: ++41(0)27/9672115
- hut often very full: mandatorial reservation by phone or website (raccomanded)
- internet: www.vs-wallis.ch
2. RIF. GNIFETTI (3647 m):
The Rif. Gnifetti is situated on a rockspur between the Lysglacier and the Garsteletglacier.
- (according to Dumler)
- 230 beds- winter room with 15 beds (no blankets and kitchenware)
- serviced in april and may, from end june middle of september
- phone: ++390/16378015
- mandatorial reservation expecially in the weekend
- internet: www.vs-wallis.ch or Rif. Gnifetti
- Lyskamm at www.4000er.de
Images, routes, coordinates and more information about the highest peaks of the Alps
- Photo Lyskamm from Gornergrat