Clearly standing in the shadow of its famous neighbours Zinalrothorn, Obergalbelhorn / Wellenkuppe, remote Schalihorn and – above all – Walliser Weißhorn, the twins of Ober Äschhorn and Unter Äschhorn are minor summits between these grand peaks. Nevertheless, give them a chance, you will be surprised.
Starting from Zinalrothorn summit, the southeast ridge drops down to point 3788 m and then splits up into two ridges. Follow the east ridge, it leads you to Ober Äschjoch, which has to be traversed during the ascent to Schalihorn, and to Ober Äschhorn, a fine summit high above Hohlichtgletscher. A rock and snowridge drops down to Unter Äschjoch and continues up to Unter Äschhorn.
Furgghorn, Platthorn and the famous hiking summit Mettelhorn are the next summits to the east. Then there is this huge rockface from Mettelhorn (3408 m) dropping down to Zermatt (1707 m). An impressive landscape.
The ridge with the both Äschhörner divides Schalital and Hohlichtgletscher to the north from Trifttal / Triftchumme / In der Flue with Rothorngletscher and Triftgletscher to the south. To the west is the huge eastern rockface of Zinalrothorn. Looking to the north you will get the – in my opinion – most impressive view of Walliser Weißhorn. Plus you can study the difficult route to Schalihorn thoroughly – if you like to summit this interesting mountain.
Trailhead for Äschhörner is Zermatt center.
At Visp follow the signposts to Stalden, Sankt Niklaus, Randa and Täsch.
Leave the car at Täsch parking areas. Take the shuttle train to Zermatt. Cars are not allowed to proceed from Täsch to Zermatt.
Zermatt can easily be reached by train, too. The Matterhorn - Gotthart - Bahn is operating the regional railway net. Schedules, stations and the adjacent railway companies can be found here.
Normal Route Overview
The trailhead for Äschhörner is at Zermatt center, Bahnhofstraße in front of the post office. Follow Triftweg which branches off there. Hike up the trail to Alterhaupt inn and to Hotel du Trift (2337 m). I recommend a night in this private hut, combined with a hike to Mettelhorn, one of the “bellevues” of Zermatt.
Follow then the trail up to Rothornhütte (3198 m).
From Rothornhütte proceed to the northeast below the Eseltschuggen arête and onto Rothorngletscher. Don´t follow the tracks to the left, they are leading up to Zinalrothorn.
Ascend on Rothorngletscher near its upper rim to the northeast and up to Unter Äschjoch (3554 m). Follow the snow ridge and some talus to the east and up to Unter Äschhorn.
For Ober Äschhorn turn left at Äschjoch and navigate round some rocks on their left / south side. The first part of the ridge are steep slabs (grade II) which can be climbed directly along the sharp ridge crest or right of it. There is a sling at the end of the slabs for abseiling. After that follow the east ridge with nice talus scrambling to the summit of Ober Äschhorn (3669 m).
Red Tape & Accomodation
There are, as far as I know, no special restrictions in this area.
All parking areas require fees.
You find Hotels, Bed & Breakfast, Tourist houses and campgrounds in and around
Mountain huts for the summits are
Gear & Mountain Conditions
Äschhörner are easy glacier mountains with no major difficulties.
The glacier part from Rothornhütte to the Unter Äschjoch is not very steep but has crevasses. Beware of stones from the eastern rockfaces of Zinalrothorn !
You need full glacier gear for the ascent / descent.
Äschhörner are a summer and maybe autumn tour.
Maps & Guide Books
The best map is
The main guidebooks, available in German, are
In this guidebook the ascent to Unter Äschjoch and Ober Äschhorn is mentioned as part of the ascent route to Schalihorn. Unter Äschhorn is not mentioned in this guide book.