We lost a lot of time to find the right passage over the Rothorn glacier, climbed wrong route to the Schneegrat. Reached the base of couloir to Gabel after 6 hours, so we decided to come back (too late and a little bit tired). It was a pitty because the conditions (weather and mountain) were perfect. I'll try again next time.
We were a party of five 19-20 year olds, with modest experience of a couple of 3000 meter peaks. Had no idea how to move efficiently roped together and treated the route like a rock climb in the Lakes - and not surprisingly despite perfect conditions ended up being be-nighted - got back down to the hut 24 hours after setting out. The learning curve was steep in those days!
We started from a bivouac below the Rothorn hut (booked up). Easy glacier, scrambling and snow fields until the horizontal snow ridge. Tricky terrain traversing the south face, but EXCELLENT rock on the SW ridge. Nice but short crux ("Biner-Platte", III) - much easier than expected. Also very funny to get around the "Kanzel".
Panaché & hot chocolate at the Rothorn hut and continued down to Zermatt (0:45 AM).
Would definitely climb this one again!