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Strahlhorn

 
Strahlhorn

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Wallis, Switzerland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.01305°N / 7.90194°E

Object Title: Strahlhorn

Elevation: 13747 ft / 4190 m

 

Page By: Mathias Zehring

Created/Edited: Aug 28, 2001 / Sep 4, 2008

Object ID: 150523

Hits: 24269 

Page Score: 92%  - 37 Votes 

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Overview

geographical classification: Western Alps > Pennine Alps > Mischabel Group > Strahlhorn

Strahlhorn is the southernmost mountain of the Mischabel Group, that is part of the huge Pennine Alps between Simplon pass and Grand St. Bernard pass.
Mischabel Group are the mountains of the ridge between the swiss valleys of Saas and Zermatt. South of Strahlhorn is the Schwarzberg-Weisstor mountain pass (3577 m), very close to the italian border at the ridge above the Macugnaga valley.

Views of the mountain from all sides, starting from north, in conterclockwise direction :



All around Strahlhorn we can find a complex system of glaciers and ridge.
Togehter with the near Rimpfischhorn (4199 m) it is the center of this system. The two mountains have a distance of 1,75 km and are separated by the Adler Pass (3789 m).

From these two points a great system of ridges starts:
- to the south to the Schwarzberg-Weisstour pass (3577 m), very close ot the italian border that runs over the Schwarzberghorn/Corno Nero (3609 m), where the terrain falls steep to the Macugnaga valley;
- to the north, from the Rimpfischhorn, further along the great chain of the Mischabel mountains;
- to the north-east, via the minor summit of the Fluchthorn (3791 m) down to the Mattmarksee in the high Saas valley.
- to the west from the Strahlhorn there is only a short ridge that carries the Adlerhorn (3988 m)
- to the west from the Rimpfischhorn begins a long ridge that carries the Oberrothorn (3415 m), a popular hiking mountain above Zermatt.

We are - even in these hot times - in an almost complete arctic landscape. At each side of the the two mountains big glciers spread wide out:
- in south west direction there is the big Findeln glacier that runs towards Zermatt, it's small branch of the 'Adler glacier leads steep to the Adler Pass.
- north west (of the Rimpfischhorn) is the very crevassed Mellich Glacier which you have to cross if you come from the Taesch hut.
- north is the big Allalin Glacier that carries the normal route.
- east is the Schwarzberg glacier, that also runs to the Saas valley.

The normal route reaches the summit from north by a very long walk from the Britannia hut along the Allalin Glacier via the Adler pass. This is easy (of course there is danger of falling into some huge crevasses) but a bit boring. Therefore it is by far more popular to climb Strahlhorn in spring with ski. The last day of the famous "Haute Route" for ski mountaineers from Chamonix to Saas Fee (the route does _not_ end at Zermatt!) crosses the Adlerpass.

Getting there

FROM MATTERTAL
The Mattertal Valley is easy to reach from any places of Switzerland and Italy too.
~ From Geneva drive along the A1 up to Losanne, then take the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp is suggested to leave the own car and take the cable-train up to Zermatt, or as arrived to Visp drive in the Valley up to Tasch (the last car allowed point) then take the train. 236 kms, 3 h.
~ From Bern take the A12 up to Montreaux, on the Geneva Lake, then the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp is suggested to leave the own car and take the cable-train up to Zermatt, or as arrived to Visp drive in the Valley up to Tasch (the last car allowed point) then take the train. 231 kms, 3 h.
~ However, if you’re moving from Italy, as arrived to Aosta drive to north by the E27 – S27 road up to Martigny, where take the A9 up to Visp. In Visp is suggested to leave the own car and take the cable-train up to Zermatt, or as arrived to Visp drive in the Valley up to Tasch (the last car allowed point) then take the train. 180 kms, 2 h 50 m

Refuges of the Group could be reached with lift-ways from Randa (on the road to Zermatt) and Zermatt, like: Gasenried, Randa Alpin, Taschalp.

FROM SAASTAL
Also the Saas Valley is easy to reach, like Mattertal Valley you’ve to move up to Visp then Stalden where the Saas Valley divides itself Mattertal Valley.
~ From Geneva drive along the A1 up to Losanne, then take the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp move up to Stalden, then enter the Saastal and arrive to Saas Fee, where many lift-ways stations lie. 226 kms, 2 h 50 m.
~ From Bern take the A12 up to Montreaux, on the Geneva Lake, then the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp move up to Stalden, then enter the Saastal and arrive to Saas Fee, where many lift-ways stations lie. 222 kms, 2 h 50 m.
~ Again, if you’re moving from Italy, as arrived to Aosta (see Monte Rosa Group or Monte Bianco di Courmayeur pages) drive to north by the E27 – S27 road up to Martigny, where take the A9 up to Visp. In Visp move up to Stalden, then enter the Saastal and arrive to Saas Fee, where many lift-ways stations lie. 162 kms, 2 h 30 m.

Main refuges of the Mischabel Group could be reached with lift-ways from Saas Fee, like: Langflue, Felskinn, Metrò Alpin to the Mittelallalinstation for the approaches to the main summits of the Group.

Routes overview

Strahlhorn is usually climbed from Britannia hut, where the easiest routes starts. The elevation could be gained by ridges, usually long and quite uniform, or walls, more steep and more difficult, usually with exits on the summit-ridge between the main summit and the fore-summit.
And so, the Strahlhorn presents different types of routes. Mostly AD, but also PD, and any up to ED along the East Wall, the most difficult ascent, opened prevalently by Italian expeditions.
Some routes start in Italian territory at the Bivouac Città di Luino or at the Refuge E. Sella or the Refuge G. Oberto, both on the ridge of the Jazzi in the Monte Rosa Group.
The first ascent of the Strahlhorn was done by E., J., C. Smyth, F. Andermatten, U. Lauener – August, 15 1854 over the WNW ridge.

¤ WNW RIDGE (Normal)
~ Start point: Britannia hut, 3030 m
~ Type:completely on ice, crevasses danger, steep close to the Adlerpass
~ Difficult and inclination: mostly F+

¤ NE RIDGE
~ Start point:Britannia hut, 3030 m
~ Type: Mostly on rocks and snow, passages on ice, various track
~ Difficult and inclination: mostly PD


¤ E SIDE + NE RIDGE
~ Start point Rifugio Oberto G., 2796 m
~ Type: broken rocks, also passages on ice, stone falls
~ Difficult and inclination: completely around AD-, one passage UIAA II+

¤ VIA RITA (E wall)
~ Start point: Rifugio Oberto G., 2796 m
~ Type: cengias and vents, friable rocks, ice-falls, stone falls
~ Difficult and inclination: ED / ED+, passages of III and VI+, any of A1 – incl. max. 60°

¤ VIA CENTRALE (E wall)
~ Start point: Rifugio Oberto G., 2796 m
~ Type: snowy cengias, solid rocks, vents, easy dihedron, vertical plates
~ Difficult and inclination: TD, passages of V+, sustained

¤ VIA SCHMETTERLING (E wall)
~ Start point: Rifugio Oberto G., 2796 m
~ Type: mostly by cengias, solid rocks, vents, easy dihedron, vertical plates
~ Difficult and inclination: TD+, passages of IV to VI-, also A0 and A1 for 10 mts.

¤ E WALL (by the left edge)
~ Start point: Rifugio Oberto G., 2796 m
~ Type: Quite difficult rocky climb, ice falls, easy vents and dihedrons.
~ Difficult and inclination: mostly AD+ – incl. max. 49°

¤ S RIDGE
~ Start point: Sella E., m. 3039
~ Type: quite difficult climb on ice and rocks, probably one of the most frequented from the Italian side.
~ Difficult and inclination: mostly AD

¤ S SIDE
~ Start point: Sella E., m. 3039
~ Type: easy climb on rocky belts and snow
~ Difficult and inclination: mostly PD, passages of II+

¤ S SIDE + SW RIDGE
~ Start point: Sella E., m. 3039
~ Type: mosly on rock, by belts and easy couloir
~ Difficult and inclination: mostly PD+, a passages of -III

¤ W SIDE (from Adlerhorn)
~ Start point: Fluh, m. 2618 then from the Adlerpass, m. 3789
~ Type: completely on snow and easy ice
~ Difficult and inclination: mostly AD-, a passages of III easy to trick in spring

¤ W SIDE
~ Start point: Fluh, m. 2618
~ Type: completely on ice and snow, any passages on good rocks, crevasses
~ Difficult and inclination: PD+, a passages of II


Accomodation

BIVOUAC
in order: name, height, location, municipal district, owner. Open all year long.
CITTA’ DI LUINO, 3562 m, Rocce di Roffel, Macugnaga. CAI Luino – in easy (PD) traverse from the Passo di Monte Moro, well marked (use trad. equipment)

REFUGES
in order: name, height, location, municipal district, owner, refuge phone, beds (winter room those signalled with a +). Open in summer.

1. OBERTO G. (MALNATE), 2796 m, at the Monte Moro pass, Macugnaga. Comune di Macugnaga. Tel.: (+39) 0324.65544. 36+8 beds. – with the cable-cars from Macugnaga

2. EUGENIO SELLA, 3029 m, Punta d. N. Weisstor, Macugnaga. Comune di Macugnaga. Tel.: (+39) 0324.65725. 24 beds. Path from Pecetto (Macugnaga) first on rocks then on snow.

3. BRITANNIA, 3030 m, Hinterallalin, CAS Geneva, Tel.: (+41) 028.572288, 113 beds. – from Saas Fee for Plattjen, by path or - mostly done - with cable-cars from Saas Fee to Felskinn and then in 30 min easy walk over a prepared glacier trail.


4. FLUEALP, 2618 m, north of the end of the Findeln glacier, privat, Tel.: (+41)027/9672551, 50 beds, 3 h from Zermatt, but only a short walk if you take the Unterrothorn cablecar to the mid station "Blauherd".

Villages

SAAS FEE
Village in the Canton of Valais (Wallis), Switzerland. 1809 inhabitants, 1803 meters height, in the Saas Valley
- Car traffic close
- Postale Code: 3920
- Dialling Code: (+41) 028-
- Tourist office, Tel.: (+41) 028.571457
- Informations:
saastal.ch
weissmies.ch
swiss railways
cable-cars, Tel.: 028.571414
lift-ways “Metrò Alpin”, Tel.: 028.572717
to sleep, Tel.: 289571440

ZERMATT
Village in the Canton of Valais (Wallis), Switzerland. 3548 inhabitants, 1616 meters height, in the Mattertal Valley
- Car traffic close
- Postale Code: 3920
- Dialling Code: (+41) 27-
- Tourist office, Tel.: (+41) 027.672828
- Informations: to the Tourist Office, tel.: 27.9668100,
e-mail
zermatt.ch
swiss railways
train Brig-Visp-Zermatt, Tel.: 027.672828

When to climb

Strahlhorn is usually climbed in Summer, from July to September. The later in the summer you come, the more open crevasses you will meet.
It is more popular to climb Strahlhorn in spring with ski (from March to the end of May) - until the closing of the Saas Fee cable cars


Mountain conditions

~ swiss weather report in english
~ swiss avalanche conditions

Red tape

There are no seasonal closures or necessary permits.
Zermatt is unreachable by cars. Whoever wants to go to Zermatt must to leave his car at least at Taesch and take the train.
Similar at Saas Fee: there is a very big parking house just before the village, where everyone has to leave his vehicle.

maps and books

CAR MAPS
Atlante automobilistico Italia settentrionale, 1:200000 – Touring Club Italiano, 1979
Route Planner Europe software, 1:96 – Sony Italia and TCI, 2000

TERRITORY MAPS – ROUTE MAPS
official swiss maps:
Walliser Alpen: Mischabel, No. 284, 1:50.000, also available as "284S" with ski routes
Matterhorn – Monte Rosa – Mischabel, No. 5006, 1:50.000
Zermatt, No. 1348, 1:25.000

interctive swiss online map for Strahhorn

online map from www.swissgeo.ch

BOOKS

french:
Alpes Valaisannes. Du Strahlhorn au Simplon, vol. 4

italian:
Guida al Monte Rosa: Club Alpino Italiano, vol.1-2
Guida al Gruppo dei Mischabel: Club Alpino Italiano, vol.U
Manuale di alpinismo CAAI – Le Alpi Pennine, il Gruppo del Monte Rosa, i Mischabel

german:
Hermann Biner, Hochtouren im Wallis. Vom Trient zum Nufenenpass. 2nd ed. 1996.
ISBN 3-859022-160-5
Helmut Dumler/Willi P. Burkhardt, Viertausender der Alpen. 11th ed. Munich 1998.
ISBN 3-7633-7427-2
Michael Waeber, Walliser Alpen. DAV-Gebietsführer. 12th ed. Munich 1999.
ISBN 3-7633-2416-X
Michel Vaucher, Walliser Alpen. Die 100 schönsten Touren. 2nd ed. Munich 1990.
ISBN 3-7654-2124-3

english:
Helmut Dumler/Willi P. Burkhardt, The High Mountains of the Alps. 1994. (to order at amazon.com)
ISBN 0898863783
The Alpine 4000m Peaks by the Classic Routes by Richard Goedeke, Menasha Ridge Pr; ISBN: 0897321111

Name

It seems to be obvious that name "Strahlhorn" comes from the german word "strahlen" as “Shining horn”, especially when you watch the snow cap of the mountain shining in the evening sun.

But it is more likely that the name comes from "shining rocks" because minerals and cristals can be found in the area. Historians believe that the Adlerpass was already crossed in the 16th century and long before the first mountaineers, the search for crystals in the higher regions was a reasonable way to make a living. So it's not surprising that the name "Strahlhorn" was supposed to emphasise that crystals could be found in the rocky east flank.

External Links

Additions and Corrections

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

Hasn't voted

Photo
Posted Dec 12, 2005 10:05 am
mrsjmercerAdlerpass

Hasn't voted

5 of us climbed Strahlhorn from Britanniahutte by the normal route on July 23rd. We planned to continue on across Adlerpass to Flue Alp on the Zermatt side. The descent from Adlerpass to Flue Alp was an absolute nightmare - 1 hour on an untracked glacier, then 2-3 hours of picking our way along boulders/scree slopes beside the glacier, and finally a difficult scramble up out of the glacier basin to the Flue Alp hut. There is nothing technically difficult about the route, but at the end of a 5-6 hour climb to the top of the Strahlhorn, it is exhausting, and in wet weather would be treachourous. Arrived Flue Alp at 1830hrs - superb hut, well worth the effort!
Posted Aug 9, 2007 11:20 am
pygmalionWinter ascent

Hasn't voted

The article states that only spring and summer ascents are done, while some climb it in winter as well, mostly guided though and on skis. (See here)
Posted Dec 8, 2010 3:02 pm

Viewing: 1-3 of 3    

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