The Aletschhorn is a beautiful 4000m peak located directly in the center of the Berner Oberlands, on the border with the Walliser alplen.
It is pyramid shaped and it has enormous flanks on every sides. The most prominents are the south side, with 1700 meters of rocks and ice above the "Oberaletschgletscher", and the north complitely covered of ice, very steep and high more or less 1200 meters, part of the "Grosser Aletschfirn". It can be considered a "north wall".
Very interesting is also the east side, that hosts the "Mittelaletschgletscher" and the omonimous bivouac. Characteristic of this massif is, the "Himalayan" dimensions and shapes. Different than other important mountains. The glacier basins very flat and long and the very long approaches remind (in small) the Karakorum valleys. Huts and bivouacs are placed far and very isolated from the summit and villages.
The south side
Here are some facts about it:
The Aletschhorn is the second highest peak in the Bernese Alps.
First climbed in 1859 by Francis Tuckett, J.J. Bennen, P. Bohren, Victor Tairraz
The Aletsch-Glacier next to it is the longest in Europe, the "Konkordia Platz" in front
of it is the largest Glacier-Get-together in the Alps.
The views to all the famous neighbors like Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau are fantastic as well
as to the other side to the Wallis and even to France with the Mt. Blanc.
It sports many routes, of different grades, it can done with alpine skis, by foot, climbing
the ice on the North Face or on Rocky ridges.
Many huts are located nearby to accommodate you before your summit attempt.
The north side
Starting points are very far. It's impossible to get the top in one day. Huts and bivouacs are very far too.
There are at least 3 starting point:
Approach usefull only for the north wall. The route has the problem that during the return must climb up 500 meter from the Grosser Aletschfirn to the rail station. Approach is however very long in distance.
For who want to climb the mountain along the Mittelaletschgletscher. From the top cablecar station of "Bettmeralp", get down to the Aletschgletscher. Cross it till the opposite side. Reach the Mittelaletschgletscher and avoiding it climb along its left side following stone piles until the Mittelaletsch biwak. From here "normal route" to the top. Very long journey 5/6h + 4/5h
Approach for the normal route on the SW side.
From the village of "Belalp", path to the "Oberaletschhütte". From here get down to the base of the Oberaletschgletscher and than to the summit. During the return, must be climbed 100m up to get the refuge. Very long journey, even longer than others. 3/4h + 7/8h
On the west side of the moutain, a hut called Hollandiahütte is placed on the Lotschenlücke. Near to the summit, but useful only for who want to climb the NW ridge. Not commonly climbed.
The map of Oberland
99% of the mountaineers in this area spend the night in one of the many
huts that are very conveniently located. For example:
Camping is usually not the way to go here. You can certainly do it, and nobody will
get into trouble, if you pitch your tent anywhere on the glacier at dusk and
pack it away by dawn, even in the more crowded areas. In the more remote
areas, you could probably also leave it for one day.
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