Overviewgeographical classification: Western Alps > Pennine Alps > Mischabel Group > Balfrin
view from north to Balfrn Group
Balfrin is one of these mountains that are more often admired than climbed. Thousands of tourists each year visit the famous destinations of Zermatt or Saas Fee. All of them enter the Vispertal valley at Visp - and the mountain dominating the valley in the background with an elevation difference of more than 3000 m is not Matterhorn or Monte Rosa - it's the Balfrin, the northernmost glacier mountain of the Mischabel Group.
Because of it's prominent position it is of course a great viewpoint. With an easy normal route and almost exact the same height as Grossglockner one should think it is popular to climb it. But it isn't: almost all climbers sleeping at Mischabel hut or Bordier hut have only the big 4000m-mountains in mind.
Balfrin has two summits: the North west summit with 3783 m and the main summit with exact 3795,7 m.
starting point (means parking place) for the normal route is the little humard of Gasenried (1659 m), very near to the holiday village of Grächen. Grächen can be reached with private car. the exit from the main route to Zermatt is at St. Niklaus.
Bordier hut (2886 m) - homepage
- information table
From Gasenried to the Riedbach, crossing this outlet of the Ried glacier, then climbing steep in a zig-zag path through the forest to the alpine pasture of Alpja (2099 m) which is west of the moraine of the Ried glacier. the path folows the moraine until ot reaches the Ried glaicer at a height of about 2500 m. but you have to climb further 200 m until a sign shows the short descent to the glacier, that has normaly no snow her in summer time. the crossing of the galcier is marked with sticks. The hut can already be seen on the other side. and can be reached shortly climbing the moraine
1230 m ascent, 4 h from Gasenried, BW 3 (out of 3) on the swiss hiking scale.
The other possibility to climb the mountain is from Mischabel hut. Therefore please refer to the page about Nadelgrat
When To Climb
during the summer, lets say june until september.
Its the begining of the valley to Zermat. There are some camping sites
not that i know
interactive swiss online map for Balfrin