Balmenhorn/Bivacco Giordano HUT

Balmenhorn/Bivacco Giordano HUT

Page Type Page Type: Hut/Campground
Additional Information Elevation: 13671 ft / 4167 m


The Balmenhorn is an unimportant peak of the Wallis (if it is a mountain at all), although it is higher than for example the famous Aiguille Verte, the Jungfrau or the Breithorn. Because it is more than 4000m high, it is interesting for those people who collect 4000m-peaks. It belongs to the Monte Rosa massif.

The Balmenhorn has a rock summit and is situated southwestern of the Corno Nero on the Lysglacier, on the orographically left side of the Lysglacier. The highest point has a Christstatue "Christo delle Vette" which is higher than a normal person. It is made out of bronze. It was created by Alfredo Bai on the 4th of September 1995. In 1985, the Felice-Giordano-Bivacco was built. It is located a few meters below the summit. You can reach it over the rocks with the help of a fixed rope on the eastern side.

The Balmenhorn is reached very easily in 2 hours from the Rif. Gnifetti when you go to the Lysjoch.


Easy glacierroute, 1,5h from Gnifettihut, 560 hm, also possible as skitour


1. RIF. GNIFETTI (3647 m):

The Rif. Gnifetti is situated on a rockspur between the Lysglacier and the Garsteletglacier.
    (according to Dumler)
    - 277 beds
    - winter room with 15 beds (blankets and kitchenware)
    - serviced from middle april till middle september
    - phone: ++390/16378015
    - internet: or Rif. Gnifetti or

2. Biv. Giordano:
    - 6 beds, solar electricity (Dumler)

Getting There

1. To the Balmenhorn:
  • You come from the Rif. Gnifetti.

2. To the RIF. GNIFETTI (3611 m):
  • You reach the hut from Punta Indren, 3260 m (cable car from Alagna), in 1,5 h via Rif. Città di Mantova (350 hm), 45 min. from Rif. Mantova, 7 h from Alagna (2420hm). In the lower part, it is a marked way (no. 5). The traverse of the glacier is not marked. From Punta Indren, You traverse the ski-run, slowly going up on the Indrenglacier till you reach the outstanding rock band above which the Mantova-hut is situated (yellow-red signs). You climb up the rock steps (fixed ropes). From the hut, you go up over the E-side of the Lysglacier to the N and at the end over rocks to the Gnifettihut.

  • You reach Punta Indren on the marked hiking way no. 5 from Alagna via Dosso (1357m). You go to the Alpe Oltu (1847m, cable car station, 1,5 h) and furth in the Valle d'Olen up. You go along the Sasso del Diavolo and reach almost Colle d'Olen, wher you turn right to the Vigevano-hut (3 h). You go further along Passo Salati (2936m) to the ridge-crest and traverse Stolemberg. Over the side of the Indrenglacier, you reach the station (1 1/4 h, totally 6 h).

  • You reach the Gnifetti hut also from Gressoney in 6-7 h (1800hm). The lower part is a marked way (no. 6). Lift to Alpe Gabiet (1270 hm, 4,5 h). In the upper part: easy glacier walk.

  • You reach Alagna by car on the road no. E62 from Brig via Simplonpass. You turn off at Ornavasso (near the Lago Maggiore) and follow the small route to the S via Omegna. Here turn right and drive along the western side of the Lago d. Orta to Borgosésia. In Borgosésia you take the road to the N an reach Alagna via Varallo and Scopello.

  • You reach Borgosésia also from the S from Torino on the A4 till. Turn off with direction to the N to Gattinara and Borgosésia.

Parking Place

  • Free parking is available in Alagna Valsesia

  • When To Climb

  • Summer and winter (ski)

  • General Information and Mountain Conditions

    2. WEATHER


  • Schweizer Landeskarten:
    • 1:25000 no. 1348 Zermatt
      1:50000 no. 5006 Matterhorn-Mischabel
      1:50000 no. 284 Mischabel
      1:50000 no. 294 Gressoney
      (to order at DAV Service)


  • Hermann Biner, Hochtouren im Wallis. Vom Trient zum Nufenenpass. 2nd ed. 1996.
    ISBN 3-859022-160-5

  • Helmut Dumler/Willi P. Burkhardt, The High Mountains of the Alps. 1994.
    (to order at
    ISBN 0898863783

  • 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

  • Discussion: What is the definition of a mountain?

    1. akpenkalb

    Date: Dec 08, 2001 06:52 AM

    According to the definition of SP this is not a mountain.
    The only remarkable thing about this rock is a small bivouac, as I remember.

    2. Lieven

    Date: Dec 08, 2001 09:11 AM

    I have read a definition on what can be called a mountain. It says that it is a summit if the height difference between the lower col and the summit is greater than 35 m.
    For the Balmenhorn, this is not the case.

    3. Rahel Maria Liu

    I have just read in the 3 books, cited above, that the authors count the Balmenhorn as a mountain. But they do not give any reason for this. Therefore this page could be useful as addition to this common option and as a place of discussion of this problem.

    For further information about this question of "What is a mountain" read also Hartmut Bielefeldt

    4. UlrichPrinz

    posted 12-18-01 16:30

    Hi Alpenkalb,

    As you can see in this list:
    Hartmut Bielefeldt counts this as a peak although he acknowledges
    that it is not in the UIAA list.
    I trust Hartmuts opinion because he is a reputable mountaineer
    and he has been there 7 times (as well as on 8000m peaks). If he thinks
    that this should be counted as a peak thats good enough for me.

    Also it is a peak on Peakware:

    Ulli Prinz

    5. JScoles

    Date: Dec 18, 2001 4:15 PM
    I think it might be best to have one page for Massifs like Mota Rosa, Logan or Kilimanjaro and then use the a route section to show the way to the various peaks.

    6. Rahel Maria Liu

    Date: Dec 19, 2001 01:03 AM
    I have thought as well about a way to make it clear, that different summits of one massif belong to this one. One could either use the section "state/province" (this would become confused) or really create a new section, which is, if I understand you correctly, one of your options. There should exist 2 sections: 1 for the massif and another 1 for the summits. But then there are two possibilites to add this new section "massif":
    either on the level of mountains, that means that the name of the massif appears on the list of all mountains, or within every mountainpage, so that every summit of a massif still appears as one mountain, but with the subclassification, to which massif it belongs, in the title passage.

    I have also thought about the route-option. But if if you use this section for the different summits, than you do not have any section any more for the different routes to one of these summits. So in this case, a sub-section for the different routes to each summit of the massif should be created.

    7. om

    Date: Dec 18, 2001 11:37 AM
    Balmenhorn is a summit of Monte Rosa even Nordend, Signal Kuppe, Dufourspitze are more important summits.

    Mountains are the whole stuff from valley to summit.

    External Links

    Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

    Viewing: 1-1 of 1

    webmastercai - Jul 24, 2009 11:32 am - Hasn't voted

    some links

    be careful, the punta indren cable-car is now CLOSED! now you can use Monterosa Ski lifts, from Alagna to Passo Salati (Col d'Olen), but not directly to Indren The lift is: Alagna - Pianalunga and Pianalunga-Cimalegna-Salati mt 2980 the official pages with opening times: official page for Bivacco Giordano, of CAI Varallo: for the Gnifetti hut there is the official page: and booking form in english, french, german:

    Viewing: 1-1 of 1



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    Monte Rosa groupHuts & Campgrounds
    Alpine 4000m PeaksHuts & Campgrounds