Bishorn NW flank Normal Route

Bishorn NW flank Normal Route

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 46.11801°N / 7.71403°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Alpine F
Sign the Climber's Log


Bishorn NW Flank Normal Route

Bishorn 4153 m, belonging to the Weisshorn Group, Wallis, is one of the northernmost Fourthousand of the Alps. It's an often visited summit, located just North of the Weisshorn. The mountain has two distinct summits, separated by a 600 meter long snow ridge: the Western summit is the highest one, while the Eastern summit at 4134 m is a fore-summit named Pointe Burnaby.  Check here the complete list of the 82 alpine Fourthousanders and the 46 minor summits: Club4000.

Bishorn,Weisshorn and Cabane de Tracuit
Bishorn, Weisshorn and old Cabane de Tracuit
Weisshorn and Bishorn
Weisshorn and Bishorn in last sunrays from Cabane de Tracuit










The Bishorn is considered one of the easiest 4000 of the Alps, because the climb is not particularly difficult along the North-Western snowy slopes, covered by the broad Turtmanngletscher, but not to be underestimated in reason of the presence of some crevasses. The mountain in the distance is not particularly spectacular, as it is overshadowed by the stunning and superb pyramid of the Weisshorn, with which it's connected by one of the most beautiful and majestic ridge of the Wallis.It is quite advisable to stay overnight at the Cabane de Tracuit 3256 m, as the approach from Zinal to the shelter is long and with a significant difference in level, although never particularly tiring (about 1600 m of difference in level).

At the top of Bishorn
At the top of Bishorn - Ph. mikus

Getting there

The nearest village is Zinal, a charming tourist resort at 1670 m, located at the head of Valle d'Anniviers in the Wallis.

Getting to Zinal

- By plane - To Geneva International Airport
- By car - A9 motorway to Sierre-est, then follow the road signposted Val d'Anniviers, Vissoie, Ayer-Zinal. The access roads are cleared all year round. Free parking in all the municipality of Ayer.
- By car from Italy - The easiest and fastest access from Italy is from Domodossola via the Simplon Pass, passing close to Visp and then Brig in Rhone Valley. You reach Zinal, with a convenient road from the Rhone Valley near Sierre.

Montée à la cabane du Tracuit...
The path to the Cabane du Tracuit
Dent Blanche and Grand Cornier from Cabane de Tracuit approach
Dent Blanche and Grand Cornier from the approach
Juste avant d'arrivé à la...
JLast steps before the "cabane"

Approach to Cabane de Tracuit

From the village of Zinal follow the signpost to the Cabane de Tracuit, getting to a parking lot a bit out of the village, where it starts the trail (signpost Cabane de Tracuit). The path is well marked with red and white signs. After a starting part inside the forest, the trail called du Roc de la Vache becomes more steep and twisty, getting the mountain pasture Combautanna (2578 m) and huge heap of stones heading to the Col de Tracuit. In about 4 hours the trail leads us to the base of an easy rocky gully equipped with chains. Just above, in a few minutes, you will get the Cabane de Tracuit (3256 m) situated on the pass between the Turtmannan and Anniviers valleys.

Annotated view from Cabane de Tracuit
Annotated view from Cabane de Tracuit


 Enjoy the awesome view over Bishorn and many peaks belonging to the Imperial Crown (Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Ober Gabelhorn, Dent Blanche).

Route Description

North-West Flank (Normal and ski route)

Difficulty: F (Alpine)
Difference in level: 900 m from Cabane de Tracuit 3256 m

A good and advisable route - not too demanding - with breathtaking views.

Bishorn Summit Panorama
Bishorn Summit Panorama


The glacier begins at a few minutes from the refuge and its first part is a flat traverse. From the refuge bypass a stony hump and head to the Turtmanngletscher, proceeding with a short descent which leads to a shelf with cairns near the start of the glacier. Although there are a few crevasses, here you must rope up. Begin to proceed on the glacier with a long and almost flat traverse, crossing a crevasse area and reach slightly downhill a basin on the glacier that must be crossed heading towards an obvious snowy saddle, situated between the rocky ridge on the left (rocky band extending from the top of Bishorn until a point at 3469 of altitude) and the wide snowy slope on the right.

Turtmanngletscher at sunset
Turtmanngletscher at sunset
On Bishorn normal route
On Bishorn normal route
On the normal route to the...
On the normal route







Take the slope, steeper at the beginning, giving access to the North-Western snowy ramp of the mountain. The ascent increases in intensity up to take the foot of the long glacial slope, north-west oriented, which leads to the summit. Climb up along keeping more or less in the middle of the slope (easy ramp at about 35°), avoiding some big crevasses. The itinerary  can be made with a few bends to mitigate the steepnes of the slope, anyhow rapidly reaching 4000m altitude at a point where the slope is attenuated a little. In the higher section take some steep ramps heading and  exiting to the wide snowy saddle that separates the fore-summit (Punta Burnaby 4135m) to the left from Bishorn to the right. After reaching the saddle the view becomes spectacular: all the peaks of the Imperial Crown appear in front of the climber with a privileged view of the impressive North ridge of the Weisshorn. 

Bishorn Normal route
Bishorn Normal route

There is a big creasse just below the summit. Turn sharp right, pass the crevasse and climb a short snowy wall to get the summit (3 hours from the refuge).

Pointe Burnaby
Pointe Burnaby
Climber close to
Climber close to the summit









From the summit you can admire the imposing Weisshorn and many other mountains of the Couronne imperial (Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn) and Monte Rosa. 

Summit of Bishorn 4153m
Summit of Bishorn 4153m
A look from P.3549 to the two...
A look from P.3549 to the two summits










Wishing to climb also the close Pointe Burnaby 4135 m descend to the saddle and in a few minutes you can climb to the peak keeping slightly below the edge of the ridge, on snow, debris and rocks, and finally coming out on the final crest  to the fore-summit. Easy.

Essential Gear

Ice-axe, crampons, rope, a good pair of sunglasses and warm clothes.

Red Tape

No fees no permits required. 


The old Cabane de Tracuit near sundown
The old Cabane de Tracuit near sundown
The new Cabane de Tracuit
The new Cabane de Tracuit









- Cabane de Tracuit - S.A.C. Sect. Chaussy

Situation: Turtmanngletscher
Owner: S.A.C. Sect. Chaussy
Open: from March to September
Size: 120 persons
Winter shelter: 15 persons
Guardian: Anne-Lise Bourgeois, Pralonzet 3961
Zinal Hut Phone: 0041-027-4751500 e-mail: website:

When to climb

- Mountaineering: the best period goes to the end of June to middle September

Bishorn map
Bishorn map

- Ski-mountaineering: from April to June

Guidebooks and maps

New guidebook Il grande libro dei 4000
Guidebook Tutti i 4000 - L'aria sottile dell'alta quota
4000 des Alpes (Alpine Fourthousanders) Guidebook

"Il grande libro dei 4000" by Marco Romelli, Valentino Cividini - Idea Montagna Editore, 2015

“Tutti i 4000” – L’aria sottile dell’alta quota” – CLUB 4000 CAI TORINO – Vivalda Editori

“The 4000 of the Alps” by Richard Goedeke (CAAI) – All the normal routes to the 4000m. summits of the Alps – Libris Edition





Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.