The Bortelhorn (or Pta del Rebbio) is an elegant pyramid-shaped peak in the Lepontine Alps just E of Brig. The Lepontine Alps is in general a very quiet and unspoiled area. The Bortelhorn is positioned in the Swiss-Italian border chain, which also includes the Wasenhorn (3245m), the Furggubäumhorn (2985m) and the Hillehorn (3170m). There are small glaciers on the W-face (Bortelgletscher, harmless), the N-face, (Steinugletscher, with crevasses), the E-face (Ghiacciaio di Mottiscia), and the S-face (Ghiacciaio del Rebbio; harmless). This mountain can be climbed from all sides via various routes. The normal route (F) is from the W (Bortelhütte at 2113m) and crosses the Bortelgletscher, picking up the SW-ridge (some sections in grade I and II) at 2986m. Although the Bortelglacier is harmless, i.e. few crevasses, crampons and ice axe are indispensable to cross the glacier.
Other routes are: from the Bortelhütte over the NW ridge (F), from the Steinugletscher through the N-face (AD), from Alpe Veglia (Rifugio Citta di Arona) over the Ghiacciaio del Rebbio and the SW-ridge (PD) or over the S-ridge (PD). The route following the NW-ridge (F) avoids glacier travel. It can best be reached a little SE of P. 2798 (LKS map).
The best base for climbing this mountain is the Bortelhütte (2113 m), which can easily be reached from Brig. This hut is owned by the Skiclub Simplon (Brig), has 24 beds and is opened from June until October. The winterraum is opened all year round. The Bortelhütte is quite a luxurious hut with electricity and hot water. The guardian is an excellent cook. There is a glettergarten near the hut (10-20 minutes walk). Full address: phone: ++41 27 9245210.
Brig is the nearest large town in Switzerland, with railway connections to Milano, Geneva, and Basel (all with international airports). The Bortelhütte can be reached from Berisal (Postbus from Brig to Berisal; 2 hours signposted walk) or Rosswald (Seilbahn from Brig to Rosswald; 3 hours signposted walk). See for bus and train connections the CFF website:
No permits; no summit fees
When To Climb
In winter it is an interesting mountain for ski-mountaineering. Summer climbs are best from the middle of June to the end of September.
There are camp sites in Brig and Domodossola.
Maps and books
Brig 1289 1:25 000, Visp 274 1:50 000
Michael Waeber, Walliser Alpen. DAV-Gebietsführer. 12th ed. München, 1999. ISBN 3-7633-2416-X
Maurice Brandt, Clubführer Walliser Alpen 6: Vom Simplon zum Nufenenpass (Gonerli). SAC Biel, 1994. ISBN 3-85902-139-7