Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.12602°N / 7.74584°E
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Mixed, Scrambling, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 12576 ft / 3833 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Brunegghorn as seen from the Weisshorn east ridge
In the early 1990 years I visited the Valais mountains for the first time in my life. It was, due to bad weather, a rather short visit. Nevertheless I had some glimpses of white mountains standing high above Matter valley and I went “boaaahhh, these are really high mountains”.

What a nice mistake that was. I viewed "only" Brunegghorn and its neighboring summits. Compared to the Walliser Weisshorn, Bishorn and the Mischabel peaks, with a height of 3833 m Brunegghorn is only second row. These summits were in dense clouds these days and I took Brunegghorn as one of the famous 4000 m peaks.

But this mistake only emphasizes what an impressive mountain Brunegghorn nonetheless is. Showing very high and steep faces especially down to the Matter valley, Brunegghorn stands about 2400 m high above the villages of Herbriggen and Randa. To the north, northwest and southwest this keen mountain rises out of the Abberg, Brunegg and Bis glaciers, three rather impressive ones with many seracs, crevasses and bergschrunds.

Brunegghorn is one of the peaks on the long and huge Weisshorn ridge which starts in the south near Dent Blanche, and includes famous summits like Zinalrothorn, Weisshorn and Bishorn. The whole ridge ends much further north at Dreizehntenhorn in the Augstbordhorn region and splits up in two subridges high above Rhone valley. It separates the Turtmann valley to the west from Matter valley to the east.

Brunegghorn is located northeast of Weisshorn, east of Bishorn and south of Schöllihorn. Bisjoch (3540m) and Schöllijoch (3365m) are the saddles that separate our summit from their eponymous neighbors. The Bisjoch is the key saddle, giving Brunegghorn a prominence of 293 m.

Brunegghorn, Weisshorn and Bishorn as seen from Barrhörner
Google terrain view centered on Brunegghorn.
Zoom in for a closer view, or Click here for a larger map
These days Brunegghorn offers skilled mountaineers some very nice routes which normally start at the Turtmann hut, accessible from Vorder Sänntum in the Turtmann valley, or at the Topali hut, accessible on long and strenuous trails from near Sankt Niklaus or Herbriggen in the Matter valley.

As Brunegghorn is below the "magic line" of 4000 m, this summit is not too crowded. It is an excellent outing to get accustomed to the height and offers marvelous views to Walliser Weisshorn, the Mischabel group and the Zermatt mountains.

A great traverse, partly a ski route too, is:
1. day: Sankt Niklaus – Topali hut
2. day: Topali hut – Brunegghorn – Turtmann hut
3. day: Turtmann hut – Les Diablons – Cabane de Tracuit
4. day: Cabane de Tracuit – Bishorn - Zinal

Brunegghorn was first summited in 1853 by J. and F. Tantignoni with their Swiss guide H. Brantschen.

Getting there

Trailheads for Brunegghorn are:
  • Sankt Niklaus or Ze Schwidernu, Herbriggen or Junggu (Jungen) / Matter valley for Topalihut

  • Vorder Sänntum / Turtmann valley for Turtmann hut

  • Brunegghorn and Bishorn
    Brunegghorn as seen from Mattertal (om)
    Inners Barrhorn
    Turtmann lakes as seen from Holustei
    Brunegghorn - Barrhörner
    Brunegghorn as seen from Mattertal

    The green paddle points at Brunegghorn.
    Zoom in for a closer view, or click here to view a larger map
    Sankt Niklaus by car

  • From Lac Léman and surroundings follow highway number 9 to Sierre and road number 9 to Visp.

  • From Zürich region follow highway number 2 and road number 2 to Andermatt. Traverse Furkapass on road number 19 (or take the railroad shuttle service) and follow road number 19 and 9 to Visp.
    Alternatively take highway number 2 and 8 to Sarnen, road number 4 to Meiringen and road number 6 via Grimselpass to road number 19 until you reach Visp.

  • From Bregenz or Chur take highway 13 to Sargans and highway number 3 to exit Wollerau. Follow road number 8 and 2 to Altdorf and proceed to Andermatt, Furkapass and Visp.

  • From the Lago Maggiore region take SS 33 to Domodossola and to Simplonpass. Road number 9 leads to Visp.

  • At Visp follow the signposts to Stalden. At the round point crossing take the first exit in the direction of Sankt Niklaus and Zermatt.

    Take the first road to the right after entering Sankt Niklaus and proceed to the huge parking garage near the railway station. The ascent to Topalihut starts at the railway station.
    Another trailhead is further on: leave the road to Zermatt before it crosses the Mattervispa creek (at Hotel La Reserve) to the right and go to Birchmatte, Stalu and Ze Schwidernu, where another trail starts to Topali hut.

    Inners Barrhorn
    Turtmann hut
    Signpost at the Topalihütte
    Signposts at Topali hut
    Breakfast above the clouds
    Topalihut common room

    Alternatively go on from Sankt Niklaus to Herbriggen. Parking at Herbriggen is very much restricted!

    Junggu can be best reached from Sankt Niklaus railway station via the cablecar

    You reach Sankt Niklaus and Herbriggen with the swiss railroad, too. Check the railway schedule here.

    High on the Schöllihorn, with Brunegghorn further back
    Panorama with Schöllihorn and Brunegghorn

    Vorder Sänntum / Turtmann valley by car

    The approach is nearly the same as to Sankt Niklaus. Instead of heading to Visp on road number 9 go to Turtmann, a small village some km west of Visp. Take there the small road to Oberems and go on into Turtmann valley until its end after the small village of Gruben / Meiden at Vorder Sänntum. There are free parking areas at the roads end.

    There is a swiss postbus connection from Turtmann railway station to Gruben. Check the railway schedule here.

    Routes Overview

    Approach to Turtmann hut

  • Follow the dirt road (closed for public traffic) up to the two small dammed lakes (also called Turtmann lakes).

  • Alternatively take the trail starting at the parking area (Schluchtweg, Steinmannliweg) bordering the Turtmann creek on its orographic right (= eastern) side until the trail crosses the creek on a natural bridge (a huge block above a small canyon) and gains the dirt road at about 2060 m. Follow the dirt road to the dammed lakes.

  • Pass by the lower lake on the road on its western shore. Cross the dam of the upper lake to the east, where the valley station of the supply cable car of Turtmann hut is located. Ascend the beautiful trail to the hut (about 2,5 hours from Vorder Sänntum).

  • Another alternative is to leave the Schluchtweg trail from Vorder Sänntum along Turtmann creek to the left before you reach the natural bridge over the creek. There should be signposts directing to “Holustei”. Follow this trail (so called Kapellenweg) in zigzags up to the Holustei chapel. Above you reach another trail which traverses near level the west slopes of Rothorn - Brändihorn until it joins the trail coming up from the Turtmann lakes.

  • Brunegghorn
    Turtmann lakes and hut
    Turtmann hut ascent
    Brunegghorn southeast face (om)

    Other routes to Turtmann hut

  • Topali hut – Schöllijoch – Turtmann hut

  • Cabane de Tracuit – Turtmann glacier – Adlerflue – Brunegg glacier – Turtmann hut

  • Jungu – Augstbordpass - Turtmannhut

  • Approach to Topalihut

    From Sankt Niklaus / railway station (or Ze Schwidernu) to Sattel – Medji – Bode – Walkerschmatt to the hut.

    Approaching the tree line on the trail from Schwiedernen to the Topalihütte
    Ascent to Topali hut
    Early morning view of Üssers Barrhorn, Gassispitz and Inneres Stellihorn from the Topalihütte
    View to Barrhorn from Topali hut
    Along the trail from Schwiedernen to the Topalihütte
    Ascent to Topali hut

    Other routes to Topalihut

  • Herbriggen (or Randa) – Guggigraben – Holzzügli – traverse below Schwarzhorn – Tälli – Chella – Topalihut

  • Junggu / Jungen – Junggu glacier – Wasulicke col – Stelli glaciers – Topalihut; best use the cableway to go up to Junggu; long and demanding route!

  • Routes to Brunegghorn

    1. Normal routes from Turtmann hut; rated PD-
      via Gässi – Brunegg glacier – Bruneggjoch – southwest ridge col – southwest ridge or
      via Gässi – Schöllijoch – Schöllihorn – Bruneggjoch – southwest ridge col – southwest ridge
      Both normal routes are described more precisely here.

    2. Brunegghorn
      Schöllihorn route
      Brunegghorn 3833m
      View down from high on Bishorn, with the NW ridge, W face and SW ridge (cyrill)
      Brunegghorn 3833m southwest ridge
      southwest ridge (cyrill)

    3. Normal route from Topalihut; rated PD-
      via Chella cirque – point 3020 m – rests of Schölli glacier – secured route to Schöllijoch – Schöllihorn – Bruneggjoch – southwest ridge col – southwest ridge.
      The direct route from the Topali hut – Chella - Bruneggjoch via the Abberg glacier is, due to glacier retreat, becoming more and more difficult (huge crevasse zone). Check the situation at Topali hut!

    4. Brunegghorn, Weisshorn and Bishorn from the Topalihütte
      View from Topali hut
      Brunegghorn north face
      Abberg glacier
      The dot marks the spot
      Start of the secured route to Schöllijoch

    5. Northwest ridge; rated AD-
      UIAA grade II, mixed rock, snow and ice, interesting route.
      The ridge starts at tje Bruneggjoch which can be reached as described in 1. and 2. The first rock part of the ridge is easy. It becomes more steeper when the snow ridge starts which is interrupted by three rock steps; these require rock climbing up to grade II.
      Best to be done early in the year as the snow tends nowadays to melt completely away in late summer.

    6. Zooming in on the Brunegghorn north face and NE ridge from the summit of Üssers Barrhorn
      N face and NW ridge from Barrhorn
      Brunegghorn Sunrise
      northwest ridge (ninjapilot)
      Brunegghorn 3833m
      N face and NW ridge seem from Schöllihorn (cyrill)

    7. Northeast ridge; rated AD+
      Interesting ice route and short snow ridge. A bit of scrambling in the uppermost parts of the ridge.
      For the northeast ridge route walk from Turtmann hut to Bruneggjoch (see 1.) and descend shortly to the uppermost part of Abberg glacier.
      From Topalihut follow route number 2. to Abberg glacier and ascend the glacier in the direction of Bruneggjoch.
      Turn there in east / southeastern direction and ascend the Abberg glacier to the northeast ridge. You reach the ridge at about 3600 m height. Follow the ridge to the summit.

    8. Brunegghorn
      northeast ridge and north face (om)
      Brunegghorn NE-Ridge
      northeast ridge (ninjapilot)
      Brunegghorn NE side
      east face, northeast ridge and north face (om)

    9. North face route (57 degrees; rated D)

      First ascent:
      Emilie R. Blanchet, Kaspar Mooser, 14. August 1925

      It is a rather short but steep ice face. Due to climate change it is best to be done until early summer. Later in the year the snow / ice will partly be gone and rock fall will get more and more serious.
      As described in route 4. walk up to the uppermost part of Abberg glacier. Cross the bergschrund at a height of about 3600 m directly below or a bit left of the summit rocks. Asend the ice face by aiming a bit left in the direction of the northeast ridge. Due to the snow and ice conditions you tackle the uppermost steep part directly or you bail out onto the northeast ridge.

    10. Zooming in on the top of the Brunegghorn north face
      north face from Topali hut
      Perspective plays tricks on...
      Ascending the north face (remco woutersen)
      A beautiful summit cross on Brunegghorn 3833m
      Brunegghorn summit (cyrill)

    11. Ski route
      The ski route in late winter and spring follows mainly the lower part of the route 1. It then enters Brunegg glacier and follows the glacier up to the southwest ridge.

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    Brunegghorn, Bishorn and Schöllihorn from the summit of Inners Barrhorn
    Panorama as seen from Barrhorn

    Red Tape

    No restrictions as far as I know.

    Matter valley parking areas are always a bit pricy!


    Sankt Niklaus
    Gruben / Turtmanntal

    Mountain huts

    Turtmannhütte; lovely homepage!

    Gear & Mountain Condition

    Brunegghorn is a year round outing and an interesting one! Use Brunegghorn for an acclimatisation tour and combine a ridge route as ascent with one of the normal routes for descending.

    The normal routes are easy glacier routes, but let there be no mistake: all Brunegghorn glaciers can have nasty crevasses and bergschrunds!

    The ridge routes and the north face route are mixed rock and ice routes and therefor only for the experienced mountaineer.

    The summer normal routes require full glacier gear.

    The northeast and northwest ridges are mixed terrain: a rope, some ice screws, carabiners, quicks and long extender for a belay will do no harm.

    The north face route requires a 50 m rope, some ice screws, good ice tools, a helmet and full glacier gear.

    Late winter and spring Brunegghorn is a well known ski tour, often combined with a traverse from Turtmann hut to Cabane de Tracuit and to Bishorn.

    In winter you need full ski tour, glacier and avalanche equipment.

    Check the swiss avalanche bulletin here.

    Current Weather:

    Maps & Guide Books


    Unfortunately Brunegghorn and its ascent routes are spread over several of the 1:25 000 Swiss topo maps:

    1307, Vissoie
    1308, St. Niklaus
    1328, Randa

    A good alternative is the 1:50 000 Swiss topo map

    5028T, Monte Rosa Matterhorn

    Panorama of Brunegghorn (3833m), Weisshorn (4506m), Bishorn (4153m) and Schöllihorn (3500m)
    Panorama with Brunegghorn from along the route from the Topalihütte to the Schöllijoch

    Guide Books

    Banzhaf, Biner, Theler: SAC - Clubführer Walliser Alpen, Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Weisshorn, vom Col Collon zum Theodulpass, SAC-Verlag, 2010

    Marianne Bauer, Michael Waeber: Gebietsführer Walliser Alpen, Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, München, 14. edition, 2012

    125° panorama of the Swiss Alps from the base of the Schölliglacier
    Panorama as seen from Schölli glacier, with the beautiful white Brunegghorn north face on the right



    Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.