The Lauteraarhorn is one of Switzerlands wildest 4000m-peaks ! It stands far away from any civilization and is known to be the most deserted and remote autonomous 4000m-peak in the Alpes ! Combined with the Schreckhorn (4078m) it represents a "twin summit", which invites the experienced mountaineer to try one the Alpes greatest 4000m-peak-traverses ! If you enjoy loneliness in the mountains and if you prefer to meet unique mountaineers, you ought to go to the Lauteraarhorn ! Until 1976 one had to bivy outside to climb the mountain, as there was no hut !
One of the most strenuous parts on the way to the summit is the way to its very bottom ! You either approach the mountain from the north via Grindelwald and the Schreckhorn-hut (2529m) or you might reach it via the more popular way from the Grimsel-Pass -- Lake Grimsel -- Unteraar-Glacier -- Finsteraarglacier -- Aar-Bivouac (2731m). The way from the Grimsel-Pass (2112m) to the the Bivouac is long (19km / 900m elevation rise / 7h walk). In the winter/spring it's best to cross the frozen Grimsel-Lake with ski and then traverse the glaciers (only few crevasses). In the summer it's one hell of a long walk along the lake, across the glaciers (dangerous crevasses if snow not totally melted!). The Aar-Bivouac provides matrasses for 17 people with blankets. There is no wood or stove ! Bring your own cooking-gear ! The bivouac is open all year ! There is an emergency telephone !
Coming from the north one takes the normal signed path from Grindelwald to the Schreckhorn-hut (1500m elevation rise / 4-5h walk). It's a great walk to the hut with some ladders and a great view to the north-faces of the "Fiescherhörner".
Another possibility is the Lauteraar-Hut (2392m). This hut is located at the north shore of the Unteraar-Glacier, between the Grimsel-Pass and the Aar-Bivouac. It doesn't serve as a practical base to climb the Lauteraarhorn, since it stretches the way to the summit insuperable. For those of you, who like a 10hour climb to the top, feel free to use it...
There are several (more or less free) parking-lots on the Grimsel-Pass ("Grimsel-Hospiz") and also possibilities to spend a (cheap) night. No fees to climb the mountain...
When To Climb
It's best to climb the mountain in the late spring / early summer (april-may-june), when there is enough hard snow and neve in the S-face-couloir ! For superior skiers it's possible to ski down this couloir (max. 48°) !! It's best to try a ski-ascend (and descend...) in April, May or early June (depending on the amount of snow in the preceeding winter !!). We attempted it in late June and saw a lack of snow in the rocky mid section of the couloir !
If you want to climb the mountain from the Schreckhorn-hut it's best to wait for the warmth of the summer to melt some of the ice&snow on the ridges! You might want to choose july / august / september for an attempt !
Camping outside in Switzerland is not really allowed, but once you leave the Grimsel-Pass area, no one cares, as you are so far away from any civilization...
There is no one, who sits in the Aar-Bivouac all year long to give information about the Lauteraarhorn.... Go there and find out !
Maps and Guide-Books needed
Check for necessary maps (topographical maps from the swiss bureau for topography) and guide books (from the swiss alpine club, "SAC") in every route-description !
www.bielefeldt.de/lauteraar.htm Hartmut's private mountain-page! Quite a nice page withh good route descriptions and fotos ! Hartmut is a nice guy and answers questions quickly per email !