The Mönch is the most climbed of the peaks of the three peaks of the Berner Trilogy. It has easy access from the Jungfraujoch rail station, the convenient and close by Mönchsjochhütte, its spectacular setting in the heart of the Berner Oberland, and a variety of good routes all contribute to its popularity.
The Southeast Ridge is considered the normal route and is a great introduction to climbing in the area. This route, while never severe, includes some very exposed ridge climbing both on snow and on the fine gneissic rock which makes up the core of the Oberland.
The Nollen Route on the opposite, northwest spur, is considerably more challenging with its main difficulties being on ice. The difficulty of the ice nose of the Nollen itself varies from year to year, but normally includes several belayed pitches up to at least 60 degrees steepness, and occasionally has short vertical steps. Its first ascent in 1866 was accomplished with the aid of ladders.
From Alpenkalb: The Swiss topographic institute has remeasured Mönch and found out that its altitude is 4107 meters above sea level!
Charles Garrett adds: The West ridge is a more challenging alternative to the South-east route - steeper and more exposed - but easier than the Nollen. West ridge up, SE down makes an excellent traverse.
Be sure to see the excellent trip report and route reports posted on the left sidebar.
Nearest international airport is in Bern or Zurich. From either location it is a scenic memorable train ride to Interlaken (567M). From Interlaken catch the train to Klein Scheidegg (2061M) or Jungfraujoch (3454M). Trains run frequently and on time. Train travel here is quite easy. For all the trains information you could ever want: Train Information
Also see information on rail on the Jungfrau page.
When To Climb
Mid June to end of September are prime climbing times.
The Normal Route from the south offers fourth class rock scrambling along a stepped arête to the spectacular summit snow ridge. The climb is easy of access because of the Jungfrau cog railway, and the route can be done in one day from Grindelwald by taking the first train. Because of its relatively short length, ease of access and southern exposure, it can be done in less than ideal conditions, and comes quickly back into shape after snow storms or bad weather.
An example of guide fees is:
Mönch - Guiding Fees
1:1 Climber to Guide Ratio
$420 per climber per day
2:1 Climber to Guide Ratio
$280 per climber per day
3:1 Climber to Guide Ratio
$230 per climber per day
Fees are on a per day basis. The above fees include expenses for the guide, such as meals, lodging, lifts, hut fees, transport. They do not include these expenses for the guest.
Starting out there are excellent restaurants and lodging as well as camping in Klein Scheindegg.
The character of the climb is as varied as the topography. Mönch is primarily a snow and glacier climb, and on the sections of rock that are encountered the climbing is enjoyable. The main southeast ridge route on the Mönch is a very fun climb- high, varied, sometimes on rock, some on snow, exposed and very scenic.
Because the route is short and technically straightforward it can often be climbed when weather or conditions are not ideal on more demanding routes.
There is a good website about Mönch at:
I havent used this group to climb but it does seem that they have good information.
If you are going to be there, the Eiger , Monch, and Jungfrau are all in very close proximety. If you are considering doing all 3 mountains this might be a typical profile:
Take the Jungfraujoch railway to the Jungfraujoch. A short walk to the Mönchsjochhütte, and ascent of the Mönch (4099 m, 13,445') from the southeast, on a ridge of moderate rock and snow climbing. Return to the Mönchsjochütte for the night.
Traverse the Jungfraufirn to the Jungfrau (4158 m, 13638'), ascend via the Rottalsattel, a mostly snow and ice climb with some short rock climbing sections. Return to the Jungfraujoch station and descend via railway to the Kleine Scheidegg for the night.
Re-ascend via railway to the Eismeer station, emerge from the tunnel onto the Challifirn glacier, and traverse it a short distance to the rocks which lead up to the hut. 4 pitches of technical climbing lead to 3rd class scrambling, and the Mittellegi hut.
Climb the Mittellegi Ridge to the summit of the Eiger (3970m, 13021'), descend via the south ridge back to the Mönchsjochhütte, or via the west flank, to Kleine Scheidegg. Descend to Kleine Scheidegg or Grindelwald for the night.
Some Good Books on Mönch
Courtesy of Rahel Maria Liu:
2 books which have important information on the Mönch:
2. Erich Vanis
Im steilen Eis. Munich 1980.
to order at: online-buchvertrieb.de
Post your people pics here.