N ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.93910°N / 7.76960°E
Additional Information Route Type: Basic Snow/Glacier Climb
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: ZS / AD
Sign the Climber's Log


The Pollux N ridge is a classical, not so difficult, uncommon route to this summit. There are only a few parties climbing this route, so this is a very nice but because of the length of the route somewhat demanding way to climb this mountain. It's very much better then to start at the cable car to "kleines Matterhorn", following the crowds.


Start at the Monte Rosa Hütte. First follow the regular descent route of the hut down to the Grenzgletscher. When you reach the Grenzgletscher do not follow the marked path back to the Gornergrat. Instead turning left (W) and crossing the whole Grenzgletscher brings you to the base of the so called "Schwärze", a flank below the Pollux. Scrambling up the flank passing a nice lake leads to secondary glacier.

Follow this ice flank up to a snow saddle (3282 m) below the "kleiner Pollux" (3306 m), called "First Saddle". About 3 hours from Monte Rosa Hütte.

Route Description

From the first snow saddle described above, the route in general follows the N-ridge of the Pollux. There are two other prominent snow saddels, the "Second Saddle" at 3630m (south below point 3660m) and the "Third Saddle" at 3810 m (south of point 3817m).

The crux is to reach the "Second Saddle". Between first and second saddle there is a steep, most time icy step (about 45°) with some crevasses. This step brings you up to the point 3660m and to the second saddle.

From there an easy snow crest leads up to the third saddle below the final part of the pollux summit. Following the snow and ice flank (sometimes BIG crevasses) brings you up to the summit.

It may take about 7 hours from the Monte Rosa Hütte to the summit.


Go down the regular route to Schwarztor (ZS-, 1,5 hours). From the Schwarztor there are several possibilities.
- go down SW to the Rifugio Guide della Val d'Ayas
- go to the Schwarztor-bivy (Bivacco Rossi e Volante, most time crowded)
- descent to the cable car (kleines Matterhorn), if you descent after the route to the cable car, the route will take about 11 hours.

Essential Gear

ice axe, crampons, rope, 2-3 ice screws

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Frank - Dec 31, 2004 1:12 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

On November 8th, 2004 I descended with a friend the easy route from Schwarztor over the N-side aside of the Schwärzegletcher to the Gornergletcher. We noticed that the route became more difficult because of melting glaciers. Just before the second snow sattle as seen from the Gornergletcher, the route becomes pretty steep (up to 45 degrees). This could lead to some serious problems in summer when the snow has melted.

(Route 196a in Clubführer Walliser Alpen 4)

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