The Nadelgrat is a fantastic climbing route with 4 (or 5) peaks over 4000 m: the Dürrenhorn (4034 m), the Hohberghorn (4219m), the Stecknadelhorn (4241 m), and the Nadelhorn (4327 m). (People sometimes count also the Lenzspitze, 4294m, as part of the Nadelgrat, compare below route variante no. 2 according to Waeber). It is a classic alpine route. You can climb this ridge in both directions:
1. FROM THE BORDIERHÜTTE:
II, maybe III at the Nadelhorn-gendarm, ice till 45°, 12 h, 1640 hm (Waeber)
- Bordierhütte - Hohbergjoch/Dürrenjoch: ice till 45°, 4 h, G 6, 1040 hm (ascent also possible: new rock climbing route with fixed bolts on the right side of the ice couloir; infos about this route at the Mischabelhütten)
- Hohbergjoch/Dürrenjoch - Hohberghorn: II, ice and snow, 1 1/2 h, G 7, 300 hm ascent
- Hohberghorn - Stecknadelhorn: II (passages), ice and snow, 1 1/4 h, G 7, 70 hm descent, 100 hm ascent
- Stecknadelhorn - Nadelhorn: II (passages), ice and snow, 1 h, G 6, 120 hm descent, 200 hm ascent
- Nadelhorn - Windjoch: I, ice and snow, 1 1/4 h, G 4, 480 hm descent
- Windjoch - Bordierhütte: 2 1/2 h, G 2, 960 hm descent
2. FROM THE MISCHABELHÜTTEN:
IV- (at Lenzspitze and Nadelhorn), ice till 45° (descent), 12 h, 1580 hm (Waeber)
- Mischabelhütte - Lenzspitze (NE-ridge): IV- (passages), snow and ice, 4 1/2 h, G 6, 970 hm ascent
- Lenzspitze -Nadelhorn: III, snow and ice, 2-3 h, G 6, 80 hm descent, 110 hm ascent
- Nadelhorn - Stecknadelhorn: II (passages), snow and ice, 3/4 h, G 6, 210 descent, 120 hm ascent
- Stecknadelhorn - Hohberghorn: II (passages), snow and ice, 1 h, G 7, 100 hm descent, 70 hm ascent
- Hohberghorn - Hohbergjoch/Dürrenjoch: II, snow and ice, 1 h, G 7, 300 hm descent
- Hohbergjoch/Dürrenjoch - Windjoch: ice till 45 °, 1 1/2 h, G 6, 380 hm descent, 310 hm ascent (descent also possible: new rock climbing route with fixed bolts to abseil down on the leftt side of the ice couloir)
- Windjoch - Mischabelhütte: 1 h, G 2, 520 hm descent
3. FROM THE MISCHABELHÜTTEN:
Without Lenzspitze. Instead of Lenzspitze NE-ridge to the Nadelhorn (Stecknadelhorn - Hohberghorn - Hohbergjoch/Dürrenjoch - Windjoch - Mischabelhütten):
- III- (passages), mostly II and I, AD, 1300 hm, 7-9h (Mischabelhütten-Dürrenhorn), (Dumler)
- ZS, III, 9-11 h (for Dürrenhorn, Hohberghorn, Stecknadelhorn), (Biner)
1. To the Nadelgrat:
a. You can come from the Mischabelhütten
b. You can come from the Bordierhütte
2. To the Mischabelhütten:
You reach the hut from Saas Fee in 4 h (on foot, 1540 hm). From Saas Fee, you go on the marked way (sign at the church) in western direction to the end of the Torrentbach. You traverse an avalanche barrier by a tunnel. You ascent over the bridge and zigzag via Trift and Schönegge to the end of the ridge which comes down from the Distelhorn to the SW (P. 2448,6m, 1 3/4 h). The wa goes up further to P. 2688m and the S-flank of the Distelhorn to the foot of the Fallglacier, about 3000m (1 1/4h). Clear signs show the way through rock, which you climb northern above the Fallglacier. Via a rock rib, you reach in zigzag the hut (1 h).
If you use the cable car to Hannigalp, the ascent takes 3/4 h less. After an horizontal traverse to the Torrentbach, you go up below the Distelhorn E-flank to Schönegge, where you meet the route, described above. (3-3,5 h, 1030 hm). Pay attention at the beginning at the summit station of the cable car: Interpret the sign to the Mischabelhütten correctly and do not turn right and do not go up, but keep on the main road/way which goes horizontally at the beginning!
You reach Saas Fee (1790m) with car or bus from Visp/Brig. Saas Fee is a modern holiday village, surrounded by many 4000m mountains and huge glaciers. You are not allowed to drive by car through the village. You must park at the main parking place at the entrance to the village.
Brig is the main city of the upper Wallis and the junction of the trains:
b. Furka-Oberalppass (Andermatt/Disentis, Glacierexpress)
d. Lake of Geneva-Milano
In Brig, many busses arrive as well:
You reach Visp/Brig by car:
a. from the West: From Geneva (airport) on the A1 to Lausanne, on the A9 via Montreux, Martigny and Sion to Sierre. From Sierre the road no. 9 with direction to Brig. But at Visp, you turn already right to the S with directin to the Saaser valley. In Stalden, you turn left and leave the Zermatter valley to the right. Here, the Saaser valley beginns. Via Saas Baalen and Saas Grund, you reach Saas Fee.
b. from the North: from Bern on the A6 to Spiez, from here the road to Kandersteg, at Kandersteg, you drive your car on a train and go by train through a tunnel; end of the tunnel: Goppenstein; you continue the road to the S and reach the main road from Sierre. On the crossroad, you turn left (E) and reach Visp. From here, continue as route a.
c. from the East: from Bregenz on the A13 to Chur; turn off at Reichenau and continue the road no. 19 to Brig/Visp via Flims - Sedrun - Andermatt - Gletsch - Fiesch. From Visp, continue as described in a.
d. from the South: either from Como on the A2 via Bellinzona to Airollo, then road no.2 till Hospental and here to the left on the road no. 19 to Brig/Visp or from Arona till the end von the A26 and then the E62 via Domodóssola to Brig.
3. To the Bordierhütte:
You reach the hut from Gasenried in 4 h (1230m) and from St. Niklaus in 5 h (1740hm). You have to traverse a glacier which is marked in summer by poles.
From Gasenried, you go on the road to the chapel of Schalbettu, on the way over the Riedbach and zigzag through the forest to the moraine of Alpja (2099m). On the moraine crest, you go the way up to 2500m where you reach the glacier. You do not enter the glacier, but go up to the SW, zigzag the hang up till you reach 2700m by a traverse. Here you descent to the glacier (sign) and traverse this glacier to the E to the moraine. You traverse the moraine below the hut. On the other side (signs) you got to the hut. For the descent: the beginning of the way after the glacier is marked clearly. This is the ascent also in winter. If the conditions are good, you can also go from the summit station Seetalhorn via the ski-run and the hangs of the Riedberg to the glacier. But you have to pay attention to the traverse of the moraine!
You reach Gasenried via a small road from St. Niklaus. St. Niklaus is located in the middle of the Mattertal. You can go there by car, bus or train from Visp/Brig. If you come by car from Visp, turn right at Stalden and leave the Saasertal to your left. To Visp/Brig as described above.
1. MISCHABELHÜTTEN (3329 m):
The Mischabelhütten are situated on a rockrib, which separates the Hohblamglacier from the little Fallglacier. Since 1975 there exists a new bigger hut above the old one, which still keeps beds. From the huts you have a wonderful view to Saas Fee and the Weissmiesgroup.
(According to Waeber:)
- 120 beds from June to October
- 60 beds in the old hut from November to May (open)
- serviced from June to October
- phone: ++41/27/9571317
- internet: Mischabelhütten
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- in 4 hours from Saas Fee on foot, 1540 hm (you can take the cable car from Saas Fee to Hannigalp, 2340m, then 3/4 h less on foot)
- to Saas Fee by bus or car from Brig (trainstation)
2. BORDIERHÜTTE (2886 m):
The Bordierhütte is situated above the Riedglacier.
(According to Waeber:)
- 43 beds
- serviced July till middle of September
- winter room open all the year
- phone: ++41(0)27/9561909
- Internet: Bordierhütte
- from Gasenried in 4 h on foot (1230 hm), from St. Niklaus in 5 h (1740 hm)
- from the cable car station Seetalhorn (2870 m), the ground station of which is in Grächen, in 3 1/2 h, on the Färichpfad.
Good and cheap tourist camp for example in Saas Grund: