Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.10972°N / 7.86330°E
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 14196 ft / 4327 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

Nadelhorn 4327 m 

The position

Nadelhorn, with its 4327 m, is the third elevation of the Mischabel Chain, Pennine Alps, after Dom and Täschorn. It is very popular in the Saas Valley (in the Swiss district of Wallis) even if geographically it is closer to the Mattertal (Matter Valley), where its ridge continues toward. It is located and is the highest peak along the Nadelgrat ridge, which from the Lenzspitze heads towards the North-North-West and passing through five 4000 leads to the Dürrenhorn. It lies North of the Dom de Mischabel (4545 m) between the Lenzspitze (4249 m) and the Stecknadelhorn (4241 m) and it marks the point where the Nadelgrat ridge, from NW, joins the Windgrat, from NE - where the Ulrichshorn (3925 m) lies - and the SE ridge from the Lenzspitze.  It is also the Southernmost point of the triangular Riedgletscher, wherein its Northern part the Balfrin (3796 m) points out (just above the Bordierhutte) where the Mischabel Chain officially ends.

Nadelhorn
Nadelhorn


The shapes


Like the closer Lenzspitze, the Nadelhorn has a pyramidal look, with three smooth faces divided each-other by three aerial and sharp ridges. The North Face, completely icy, is the highest part of the previously told Riedgletscher.


The ridges

About the ridges: the North-East one, so-called “Windgrat”, is snowy, sweeter than the other two. It arrives, in its lowest point, at the Windjoch (3850 m) and than gains height again up to the Ulrichshorn (3925 m); the South-East one is steep, sharp and aerial, completely rocky (sometimes also in winter) and it links the Nadelhorn to the Lenzspitze, one of the most difficult mountains of the Group, allowing an amazing traverse; the North-West one is the most interesting: it presents many features of the Peuterey Ridge on Mont Blanc like very sharp steeples, cracks and vents, in fact it is constituted by a series of sharp peaks, everyone over 4000 meters, culminating in the Nadelhorn.

Nadelhorn and Lenzspitze
Nadelhorn and Lenzspitze

The complete ridge runs between the Nadelhorn and the Hohberghorn (4219m), with the steeple of the Stecknadelhorn (4241 m) in the middle, and other two sharp peaks, so-called “Zwillingen” of 4104 m and 4088 m, the first to the South and the second to the North of the Stecknadelhorn. This ridge allows different route quite difficult to difficult.

The Normal route 

Nadelhorn ascent - first daylight
Nadelhorn ascent
Snow slopes on Nadelhorn NE Ridge
Snow slopes on Nadelhorn NE Ridge

The normal route along the north-east ridge, rather airy and elegant, represents the classic ideal high-altitude itinerary which involves crossing a glacier not entirely trivial (especially in the first part) and climbing a beautiful, previously snowy ridge, then of rather broken rock, not difficult and almost completely devoid of objective dangers, but where one must always pay due attention. The climb requires good acclimatization to the high altitude. Given its relative ease, the route is very popular. The panorama extends from the nearby and imposing Dom and Lenzspitze, to the more distant Weisshorn, Cervino, Weissmies and the peaks of the Bernese Oberland.

 

 
The name

At last the name Nadelhorn comes, probably, from the German term for “needle” because the top of this peak, when it is viewed from South-West (Hohberggletscher) or North-East, appears pointed, but with a hole through the mountain directly below the summit resembling a needle. The hole is due to the conformation of the summit’s rocky plates.

The first ascent to the summit was carried out on 16 September 1858 by Franz Andenmatten, Baptiste Epiney, Aloys Supersaxo and J. Zimmermann.

Nadelhorn
Nadelhorn

Getting there

 

Sunrise and moonset
Sunrise and moonset

 

From Mattertal


The Mattertal Valley is easy to reach from any places of Switzerland and Italy too.
~ From Geneva drive along the A1 up to Losanne, then take the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp is suggested to leave the own car and take the cable-train up to Zermatt, or as arrived to Visp drive in the Valley up to Tasch (the last car allowed point) then take the train. 236 kms, 3 h.
~ From Bern take the A12 up to Montreaux, on the Geneva Lake, then the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp is suggested to leave the own car and take the cable-train up to Zermatt, or as arrived to Visp drive in the Valley up to Tasch (the last car allowed point) then take the train. 231 kms, 3 h.
~ from Italy as arrived to Aosta drive to north by the E27 – S27 road up to Martigny, where take the A9 up to Visp. In Visp is suggested to leave the own car and take the cable-train up to Zermatt, or as arrived to Visp drive in the Valley up to Tasch (the last car allowed point) then take the train. 180 kms, 2 h 50 m

Refuges of the Group could be reached with lift-ways from Randa (on the road to Zermatt) and Zermatt, like: Gasenried, Randa Alpin, Taschalp.

From Saastal


Also the Saas Valley is easy to reach, like Mattertal Valley you’ve to move up to Visp then Stalden where the Saas Valley divides itself Mattertal Valley.
~ From Geneva drive along the A1 up to Losanne, then take the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp move up to Stalden, then enter the Saastal and arrive to Saas Fee, where many lift-ways stations lie. 226 kms, 2 h 50 m.
~ From Bern take the A12 up to Montreaux, on the Geneva Lake, then the A9 up to Visp. Easy speedways. In Visp move up to Stalden, then enter the Saastal and arrive to Saas Fee, where many lift-ways stations lie. 222 kms, 2 h 50 m.
~ From Italy as arrived to Aosta drive to north by the E27 – S27 road up to Martigny, where take the A9 up to Visp. In Visp move up to Stalden, then enter the Saastal and arrive to Saas Fee, where many lift-ways stations lie. 162 kms, 2 h 30 m.

Main refuges of the Mischabel Group could be reached with lift-ways from Saas Fee, like: Langflue, Felskinn, Metrò Alpin to the Mittelallalinstation for the approaches to the main summits of the Group.

Routes

Nadelhorn route
Nadelhorn route

Nadelhorn is usually reached crossing the NE ridge, the Normal, with an easy but various and beautiful route in an icy environment. Very frequented is the Lenzspitze – Nadelhorn Traverse, even if this part represents only one of the easiest section, of the Mischabel Chain Great Traverse, from Taschhorn (moving from the Mischabeljoch Biwak) to the Bordierhutte – even if during year many climbers “opened” new combinations for this Traverse, like the briefer Dom - Lenzspitze - Nadelhorn.
A little frequented the NW ridge, or Nadelgrat by its classical route, in fact Nadelgrat, on its SW side, is much more frequented for many difficult and amazing tracks destined to free-climbing.

The first ascension of the Nadelgrat belongs to F. Andenmatten, B. Epiney, A. Supersaxo, J. Zimmermann – September 16 1858 by the NE ridge.

¤ WINDGRAT (NE ridge – Normal)
~ Start point
Mischabelhutte, m. 3329
~ End point
Nadelhorn, m. 4327
~ Type
not very steep route, sweet and elegant, well-marked, on easy rocks, ice (strong in September), possible snow, steep plates close to the end.
~ Difficult and inclination
mostly PD – incl. max.: 41°
~ 2 words about
The ascent of the normal route does not present major difficulties, if the conditions are good, but it is not a peak to be underestimated. Good training and basic experience in the use of crampons are required. No particular technical skills and technically not very difficult are required, but good training and basic experience in the use of crampons are required.

¤ LENZSPITZE TRAVERSE (SE ridge)
~ Start point
Lenzspitze, m. 4294
~ Endpoint
Nadelhorn, m. 4327
~ Type
Quite difficult rocky climb, exposed, windy, snowy-frames easy to trick.
~ Difficult and inclination
mostly AD+ – incl. max. 48°
also D- – passages of IV, III+ but with possibilities to trick those most difficult, in relationship with the rocks conditions.
~ Mischabel Chain Great Traverse
Mischabeljoch Biwak – (AD+) – Taschhorn – (D / D+) – Dom – (D+ / TD-) – Lenzspitze – (AD+ / D-) – Nadelhorn – (AD+) – Stecknadelhorn – (PD+) – Hohberghorn – (D / D+) – Durrenhorn – (AD+) – Bordierhutte,
or
Mischabeljoch Biwak – (AD+) – Taschhorn – (D / D+) – Dom – (D+ / TD-) – Lenzspitze – (AD+ / D-) – Nadelhorn – (AD+) – Durrenhorn – (AD+) – Bordierhutte.
~ 2 words about
It represents a classic example of summits-traverse. It is not difficult like the other part of the Mischabel Chain Great Traverse from the Mischabelhutte.

¤ NADELGRAT (NW ridge)
~ Start point
Bordierhutte, m. 2886
~ Endpoint
Nadelhorn, m. 4327
~ Type
Quite difficult rock climb, not very difficult cracks and vents on the Nadelgrat (properly called), friable rocks in the first part.
~ Difficult and inclination
AD+ - incl. max.: 47/49°
passages of III and III+
~ Mischabel Chain Great Traverse
Mischabeljoch Biwak – (AD+) – Taschhorn – (D / D+) – Dom – (D+ / TD-) – Lenzspitze – (AD+ / D-) – Nadelhorn – (AD+) – Stecknadelhorn – (PD+) – Hohberghorn – (D / D+) – Durrenhorn – (AD+) – Bordierhutte,
or
Mischabeljoch Biwak – (AD+) – Taschhorn – (D / D+) – Dom – (D+ / TD-) – Lenzspitze – (AD+ / D-) – Nadelhorn – (AD+) – Durrenhorn – (AD+) – Bordierhutte.
~ 2 words about
Itìs a beautiful and not very frequented route in its classical way.
Many climbers prefer the amazing combinations of the SW side of the Nadelgrat to try a series of free-climbs on friable Gneiss, up to 6b grade.

Huts and bivouacs

REFUGES
in order: name, height, location, municipal district, owner, refuge phone, beds (winter room those signalled with a +). Open in summer.

1. Mischabelhütte 3329 m, NE spur of the Lenzspitze, AAC Zurich, Tel.: (+41) 028.571317, 60 beds – reach it from Saas Fee (Saastal) with an easy path, then a via Ferrata in 3.30/4 hours, well marked, difficult: EEA

The Mischabel hutte
The Mischabel hütte

 

 

2. Bordierhütte 2886 m, Riedgletscher, CAS Geneva, Tel.: (+41) 028.561909, 50 beds – reach it from Gasenried (Mattertal) toward the Riedgletscher, marked track on ice with F difficult (use trad. equipment)

Ascent to Ulrichshorn from Bordier hut
Ascent to Ulrichshorn from Bordier hut

3. Domhütte 2940 m, Festigletscher, Sec. UTO of CAS, Tel.: (+41) 028.672634, 52+5 beds – reach it from Randa (Mattertal) with a steep path in 4 / 4.30 hours, difficult: E

Dom Hutte
Dom Hutte

 

 

BIVOUACS


in order: name, height, location, municipal district, owner. Open all year long.

1. MISCHABELJOCH BIWAK, m. 3860, Mischabeljoch, CAS Geneva, 30 beds – reach it by the W face of the Mischabel Chain, just South of the Taschhorn, mix and ice with PD+ difficult (use trad. equipment)

 

Ried Glacier

Huge glacier on Mishabels north side.

Villages

SAAS FEE
Village in the Canton of Valais (Wallis), Switzerland. 1809 inhabitants, 1803 meters height, in the Saas Valley
- Car traffic close
- Postale Code: 3920
- Dialling Code: (+41) 028-
- Tourist office, Tel.: (+41) 028.571457
- Informations:
saastal.ch
weissmies.ch
swiss railways
cable-cars, Tel.: 028.571414
lift-ways “Metrò Alpin”, Tel.: 028.572717
to sleep, Tel.: 289571440

ZERMATT
Village in the Canton of Valais (Wallis), Switzerland. 3548 inhabitants, 1616 meters height, in the Mattertal Valley
- Car traffic close
- Postale Code: 3920
- Dialling Code: (+41) 27-
- Tourist office, Tel.: (+41) 027.672828
- Informations: to the Tourist Office, tel.: 27.9668100,
e-mail
zermatt.ch
swiss railways
train Brig-Visp-Zermatt, Tel.: 027.672828

When to climb

Mountaineering: the best season is summer
Ski-mountaineering: spring  

The climbing is possible all year long, anyway, the mountain is usually frequented in spring and summer days from May to September, or up to October, by its three main routes. In winter days are well suggested the ski-mountaineering tours onto the Riedgletscher, starting from the Bordierhutte, but with good equipment it is possible to cross the normal route on the NE ridge. The Mischabel Great Ridge Traverse is crossed in sunny days of summer, with good and settled conditions, especially to avoid problems in the first part.

Mountain conditions

~ For the weather conditions go to the website:
GERMAN SERVICE FOR ALPS WEATHER CONDITIONS
~ For the snow/avalanches conditions go to the website:
SWISS SERVICE FOR AVALANCHE CONDITIONS

Red tape

There are no seasonal closures or necessary permits. It is quite important to say that Zermatt is unreachable by cars. Who wants to move in the Mattertal up to Zermatt must to leave the own car in Visp, or in the Stalden village and continue with train, the best way could be parking in Visp. The same for Saas Fee, but it is easier than Zermatt to be reached, cars can reach the village but they can’t move in it.

Meteo

Meteoswitzerland
Meteo Wallis

Bibliography + Links + Maps

This page is been developed following the:

CONTRIBUTORS
Zermatt city-hall
Saas Grund city-hall
TCI Touring Club Italiano – Italian Alps Costumers Service


BOOKS AND MAPS


CAR MAPS
Atlante automobilistico Italia settentrionale, 1:200000 – Touring Club Italiano, 1979
Route Planner Europe software, 1:96 – Sony Italia and TCI, 2000


TERRITORY MAPS – ROUTE MAPS
Walliser Alpen: Mischabel, No. 284, 1:50.000
Matterhorn – Monte Rosa – Mischabel, No. 5006, 1:50.000
CNS Zermatt and Mattertal, No. 1348, 1:25.000
CNS Saastal and Mischabel, No. 284 S, 1:50.000


BOOKS
Alpes Valaisannes. Du Strahlhorn au Simplon, vol. 4
Guida al Monte Rosa: Club Alpino Italiano, vol.1-2
Guida al Gruppo dei Mischabel: Club Alpino Italiano, vol.U
Manuale di alpinismo CAAI – Le Alpi Pennine, il Gruppo del Monte Rosa, i Mischabel

External Links



Children

Children

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.