Long but fascinating journey into an "Himalayan" environment. It's to be considered as a second "normal route", in addition to the famous ascent from the "Mittelaletsch bivak". Both very long.
However, the ascent from the "Oberaletschhütte", cannot be divided exactly in two days, due to the unconfortable position of the hut, awkward and backward from the moutain.
The first day a simple and panoramic paths from "Belalp" leads to the hut in 3.30h for more or less 9km. But the day after, climbers have to lose 100m to touch the base of the flat glacier, walk for few kilometers on it and then up for 1.700m to the top!
On the way back, climbers have to get back the 100m to the hut, carry on the path to "Belalp", as quickly as possible, to take the last cablecar at 8.00pm.
Tour absolutely recommended for people really trained and fast. Better to expand the route in 3 days, and spend a second night to the hut.
Anyway the effort is fully rewarded by the impressive scenario and the beauty of the surrounding mountains like the "Nesthorn" and "Schinhorn". And yet the awesome view from the summit towards the "Oberland" glaciers.
The route follow entirely the south west ridge and the approach to the mountain does not require special mountaineering techniques.
It takes place mostly on small ice slopes not very fractured, steep but short snow gullies and easy rocky ridges of reddish rock, not of good quality.
However, these features added to exposure, altitude and tiredness, make this climb a challenge not for beginners.
From the village of "Blatten" 1.327m, where is possible to leave the car, a cableway leads to the village of "Belalp" 2.094m (14 euro return).
Check the timetable, but it schould be open more or less from 8.00am to 8.00pm.
From the upstation, take the signal to "Oberaletschhütte" 4/5 hours. The path starts very wide and smooth crossing pastures and meadows until the "Hotel Belalp" 2.130m. From here the path lose 150 meters along steep grassy slope and points to the first morraines of the "Oberaletschgletscher".
Between the two morraines, an aerial bridge permits to cross over the creek and get on the second morraine on the opposite side of the glacier. photo
From this point, during the year 2005, a new path has been built along the flank of mount "Fusshorn".
The old itinerary, crossed the glacier untill the base of the hut. Today, this route is awkward and dangerous.
The new path, created with explosive charges, crosses steep rocky cliff with many up and down. From here the grandeur of the place begin to be visible. photo
After 3 or 4 hours, the hut is easily reached. 2.640m over the sea and 100m above the glacier.
Breackfast at 2.00am. Start walking in the darkness behind the refuge. A path takes to the edge of the cliff. Chains, cables and ladders take to the foot of the cliff in 15m. photo
The glacier is composed of brocken rocks and stones and the ice in the deep is not visible. In the begin many stone piles indicate the right way. (pay very attention to find out the stone piles, because miss the way in the darkness, means wander on the glacier for hours!!).