Ober Äschhorn / Unter Äschhorn

Ober Äschhorn / Unter Äschhorn

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 46.06052°N / 7.70730°E
Activities: Mountaineering
Season: Summer, Fall
Elevation: 12037 ft / 3669 m


Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornOber Äschhorn and towering Zinalrothorn as seen from Unter Äschhorn

Clearly standing in the shadow of its famous neighbours Zinalrothorn, Obergalbelhorn / Wellenkuppe, remote Schalihorn and – above all – Walliser Weißhorn, the twins of Ober Äschhorn and Unter Äschhorn are minor summits between these grand peaks. Nevertheless, give them a chance, you will be surprised.

Starting from Zinalrothorn summit, the southeast ridge drops down to point 3788 m and then splits up into two ridges. Follow the east ridge, it leads you to Ober Äschjoch, which has to be traversed during the ascent to Schalihorn, and to Ober Äschhorn, a fine summit high above Hohlichtgletscher. A rock and snowridge drops down to Unter Äschjoch and continues up to Unter Äschhorn.

SchalihornUnter Äschhorn
Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornDisappearing Äschhörner (view from Allalinhorn)

Furgghorn, Platthorn and the famous hiking summit Mettelhorn are the next summits to the east. Then there is this huge rockface from Mettelhorn (3408 m) dropping down to Zermatt (1707 m). An impressive landscape.

The ridge with the both Äschhörner divides Schalital and Hohlichtgletscher to the north from Trifttal / Triftchumme / In der Flue with Rothorngletscher and Triftgletscher to the south. To the west is the huge eastern rockface of Zinalrothorn. Looking to the north you will get the – in my opinion – most impressive view of Walliser Weißhorn. Plus you can study the difficult route to Schalihorn thoroughly – if you like to summit this interesting mountain.

Getting There

Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornÄschhörner / Zinalrothorn as seen from Mettelhorn
SchalihornÄschhörner as seen from Schali glacier

Trailhead for Äschhörner is Zermatt center.

  • From Lac Léman and surroundings follow highway number 9 to Sierre and road number 9 to Visp.

  • From Zürich region follow highway number 2 and road number 2 to Andermatt. Traverse Furkapass on road number 19 and follow road number 19 and 9 to Visp.
    Alternatively take highway number 2 and 8 to Sarnen, road number 4 to Meiringen and road number 6 via Grimselpaß to road number 19.

  • From Bregenz or Chur take highway 13 to Sargans and highway number 3 to exit Wollerau. Follow road number 8 and 2 to Altdorf and proceed to Andermatt, Furkapaß and Visp.

  • From the Lago Maggiore region take SS 33 to Domodossola and to Simplonpass. Road number 9 leads to Visp.

  • At Visp follow the signposts to Stalden, Sankt Niklaus, Randa and Täsch.

    Leave the car at Täsch parking areas. Take the shuttle train to Zermatt. Cars are not allowed to proceed from Täsch to Zermatt.

    Zermatt can easily be reached by train, too. The Matterhorn - Gotthart - Bahn is operating the regional railway net. Schedules, stations and the adjacent railway companies can be found here.

    Normal Route Overview

    Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornRoute overview

    The trailhead for Äschhörner is at Zermatt center, Bahnhofstraße in front of the post office. Follow Triftweg which branches off there. Hike up the trail to Alterhaupt inn and to Hotel du Trift (2337 m). I recommend a night in this private hut, combined with a hike to Mettelhorn, one of the “bellevues” of Zermatt.

    Follow then the trail up to Rothornhütte (3198 m).

    From Rothornhütte proceed to the northeast below the Eseltschuggen arête and onto Rothorngletscher. Don´t follow the tracks to the left, they are leading up to Zinalrothorn.

    Ascend on Rothorngletscher near its upper rim to the northeast and up to Unter Äschjoch (3554 m). Follow the snow ridge and some talus to the east and up to Unter Äschhorn.

    SchalihornClimbing the crux of Ober Äschhorn summit ridge
    SchalihornOber Äschhorn summit ridge

    For Ober Äschhorn turn left at Äschjoch and navigate round some rocks on their left / south side. The first part of the ridge are steep slabs (grade II) which can be climbed directly along the sharp ridge crest or right of it. There is a sling at the end of the slabs for abseiling. After that follow the east ridge with nice talus scrambling to the summit of Ober Äschhorn (3669 m).

    Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornÄschhörner as seen from Weißhorn east arete
    Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornSummit view from Unter Äschhorn
    Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornÄschhörner as seen from Weißhorn summit

    Red Tape & Accomodation

    Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornÄschhörner as seen from Weißhornhütte ascent

    There are, as far as I know, no special restrictions in this area.

    All parking areas require fees.

    You find Hotels, Bed & Breakfast, Tourist houses and campgrounds in and around

  • Zermatt

  • Täsch

  • Randa

  • Sankt Niklaus

  • Mountain huts for the summits are

  • Hotel du Trift(a private mountain hut)

  • Rothornhütte (swiss alpine club)

  • Gear & Mountain Conditions

    Ober Äschhorn / Unter ÄschhornFamous summit view from Unter Äschhorn

    Äschhörner are easy glacier mountains with no major difficulties.

    The glacier part from Rothornhütte to the Unter Äschjoch is not very steep but has crevasses. Beware of stones from the eastern rockfaces of Zinalrothorn !

    You need full glacier gear for the ascent / descent.

    Äschhörner are a summer and maybe autumn tour.

    Maps & Guide Books

    Ober Äschhorn / Unter Äschhorn"Best view" of Weißhorn from Ober Äschhorn

    The best map is

  • Landeskarte der Schweiz, scale 1 : 25.000
    2515 Zermatt, Gornergrat, Zusammensetzung
    Bundesamt für Landestopographie, Wabern

  • The main guidebooks, available in German, are

  • B. Banzhaf, H. Biner, V. Theler: SAC Clubführer Matterhorn / Dent Blanche / Weißhorn; vom Col Collon zum Theodulpass
    Schweizer Alpenclub 2010

  • Michael Waeber
    Gebietsführer Walliser Alpen
    Bergverlag Rudolf Rother

  • In this guidebook the ascent to Unter Äschjoch and Ober Äschhorn is mentioned as part of the ascent route to Schalihorn. Unter Äschhorn is not mentioned in this guide book.