Obergabelhorn (Ober Gabelhorn)

Obergabelhorn (Ober Gabelhorn)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 45.73686°N / 7.80029°E
Elevation: 13330 ft / 4063 m


Obergabelhorn and Wellenkuppe from NE (19.8.2004) - Photo by om

In memory of
Rahel Maria Liu, the former maintainer of this page. Rahel died on the Innominata Spur to Mont Blanc in a snowstorm on August 24th, 2004.

SunriseObergabelhornCoeur RidgeGood View from EEvening-light

Obergabelhorn - a peak between famous mountains of the Pennine Alps

    This peak is situated between more famous mountains like Weisshorn, Matterhorn and Zinal Rothorn. Ober Gabelhorn ascent gives nice views
    on such known mountains.

    Ober Gabelhorn (4063 m) is considered to be one of the nicest Valais mountains.
    There is no really easy way to the summit. The easiest (but long) way from the Rothornhütte is AD (Thanks to om).

    The Obergabelhorn has very steep flanks to each side. The smooth ice face to the north is very impressive. The S Face is a pure rock face. It is one of the very few rock faces in the Walliser Alps which one can recommend.

    From the summit, one has a wonderful view of the Matterhorn with its N Face. Here a view of the North Side of Obergabelhorn with its steep and icy North Face, watched from the Rothornhut on August 12, 2003 (Photo by Rahel Maria Liu).

ObergabelhornThe moon above the Coeurgrat and the North Face of Obergabelhorn

    The way to the summit: Four ridges are more secure, since they have less danger of rock- and icefall.

    The SW Ridge - Arben Ridge - provides great rock climbing possibilities. The NE Ridge to the Wellenkuppe is a mixed route. The SE Ridge is not very difficult. The NW Ridge - Coeur Ridge - is only in the upper, snowy part really interesting.

Historical notes

    First ascent: A. W. Moore, H. Walker with J. Anderegg, on 6. July 1865 (M. Vaucher, p. 146).

Routes Overview

Routes to the Summit of Obergabelhorn - Photos by RoyD - as/Antonio Giani - Rahel Maria Liu - olijacob and Bart

ENE RidgeWSW RidgeNW/Coeur RidgeN FaceS Face/Arben R

    ENE Ridge - Normal Route from the Rothornhütte (3198 m):
                  Wellenkuppe 3903 m), Grand Gendarm (3870 m), Obergabelhorn (4063 m)
                  ZS, III+, 4,5 h (Biner , 231)
                  250 hm, G 7, III- (1 passage), I and II near the summit; the rest ice till 50° 4,5-5h from Rothornhütte (Waeber, 434)

                  Photos by RoyD - JanG - kiss istván - alejandro - as/andrea.it - corvus - ChristophGeisler

                  TopENE RidgeAscentRothornHTopDescentRidgeN SideRidge

    WSW Ridge - Ascent from Arben Bivouac (3224 m):
                  ZS, III+, 3,5 h (Biner, 238)
                  G 6, III+ (short passage), II and I, 2,5 - 3 h, 500 hm, very good rock (Waeber,434)

                  Photos by as/Antonio Giani - as/Cyrill - as - Chandra - Cyrill

                  from NWArbenRApproachE SummitArbenRBivouacRidge

                  ZS, III, 5 h, danger of rockfall ( Biner, 236 )
                  G 7, III+, ice till 50°, 5-6 h, 1170 hm, in the upper third beautiful firn ridge (Waeber, 438)

                  Photos by Rahel Maria Liu - mvs/alpinpete - Huberschwiller - hansw - Hiltrud Liu - kiss istván - EricChu - Mathias Zehring

                  SummitMountet HCoeur-Gratfrom ZinalN SideAlpenglowNW Ridge

    N Face - Normal Route from Cabane du Mountet:
                  Impressive iceface - steepness 55° in the average, at the end steeper, 450 hm. 1250 hm from the hut (Waeber, 439)
                  S, danger of rockfall, 6 h from the Mountet Hut (Biner, 238)

                  Photos by olijacob - Frank - Cyrill - marco979 - Michael Prittwitz - risch - kiss istván - mamo

                  AscentSummitN FaceN SideSunriseNorth WallStorm

    S Face - Several routes through the S Face, the easiest one:
                  IV, G 7, good rock, very little danger of rockfall (Waeber, 439)
                  S, IV+, 5 h (Biner, 240)

                  Photos by Bart - om - Bart - Diego Sahagún - Henk van den Akker - Cyrill - as - Pierre smeters

                  ArbenRClimbViewSouth FaceSummitAbseilingRidge

Thanks to om

    Normal Route (Wellenkuppe [3 h] and NE Ridge [3 h]): AD-
    NW Ridge (Heart Ridge): AD
    WSW Ridge (Arben Ridge): AD
    SE Ridge (Gabelhorngrat): AD
    S Face: AD
    N Face: D+

* Climber's Logs

Getting There


To the Obergabelhorn:

    You can come from the Rothornhütte (3198 m).

    You can come from the Cabane du Mountet (2886 m).

To the Rothornhütte (3198 m):

    You reach the hut in 4,5 hours from Zermatt (1580 hm). You reach the Berghaus Trift (2337 m) in 2 hours from Zermatt. The best way is if you follow the sign in the center of the village. You go over grass to Bodmen and on the northern side of the Triftbach to the Triftschlucht.

    The way goes through it and to a bridge to the S side. In zigzag you go up to the hotel Edelweiss and the way along the Triftbach, pass it then and climb up to the Trifthaus along the northern side of the stream.
    Then you go further up along the stream and reach Vieliboden. You go up to the moraines of the Triftglacier and along the left/northern moraine
    in zigzag to the Rothornhütte. 2,5 h from Trift.

You reach Zermatt (1616 m)

    with car or bus from Visp/Brig and by train from Täsch.

    Zermatt is well-known in the whole world as one center of the Walliser Alps.

    You are not allowed to drive your car in the village.

Brig is the main city of the upper Wallis and the junction of the trains:

    Bern - Lötschberg - Simplon - Domodossola
    Furka - Oberalppass (Andermatt/Disentis, Glacierexpress)
    Brig - Visp - Zermatt
    Lake of Geneva - Milano

In Brig, many busses arrive as well:


You reach Visp/Brig by car:
    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 in direction of Brig. But at Visp, you turn already right to the S in directin of the Saaser valley. In Stalden, you turn right and leave
    the Saaser valley to the left. Here, the Matter Valley begins. Via St. Niklaus, Randa and Täsch, you reach Zermatt.

    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 discribed.

    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.

    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 of the A26 and then the E62 via Domodóssola to Brig.

* View of Obergabelhorn at Sunset - Photo by EricChu

Wellenkuppe and Obergabelhorn in the last of the evening pink

To the Cabane du Mountet (2886m):

    You reach the hut from Zinal on the E route (4 1/2 h, 1250 hm, 9 km): From the parking place at the South end of Zinal, you cross a bridge
    and follow the road on the western side of the Navisence to the S till it goes up. You keep on the road which goes up to the alphut Le Vichiesso
    (1862 m). Shortly afterwards, you turn right to the new Mountet hut way. You go the road down to the left, traverse the stream of the glacier end
    (Zinal glacier) on a bridge. You reach the turn off to the Tracuit hut and Ar Pitetta hut (1,5 h). You take the right way and go up zigzag in SE
    direction, traverse the western hangs of the Besso above the breaks of the Zinal glacier. You turn around the Besso SW ridge via a rock zone below
    P. 3052m. In SE direction, you reach the hut via lumps of rocks.

    You reach the hut from Zinal on the W route (4 1/2 h, 1350 hm, 9 km). From the parking place at the South end of Zinal, you cross a bridge and follow the road on the western side of the Navisence to the S till it goes up. You keep on the road which goes up to the hut Le Vichiesso (1862 m). Here, you leave the way and go up to the Petit Mountet hut (2 h). The new way goes up over the hangs of the Pgne de la Le, around a rock zone at about 2550 m. Then you go down and reach the falling line of the Bouquetins-O-rib which leads to the Zinal glacier via the break.

    You traverse the glacier in SE direction and go up on the orographically right side. You leave it at P. 2652 m and go up to the hut over the W
    hang. The ski ascent goes over the whole Zinal glacier. Pay attention to avalanches from the flanks if there is much sunshine!

    You reach Zinal from Sierre (28 km) by bus or car via Vissoie and Ayer (Val d'Anniviers).

    To Sierre from Sion (491m) in the West of Visp/Brig in the East.

* Looking south from the summit of Zinalrothorn - Matterhorn, Wellenkuppe and Obergabelhorn - Photo by hansw

North Side


* Obergabelhorn - Photos by Mc Bojan, KoenVI, om, Antonio Giani and marco979

West SideEast SideObergabelhornSouth SideN Face from Cab. de Tracuit

Rothornhütte (3198 m)

The Rothornhütte is situated at the foot of Eseltschuggen, at the end of the SE Ridge of the Zinalrothorn, and on the left side of the Trift glacier.

      90 beds
      winter room with 10 beds
      guarded: from midd-July to mid-September
      phone: ++41(0)27/9672043

Cabane du Mountet (2886 m)

Cabane du Mountet is situated right above the glacier de Zinal, the lowest end of the Blanc-de-Moming SW ridge.

      127 beds
      winter room with 50 beds
      guarded: from March to May and from July to September
      phone: ++41(0)27/4751431
      internet: Cabane du Grand Mountet

      Summits to climb from the hut:
        Besso (3668 m), Zinalrothorn (4221 m), Trifthorn (3728 m),
        Ober Gabelhorn (4063 m), Dent Blanche (4357 m), Grand Cornier (3962 m),
        Äschhörner (3618 m), Mettelhorn (3406 m), Schalihorn (3974 m)

Arben Bivouac (3224 m)

The Arben Bivouac is situated in a valley on the S side of Obergabelhorn.

Thanks to om:

    Cabane du Mountet (2886 m) SAC hut
      situation: SW of Zinalrothorn
      how to go there: Rhône valley - Sierre - Mission - Ayer - Zinal
      how to climb there:

      1. Zinal - Le Vichiesso - Pont sur la Navisence - Grépon: 5h
      2. Zinal - Le Vichiesso - Petit Mountet - Plan des Lettres - Glacier de Zinal: 5 h

    Rothornhütte (3198 m) SAC
      situation: S of Rothorn

      how to go there: Rhône valley - Visp - Stalden - Täsch P; by train to Zermatt
      how to climb there: Zermatt - Triftbach - Vieliboden: 4.30 h

* Panoramic View from Zinalrothorn Photo by Rahel Maria Liu


* Obergabelhorn - NW Face - Picture taken from above Zinal:
    Bishhorn (4135m), Tête de Millon (3693m), Weisshorn Grand Gendarm (4331m), Weisshorn (4506m), Schalihorn (3955m, 3974m), Points de Moming (north 3863m, south 3963m), Zinalrothorn (4221m), Besso (3658m, 3668m), Wellenkuppe (3903m) and Obergabelhorn (4063m) - (Photos by hansw)

NW Face of Obergabelhorn



    There is a Campingplace in Zermatt or in the other villages in the valley.


* The fragile W Summit of Obergabelhorn - Down below, in the red circle, the Arbenbiwak (Photos by as, 2009)

Schweizer Landeskarten:

    1:25000 no. 1327 Evolène

    1:25000 no. 1328 Randa

    1:50000 no. 5006 Matterhorn-Mischabel


* Val d'Anniviers Map - Photo by Whitesail

UKC - Obergabelhorn

4000er Karte

* GOOGLE MAP Weisshorn Group - Obergabelhorn (Ober Gabelhorn) - Photo from Antonio Giani


    Banzhaf/Biner/Burgener, Alpinführer Walliser Alpen 4/5, Vom Theodulpass zum Simplon (2009).

    Helmut Dumler/Willi P. Burkhardt, The High Mountains of the Alps.

    Hermann Biner, Hochtouren im Wallis. Vom Trient zum Nufenenpass. 2nd ed. 1996. ISBN 3-859022-160-5.

    HelmutDumler/Willi P Burkhardt, Viertausender der Alpen. 11th ed. Munich 1998. ISBN 3-7633-7427-2.

    Michel Vaucher, Walliser Alpen. Die 100 schönsten Touren. 2nd ed. Munich 1990. ISBN 3-7654-2124-3.

    Erich Vanis, Im steilen Eis. 80 Eiswände in den Alpen. Munich et al. 1980. ISBN 3-405-12158-2.

    Michael Waeber, Walliser Alpen. DAV-Gebietsführer. 12th ed. Munich 1999. ISBN 3-7633-2416-X.

    Clubführer Walliser Alpen, Vol. II, Verlag Swiss Alpine Club.

Link - MountainArea

* Sunrise - view of Pollux, Breithorn, Matterhorn, Obergabelhorn, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn (Photo by Rahel Maria Liu)

Panorama 1

Panorama 2

Aiguille Verte at www.4000er.de

Pennine Alps by Air Overview II - Photo by Diggler
    * Matterhorn - Dent Blanche - Obergabelhorn - Zinalrothorn - Weisshorn (Photo by Hiltrud Liu)

Google Map

* Google Map - Photo from markhallam

* Obergabelhorn