Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 46.19500°N / 7.91016°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Ice Climbing, Big Wall, Mixed, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 15200 ft / 4633 m
Sign the Climber's Log


From Col du Grand Ferret to Simplon pass
this is the main collection of high summits in the whole Alps
the range is oriented W-E in its first part (till the M.Rosa) than changes toward N.


Monte Rosa
Monte Rosa

Some thoughts about the grouping structure of this big range ...

dissecting, using a detailed map (and trying to get out my memories) the structure of Pennine Alps, there could be some more well-defined groups ...
the whole range could be divided, for better understanding, into 3 sections :


western section

from col Ferret to the Tète Blanche :
south of the watershed

  • in the big area between the Val Ferret, the G.S.Bernardo and the Val d'Aosta we have at least 2 groups, divided each other by the Comba di Vertosan.
  • between the Valpelline and the Valtournanche we have at least 2 distinct groups, Cian and Chateau des Dames, another one should be the Faroma, but we can join them all in one big group
  • Velan and Testa di By can be considered as 1 group and, forgetting the Col du Sonadon we could also join them with the Grand Combin ... is very hard to join to them also the range Rayette-Blanchen-Collon that, geographically are well distinct each other
    north of the watershed
  • Arolla-Chelion-Ruinette : the glacier d'Otemma is a good border for them :)

    central section

    from Tète Blanche to the Col del Lys
    why the Tète Blanche ? ... easy ! That summit is the starting point of the big ridge going to Weisshorn and dividing the Val d'Herens and the Val de Zinal from the Mattertal (Zermatt), so, here we have,
    north of the main watershed, 1 big ridge going toward NE, the Weisshorn group (starting with the Dent Blanche), all those ones that have made the high route Chamonix-Zermatt well know this key point
    on the watershed
  • Dent d'Herens and Matterhorn can be considered a single group ... no crossing here till the Theodul Pass.
  • no doubt about considering all in one the big Monte Rosa, from Theodul Pass till the Passo di Monte Moro as a unique group
    south of the watershed ... there should be at least 3 more subgroups :
  • the Gran Tournalin, along the ridge descending toward south from the Gobba di Rollin and dividing the Val Tournanche (Cervinia) from the Val d'Ayas
  • the Testa Grigia, descending from Castore toward south and dividing the Val d'Ayas from the Val di Gressoney
  • the Corno Bianco range, descending from Pyramide Vincent and dividing the Val di Gressoney from the Valsesia

    northern section

    of the range is quite easy to be defined, ranges are well distinct by deep valleys and go down to the bottom of the Wallis ... so we can identify, here, the 2 main groups
  • Mischabel, between the Mattertal (W and S) and the Saastal (N and E)
  • Weismiess, between the Saastal and Simplonpass valley

    here we have the main groups :

    Grande Rochere - Grand Golliaz group
    Fallere group
    Grand Combin
    Collon - Tète Blanche
    Dent d'Herens - Matterhorn
    Chateau des Dames group
    Monte Rosa group
    Grand Tournalin
    Testa Grigia
    Corno Bianco
    Mischabel group
    Monte Moro range
    Weissmies group

    Getting There

    from Italy - south side - Val d'Aosta and Piemonte NE
    from Switzerland - Wallis

    Labeled panos from the plane
    Pennine Alps by air overview (I/II)- labeled
    click here to read the labels
    Pennine Alps by air overview (II/II)- labeledclick here to read the labels

    Grande Rochere - Grand Golliaz group

    first group of this main ridge is the Grand Golliaz
    delimited by the Val Ferret (NW), the val del Gran S.Bernardo (E) and the Val d'Entremont (NE) with its main summits :
  • Grande Rochère (3326m)
  • Gran Golliaz (3237m)
  • Aiguille de Leisasse (3013m)
  • Mont Fourchon (2902m)
  • Pointe de Drône (2949m)

    Fallere group

    south of this first group, entirely belonging to Val d'Aosta, the
    Fallere group
    delimited by the Comba di Pianavalle (W), the main Val d'Aosta (S) and the valle del Gran San Bernardo (NE) with its main summits :
  • Testa di Serena (2830m)
  • Fallère (3071m)
  • Punta Leissé (2771m)
  • Punta Valletta (2801m)
  • Monte Rosso di Vertosan (2943m)

    Velan group

    East of Gran San Bernardo pass the ridge rises with the the huge massif of Velan
    delimited by the Val del Gran San Bernardo (SW), the Val d'Entremont (NW), the Valpelline (S) and the Col du Sonadon (3504m) (N)
  • Mont Velan (3734m)
  • Tète de By (3588m)
    with a lot of minor summits rising upon its 4 ridges

    Grand Combin

    after (N) of the Grande Téte de By, entirely in Switzerland, the first very important group :
    Grand Combin (4314m)
    between the Val d'Entremont (W) and the Val de Bagnes (E)

    Gelè group

    the Fènetre Durand, on its SE ridge is the starting point of the group of Gelè
    between the Fenétre Durand (W), the Val de Bagnes and the Glacièr d'Otemma (N), the Valpelline (SSE) and the Col de Créte Sèche (E)
  • Gelè (3518m)
  • Becca di Faudery (3301m)
  • Mont Morion (3487m)
  • the rocky ridge, toward SE, of the Aroletta
  • Mont Clapier (3434m)
  • Punta Fiorio (3332m)
    and many minor summits

    Rayette group

    toward East, on the main ridge, the group of Rayette
    between the Glacier d'Otemma (NW) and the Valpelline (SE), ending to the Col d'Otemma
  • Rayette (3529m)
  • Aouille Tseucca (3524m)

    Ruinette - Chelion - Arolla

    north of the Glacier d'Otemma, entirely in Switzerland, the important group of Ruinette-Chelion-Arolla
  • La Ruinette (3875m)
  • Arolla (3796m)
  • Cheilon (3870m)


Panoramic Pennine alps
Panoramic Pennine alps


Collon - Tète Blanche

now, on the main watershed, the group Blanchen (3680m) - Collon (3637m)
then the main ridge goes toward west with the Mont Brulè (3691m) and arrives to the Tète Blanche (3724m)
Near the Mont Brulè the Punta Marcel Kurz (3496m) wherefrom starts the important ridge of Vannetta

Weisshorn group

herefrom, toward North the very important group of Weisshorn group
starting with the


Panorama Mont Blanc - Matterhorn - Weisshorn
Panorama Mont Blanc - Matterhorn - Weisshorn


Dent d'Herens - Matterhorn

while, toward west the ridge rises with the

  • Dent d'Hèrens (4171m)
  • Matterhorn - Cervino (4478m), the all over the world most famous summit
    the ridge falls down to the Theodul Pass, the starting point of the big Monte Rosa Group.

Chateau des Dames group

From the Dent d'Herens, a ridge, toward South, hosts the remarkable summits of


Petit and Gran Murailles
Petit and Gran Murailles

Monte Rosa group

Starting from Theodul Pass the main watershed grows immediatly with the big massif of Monte Rosa
the first (secondary) summits toward East are the Klein Matterhon (3883m) and the Gobba di Rollin (3902m) then, going toward East,

  • Breithorn (4161m) one of the most popoular mountains of the Alps, with its 4 summits
  • Pollux (4092m) and Castor (4226m), the "twins"
    Just East of these summits the first very important (twin) summit of the group, the
  • Liskamm (4527m).

    East of them, after the Colle del Lys, the high massif of Monte Rosa (4634m) with its very high ridge hosting 9 summits over 4000m..

    From the first of the 4 higher summits of M.Rosa, the Signalkuppe (Punta Gnifetti) the ridge goes down toward East with some "minor" summits:
  • Cima Tre Amici (3727m)
  • Punta Grober (3497m)
    wherefrom, toward East starts a long, secondary ridge starting with the
  • Pizzo Bianco (3215m)
    while toward South another minor ridge hosting only one "important" mountain: the
  • Monte Tagliaferro (2964m)

    After the "last" summit of M.Rosa, the Nordend, the ridge goes down to some "minor" summits:
  • Jagerhorn (3939m)
  • Piccolo Fillar (3552m)
  • Gran Fillar 3675m)
  • Cima di Iazzi (3804m)
    wherefrom starts another important group
the Ridge N of Monte Rosa - pano
the Ridge N of Monte Rosa - pano

Grand Tournalin

this range starts, toward south, from the Gobba di Rollin and goes down dividing the Val Tournanche (Cervinia) from the Val d'Ayas

Testa Grigia

descending from Castore toward south and dividing the Val d'Ayas from the Val di Gressoney

Corno Bianco

this is a very important long ridge descending from Pyramide Vincent and dividing the Val di Gressoney from the Valsesia - it starts from the well known Col d'Olen (2881m)

  • Corno Rosso (3023m)
  • Punta di Straling (3115m)
  • Corno Grosso (3042m)
  • Corno Bianco (3320m)
  • Punta delle Pisse (3020m)
  • Punta della Croce (2615m)
    and a very long ridge going down, with many minor summits, to the Alpi Biellesi


Mischabel group
that can be considered made by two parts, the southern one, lower and relatively flat that hosts the


Mischabel Group - Pennine Alps
Mischabel Group - Pennine Alps

North of this ridge the higher part of the group with its huge steep summits:


Rimpfischhorn, Matterhorn & Dom
Rimpfischhorn, Matterhorn & Dom


Monte Moro

Going back to the main watershed ... after the Cima di Iazzi the ridge goes down to the "Weisstor" (a pass joining the Findelengletscher and the Scwharzenberg gletscher) and turns toward East passing some fine but not important summits :

  • Cime di Ròffel (3609-3589-3483m)
  • Seewjinenhorn (3215m)
  • Monte Moro (2988m)
  • Joderhorn (3035m)
  • Pizzo di Antigine (3192m)
  • Punta di Saas (3193m)
    that are like a crown around the sadly famous Mattmark lake


toward North starts a ridge, hosting 3 very fine summits :
Pizzo Bottarello (Sonnighorn) - 3487m - with its fine NE ridge (PD sup)
Pizzo di Loranco (Mittelruck) - 3363m - with its very fine (and famous) E ridge (Cresta del Lago Maggiore - D)
Pizzo di Andolla (Portjengrat) (3653m)
From this important hub the main ridge grows up again (toward N) over the 4000m with the Weissmies group

  • Weissmies (4023m)
  • Lagginhorn (4010m)
  • Fletschorn (3993m)
    now the ridge, with the "minor" but interesting summits of Sengchuppa (3665m) and Boshorn (3267m) ends near the Simplon Pass where the Alpi Pennine end


Weissmies Group
Weissmies Group

While, toward NE a secondary ridge, made of minor (but fine for hiking) summits, is the western border of two fine subvalleys of Ossola : the Valle Antrona and the Val Bognanco and ends down to the Val Divedro crossed by the road of the Simplon Pass.


When To Climb

It depends on summits and ranges.  There are many good areas for ski-mountaineering.



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.



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Alps - Western PartAreas & Ranges