The Plattenhörner is an elongate 4 summited peak rising above Gemmipass
and the Daubensee and in the western Bernese Alps. The peak probably gets its name from the obvious downsloping plate-like beds of limestone exposed on its north side.The base of the mountain is almost directly at Gemmipass. The high point is the eastern middle summit (2855 m). The point called the east summit (2830 m) is far removed from the main body of the mountain and is virtually a separate peak.
A hike to the elaborate cross on the fore summit of the west summit suffices for most casual visitors. To continue from there to the west summit (2640 m) or either of the two middle summits involves climbing a very short, but extremely exposed and intimidating pitch of UIAA II (Class 4) over the tremendous south face. The ascent of the western middle summit (2846 m) involves climbing of III.
Because of its proximity to the top of the lift at Gemmipass, the Plattenhörner provides an opportunity for a short day climb that can be soloed by one not intimidated by exposure.
From the west
The southern and shortest approach is via Gemmipass from Leukerbad
via the Gemmibahn
. At the top of the Gemmibahn, you are virtually at the base of the climb.
From the north, one can ride the Sunnbüel Lift
and hike to Gemmipass and the base of the mountain. This is the long way, but it is possible to use this approach, climb the peak, and return to Kandersteg in a day.
Important Points & Route from the north
View to cross at crux.
There is a marked way from Gemmipass to the cross on the fore summit. The hike to this point takes just under one hour.
From the cross, one continues eastward and down into a small notch in the ridge. The crux of this part of the climb is the short but steep and extremely exposed climb out of the notch on to the ridge above. A rope would certainly be advised here for inexperienced climbers or those intimidated by exposure. Unless one took a very lucky bounce, a fall here would almost certainly be fatal.
Once above the notch, one traverses with little difficulty to the west summit and from there through another but easier notch then across the top of the downsloping plates on the north side of the western middle summit to the notch between the western and eastern middle summits. The climb from the notch to the western middle summit involves climbing of III. The higher eastern middle summit is reached with little difficulty.
Because it is such a short climb from the top of the Gemmibahn, it is not really necessary to stay in the immediate area as long as one is within a relatively short travel time from Leukerbad.
There are plentiful accommodations in Leukerbad
as well as further down the valley.
If one wants to stay high in the Gemmipass / Daubensee area, there is the Berghotel Wildstrubel
located directly at the top of the Gemmibahn, or the famous Berghotel Schwarenbach
located about a 1.5 hour walk from there.