Overviewgeographical classification: Western Alps > Pennine Alps > Mischabel Group > Stecknadelhorn
In the Pennine Alps there are over 40 mountains higher than 4000 meters. The Stecknadelhorn is one of them, but a little one, only one elevation in the ridge of the Nadelgrat
east and Hohberghorn
west. It is not a goal for itself but you do the traverse of Stecknadelhorn on the famous Nadelgrat route. Or you take Stecknadelhorn in additon after climbing Nadelhorn.
The normal route is only a short trip from Nadelhorn that is the main goal for climbers. The route branches off from the normal NE ridge route to Nadelhorn just before you reach the summit rocks of Nadelhorn.
There you have to turn right and traverse through the north flank of Nadelhorn.
The traverse is steep and if snow is hard here it is dangerous. By this traverse you gain the very nice firn ridge of the SE ridge of Stecknadelhorn.
The ridge leads in some nice ups and downs, quite easy to the summit rocks, that are not difficult to climb.
When to climb?
The best time of year is of course the summer, from July to September. At this time huts are guided. If there was only little snow in the previous winter you may try it in June as well. But then you have to do self-service in a special room.
There are 2 huts you can stay in before climbing the mountain:
1. Mischabel hut
(Phonenumber: 0041-27 957 1317). From the church of Saas-Fee you start through a small forest (Stagelwald) until the top of a ski lift. There you see the path starting at the other side of the water (Triftbach). With his zigzags you climb very fast to Schönegge, a nice large grassy spot where you can have a nice break. From there a new route goes up on the Distelhorn, fixed with cables a ladder, a real "via ferrata". Very steep until you reach the hut after about 4 to 5 hours at 3329 meters. Using the cablecar from Saas Fee to Hannigalp spares about 45 min and some sweat but lowers your budget.
2. Bordier hut
(Phonenumber: 0041-27956 1909). You have to drive to Gasenried nearby Grächen where there are only a few parking places. From Gasenried to the Riedbach, crossing this outlet of the Ried glacier, then climbing steep in a zig-zag path through the forest to the alpine pasture of Alpja (2099 m) which is west of the moraine of the Ried glacier. the path folows the moraine until ot reaches the Ried glaicer at a height of about 2500 m. but you have to climb further 200 m until a sign shows the short descent to the glacier, that has normaly no snow her in summer time. the crossing of the galcier is marked with sticks. The hut can already be seen on the other side. and can be reached shortly climbing the moraine
1230 m ascent, 4 h from Gasenried, BW 3 (out of 3) on the swiss hiking scale.
Getting there / Map
a) either Saas Fee
, a famous tourist destination. Only 1200 inhabitants but up to 10000 tourists. A huge parking garage stops privat traffic so the village itself is a nice spot.
b) Graechen in the Zermatt valley
the correct Swiss map to buy is Landeskarte 1:25000 Nr. 1328 "Randa"
interactive swiss online map for Stecknadelhorn
The first on this mountain were Oskar Eckenstein and the famous mountainear Matthias Zurbriggen (first climber of Aconcagua!) in the year 1887. They came from the Hohbergjoch and went back to Saas-Fee where they came from.
I dedicate this mountain page to Mr. Albert Lenzer, a very experienced climber from my home section of the german alpine club who fell to death on this mountain just before my eyes on August 20th 2002.