Page Type
Berner Oberland, Switzerland, Europe
Route Type:
Snow/Ice Climb, can be done with skis
Time Required:
A long day
PD, climbing 1-2

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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Created On: Jan 2, 2002
Last Edited On: Aug 4, 2002


Route Description credit to Rob Veenhof

Belalp and Bettmeralp can conveniently be reached by public transport and by car, about 2h30-3h.

Route Description

Genève - Blatten - Belalp - Oberaletschhütte - Aletschhorn - Mittelaletschbiwak - Bettmeralp/Bettmergrat/Blatten - Genève

The normal routes to the Aletschhorn start from the Mittelateschbiwak and from the Oberaletschhütte. From the Mittelateschbiwak, one reaches the NE ridge at the Aletschjoch and follows this ridge to the top. This route, which has a summer rating of PD, is also frequently done on skis. There are a few steps of climbing I- II in the final ridge. The main drawback of this route is the long way to the bivouac.
From the Oberaletschhütte, the easiest route uses the SW ridge which arrives directly at the summit. This route is substantially longer and is also more difficult, AD-, because of sections of climbing II and some snow/ice slopes.
Getting to the Oberaletschhütte takes about 3h30 for +750 m and -200 m over 9 km. The last 3 km are laborious because of the debris that covers the Oberaletschgletscher, but there are no technical difficulties. From the hut to the top takes 7-8 h, with additional time for finding the start of the ridge. From the top to the Mittelaletschbiwak should take about 3 h. Altitude differences are +1675 m and -1300 m for 9 km. From the Mittelaletschbiwak to Bettmeralp, about 10 km and 6 h, highly variable depending on the state of the Grosse Aletschgletscher.

Alpenkalb suggested this Alternative: Starting at Bettmeralp is better, because:

  1. Better balance of the days. From Bettmeralp (upper chairlift station) or
    Riederalp to Mittelaletsch is longer than Belalp to Oberaletsch. What you do
    on the first day, you do not have to do on the second hard day.

  2. Crossing the Aletschgletscher on the evening of the second day is a
    greater hazard than walking on the easy Oberaletsch glacier

  3. If you miss the cable car at Belalp there is a nice place to stay

  4. Less altitude. You must not climb the Oberaletsch hut.

Essential Gear

Standard Glacier Equipment