Ascent via North-East ridge and Bishorn, descent via East Ridge with a mountain guide.
I’m a very occasional and new alpinist (2 years experience) who lives at sea level. I prepared for 3 weeks at altitude; mainly lots of fast walking up hills between 2000 and 3200m above sea level, aiming for gains of up to 1600m in a day. Also practised some climbing. My climbing level is up to 6a on the French scale.
We took 3 days for the traverse. An afternoon to walk from Zinal to Tracuit hut. At a fairly easy, slowish pace we arrived after 3 hours (1600m elevation gain).
Left Tracuit Hut at 2:45 AM and were on Bishorn by dawn. A long uphill glacier walk. The north-east ridge is incredibly beautiful. Mixed narrow icy slopes and rock. Climbed a lot of the rock with crampons due to snow cover except for the summit and Grand Gendarme, which is definitely worth climbing. Not difficult to reach the top of the spire.
Submitted exactly 7 hours after departure and the view was just unbelievable! A totally uncrowded summit with only two other parties having climbed the same route that day from our side and a solo madman doing the east ridge. We spent about 20-30 minutes at the top.
Descent via the East ridge is LOOOOOONNNNGGG!!!! It’s a seemingly never ending trudge, which can be tricky to navigate as it’s not well marked. It was my guide’s first time on Weisshorn but together we managed and the descent to Weisshorn hut took around 6 hours.
We slept at Weisshorn hut and completed the next 1600m of decent into Randa on day 3.
Compared to Matterhorn, this route is much longer and it’s more of a test of endurance than a sprint. I was much more exhausted at the end of it compared to my Matterhorn traverse (Hörnli up, Lion down). Make sure you’re in shape before you try this mountain! The solo guy we saw took over 24 hours and was utterly spent when he returned in the early hours of the morning. Could’ve easily perished.
I highly recommend the traverse and would discourage anyone from ascending the arduous and comparatively featureless Eastern ridge as the North-East is much more aesthetic and interesting.
It’s easy to return to Zinal from Randa. Just buy a ticket at the Randa station. It’ll take two trains, two buses and costs about 56CHF.
Just like in all Swiss huts, water costs 12CHF. Neither hut accepts credit cards.
What a spectacular mountain!
Soloed the east ridge of Weisshorn in 5 hours from Weisshornhytte. Descent back to Randa took also 5 hours. I was probably the very first climber of the summer season on the summit!
Solo, Valley up. fantastic!
Normal way up in a nice summer day.
With Wouter and Demis
Over the East ridge.
Nobody else on mtn
in perfect conditions, thats why it was a bit crowded (25 people on their way, all summiting). Great mountain, the king of Wallis.
Perfect climb, six hours from hut to summit, six hours back to the valley..
Perfect weather, near-optimum conditions: Most of the rock was dry, few meters on the subsequent snow ridge were icy; nearly no wind.
Nevertheless we managed to find our own way to Frühstücksplatz ;-) and even in descent had to look around to get down this pile of rubbish. After a break at the cozy, but cramped hut we added the descent to the valley. A long trip, but worth the effort.
Winter in July! Winter conditions. Lots of fresh snow on the ridge. There were difficult conditions. But we have reached the summit.
My most impressive 4000m peak, definately not easy. We needed six hours, deep snow on the last part.
My original plan was to climb the central couloir on the South face. However, it started to rain as soon as I got to the hut and I needed to wait for a better weather for quite a while. After the second rainy night spent alone in the hut I thought that the conditions on the face would not be safe enough.
The weather improved during my third night in the hut so I was able to start the final blast towards the summit at 2 a.m. I had to be back in Zermatt the same night so I couldn't have spent any more nights in the hut waiting for the better weather.
The snow couloir leading to the ridge was in very good condition so I was on the ridge to see the sunrise. The ridge was a bit icy on the shadow side due to several days of rain but the sunny side dryed as soon as the sun hit the rock. The ridge is very exposed but since the route finding is easy You can move over it relatively fast. The snowy part of the route was in awful condition due to rain and wind so I lost a lot of time having to front-point all the way to the summit except for the section where there are a few big crevasses. Because of the rain and warm nights the snow covers were very thin so I carefully crawled across the spot which I thought would be the safest around. From there I front-pointed the rest of the route to the summit and reversed what I had done on the way up. It was slow climbing down front-pointing the hard icy snow slopes.
The conditions were awful but I enjoyed the elegant route and the beautiful mountain. I was down in Randa at 7.30 p.m. so that made a loooong day.
I do not recommend anyone to solo the route. It is very very easy to fall off the ridge.
Second attempt after a failed attempt due to too much soft snow in July 1999. A lovely climb, very uncrowded compared to its near neighbour, the Matterhorn. Highly recommended
Conditions going up were great, but the snow had turned to slop by 11am, so when we turned to descend, we ended up clumping down 45 degree ice with 6 inches of goopy wet snow on top--this was the real crux of the climb. Took us about 14 hours, hut-to-hut--seven up and seven back.
I climbed Weisshorn free soloing.
This was the third part of what my new friends, whom I got to know in my "basecamp" on the great camping ground in Randa-Attermenzen during my 4 weeks, which I stayed there, called my "Trilogy". Originally, it was not planned at all. It just happened: the solo climbs of Matterhorn, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn.
Besides me, only 2 other persons climbed Weisshorn on this day at all (also by the East-Ridge). Nobody climbed Weisshorn on this day on any other route.
On this wonderfull trip, I really felt to climb free soloing. Although there had been some snowfall during the days before, the rockclimbing conditions were perfect! Great compact rock without any snow or ice. Due to the new snowfall, the ice-part of the ridge (the last 500 hm of the ridge) became a little better. But unfortunately, I did not have a second ice axe, which would have been very usefull for the 6m of almost vertical ice-climbing on the normal route through the ridge-plateau and especially during the ascent, for which I used another route due to the big crevasses on the normal route. For the descent, I climbed just beneath the southern rocks on the ridge. This version of the route was steeper and more icy, but with less danger due to creavasses.
I was a wonderfull trip in almost complete loneliness of a very beautiful mountain!
Very nice balance climbing on the ridge and perfect mountain
Great climb. A spectacular shaped mountain. The eighthst highest peak of the Alps. A breath-taking sharp ridge. Start very early from Weisshorn Hut (2.932m), at about 2.30 h in the morning. As it is very difficult to find the right way up to the so called "Frühstücksplatz" (= breakfast-place), check this way the afternoon before.
Above the Frühstücksplatz (3.919m) real ridge climbing starts, so wait there till daylight and enjoy the view on Matterhorn. Make sure to reach the summit before noon. It is a long and difficult way down and the weather is changing very quickly up there.