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Breithorn Ascent

Alpine tour · Switzerland
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Zermatt - Matterhorn Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • This tour up to the Breithorn (4,164 m) is a perfect way to get a sense of high Alpine air for the first time
    / This tour up to the Breithorn (4,164 m) is a perfect way to get a sense of high Alpine air for the first time
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Kurt Müller
  • / Over there the station Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn) which is starting point of the tour
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Schaller
  • / Breathtaking panorama from the peak - in the background also the Matterhon (4,478 m)
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Schaller
  • / Please everybody smiling for a peak picture
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Schaller
  • / Panorama on the subjacent Mattertal valley and some mountains which are higher then 4 thousand meter
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Schaller
m 4300 4200 4100 4000 3900 3800 3700 5 4 3 2 1 km Breithorn Matterhorn glacier paradise Matterhorn glacier paradise
The Breithorn (4,164 m), with its many summits, is a strong, glaciered mountain crest. The normal climb is considered as one of the easiest routes for climbing a four-thousand metre mountain.
moderate
Distance 5.4 km
3:30 h
415 m
412 m
4,164 m
3,788 m

This tour is a perfect way to get a sense of high Alpine air for the first time but only for surefooted and experienced mountain hikers accompanied by a mountain guide. The tour includes climbing a glaciated four thousand-metre peak, and this is not to be underestimated. In the early morning, one takes the aerial tramway to Matterhorn glacier paradise at 3,883 m. The climb to the top and the descent afterwards lasts about three hours depending on the conditions. Even though the climb is not dizzying, the tour does offer a high Alpine mountain experience where one can live out the feeling of having one’s head already in outer space.

  • Snow tour on the glacier
  • The overall difficulty of the tour is given as “L” (easy)
  • A mountain guide is recommended
  • Warning: glacier crevasses

Author’s recommendation

We recommend a guided tour with a mountain guide who knows well the place. Further information and mountain guide agency: www.zermatters.ch

Crampons, climbing harnesses and helmets can be rented in different sport shops in the village.

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Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Update: March 10, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Breithorn Gipfel, 4,164 m
Lowest point
3,788 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
First ascent
13. August 1813

Safety information

  • Plan every mountain tour carefully and adapt to participants’ fitness level as well as the weather and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible avoid going alone.
  • Do not leave the marked routes; do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • It is forbidden to walk on the ski pistes.
  • Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.
  • Take note of the warning signs drawing attention to the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs.

Tip: “Be searchable”. Equip yourself with an additional RECCO rescue reflector*. Whether summer or winter. Available in our Online-Shop or our information desk.
*The additional reflector does not replace an avalanche beacon.

Start

Klein Matterhorn (3,883 m) (3,825 m)
Coordinates:
DD
DMS
UTM
w3w 

Destination

Breithorn (4,164 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Station Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn) - traversing of the glacier- ascent to the peak Breithorn - descent and again traversing of the glacier - station Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn)

We recommend for this tour to book eventually a mountain guide who knows well the place.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

By train to the Matterhorn village: 3½ hours from Zürich airport or 4 hours from Geneva airport. Change at Visp onto the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (Matterhorn Gotthard Railway). From Visp, the railway leads through the Mattertal valley past idyllic small villages to Zermatt.

Zermatt is also the start and finish point for the world-famous Glacier Express panoramic train journey (Zermatt to St. Moritz or Davos).

Getting there

Zermatt is car-free. Private vehicles are permitted only as far as Täsch (5 km before Zermatt). The Täsch–Zermatt road is closed to the public.

Onward travel to Zermatt is either by private taxi or shuttle train. Trains depart every 20 minutes; the journey takes about 12 minutes, and ends at the Bahnhofplatz in Zermatt.

Parking

Täsch has car parks with both covered and open-air parking – e.g. at the Matterhorn Terminal or privately operated facilities.

Onward travel: see “Getting there”.

Coordinates

DD
DMS
UTM
w3w 
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

We recommend:

  • Climbing boots suitable for use with crampons
  • Climbing harness
  • Crampons
  • 1 ski pole
  • Warm weatherproof clothing 
  • Warm full-fingered gloves and hat
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Thermos flask (approx. 1 litre capacity)
  • Snacks (high energy foods such as chocolate, dried fruit, dextrose etc.)
  • Backpack

Important! Requirement: good physical condition

Basic Equipment for Alpine Routes

  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Long, warm technical socks plus liners and spares
  • 35-45 liter rucksack  (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Lip protection (SPF 30+)
  • Water- and windproof mountaineering jacket and trousers with ankle adjustment or separate gaiters
  • Water- and windproof gloves plus thin fleece inner gloves
  • Neckwear
  • moisture wicking skull / knit cap
  • Hiking poles
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Technical Equipment for Alpine Routes

  • B2 or B3 mountaineering boots
  • Climbing harness
  • Climbing helmet
  • Ice axes (basic or technical with hammer and adze as required)
  • C2-C3 crampons with anti-balling plates (as required by route and to match boots)  
  • Single rope
  • Half ropes
  • Twin ropes
  • Friend/cam 0
  • Friend/cam 0.1
  • Friend/cam offset 0.1-0.2
  • Friend/cam 0.2
  • Friend/cam offset 0.2-0.3
  • Friend/cam 0.3
  • Friend/cam offset 0.3-0.4
  • Friend/cam 0.4
  • Friend/cam offset 0.4-0.5
  • Friend/cam 0.5
  • Friend/cam offset 0.5-0.75
  • Friend/cam 1
  • Friend/cam 2
  • Friend/cam 3
  • Friend/cam 4
  • Friend/cam 5
  • Friend/cam 6
  • Friend/cam 7
  • Friend/cam 8
  • Set of nuts
  • Double set of nuts
  • Small nuts
  • Medium nuts
  • Large nuts
  • Nut tool
  • Tricam(s)
  • Ball nut(s)
  • (Active) Camming device(s) for wider cracks such as the Gipsy
  • Hexentric(s)
  • Progress capture pulley(s) such as the Petzl Traxion
  • Micro ascender(s) such as the Petzl TiBloc
  • Pitons and hammer
  • Set of ice screws
  • Short ice screws
  • Medium ice screws
  • Long ice screws
  • V-Thread tool
  • 2x Harness tool holder such as the Ice Clipper or Caritool
  • Quickdraws
  • Locking device

Camping Equipment

  • Tent (3- or 4-season)
  • Stove (including fuel and utensils)
  • Sleeping mat. Sleeping bag with suitable temperature rating.
  • Food
  • Toiletries and medication
  • Toilet paper

Things to Bring if Staying in a Mountain Hut

  • Toiletries and medication
  • Quick-drying towel  
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sleepwear
  • Alpine club membership card if applicable / ID
  • Coronavirus mask and hand sanitizer
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others


Difficulty
moderate
Distance
5.4 km
Duration
3:30 h
Ascent
415 m
Descent
412 m
Highest point
4,164 m
Lowest point
3,788 m
Out and back Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Cableway ascent/descent Summit route

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