Breithorn Central

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Breithorn Central

Photo of the Breithorn Central
Breithorn peaks from the N with Breithorn Central left of the snowy Breithorn summit

General
Elevation 4,150 m13,615.486 ft
2.579 miles
Location Valais, Switzerland
Valle d'Aosta, Italy
Range Pennine Alps
Massif Breithorn-Liskamm Group
Sponsored Links

Coordinates
DMS Coor. 45°56´24"N, 7°45´28"E
Swiss Coor. 624640 / 87510
Links Topographic Detail

Coordinates Information

Nearby Features
Breithorn, Breithorn East, Breithorn Gendarme, Breithorn-Liskamm Group, Castor, Gandegg Hut, Gobba di Rollin, Klein Matterhorn, Mezzalama Hut, Pollux, Roccia Nera, Rossi and Volante Bivouac, Valle d'Ayas Guides' Hut
Alpinist's Info
Base(s) Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt
Hut(s) Gandegg Hut, Klein Matterhorn Station, Rossi and Volante Bivouac
Topo. Map SLK 1348: Zermatt
Easiest Route Rating PD PD
Map
Breithorn Central (Switzerland )
Breithorn Central
Breithorn Central
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This page is about Breithorn Central. For other uses see Breithorn (disambiguation).

Contents

[edit] General information

The Breithorn Central is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, located east of the main summit of the Breithorn and west of the Breithorn East. It's on the border between Switzerland and Italy. For more information visit the Breithorn page.

[edit] Geology

A snowy summit separated from the main summit to the W by the saddle at 4,076 m. Although the summit itself, its W ridge and its SW face are snowy, its N face is of steep rock interspersed with icy couloirs above a very steep glacier slope. A number of mixed and ice routes have been climbed on the face, all quite serious. The SE face of this top is also mostly rock and presents at least one worthwhile climb. Its E ridge is mostly rock rising in three main steps. The highest of these forms a sort of rock summit to complement the higher snow summit and is given the name Torrionne Maggiore.

[edit] Climbing history

The south-south-west spur was first climbed E.-R. Blanchet and R. Chaubert with K. Mooser on 17 Aug. 1925.

The original route on the north face was first done by F. Serbelloni with E. and O. Frachey in Aug. 1953. The first winter ascent here was done by G. Ferrari and A. Sioli on 21/22 March 1970.

The central spur of the south-east face was completed by E. Cavalieri, G. Cerri, G. Dagnino and G. Migliorino in Aug 1964.

The Gabarrou-Steiner route was completed by P. Gabarrou and P.-A. Steiner on 17 Sept. 1979 and the first winter ascent was completed by C. Portmann and P. Torrents on 5 Jan. 1993.

The Viaggio di Ordinaria Follia was done by G. Grassi, B. Maihot and E. Tessera on 24 May 1984.

The Dessert Semi-Freddo route was completed by L. Bordoni and G. Grassi on 18 July 1985.

The Goulotte Spettro Glauco was established by G. Grassi, V. Ravaschietto and A. Siri on 24 July 1985.

[edit] Routes

S face routes: brown: SSW spur; orange: central spur of SE face
N face routes: blue: original route; red: Dessert Semi-Freddo; green: Viaggio di Ordinaria Follia; yellow: Gabarrou-Steiner route; pink: Goulotte Spettro Glauco; cyan: Manera route; Klein Triftjisattel is visible left (above the snow ramp)

[edit] South-South-West Spur (PD)

summit of Breithorn Central, seen from the W.

A straightforward snow climb leading directly to the summit up the spur forming the S boundary of the SE face.


Breithorn Central: South-South-West Spur (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Zermatt (1,608 m0.999 miles
5,275.591 ft
)
Route Type Snow (2.5 - 3 h) Hut Klein Matterhorn Station (3,820 m2.374 miles
12,532.808 ft
)
Difficulty Rating PD PD Difficulty lift
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 330 m0.205 miles
1,082.677 ft
    -    Valley - Hut: 2212 m1.374 miles
7,257.218 ft
    -    Valley - Summit: 2542 m1.58 miles
8,339.895 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


From the Klein Matterhorn Station, reach the foot of the spur via the route to the Rossi and Volante Bivouac: follow the snow crest to the broad saddle at 3,796 m. Then cross the glacier bowl ESE to the Breithornpass. From the pass head NE, descending a little, to pass below a rock island and the SSE spur of the Breithorn Central. From the foot of this spur, cross the bergschrund and climb the snow slope keeping to the L of the rocks. (2.5-3h)

The foot of the spur can also be reached by a variety of other routes:

There is also a variation on this route: instead of following the spur, from the plateau go straight up to the saddle on the main ridge. From here both Breithorn and Breithorn Central can easily be obtained.

[edit] North Face of central summit

approaching Breithorn Central from the N side

There are two possible approach routes to the face whic rises above the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. The first starts from the Gandegg Hut and crosses the Triftjisattel before descending on to the W side of the glacier. This is the longer approach and is probably favoured by Swiss based climbers. The alternative and favoured approach is from the Rossi and Volante Bivouac via the Schwarztor and requires less effort. It joins the E side of the Breithorn Glacier from the Klein Triftjisattel. Most routes on the face involve 800m of climbing. The lower half of the the face is a steep glacier slope interrupted by crevasses and serac bands which at times can be almost impossible to climb directly. Above this is a steep rock wall which has a complex of icy goulottes and steep buttresses and is often capped by a cornice.

[edit] Original route (D+)

Although this is one of the less difficult routes on the face it is typical of each of them in that there is a long, steep and crevassed glacier slope to climb to reach the head-wall. On the head-wall this particular climb is predomimantly mixed in nature. Take care with the rock, which may well be verglassed.

[edit] From the Gandegg Hut

Breithorn Central: North Face - Original Route from the Gandegg Hut (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Zermatt (1,608 m0.999 miles
5,275.591 ft
)
Route Type Snow and Rock (8 - 11 h) Hut Gandegg Hut (3,029 m1.882 miles
9,937.664 ft
)
Difficulty D+ D+ Difficulty W1
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 1121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
    -    Valley - Hut: 1421 m0.883 miles
4,662.073 ft
    -    Valley - Summit: 2542 m1.58 miles
8,339.895 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


Descend the cliff path on to the Unterer Theodule Glacier. Head SE across the glacier towards the rocks of Pt. 2,982 m. Pass the rocks on the R and then descend the Triftji Glacier to a height of 2,880 m before crossing it to reach the E branch of the glacier which descends in a NWerly direction from the Triftjisattel. (Note that both seracs and the state of the glacier make it easier and safer to descend after Pt. 2,982 m rahter than taking a higher traverse line). Climb up this branch on its R (N) bank until below the Triftjisattel, which is situated to the S of Pt. 3,250.6 m. (2-2.5h)

From the saddle descend 120m in the couloir on the E side which is not quite as bad as it at first appears but requires one 10m rappel. Now, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. High above the W side of this glacier are the seracs forming the base of the Triftjiplateau. Climb the steepening, crevassed glacier slope, keeping well L of the bounding rocks of the Triftjigrat, until level with and L of the seracs of the Triftji Plateau. Move up Rwards on to the upper, the E edge of the Triftji Plateau. Directly above is a steep, snowfilled couloir. Climb this to a break in the rocks on the L and then follow the break, slanting up Lwards for 2 pitches (mixed). Finish the route by climbing up steepish rock and the snow slope above, finally finding an appropriate way through or past the cornice at the top. (6-8h)

Total climbing time is 8-11h.

[edit] From the Rossi and Volante Bivouac

Breithorn Central: North Face - Original Route from the Rossi and Volante Bivouac (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt
Route Type Snow and Rock (7 - 9 h) Hut Rossi and Volante Bivouac (3,750 m2.33 miles
12,303.15 ft
)
Difficulty D+ D+ Difficulty Rating F F
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


The Breithorn Glacier can also be reached from the Italian side (via Klein Triftjisattel): from Schwarztor descend the L bank of the Schwärze Glacier keeping close to the rocks of the Roccia Nera and passing below Pt. 3,512 m to a height of roughly 3,400 m to gain a snowy ramp on the L which leads to the saddle. The glacier may be tricky just before the ramp. (1h)

At the Klein Triftjisattel, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. High above the W side of this glacier are the seracs forming the base of the Triftjiplateau. Climb the steepening, crevassed glacier slope, keeping well L of the bounding rocks of the Triftjigrat, until level with and L of the seracs of the Triftji Plateau. Move up Rwards on to the upper, the E edge of the Triftji Plateau. Directly above is a steep, snowfilled couloir. Climb this to a break in the rocks on the L and then follow the break, slanting up Lwards for 2 pitches (mixed). Finish the route by climbing up steepish rock and the snow slope above, finally finding an appropriate way through or past the cornice at the top. (6-8h)

Total climbing time is 7-9h.

[edit] Dessert Semi-Freddo (D+)

One of Grassi's many routes on the N side of the mountain. There are several variations to the route described. Similar in nature to the Original Route, which it crosses in its upper part and is sometimes finished via that route, except that on the head-wall the climbing is mostly on ice. There is always some danger from falling ice.

[edit] From the Gandegg Hut

Breithorn Central: North Face - Dessert Semi-Freddo from the Gandegg Hut (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Zermatt (1,608 m0.999 miles
5,275.591 ft
)
Route Type Mostly Snow, 70° (10 - 11 h) Hut Gandegg Hut (3,029 m1.882 miles
9,937.664 ft
)
Difficulty D+ D+ Difficulty W1
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 1121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
    -    Valley - Hut: 1421 m0.883 miles
4,662.073 ft
    -    Valley - Summit: 2542 m1.58 miles
8,339.895 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


Descend the cliff path on to the Unterer Theodule Glacier. Head SE across the glacier towards the rocks of Pt. 2,982 m. Pass the rocks on the R and then descend the Triftji Glacier to a height of 2,880 m before crossing it to reach the E branch of the glacier which descends in a NWerly direction from the Triftjisattel. (Note that both seracs and the state of the glacier make it easier and safer to descend after Pt. 2,982 m rahter than taking a higher traverse line). Climb up this branch on its R (N) bank until below the Triftjisattel, which is situated to the S of Pt. 3,250.6 m. (2-2.5h)

From the saddle descend 120m in the couloir on the E side which is not quite as bad as it at first appears but requires one 10m rappel. Now, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. High above the W side of this glacier are the seracs forming the base of the Triftjiplateau. Climb the steepening, crevassed glacier slope, keeping well L of the bounding rocks of the Triftjigrat, until level with and L of the seracs of the Triftji Plateau. Move up Rwards on to the upper, E edge of the Triftji Plateau.

Climb directly up the rocks on the L to a steep, icy ramp which slopes up Rwards. Cross the ramp by moving up Lwards and then, from its upper edge, climb more rocks to a second icy ramp. Cross this in the same way and gain a steep, snowy area further L. Climb up this (60-65°) and then head Rwards to the foot of a narrow, little icy couloir. Climb the couloir as far as a snowy rib and then get into another couloir slanting up R and follow this until it narrows into a goulotte. Continue up this to its end (60/70°) and then climb up to some rocks below a higher rock rib. Climb these for a few m then slant L across ice (55°) to the last rocks above which a snow rib leads to the top. (8h)

Total climbing time is 10-11h.

[edit] From the Rossi and Volante Bivouac

Breithorn Central: North Face - Dessert Semi-Freddo from the Rossi and Volante Bivouac (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt
Route Type Mostly Snow, 70° (9 h) Hut Rossi and Volante Bivouac (3,750 m2.33 miles
12,303.15 ft
)
Difficulty D+ D+ Difficulty Rating F F
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


The Breithorn Glacier can also be reached from the Italian side (via Klein Triftjisattel): from Schwarztor descend the L bank of the Schwärze Glacier keeping close to the rocks of the Roccia Nera and passing below Pt. 3,512 m to a height of roughly 3,400 m to gain a snowy ramp on the L which leads to the saddle. The glacier may be tricky just before the ramp. (1h)

At the Klein Triftjisattel, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. High above the W side of this glacier are the seracs forming the base of the Triftjiplateau. Climb the steepening, crevassed glacier slope, keeping well L of the bounding rocks of the Triftjigrat, until level with and L of the seracs of the Triftji Plateau. Move up Rwards on to the upper, the E edge of the Triftji Plateau.

Climb directly up the rocks on the L to a steep, icy ramp which slopes up Rwards. Cross the ramp by moving up Lwards and then, from its upper edge, climb more rocks to a second icy ramp. Cross this in the same way and gain a steep, snowy area further L. Climb up this (60-65°) and then head Rwards to the foot of a narrow, little icy couloir. Climb the couloir as far as a snowy rib and then get into another couloir slanting up R and follow this until it narrows into a goulotte. Continue up this to its end (60/70°) and then climb up to some rocks below a higher rock rib. Climb these for a few m then slant L across ice (55°) to the last rocks above which a snow rib leads to the top. (8h)

Total climbing time is 9h.

[edit] Viaggio di Ordinaria Follia (TD)

Another Grassi route and almost entirely on ice. The line is quite complicated but essentially it follows the narrow goulotte R of the Gabbarou-Steiner route.

[edit] From the Gandegg Hut

Breithorn Central: North Face - Viaggio di Ordinaria Follia from Gandegg Hut (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Zermatt (1,608 m0.999 miles
5,275.591 ft
)
Route Type Mostly Snow, 80° (10 - 13 h) Hut Gandegg Hut (3,029 m1.882 miles
9,937.664 ft
)
Difficulty Rating TD TD Difficulty W1
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 1121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
    -    Valley - Hut: 1421 m0.883 miles
4,662.073 ft
    -    Valley - Summit: 2542 m1.58 miles
8,339.895 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


Descend the cliff path on to the Unterer Theodule Glacier. Head SE across the glacier towards the rocks of Pt. 2,982 m. Pass the rocks on the R and then descend the Triftji Glacier to a height of 2,880 m before crossing it to reach the E branch of the glacier which descends in a NWerly direction from the Triftjisattel. (Note that both seracs and the state of the glacier make it easier and safer to descend after Pt. 2,982 m rahter than taking a higher traverse line). Climb up this branch on its R (N) bank until below the Triftjisattel, which is situated to the S of Pt. 3,250.6 m. (2-2.5h)

From the saddle descend 120m in the couloir on the E side which is not quite as bad as it at first appears but requires one 10m rappel. Now, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. High above the W side of this glacier are the seracs forming the base of the Triftjiplateau. Climb the steepening, crevassed glacier slope, keeping well L of the bounding rocks of the Triftjigrat, until level with and L of the seracs of the Triftji Plateau. Move up Rwards on to just below the E edge of the Triftji Plateau.

Slant up L close to the rocks to the foot of an icy ramp slanting up to the R (crossed higher up by the Dessert Semi-Freddo route). Climb the slope above the ramp to a steep ice slope. Cross this Lwards before traversing horizontally to reach a goulotte which cuts through a smooth rock-band. Climb the goulotte (70°) then move back Rwards until directly above the start of the initial ramp. Now climb straight up, at first on icy rocks, then a steepening ice slope (up to 70°) and finally a narrow and very steep goulotte (80°).

Now on less steep ground, reach an ice slope interspersed with rocks. Head up Rwards to the main goulotte and climb this (70°) then a short, steeper section before moving up a Rward slanting snow ramp which leads to a branch of the main goulotte. The route from here is a short couloir, blocked off at its top, and not up the goulotte. At the top of the couloir an icy slab leads L (70°) to the R edge of the main goulotte's continuation. Climb the edge to a good belay and then get back into the goulotte and follow it Rwards to the final snow slope. Climb this and exit where the cornice is most easily surmounted. (8-10h)

Total climbing time is 10-13h.

[edit] From the Rossi and Volante Bivouac

Breithorn Central: North Face - Viaggio di Ordinaria Follia from Rossi and Volante Bivouac (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt
Route Type Mostly Snow, 80° (9 - 11 h) Hut Rossi and Volante Bivouac (3,750 m2.33 miles
12,303.15 ft
)
Difficulty Rating TD TD Difficulty Rating F F
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


The Breithorn Glacier can also be reached from the Italian side (via Klein Triftjisattel): from Schwarztor descend the L bank of the Schwärze Glacier keeping close to the rocks of the Roccia Nera and passing below Pt. 3,512 m to a height of roughly 3,400 m to gain a snowy ramp on the L which leads to the saddle. The glacier may be tricky just before the ramp. (1h)

At the Klein Triftjisattel, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. High above the W side of this glacier are the seracs forming the base of the Triftjiplateau. Climb the steepening, crevassed glacier slope, keeping well L of the bounding rocks of the Triftjigrat, until level with and L of the seracs of the Triftji Plateau. Move up Rwards on to just below the E edge of the Triftji Plateau.

Slant up L close to the rocks to the foot of an icy ramp slanting up to the R (crossed higher up by the Dessert Semi-Freddo route). Climb the slope above the ramp to a steep ice slope. Cross this Lwards before traversing horizontally to reach a goulotte which cuts through a smooth rock-band. Climb the goulotte (70°) then move back Rwards until directly above the start of the initial ramp. Now climb straight up, at first on icy rocks, then a steepening ice slope (up to 70°) and finally a narrow and very steep goulotte (80°).

Now on less steep ground, reach an ice slope interspersed with rocks. Head up Rwards to the main goulotte and climb this (70°) then a short, steeper section before moving up a Rward slanting snow ramp which leads to a branch of the main goulotte. The route from here is a short couloir, blocked off at its top, and not up the goulotte. At the top of the couloir an icy slab leads L (70°) to the R edge of the main goulotte's continuation. Climb the edge to a good belay and then get back into the goulotte and follow it Rwards to the final snow slope. Climb this and exit where the cornice is most easily surmounted. (8-10h)

Total climbing time is 9-11h.

[edit] Gabarrou-Steiner Route (TD)

A very direct line to the summit and more or less safe from serac fall. Gabarrou's first of two new routes on the mountain in 12 days. Mostly snow/ice climbing.

[edit] From the Gandegg Hut

Breithorn Central: North Face - Gabarrou-Steiner Route from Gandegg Hut (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Zermatt (1,608 m0.999 miles
5,275.591 ft
)
Route Type Mostly Snow (8 - 10 h) Hut Gandegg Hut (3,029 m1.882 miles
9,937.664 ft
)
Difficulty Rating TD TD Difficulty W1
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 1121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
    -    Valley - Hut: 1421 m0.883 miles
4,662.073 ft
    -    Valley - Summit: 2542 m1.58 miles
8,339.895 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


Descend the cliff path on to the Unterer Theodule Glacier. Head SE across the glacier towards the rocks of Pt. 2,982 m. Pass the rocks on the R and then descend the Triftji Glacier to a height of 2,880 m before crossing it to reach the E branch of the glacier which descends in a NWerly direction from the Triftjisattel. (Note that both seracs and the state of the glacier make it easier and safer to descend after Pt. 2,982 m rahter than taking a higher traverse line). Climb up this branch on its R (N) bank until below the Triftjisattel, which is situated to the S of Pt. 3,250.6 m. (2-2.5h)

From the saddle descend 120m in the couloir on the E side which is not quite as bad as it at first appears but requires one 10m rappel. Now, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. Start directly below the summit up relatively easy snow slopes which are interrupted by short steep steps and reach the bergschrund. Cross this, with some difficulty, and continue straight up into a couloir at the head of the slope which is directly below a compact and slightly overhanging rock wall and then mixed, before slanting up R on icy slopes to pass the rock wall (crux). Carry on up snow/ice slopes and then a major goulotte with some steep steps to the final slope. Two pitches lead to the summit.

Total climbing time is 8-10h.

[edit] From the Rossi and Volante Bivouac

Breithorn Central: North Face - Gabarrou-Steiner Route from Rossi and Volante Bivouac (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt
Route Type Mostly Snow (8 - 10 h) Hut Rossi and Volante Bivouac (3,750 m2.33 miles
12,303.15 ft
)
Difficulty Rating TD TD Difficulty Rating F F
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


The Breithorn Glacier can also be reached from the Italian side (via Klein Triftjisattel): from Schwarztor descend the L bank of the Schwärze Glacier keeping close to the rocks of the Roccia Nera and passing below Pt. 3,512 m to a height of roughly 3,400 m to gain a snowy ramp on the L which leads to the saddle. The glacier may be tricky just before the ramp. (1h)

At the Klein Triftjisattel, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. Start directly below the summit up relatively easy snow slopes which are interrupted by short steep steps and reach the bergschrund. Cross this, with some difficulty, and continue straight up into a couloir at the head of the slope which is directly below a compact and slightly overhanging rock wall and then mixed, before slanting up R on icy slopes to pass the rock wall (crux). Carry on up snow/ice slopes and then a major goulotte with some steep steps to the final slope. Two pitches lead to the summit.

Total climbing time is 8-10h.

[edit] Goulotte Spettro Glauco (TD/TD+)

This was Grassi's third route on the face and was undertaken only six days after he climbed Dessert Semi-Freddo. Compared with that route however it is of quite different character. The terrain here, at least in the difficult sections, is more mixed. Protection is difficult to place and thus the climbing is quite committing.

[edit] From the Gandegg Hut

Breithorn Central: North Face - Goulotte Spettro Glauco from the Gandegg Hut (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Zermatt (1,608 m0.999 miles
5,275.591 ft
)
Route Type Snow and Rock, 75°, IV - V (12+ h) Hut Gandegg Hut (3,029 m1.882 miles
9,937.664 ft
)
Difficulty TD+ TD+ Difficulty W1
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 1121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
    -    Valley - Hut: 1421 m0.883 miles
4,662.073 ft
    -    Valley - Summit: 2542 m1.58 miles
8,339.895 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


Descend the cliff path on to the Unterer Theodule Glacier. Head SE across the glacier towards the rocks of Pt. 2,982 m. Pass the rocks on the R and then descend the Triftji Glacier to a height of 2,880 m before crossing it to reach the E branch of the glacier which descends in a NWerly direction from the Triftjisattel. (Note that both seracs and the state of the glacier make it easier and safer to descend after Pt. 2,982 m rahter than taking a higher traverse line). Climb up this branch on its R (N) bank until below the Triftjisattel, which is situated to the S of Pt. 3,250.6 m. (2-2.5h)

From the saddle descend 120m in the couloir on the E side which is not quite as bad as it at first appears but requires one 10m rappel. Now, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. Climb the steepening glacier slope towards the lowest rocks of the upper face. There may be some steep steps to overcome before reaching the main difficulties. Cross the last bergschrund below and L of the couloir at the head of the slope, which is directly below a compact and slightly overhanging rock wall, and climb steeply up ice to an icy ramp leading up Lwards through rocks. Follow the ramp for two pitches (55/65°) then move back R and climb a series of steps to a steeper and larger one. Cimb this via a narrow goulotte (70°) and then slant up L to a snow/ice slope. Climb this and cross a slight barrier before continuing straight up snow/ice to reach the L side of a small crag.

Climb a narrow goulotte (60/65°) on the left to the base of a steep snow/ice slope. Climb this slope directly to the foot of a major goulotte which is then followed for three pitches up its twisting bed. On the last pitch it may be necessary to use the rocks on the R. All this is between 60° and 75°. Now leave the goulotte on rock, at first traversing horizontally Rwards and then straight up to a large detached block (IV and IV+).

Above is another snow/ice slope which is climbed slanting up R to a rock rib. From here keep traversing R across mixed rock and ice to a belay on the ice slope beyond: all quite hard. Next descend gradually Rwards (55°) before traversing further on difficult ground (V) to a big rift. On the R of this is the goulotte of the Gabarrou-Steiner Route. Climb to the top of a parallel goulotte further L (60/70°) and then get on to the rocks on the R. Traverse almost horizontally to gain the goulotte just mentioned and climb this for 40m. Reach the summit by climbing another pitch up the goulotte and a final pitch up a short crest.

Climbing time is 12h or more.

[edit] From the Rossi and Volante Bivouac

Breithorn Central: North Face - Goulotte Spettro Glauco from the Rossi and Volante Bivouac (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt
Route Type Snow and Rock, 75°, IV - V (12+ h) Hut Rossi and Volante Bivouac (3,750 m2.33 miles
12,303.15 ft
)
Difficulty TD+ TD+ Difficulty Rating F F
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


The Breithorn Glacier can also be reached from the Italian side (via Klein Triftjisattel): from Schwarztor descend the L bank of the Schwärze Glacier keeping close to the rocks of the Roccia Nera and passing below Pt. 3,512 m to a height of roughly 3,400 m to gain a snowy ramp on the L which leads to the saddle. The glacier may be tricky just before the ramp. (1h)

At the Klein Triftjisattel, you reached the upper part of the Breithorn Glacier. Climb the steepening glacier slope towards the lowest rocks of the upper face. There may be some steep steps to overcome before reaching the main difficulties. Cross the last bergschrund below and L of the couloir at the head of the slope, which is directly below a compact and slightly overhanging rock wall, and climb steeply up ice to an icy ramp leading up Lwards through rocks. Follow the ramp for two pitches (55/65°) then move back R and climb a series of steps to a steeper and larger one. Cimb this via a narrow goulotte (70°) and then slant up L to a snow/ice slope. Climb this and cross a slight barrier before continuing straight up snow/ice to reach the L side of a small crag.

Climb a narrow goulotte (60/65°) on the left to the base of a steep snow/ice slope. Climb this slope directly to the foot of a major goulotte which is then followed for three pitches up its twisting bed. On the last pitch it may be necessary to use the rocks on the R. All this is between 60° and 75°. Now leave the goulotte on rock, at first traversing horizontally Rwards and then straight up to a large detached block (IV and IV+).

Above is another snow/ice slope which is climbed slanting up R to a rock rib. From here keep traversing R across mixed rock and ice to a belay on the ice slope beyond: all quite hard. Next descend gradually Rwards (55°) before traversing further on difficult ground (V) to a big rift. On the R of this is the goulotte of the Gabarrou-Steiner Route. Climb to the top of a parallel goulotte further L (60/70°) and then get on to the rocks on the R. Traverse almost horizontally to gain the goulotte just mentioned and climb this for 40m. Reach the summit by climbing another pitch up the goulotte and a final pitch up a short crest.

Climbing time is 12h or more.

[edit] Other Routes

The Manera Route climbs to the rocky fore-summit (Torre Maggiore). Climbed by L. Castiglia, P. Crivellaro, U. Manera, C. Persico and L. Pezzica, 7 Sept. 1980 and graded TD/TD+. It climbs the glacier slope to pass on the E side of a rognon, above which it gains the foot of a rib which is sheltered from icefall. The rib has rock difficulties up to V+ and A1 as well as some mixed climbing.

Despite the congestion of routes on the face, parties still find new routes. In the very snowy summer of 1997 the Slovenians T. and U. Golob and D. Polenik climbed a route entitled Nektar: ED2; 28 July 1997. The line of the route is unknown but is reported to have difficulties up to the modern ice grade of V/6 with mixed/rock of IV+. It was probably only due to the exceptionally snowy conditions that the line was climbable.

[edit] Central Spur of South-East Face (AD)

Pleasant climbing on good rock.


Breithorn Central: Central Spur of South-East Face (edit infobox)
Summit Approach
Summit Breithorn Central (4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
)
Valley base(s) Zermatt (1,608 m0.999 miles
5,275.591 ft
)
Route Type Snow and Rock, III (4 - 4.5 h) Hut Klein Matterhorn Station (3,820 m2.374 miles
12,532.808 ft
)
Difficulty Rating AD AD Difficulty lift
Height Gains Hut - Summit: 330 m0.205 miles
1,082.677 ft
    -    Valley - Hut: 2212 m1.374 miles
7,257.218 ft
    -    Valley - Summit: 2542 m1.58 miles
8,339.895 ft
Useful Maps SLK 1348: Zermatt (Maps)


From the Klein Matterhorn Station, reach the foot of the face via the route to the Rossi and Volante Bivouac: follow the snow crest to the broad saddle at 3,796 m. Then cross the glacier bowl ESE to the Breithornpass. From the pass head NE, descending a little, to pass below a rock island and the SSE spur of the Breithorn Central. Just beyond this latter point slant up on to the higher glacier terrace (3,650 m) on the S side of the Breithorn Central.

The summit route starts at the large buttress in the middle of the face whose R side sits at the foot of the longest snow ramp slanting up to the SSW spur. Cross the bergschrund and steep snow slope above to the rocks. Climb these to reach the snow slope above the buttress. Cross the snow slope by slanting up steeply Lwards to the main spur above, which lies directly in line with the summit. Climb this to a short dièdre and exit from this by a delicate move R (III). Continue up the rib on slabby rock to a steeper step which is passed on the R via a small rib. Broken rocks now lead up to the final snow slope, climbed by a snow crest. (4-4.5h)

The foot of the face can also be reached by a variety of other routes:

There is a variation on this route: instead of starting the climb in the middle of the face, first reach the small window east of the central summit (on the main ridge, 4014 m) from where the summit can be reached (PD+/AD, III+/IV).

[edit] Overview

Route Name Hei. Dif. Dur. (h) Type Rock ° Valley Hut S. Gain Maps
Breithorn Central: South-South-West Spur 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
DPD 2.5-3 Snow Zermatt Klein Matterhorn Station 330 m0.205 miles
1,082.677 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Goulotte Spettro Glauco from the Gandegg Hut 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
NTD+ 12 + Snow and Rock IV-V 75 Zermatt Gandegg Hut 1,121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Goulotte Spettro Glauco from the Rossi and Volante Bivouac 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
NTD+ 12 + Snow and Rock IV-V 75 Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt Rossi and Volante Bivouac 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: Central Spur of South-East Face 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
GAD 4-4.5 Snow and Rock III Zermatt Klein Matterhorn Station 330 m0.205 miles
1,082.677 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Original Route from the Gandegg Hut 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
KD+ 8-11 Snow and Rock Zermatt Gandegg Hut 1,121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Original Route from the Rossi and Volante Bivouac 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
KD+ 7-9 Snow and Rock Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt Rossi and Volante Bivouac 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Dessert Semi-Freddo from the Gandegg Hut 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
KD+ 10-11 Mostly Snow 70 Zermatt Gandegg Hut 1,121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Dessert Semi-Freddo from the Rossi and Volante Bivouac 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
KD+ 9 Mostly Snow 70 Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt Rossi and Volante Bivouac 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Viaggio di Ordinaria Follia from Gandegg Hut 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
MTD 10-13 Mostly Snow 80 Zermatt Gandegg Hut 1,121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Viaggio di Ordinaria Follia from Rossi and Volante Bivouac 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
MTD 9-11 Mostly Snow 80 Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt Rossi and Volante Bivouac 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Gabarrou-Steiner Route from Gandegg Hut 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
MTD 8-10 Mostly Snow Zermatt Gandegg Hut 1,121 m0.697 miles
3,677.822 ft
1348
Breithorn Central: North Face - Gabarrou-Steiner Route from Rossi and Volante Bivouac 4,150 m2.579 miles
13,615.486 ft
MTD 8-10 Mostly Snow Breuil-Cervinia, Saint Jacques, Zermatt Rossi and Volante Bivouac 400 m0.249 miles
1,312.336 ft
1348

Hei.:Height, Dif.: Difficulty, Dur.: Duration, S. Gain: Meters from hut to summit
Summit map is always listed first. If a map is used for 2 km and another map for 1 km, the 2 km map will be listed before the 1 km map. Overview of the Swiss maps & Italian maps.

[edit] Additional photos

[edit] Recommended books

      The Alpine 4000m Peaks by the Classic Routes by Richard Goedeke

      Valais Alps East: Selected Climbs (Alpine Club Guides) by Les Swindin

      Valais Alps West: Selected Climbs (Alpine Club Guides) by Lindsay Griffin

      Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert) by Cathy Cosley

      Valais West: Zinal - Arolla - Verbier - Rhone Valley (Rother Walking Guide) by Michael Waeber & Hans Steinbichler

  • You can click the images to get a bigger image of the front cover!
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