From Mount Wiki
|Elevation|| 4,545 m14,911.417 ft |
|Prominence|| 1,045 m0.649 miles |
|DMS Coor.||46°5´42"N, 7°51´36"E|
|Swiss Coor.||632502 / 104794|
|Links|| Topographic Detail |
 General information
The Dom (correct name: Dom de Mischabel) is a massive and impressive mountain above Saas Fee in the canton of Valais in the Pennine Alps. It's situated at the mid-length point of the Strahlhorn-Mischabel Group, the highest massif lying entirely in Switzerland. With its 4,545 m (14,911 ft) summit it is the third highest peak in the Alps after the Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa - (Dufourspitze, Nordend, Zumsteinspitze and Signalkuppe (Punta Gnifetti)). It's the second highest mountain in Switzerland and the highest mountain completely in Swiss territory, since the Monte Rosa peaks are on the Swiss-Italian border. The Dom is situated between its twin Täschhorn (4,491m) to the South and the pyramid of the Lenzspitze (4,294m) to the North.
 Summits and subsummits
The name “Mischabel” comes from a ancient German dialect term for “pitchfork for the manure” and it was the former name of the Dom, even during years where the name entitled the whole mountain range. What makes folks call this summit the “pitchfork” is the presence of many peaks close to each other, in fact the Dom has one main peak and two secondary peaks:
- The highest one (with a cross) lies in the middle, it is 4545,42 meters heigh with a trapezium shape (if viewed from North or South).
- The Western one is the so-called “Gabel” and it represents the Dom’s antisummit: it is 4,480 m high.
- The Eastern one is the summit of a Grand Gendarme with an elevation of 4,468 m.
 Ridges and saddles
The Dom’s shape is quite complex and it presents five ridges:
- The least important and briefest one is the summit ridge between the Dom summit and the Gabel (Dom’s antisummit) and it has a length of 230 m.
- The two main ridges are the NNE and the S ridge. These ridges link Dom to the Lenzspitze – (toward N), and to the Täschhorn up to the Alphubel and the Allalinhorn (toward S), creating a great wall on the E side of the Mischabel-Stahlhorn Group, covered by the large Fee Glacier. On the NNE ridge just under the Lenzspitze S side there is the Lenzjoch, while on the S ridge there’s the Domjoch (the pass between Dom and Täschhorn): both of these passes are narrow and difficult to get over.
- The other two ridges, W and NW run almost parallel from the summit ridge, creating three areas on the W side of the Dom. On the NW ridge there is the Festijoch a large saddle between the Festi Glacier (to the S) and the Hohberg Glacier (to the N).
The system of ridges all around the Dom’s summit creates four main sides for this mountain:
- The most important one is the E wall which is impressive, steep and icy (it is covered by the Fee Glacier and continues from the Allalinhorn to the Lenzspitze, above the village of Saas Fee
- The SW side is also icy, covered by the King Glacier.
- The N side is completely icy, covered by the Hohberg Glacier: the Normal route runs here.
- The W side is icy, held between the W and NW ridges and is covered by the Festi Glacier.
Its name could be derived from a dialect term for “dome” or “cathedral” but some people say that the name Dom comes from the name Domherr (German term near “priest”) Berchtold, the first man to measure the heights of the Mischabel.
The most popular routes are the Normal route and the North West ridge, but Dom can climbed from other directions too.
 North side, II (III+)
This route is also called the normal route. Most of the route gets classified as degree II, but occasionally one does degree III, like on the saddle and on the highest part of the northface. One starts ascending from the Dom Hut. One can see the west face of the Dom mountain from the hut. It is good to start around three O'clock in the morning. One will continue upwards about one hour before reaching the camping place. From here one descends towards east and down to glacier. It is possible to go straight over the glacier and towards the saddle on the left/north, but it is more safe to ascend on the left side next to ridge. There is a support rope on the saddle, but one should pay attention to dust on this face, it can be very slippery. Climbing down to the other side is easier as glacier is higher, there is no ropes. Here the route starts to make a half circle towards south east and to the east side of the mountain. Path goes on the north face higher, when nearing the east ridge of the Dom mountain. One longer section on the north face towards west and roughly in the middle the path starts to go from left to right, making zig zag upwards. Face becomes much steeper when nearing the top. Descending back is much easier and one may even go down to Randa if preferred, but one more night in the hut is often chosen.
 North West ridge, AD+ (III)
This route is more difficult and it is usually demanding snow/ice climb. It is also called the Festigrat route. The route starts on the saddle, where the climbers following the Normal route are ascending, but continue towards the other side of the saddle.