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Allalinhorn from the northeast, from Mittelallalin

Allalinhorn from the northeast, from Mittelallalin

height 4027  m above sea level M.
location Canton of Valais , Switzerland
Mountains Valais Alps , Mischabel
Dominance 2.01 km →  Rimpfischhorn
Notch height 256 m ↓  Alphubeljoch
Coordinates 635 497  /  99 624 coordinates: 46 ° 2 '50 "  N , 7 ° 53' 50"  O ; CH1903:  six hundred thirty-five thousand four hundred ninety-seven  /  ninety-nine thousand six hundred twenty-four
Allalinhorn (Canton of Valais)
First ascent August 28, 1856 by Edward Levi Ames with Franz Josef Andenmatten and a Mayo
Normal way West flank over the Feejoch (glacier tour)

The Allalinhorn (or simply Allalin ) is a 4027  m high peak in the Valais Alps . It is one of the easiest and most climbed four-thousand-meter peaks in the Alps , not least because the Metro Alpin takes you to the summit at an altitude of around 570 meters and it can be reached in around two hours from the cable car mountain station. The summit rises in the Mischabel ridge between the Saas Valley in the east and Mattertal in the west and belongs to the Allalin group named after him , which includes three other four-thousand-meter peaks, the Alphubel , Strahl- and Rimpfischhorn .


Mischabel and Allalin group

The Allalinhorn is located seven kilometers southwest of Saas-Fee and is surrounded by four large glaciers : the Feegletscher in the north , the Hohlaubgletscher to the east, the Allalin Glacier in the southeast and the Mellich Glacier in the southwest . Four ridges strive to reach the summit , but with the exception of the east ridge - also known as the Hohlaubgrat ridge - they are lost under a thick ice cover in the summit area.

To the west are Feekopf ( 3888  m ) and Alphubel ( 4206  m ), separated by Feejoch ( 3826  m ) and Alphubeljoch ( 3772  m ). To the south, the Allalinpass ( 3564  m ) separates the Rimpfischhorn ( 4199  m ) from the Allalinhorn.

Origin of name

The name Allalin refers next to the mountain to the area to the east under the summit including some Alps . The final emphasis suggests a pre-German origin. Allalin was also one of those names that led Christian Moritz Engelhardt to come up with the “ Saracen hypothesis” in 1840 , under which he assumed that the Saas Valley had been settled by people of Arab origin in the 10th century. Engelhardt specifies Alalain as the name form and traces it back to Arabic ala ain ('at the source').

Another interpretation comes from Jules Guex in 1976, who refers to a letter from Johann Ulrich Hubschmied . He traces Allalin back to the Celtic * akarnos ('maple'). A diminutive * agarinus changed to agalin , which existed in the Valle Verzasca for 'little maple'. In the not yet Germanized Saas Valley, it then became ayalin , from which Hubschmied constructed a hybrid form all'ayalin , which was later made into Allalin by the immigrating Alemanni . This interpretation is not generally accepted either, in the absence of historical evidence there are no better explanations.

Ascent history

In 1828 Heinrich Michaelis crossed the Allalin pass accompanied by a guide and thus opened up the route to the southwest ridge. But it wasn't until 28 years later that the first ascent of the Allalinhorn was possible over this ridge . On August 28, 1856, Franz Josef Andenmatten and a guide from the Imseng family, both from Saas-Grund , led the Englishman Edward Levi Ames to the summit. The north-west ridge, today's normal route, was first walked on August 1, 1860, again Franz Josef Andenmatten was part of the party, as well as Sir Leslie Stephen , FW Short, Frederick William Jacomb, C. Fisher, Moritz Anthamatten, Peter Taugwalder and Johann Crowned.

The Bernese high school teacher and historian Heinrich Dübi and the guides Alphons and Peter Supersaxo succeeded in crossing the summit for the first time on July 27, 1882. They reached the summit via the difficult northeast ridge, and the descent was via the Hohlaubgrat. Both ridges were first climbed in the course of this remarkable undertaking . In the ascent, the Hohlaubgrat was not conquered until five years later, on July 12, 1887, by the Englishman Harold Ward Topham, CH Redall with the guide Aloys Supersaxo. A year earlier, Aloys Supersaxo and the Briton CAC Bowlker were the first to climb the south face, which has grade IV climbing difficulties.

The Swiss R. Bracken made his first winter ascent in 1907 on his own. On April 17th of the same year, A. Hurter and Max Stahel from Zurich completed the first ski ascent with Othmar and Oskar Supersaxo.


As early as 1912, with the construction of the Britanniahütte, climbing the Allalinhorn was made easier, and in 1938 the Berghaus Längfluh was added as a further base . Today the Allalinhorn is next to the Breithorn, the four-thousand-meter peak in the Alps that is best served by mountain railways.

The many facilities built primarily for ski tourism are limited to the north-east side of the mountain. There, in 1954, the construction of a gondola lift to Spielboden began, which was extended in 1959 to Längfluh ( 2869  m ), the area between the two tongues of the Fee Glacier. The mountain railways moved even closer to the summit in 1969 with the construction of the large cable car in the Felskinn area ( 2989  m ). In the 1970s it was planned to extend this run even further to Feekopf ( 3888  m ). The Swiss Federal Council refused the concession for this project, and as an alternative, the Alpine Metro to Mittelallalin ( 3456  m ), which is now a summer ski area, was built to be more environmentally friendly . Numerous national teams and junior squads from the fields of alpine , freestyle and cross complete their summer training here. The Freestyle Park Stomping Grounds Project with numerous kickers, rails, boxes, transitions and a halfpipe is also located on the Mittelallalin . In January 2011, the company that operates the mountain railways announced that it was aiming for an extension to the Feejoch, from where the summit could be reached in 45 minutes.


West flank of the Feejoch
Feejoch from the summit

West flank (normal route)

The shortest ascent to the Allalinhorn begins at the Mittelallalin station of the Metro Alpin ( 3454  m ). When using the train, the ascent is possible as a day tour. From the station you first cross the slopes to the west. The increase then continues on the almost always considerable track among the seracs of Allalinhorn north face through it, some columns and Schründe immediately to Feejoch. From the yoke you continue in an easterly direction over the moderately steep firn slope to the ridge slightly south of the summit. From there you can reach the summit ridge in a few minutes and the summit with a cross, which consists of several rocks. This route takes about two hours, the level of difficulty is L .

This route can be accessed from Längfluh ( 2870  m ). If you stay overnight in the Berghaus Längfluh, this alternative offers the possibility of avoiding the greatest rush during the operating hours of the mountain railways.

Hohlaubgrat (east ridge)

Summit construction of the Hohlaubgrat ridge from P.3837

The starting point for an ascent over the Hohlaubgrat is the Britanniahütte . This ridge separates the Allalin and Hohlaub glaciers . The ridge is cut quite sharply in the upper part and consists mainly of firn, with the exception of an approximately 20 meter high rock step just below the summit, the key point of the route.

Before the rock step just below the summit

From the Britanniahütte, a clear path leads down to the Hohlaub Glacier in a south-westerly direction. On this one initially keep to the right, at the northern edge of the glacier, in order to avoid the crevasse zone of the glacier. Later you turn south, towards the first clear saddle of the Hohlaubgrat ridge. The ridge is entered at around 3100 m. You can then either go directly on the ridge via blockwork, or on the right, northern flank of the glacier to a ridge summit ( 3597  m ). After a short but distinctive descent, the ascent path now leads over a long, steep slope to the east shoulder ( 3837  m ), from which it takes three shorter steep swings to the summit structure. The following, partly brittle rock step is provided with bolts and has climbing difficulties of the II degree . Two pitches take you to the summit and via this to the summit in a few minutes.

A total of 4 hours are estimated for this route, the difficulty is rated WS + . Another possibility of access to the upper part of the ridge is from the middle station of the Metro Alpin at 3300 meters, the station Hohlaub , which is only served on the first morning ascent . A tube leads to the Hohlaub glacier and over it to the Hohlaub ridge.

Southwest ridge from the Allalinpass

This path, the first to climb, is much less common today than the western flank or the Hohlaubgrat. The Allalin Pass can be reached in around three hours from both the Britannia and the Täschhütte . Initially the path leads over firn, later on rocks to the shoulder ( 3752  m ), a rock needle is bypassed on the left. It continues over the firn ridge to the rocky peak ascent. The following difficult section of the ridge is bypassed using ribbons in the south-east flank, then you return to the ridge. Another rocky upswing can be climbed directly or bypassed over firn on the southeast side. Then you get to the summit front and over it to the summit. From the Allalinpass you need 1½ hours, in places there are climbing difficulties of grade II to be mastered, the overall difficulty is rated WS + .

Further climbs

On the Allalinhorn there are the following other rewarding, difficult and seldom climbed opportunities:

route difficulties
Brief description
Northeast ridge ZS + Ice up to 50 °, 580 meters in altitude, 3 hours from Mittelallalin
South wall ZS + Rock up to IV , combined (ice and firn), 600 m wall height, 4 hours from the start
Northeast face SS   Extreme ice route north of the northeast ridge, ice 60 to 90 °, also overhanging in the Seraczone , 570 m wall height, 8 hours from the start


In the area of ​​the Allalinhorn, the zone from Zermatt – Saas Fee is pending . This unit forms with the Tsaté ceiling the Bündenschist ophiolite ceiling , which lies above the Monte Rosa ceiling . It represents a mighty mass of oceanic sediments , which in some places contains very many ophiolites . There are limestone shale as well as green rocks such as serpentinite , gabbro and basalt .

The Allalin gabbro from the area of ​​the Allalinhorn and Saas Fees is very well known . This is a key rock . The resilient Allalin gabbro was transported over the Saas and Rhone glaciers at least 14,000 to 16,000 years ago, when the Saas glacier last reached the Rhone glacier. Boulders were found in the catchment area of ​​the Rhone Glacier, for example a head-sized specimen that was found in a gravel pit in Ins in the canton of Bern and is now on display in the Saas Museum. The most striking mineral of this stone, also known as Swiss jade , is the bright green omphacite, next to the jade-like saussurite .

Allalinhorn summit panorama

Literature and maps

  • Wolfgang Pusch, Helmut Dumler, Willi P. Burkhardt: Four thousand meter peaks in the Alps. 14th, completely reworked and re-illustrated edition. Bergverlag Rother, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-7633-7431-1
  • Michael Waeber: Valais Alps. Area guides for hikers, mountaineers, ski tourers, climbers. The most popular climbs to all important peaks with descriptions of all recommended ski tours. 13th edition. Bergverlag Rother, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-7633-2416-X .
  • Richard Goedeke : 4000s. The normal ways. With descriptions of the normal climbs on all four-thousand-meter peaks in the Alps. J. Berg bei Bruckmann, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-7634-1007-4 .
  • Federal Office of Topography swisstopo : National map of Switzerland 1:50 000 , composition 5006, Matterhorn - Mischabel , Wabern 2014, ISBN 978-3-302-05006-5 (cut sheet )
  • Federal Office of Topography swisstopo: National map of Switzerland 1:25 000 , sheet 1329, Saas , Wabern 2012, ISBN 978-3-302-01329-9 (cut sheet )
  • Federal Office of Topography swisstopo: National map of Switzerland 1:25 000 , sheet 1328, Randa , Wabern 2012, ISBN 978-3-302-01328-2 (cut sheet )

Web links

Commons : Allalinhorn  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Allalinhorn at 4000m - the four-thousanders of the Alps

Individual evidence

  1. Johannes Wartenweiler: The Saracens of Saas Fee ( Memento of May 13, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) . In: Die Wochenzeitung , October 7, 2004.
  2. a b Iwar Werlen : The basic words of the Oberwalliser summit names. In: Brigitte Huber (ed.): Chomolangma, Demawend and Kasbek. Festschrift for Roland Bielmeier on his 65th birthday. Volume 2: Demawend and Kasbek (= contributions to Central Asian research. Vol. 12). IITBS, Halle (Saale) 2008, ISBN 978-3-88280-079-1 , pp. 577-614.
  3. Edward Levi Ames: Ascents of the Fletsch-Horn and Alleleinhorn . In: John Ball (Ed.): Peaks, Passes and Glaciers . A Series of Excursions by Members of the Alpine Club. Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts, London 1860, VIII (English, ).
  4. a b c d Dumler, Burkhardt: Four thousand meter peaks in the Alps. 1998, p. 85 f.
  5. Otto Supersaxo: Touristic Development of the Glacier Village ( Memento from July 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (press text for the Saas-Fee tourism organization)
  6. ^ Stomping Grounds Project. Retrieved April 14, 2020 .
  7. ^ Radio Rottu Oberwallis: Saas-Fee: Bergbahnen AG is working on the future
  8. ^ M. Waeber: Valais Alps. 2003, margin number 731.
  9. ^ M. Waeber: Valais Alps. 2003, margin number 733.
  10. ^ M. Waeber: Valais Alps. 2003, margin number 732.
  11. ^ R. Goedeke: 4000er. 1990, pp. 92-96.
  12. ^ Toni P. Labhard: Geology of Switzerland. 5th, revised edition. Ott, Thun 2001, ISBN 3-7225-6760-2 , p. 94 f.
  13. Otto Supersaxo: At home in the Saas Valley. Rotten-Verlag, Visp 1994, ISBN 3-907816-24-2 , p. 13.
  14. ^ Toni P. Labhard: Geology of Switzerland. 5th, revised edition. Ott, Thun 2001, ISBN 3-7225-6760-2 , p. 32
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 14, 2008 .