Valais Alps

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Valais Alps
Valais Alps

Valais Alps

Highest peak Dufourspitze ( 4634  m above sea level )
location Switzerland , Italy
part of Western alps
Coordinates , ( CH ) 45 ° 59 '  N , 7 ° 40'  O ( 617 134  /  91794 ) coordinates: 45 ° 59 '  N , 7 ° 40'  O ; CH1903:  617134  /  91794
Valais Alps, in the foreground the Mont-Blanc group

The Valais Alps (also Pennine Alps ) are a mountain group in the western Alps . Switzerland with the canton of Valais and Italy with the regions of Piedmont and Aosta Valley have a share . The mountain range extends over the large area between the Rhone Valley in the north and the Aosta Valley in the south and between the Simplon Pass in the east and the Great St. Bernard in the west. In the guidebooks of the SAC for practical reasons still extended from Griespass the Nufenenpass the east to the Eau Noire and Trento in the West.

The highest mountain in the Valais Alps is at 4634  m above sea level. M. the Dufourspitze in the Monte Rosa massif .


The Valais Alps are the record holders among the Alpine groups: they are the Alpine group with the largest glaciation, and there are also the most four-thousand-meter peaks of all Alpine groups. They also have the greatest difference in altitude within a mountain group in the Alps: between the highest (Dufourspitze, 4634  m above sea level ) and the lowest point ( Dora Baltea river near Ivrea in Piedmont , 253 m) there is a difference in altitude of almost 4400  m ü. M. The Italian Monte Rosa east wall is the highest wall series of the Alps with an altitude difference of nearly 3000  m above sea level. M .; There are many of the four-thousand-meter peaks in the Monte Rosa massif.

The Dufourspitze is the highest peak in Switzerland at 4634  m above sea level. M. , while the cathedral with 4545  m above sea level. M. is the highest mountain that lies entirely within Switzerland. The summit pyramids of the Matterhorn and Weisshorn are also striking . The highest park in Europe is the Italian Alta Valsesia Nature Park in the uppermost Val Sesia on the south side of the main ridge, also in the Valais Alps. It extends to a height of up to 4559  m above sea level. M. The highest farmed hut in the Alps is Margherita Hut in 4554  m above sea level. M. height at the summit of the Signalkuppe in the Monte-Rosa-Stock.

Traffic in the Valais Alps is routed through the Simplon Tunnel , among other things , which is the third longest railway tunnel in Switzerland and Italy and the third longest railway tunnel in continental Europe (after the Gotthard and Lötschberg base tunnels ). Below the mountain railways, the aerial tramway to the Klein Matterhorn , with a mountain station at 3820  m above sea level. M. Höhe is the highest cable car in Europe, and the Metro Alpin near Saas Fee , the highest funicular in the world with a mountain station at 3600  m above sea level. M. , emerge. The Lac des Dix is the largest reservoir in Switzerland with a capacity of 400 million m³ and has the highest gravity dam in the world with a height of 284 m.


Panorama of the Valais Alps from the Allalin Pass . The striking peaks are the Breithorn , Matterhorn , Dent Blanche , Zinalrothorn , Weisshorn , Alphubel and Allalinhorn .


There are 41 four-thousand-meter peaks in the Valais Alps, 36 of which tower around the Mattertal , which is the largest concentration of the four-thousand-meter high peaks in the Alps. This means that half of all four-thousand-meter peaks in the Alps are in the Valais Alps. The other half of the four-thousand-meter peaks are spread across five other mountain groups in the Alps.

Dent Blanche ( 4357  m above sea level ), Ober Gabelhorn ( 4063  m above sea level ), Zinalrothorn ( 4221  m above sea level ) and Weisshorn ( 4505  m above sea level )

More peaks

This subgroup of the Valais Alps is described separately under the Leone group .

Protected areas

Landscapes of National Importance (Switzerland)

In accordance with Article 5 of the Federal Act on Nature Conservation and Heritage Protection, Switzerland keeps a federal inventory of landscapes and natural monuments of national importance .

There are currently seven of these landscapes in the Valais Alps:

  • No. 1701, name: Binntal , year of inclusion in the inventory: 1977, size: 5084 ha, alpine valley with small lakes not affected by interventions; Geologically very versatile; unique discovery area for minerals; exceptionally rich flora
  • No. 1703, designation: Val de Bagnes , year of inclusion in the inventory: 1977, size: 16,869 ha, heavily glaciated high mountain landscape; diverse flora and fauna; important ibex colony
  • No. 1707, name: Dent Blanche-Matterhorn-Monte Rosa , year of inclusion in the inventory: 1983, revision: 1996, size: 26,942 ha
  • No. 1708, name: Pyramides d Euseigne , year of inclusion in the inventory: 1983, size: 70 ha
  • No. 1716, name: Pfynwald - Illgraben , year of inclusion in the inventory: 1998, size: 5074 ha
  • No. 1717, description: Laggintal-Zwischenbergtal , year of inclusion in the inventory: 1998, size: 11,498 ha
  • No. 1718, name: Val de Réchy - Sasseneire , year of inclusion in the inventory: 1998, size: 3480 ha


Long-distance / long-distance hiking trails

The Via Alpina , a cross-border long-distance hiking trail with five partial trails through the entire Alps, also runs through the Valais Alps. The Via Alpina Blue Trail runs in 20 stages through the south-eastern Italian part of the Valais Alps with a short detour to the Swiss side.



Due to the large differences in altitude and the glaciation, there are no pass crossings over the main ridge between the Great St. Bernhard and the Simplon in the Valais Alps . There are some passes that are accessible via mule tracks, hiking trails or on skis. The Theodulpass between Matterhorn and Breithorn and the Adlerpass in the Mischabel group are well known. The Saas Valley is connected to the Italian Val d'Ossola by the Zwischenbergen Pass via Gondo and by the Monte Moro Pass via the Valle Anzasca .

Image gallery


  1. Mattertal. Federal Office of Topography swisstopo, accessed on April 13, 2016 .
  2. Ernst Höhne: Knaurs Lexikon für Bergfreunde / The Alps between Matterhorn and Lake Constance . Droemer Knaur, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-426-26223-1 , p. 124 f .

Web links

Commons : Valais Alps  - collection of images, videos and audio files