Photo by Matt Coppock
|Difficulty:||Basic Snow/Ice Climb|
|Best months for climbing:||Jul, Aug|
|Year first climbed:||1855|
|First successful climber(s):||Peter Zurbriggen and Jakob Haeusser|
|Nearest major airport:||Zurich or Geneva|
|Convenient Center:||Saas Grund|
The Weissmies is the highest mountain in the north eastern Pennine Alps. The approach to the Trift Glacier / South-West Ridge (Triftgrat) route can now be made via lift to Hohsaas which is located virtually at the edge of the glacier. The ascent from Hohsaas takes about 4 hours and involves slopes to 40 degrees and crevasses. The North Ridge is included in "Walliser Alpen Die 100 Schoensten Touren" ( Walliser Alps the 100 Finest Routes ) by Michel Vaucher with Gaston Rebuffat.
Additional Information provided by J. Vranjes: The other normal route (south-east approach) is totally different because it is free of glaciers and more importantly it is without any cable car lines. From the west side, the route starts at Saas Almagell village at around 1670 m above the sea level. The lower part of the route is through a pleasant pine forest and it passes the Almagelleralp hotel ar around 2200 m. After that one should follow the signs towards the Almageller hut (at 2894 m; 3.5 hours to the hut from the village). The route continues towards the Zwischbergen pass (3268 m) and from there it turns towards the north either along the snow-free rocky ridge or along the slope that is usually covered with snow. At around 3950 m one is again on snow and the direction is obvious, towards the north-east with the summit in sight all the time. Along this route the mountain can be climbed directly from the village in around 8 hours. Sleeping at the Almageller hut is a good alternative, it is a pleasant place with running water in the toilet. Some people camp in the rock below the Zwischbergen pass on its west side.
From the east side the route starts at the Zwischbergen village and joins the route described above at the Zwischbergen pass. This is a considerably longer and snow-free approach in the summer time.
As for the equipment, one is on the snow only above 3950 m when the route is not steep and one can manage without crampons, though having them is not a bad idea.