- Useful Info
Zinalrothorn – Valais - Switzerland
Rock Climbing, Mountaineering
The Zinalrothorn is a mountain for climbers. No easy routes to the summit and the sharp ridges radiating from the top are made up of compact and high quality gneiss. Some of the exposure and steep buttresses are pretty wild!
Our preferred way of climbing the mountain is to make a traverse from the Mountet hut. Up the fantastic south-west ridge (which also features some steep snow to start) before descending the classic north ridge. These are routes were it pays to be moving well, often "moving together" with running belays and rock spikes. We do pitch the more difficult sections but this is a long route and keeping up a good pace is important.
Other climbing options include approaching from Zermatt for the south-east ridge from the Rothorn hut or making a there and back on the north ridge from the Mountet.
If you've climbed the Matterhorn or Eiger and are now wondering what's next, then the Zinalrothorn might be for you. Great rock, spectacular views and without the crowds of Matterhorn.
Required experience/skill level:
Advanced. Due to the traversing nature of all the routes on the Zinalrothorn, it is quite a committing mountain. You will ideally have completed previous long climbs of AD standard and have a high level of fitness.
Length (in metres):
The summit of the Zinalrothorn is 4221m.
Height gain from the Mountet hut is 1350m, and around 8 to 10 hours round trip.
2 to 3 days
Chamonix – village of Zinal and then Mountet hut (for North ridge and South-West ridge).
Chamonix - Zermatt to approach Rothorn hut for south east ridge.
Maximum guide ratio:
June – October. The huts are generally opening mid June and shutting again mid September. The routes are a lot harder under snow, so dry rock is required.
Links/ featured courses:
The Mountet hut is particular is a good base for other routes in the area, including some great rock climbing. So spending two or three nights at the hut is a good strategy. Walking back to the valley after the Zinalrothorn is a long day, so it's common to spend a second night at the hut after the climb.