Ski Bernese 4000 m Peaks

Hut-to-hut ski traverse of the Bernese Alps aimed at climbing the skiable 4000 m Peaks.

Trip Dates

Price:

1750,- €

Duration:

4 Days

Group Size:

2

Difficulty:

Difficulty

Accomodation:

simple: Hut / bunks

Ski Bernese 4000 m Peaks

The Bernese Oberland features the only arctic style glaciers of the Alps. Whilst you can find spectacular glacial scenery in other parts of the Alps, the system of valley glaciers that merge at the huge Konkordia Platz is quite unique. Consequently, to access the 4000 meter peaks of the region, Finsteraarhorn, Aletschhorn, Gross Fiescherhorn and Gross Grünhorn you have to travel a lot of distance on relatively flat ground.

The Bernese Alps are therefore made for skiing and skitouring. All the major peaks are accessible to ski mountaineers, and it is a pleasure to simply slide down huge distances in between two peaks in a wild glacial scenery. And even better: there are some of the best high alpine and long ski descents to be found here!

Our Bernese Oberland summits ski traverse links 4 classic ski peaks Finsteraarhorn, Gross Fiescherhorn, Gross Grünhorn and Mittaghorn by means of a hut-to-hut traverse. A must-do for all avid ski mountaineers!

As a recommended extension the Aletschhorn (4193 m) can be climbed as well. This remote peak is another big alpine ski summit and preferably done in late spring conditions. Adding 2 days to your trip will get you all the classic Bernese Ski 4000ers.

Please make an inquiry to ask for details.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Meet at the Jungfraujoch Train station Grindelwald at 10 a.m. Kit check and briefing on safety routines and avalanche conditions. We take the lift/train to Jungfraujoch and skin to the Oberes Mönchsjoch. A traverse brings us to the Untere Mönchsjoch. From here we take a short ski descent to the Bergli Hut, which sits in a spectacular setting above the Oberes Eismeer on a rocky spur. Direct views on the Eiger Southface. The hut is unguarded and we have to cook ourselves. This is a perfect acclimatization day for the coming days.Vertical ↑ 300 ↓ 400 m

Day 2: We climb back to Unteres Mönchsjoch in the early morning. A very flat straight line ski descent puts us at the base of the Fiescherhörner. Skins on and a straight forward climb to Fieschersattel, the last 150 m bootpacking. We leave the skis and climb the short rocky ridge to the top of the Gross Fiescherhorn (4049 m). On the descent we have to negotiate a wild ice-fall with tricky route finding. The night is spent in the Finsteraarhornhütte (3048 m) Vertical ↑ 1000 ↓ 1300 m

Day 3: Steep ascent of Finsteraarhorn (4274 m). On the frozen slopes we gain the Hugi Sattel in a lot of switchbacks. Solid kickturn techniques and ski crampons are required! We switch from skis to crampons and climb the easy but exposed ridge on a rope. Stunning views from the summit of one of the most spectacular alpine ski peaks! The descent is excellent, since the hard slopes have transformed to spring corn in the meantime. We stop for lunch at the hut and continue over the Grünhornlücke to the Konkordia Hut (2850 m) with its infamous steel staircase. Vertical ↑ 1700 ↓ 1900 m

Day 4: Another very spectacular ski ascent is on today. The route to Gross Grünhorn (4044 m) comprises ice falls, a maze of crevasses and again, an airy summit-ridge. But, as a reward, we can expect another superb descent. This time we have a snack on Konkordia Platz, before we start plodding up the 7+ kilometers to Hollandia hut (3240 m) with the mighty Aletschhorn on skier's left. Vertical ↑ 1800 ↓ 1400 m

Day 5: Magnificent skiing finale of a splendid week: the Mittaghorn. An early start is necessary because we have more than 2000 m of steep southern aspect to overcome, that we want to hit in ideal corn snow. If the time is right, this is one of the best springtime ski descents in the whole area. The train brings us back to Grindelwald Vertical ↑ 700 ↓ 2400 m

Aletschhorn Extension

Day 4: After climbing Gross Grünhorn we ski down to Riederalp and stay in a Hotel in Blatten to recover. Shower and loads of food will revitalize our spirit. Vertical ↑ 1500 ↓ 2100 m

Day 5: Approach day to Oberaletsch Hut (2640 m). Vertical ↑ 800 ↓ 200 m

Day 6: Early morning will see us skinning up Oberaletsch Glacier. Soon we rope up and travel over crevassed terrain until we arrive at the south-west rib at around 3700 m. Skis stay here and we climb the remaining 500 meters to the summit. The descent will hold some splendid spring skiing. One more night at Oberaletsch Hut Vertical ↑ 1650 ↓ 1650 m

Day 7: We hike out via Beichpass (3128 m) to Blatten in Lötschtal. With a bit of luck this ski mountaineering adventure ends with some late spring powder turns. Train ride back to Grindelwald. Vertical ↑ 650 ↓ 1550 m

Prerequisites

  • excellent cardiovascular fitness: stamina for 7 hours of ascent (up to 1800 meters vertical), overall time of exercise 10-12 hours
  • expert off-piste ski technique, controlled skiing in all types of snow, including crusts and slopes up to 40 dg, familiar with jump turns
  • solid ski mountaineering skills: kickturns, ascending with ski crampons in 35 deg+ terrain, climbing skills up to the French grade 3a (D UK 5.3 US) with ski boots and crampons.
  • proficient use of avalanche safety equipment
  • pre-acclimatisation is recommended

Getting There

The nearest Airports are Geneva, Bern and Zürich. We will most probably be able to pick you up at the airport or a nearby town that can easily be reached by train from your inbound airport. We discuss the details of transportation with you.

Accommodation & Food

You will stay on typical alpine mountain huts. They have a big dining room and dormitories with usually 4–12 bunks. Sometimes the dormitories have up to 20 bunks. The sanitary conditions are basic with common toilets, washing rooms and only rare showers. On very high huts there is sometimes not even running water.

We typically have half board on the hut. A lean breakfast with bread, jam, butter and, depending on the region, cereals is served along with coffee or tea. Dinner consists of 3 to 4 courses: starters / soup, sometimes salad, main course with some meat, desert. Vegetarian or other dietary requirements are accounted for.

You can order non-alcoholic drinks, beer and wine. Likewise, snacks and lunch can be purchased. On the higher huts there is no potable water and you will have to buy bottled water.

Please don't hesitate to contact us in case of questions.

Gear

Lightweight skitouring skis and -skins. Avalanche safety equipment. Full glacier travel kit.

Included

  • Organization and guiding by a IFMGA licensed Mountain Guide
  • Rental gear: Avalanche safety and glacier travel kit.
  • All guide's expenses

Excluded

  • 5 x Nights/Half board on mountain huts approx. 75 €/Night (alpine club members)
  • Jungfraujoch and other train tickets about 180 €
  • Lunch and drinks on the huts. (lunch for take away can be ordered the day before)
  • personal insurance covering mountain rescue

Specials

for this trip

Flexibility: joint risk of bad (weather) conditions.

Flexibility is our working method - not a slick marketing slogan. We budget 1-2 extra days in the planning of many of our trips to factor in adverse weather conditions. The days can for example be used to move the trip a day or two as to use the best weather window for the summit bid.

Of course you only pay the actual guiding days. We'd rather achieve your goal than insist on doing a poor alternative.

Alternate dates: if it doesn't work out first try.

Ambitious alpine goals require the right conditions and this might not be the case on your first try. We understand that you don't want to hire a guide for not climbing your cherished dream route. On our individually arranged trips we discuss and agree on how to deal with this situation prior to the trip.

Understandably we cannot cancel all our trips in the high season. But we will come up with a fair deal for both sides: a prefixed alternate date, a voucher for the next attempt, an adapted rate for smaller and less committing objectives, or the option to cut off some days.

Fairness first.

The job of mountain guides is demanding and highly responsible. Clearly, this work has to be appropriately remunerated. Yet we are climbers, not tough business men. That's why our emphasis is on dealing fairly with our clients.

We block dates for your trip. Sometimes the arranged climb still doesn't work out. We then appreciate your understanding that we cannot bear the cancellation risk alone. On the other hand we do understand that you don't want to pay the summit rate of a prestigious goal for an alternative destination. With open communication and consideration for each other's situation, we will find a good solution. The summit rate only applies if the conditions are right and we make a summit bid.