Climb The Weissmies
Whilst, at 4017m the Weissmies just makes it into the exclusive club of Alpine 4000m peaks, it has many more attributes to recommend an ascent than just its altitude...
The traverse of the Weissmies is a classic alpine journey, among some of the Giants of the Swiss Alps, and provides an extremely enjoyable long weekend when combined with its neighboring 4000m peak, the Lagginhorn. This course is suitable for climbers with good fitness and some basic mountaineering experience.
Climb the Weissmies - Swiss Alpine Long Weekend, Featuring:
- Ascents of two fine Swiss alpine 4000m peaks
- Rocky mountain scramble in ascent, glacial traverse in descent topped by a fine snowy & narrow summit ridge
- 2 nights spent in a lovely Swiss mountain hut. Superb location, great hut, nice food
- Quality alpine mountaineering training
- Great progression (and acclimatisation) towards climbing other 4000m peaks including Mont Blanc & the Matterhorn
- Meet other like minded climbers for a sociable weekend in the mountains
- An action packed alpine long weekend easily done from Geneva Airport & transfer to Chamonix
- Starting in Chamonix gives the option of returning to Chamonix or catching the train back to Geneva airport from Martigny station mid afternoon on day 3
Climb The Weissmies Weekend
- Our three day Weissmies course begins in Chamonix, easily reached from Geneva airport via a simple one hour transfer. Day 1 begins with introductions, a weather brief and equipment check. We can also hire out any alpine mountaineering equipment out at this stage. Please check our alpine mountaineering equipment list and mountaineering equipment hire pages in advance and let us know what items you will require.
- Our onward car journey from Chamonix takes us east across the Swiss border and through the Vineyards of the Rhone Valley before we steadily ascend the classic Swiss alpine valley of the Saastal to Saas Grund. Here we leave the car, visit the cafe & climbing shop for any final items required and take the bus up to the village of Saas Almagell where the pleasant 7km, 3.5 hour hut walk begins.
- The Almageller Hut is a classic Swiss Mountain Refuge. Attractive & hospitable, with good food, great views and the huts elevation of 2894m is a reasonable sleeping altitude for the first night spent up high. Dinner is served around 6.30pm and involves 4 courses including soup, salad, main course & dessert.
The Traverse of the Weissmies
- On summit day breakfast is served at around 4am and our intention will be to leave the hut 45 mins after that. A rough & rocky path leads up through stony meadows where the classic alpine sensation of being surrounded by the bobbling head lamps of other teams gives a great pre-dawn atmosphere.
- The arrival of dawn coincides with reaching the Zwischbergenpass at 3268m. Inspiring & expansive views contrast the first rays of sun from the East over the Italian plains and Lake Maggiore whilst the Swiss Alpine giants remain aloof in shadows to the west. A magnificent spot for a brief pause before ascending the snow slope leading to the rocky South Ridge. This is not technically difficult but is sustained & offers fun scrambling. It is a good introduction to this style of mountaineering in preparation for routes on the higher & harder alpine peaks.
- The delightful summit ridge presents a slightly exposed but enjoyable snow crest leading right
to the summit and a magnificent panorama of the Alpine chain.
- Whilst the ascent of the mountain, spread over two days from Saas Almagell has been long, the descent is relatively short and swift. It is also considerably aided by the presence of the high 'Hohsaas' ski lift. The descent of the glacial northern flank provides the appealing option of traversing the mountain and a speedy and knee sparing descent down to the fleshpots of Saas Grund!
- After a good lunch in Saas Grund the return drive to Chamonix is made with the option of being dropped off at Martigny train station for the direct train to Geneva Airport. Details of this rail journey can be checked on the Swiss Railway timetable website.
When To Climb the Weissmies
Whilst the main season for climbing the Weissmies is high summer (June to September) it is possible to climb the mountain all year round according to weather and conditions. With stable snow conditions In winter and spring, most will make the ascent on skis via the high Hohsaas lift. Those looking for a quieter and probably tougher climbing experience may choose to climb in the Autumn when the mountain lifts and huts are all closed. Depending on conditions an ascent at this time may still be possible, using the hut's 'winter room' and indeed this can provide a remote feel & magical mountain journey.
We run a range of climbing 2-3 day weekends throughout summer season. See our course dates below.
Please get in touch with your own dates to arrange a private guide for the Wiessmies or an Autumn ascent.
Please note the Wiessmies or Climb the Gran Paradiso ascents can often be linked with each other and our Climb Mont Blanc / Climb the Matterhorn courses or would provide a useful springboard for more alpine climbing on a private guiding basis.
Climb the Lagginhorn
A n excellent extension to make a 3 day weekend is to spend the night after the traverse at either Hohsaas or the pleasant Weissmies Hut. Another alpine start can be made the next morning to make an ascent of the nearby 4010m peak, The Lagginhorn. The classic route from the Weissmies Hut presents a climb of around 1000m graded alpine 'PD' (easy scrambling with a few short steep snow or ice mountaineering sections).
Please note, for private guiding itineraries, that it is also possible to climb some other excellent routes from the Almageller Hut (Dry Hornli Ridge & Traverse of the Portjengrat) and the Wiessmies / Hohsaas Huts (South Ridge Lagginhorn, North Ridge Weissmies, Fletschorn) thereby creating a tougher but magnificent 3-5 day mountaineering itinerary in the upper Saastaal.
Required Fitness and Experience Levels
Some previous mountaineering experience is required for the traverse of the Weissmies. Those who have never worn crampons before should investigate our 'Chamonix Alpine Introduction' course and our 'Climb the Gran Paradiso' weekends or arrange some private guiding & mountaineering training prior to the course.
Both ascents involve some rocky / mixed scrambling and somewhat narrow and exposed summit ridges so folk should have a head for heights, although the actual difficulty level is quite low. Steep snow must be negotiated efficiently in descent which is why some prior experience with crampons is necessary.
A very good level of fitness & stamina is also required for the long walk to the hut (4hours) and 1100m climb to above 4000m on the 2 summit days (c. 5-8 hours).
Please refer to our classic alpine mountaineering equipment list for a summer traverse of the Weissmies.
Autumn conditions may require more warm clothing, boots & gloves etc.
June 23 - 25 2015, Tuesday - Thursday Inclusive, 3 Days, 3 / 3 Places Still Available. (0 Enquiries). Opportunity to Climb the Gran Paradiso (3 day course) just before these dates.
- 2 Day £425
- 3 Day £625
Maximum Guiding ratio of 1 Guide to 3 clients.
What’s included in the Price?
- 3 days mountain guiding with an IFMGA Mountain Guide (or 3 on the extension course)
- Transport during the course from Chamonix to the Swiss Alps & back
- Discounted equipment hire prices if required
- Trip management & booking of mountain huts
What’s not included?
- Dinner, bed and breakfast in the mountain hut(s), 77 Swiss Francs per person per night.
- The guides dinner bed & breakfast at a discounted rate split between group members. E.g with 3 clients this would be c. 20 Swiss Francs each.
- Valley accommodation. This course is based at the excellent Chalet Tissiers 'Ice & Orange' in Chamonix which offers pleasant half board accomodation from 46 euros per night. They only charge for the nights you are actually there and will happily store luggage when away in the mountain huts. If this is full or you would like an alternative style of accommodation please see our recommended list for places to stay in Chamonix.
- Lunches, drinks and snacks
- The high mountain lift pass to descend from Hohsaas
- Flights and transfers to Chamonix
- Mountaineering equipment. Check the kit list above
- Insurance suitable for alpine mountaineering in Europe
Further Details & Booking
For more details on our terms & conditions, to fill in a booking form and make a payment, please visit our booking page via the link below:
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