Alphubel

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Alphubel

Photo of the Alphubel
View on the E face of the Alphubel

General
Elevation 4,206 m13,799.213 ft
2.613 miles
Prominence 355 m0.221 miles
1,164.698 ft
Location Valais, Switzerland
Range Pennine Alps
Massif Mischabel
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Coordinates
DMS Coor. 46°3´50"N, 7°52´0"E
Swiss Coor. 633122 / 101464
Links Topographic Detail

Coordinates Information

Nearby Features
Allalinhorn, Allalinpass, Alphubeljoch, Fee Glacier, Feechopf, Feejoch, Kinhorn, Längflue Hotel, Mischabel, Mischabeljoch Bivouac, Mittelallalin, Mittelallalin Station, Täsch Hut
Alpinist's Info
Topo. Map SLK 1328: Randa
Easiest Route Rating PD PD
Map
Alphubel (Switzerland )
Alphubel
Alphubel
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Contents

[edit] General information

The Alphubel (4,206 m13,799.213 ft
2.613 miles
) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps in Switzerland, more specifically the mountain is part of the Mischabel massif located in Valais.

The first ascent of the mountain was by L. Stephen and T. W. Hinchliff with guides M. Anderegg and P. Perren in 1860.

The mountain has 2 distinctly different sides. The E side of the peak is vast glaciated hump with a long flat summit plateau. The W side presents a sombre rock wall to the viewer with two significant ridges projecting towards the W, one from each side of the summit plateau. This rock wall is 500-700m high and steeply descends from the Alphubel summit plateau towards the Weingarten Glacier. From the Alphubel you have a very nice view over the Mischabelgroup and across to the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. If there is fog, it is difficult to find the highest point of the Alphubel because of the many different summits and the summit plateau.

This summit has two ordinary routes: one from the Täsch Hut (S or N ridge) and another one from Längflue (glaciated E face). The route from the E might look easy and without any danger, but this is certainly not always the case. The Fee Glacier can be heavily crevassed and can make alpinists work hard during their ascent.

There are difficult routes that ascend the both ridges on the W side of the steep rock wall, called the Rotgrat ridge route (AD+) and the W rib route (D).

[edit] Routes

[edit] South-East Ridge (PD)

SidCrward,Eome Rodri, anch'io sono curioso di vedere se Sertes porrà davvero una certa domanda a MM, come ieri sembrava risoluto a fare. Resto in attesa di sviluppi.La domanda in questione è alla fine del video della seconda parte delle domande.

#1: SE ridge route to the Alphubel summit starting from the Täsch Hut

From the Täsch Hut follow the route to the Alphubeljoch. Follow the gradually rising path into the Chummiboden combe and climb up the combe keeping the river on your right. Follow the river upstream until you meet the S branch of the Alphubel Glacier at an altitude of 3,200m. Climb SE up the glacier then, at a height of 3,400m, turn E to pass Pt.3,510m on your left side and reach the pass via easy angled slopes. Climbing to Alphubeljoch takes around 3h.

Then climb the ridge, keeping to the crest, over Pt.3,904m to reach the point where it steepens by a band of rock. Depending on the weather conditions and the degree of snowfall, this point can be totally covered in snow or totally exposed. If the rock portion is too slippery because of ice, either keep to crest, which is delicate, or climb a rock portion that is more difficult but less icy. Above this the going is much easier and you will soon reach the summit plateau (photo #1-3). The true summit might be difficult to find because of the big plateau, but go to the place where other people are taking pictures. Chances are big they found the true summit before you. Starting from Alphubeljoch, you need 1-2h to reach the summit.

If the conditions on the ridge are too dangerous to descend, you may prefer to descend to 3,800m via the E face and contour back to the Alphubeljoch. This option is also possible in an ascent if visibility is very poor for example and the ridge looks a too dangerous option.

An Alternative approach is from the Mittelallalin funicular station (3500m). Depart the station and follow the ski slope SW: there is usually a good track as this is the same route taken on the Allalinhorn#From_Mittelallalin voie normale; follow this track to the Feejoch (below Pt 3,826m): the prominent snow tracks to Allalinhorn turn East/Southeast from here, ignore these and turn more west to the rocky outcrop to the SW (the Feechopf). Climb these WNW rocks (class II) until you reach glacier at Pt 3,888m. Follow this glacier NW, this is the Alphubeljoch: follow the instructions in the paragraph above from here. From Mittelallalin station expect 3.5-4hrs to the summit. The late start which the train forces on climbers means that a decent by the same route would be done over glaciers in melting afternoon snow.

[edit] East Flank (PD)

SidCrward,Eome Rodri, anch'io sono curioso di vedere se Sertes porrà davvero una certa domanda a MM, come ieri sembrava risoluto a fare. Resto in attesa di sviluppi.La domanda in questione è alla fine del video della seconda parte delle domande.

#2: SE ridge route with the alternative route if the ridge is too icy and the E face route starting from Längflue

This route is not recommended as it is very easy, but very monotonous snow walking. It is frequently climbed on skis during Spring.

From the Längflue hotel walk on the Fee Glacier and head SW up towards the rocks of Pt.2,989m. Before reaching the rocks, turn SSW and climb parallel to the band of rocks up steeper slopes, passing a badly crevassed area. These crevasses can make long detours necessary (!). At a height of 3,600m turn right and continue W. This first part takes 2-2.5h.

Keep roughly parallel with rocks to the N, and reach a steep glacier combe at 4,000m. Cross the bergschrund and climb the combe itself which leads to the summit plateau. This last part takes around 2h.

[edit] North Ridge (PD)

SidCrward,Eome Rodri, anch'io sono curioso di vedere se Sertes porrà davvero una certa domanda a MM, come ieri sembrava risoluto a fare. Resto in attesa di sviluppi.La domanda in questione è alla fine del video della seconda parte delle domande.

#3: Topographic overview of the 3 PD routes on the Alphubel

This route is more frequently descended to the Mischabeljoch Bivouac after reaching the summit than it is ascended. The ridge is fairly short but is worth climbing and can be incorporated in a pleasant traverse of the mountain.

The first part is the route towards the Mischabeljoch Bivouac. From the Täsch Hut follow a good path leading NE round the end of the Rotgrat into the Tälli valley. Keep on this path to the point where it crosses the Wissgrat at a saddle between Pt.3,103m and Pt.3,195m. Descend a path on the N side of the saddle and continue along it, passing Pt.3,117m on your left side, until you are E of the small lake (Weingartensee) at 3,060m. Reaching the small lake takes 1.5h.

Now follow a marked route after climbing the moraine, and staying off the glacier. Continue NE and aim for a spot between the rocks of Pt.3,223m and Pt.3,481m. Find a suitable climbing spot and climb onto the rib linking these two points. A suitable starting spot is marked by a cairn. The rock is solid and not difficult (II). Once on the rib work E along it to the point where a short descent can be made onto the central branch of the Weingarten Glacier. Head NE into the centre of the glacier and then turn E to reach the Mischabeljoch. Watch out for crevasses! It takes 4-5h to reach the col from the Täsch Hut.

From the Mischabeljoch follow the ridge to the N summit (4,188 m) and then continue on the summit plateau to the main summit. The ridge itself takes 1.5h. An overview of the route is given in photo #3, and additional photos are available at the bottom of the page in Additional Photos.

[edit] West Ridge - Rotgrat (AD+)

SidCrward,Eome Rodri, anch'io sono curioso di vedere se Sertes porrà davvero una certa domanda a MM, come ieri sembrava risoluto a fare. Resto in attesa di sviluppi.La domanda in questione è alla fine del video della seconda parte delle domande.

#4.1: The rotgrat route on the Alphubel
#4.2: The final section of the rotgrat route on the Alphubel

This route first follows a path between the Wissgrat ridge and the Rotgrat ridge. Climbing the Wissgrat and following it, brings you to the Rotgrat. After an easy angled snowy part, there is a steep rocky part followed by another easy angled snowy part which brings you to the summit plateau.

From the Täsch Hut follow a good path leading NE round the end of the Rotgrat into the Tälli valley. Keep on this path to the point where it crosses the Wissgrat at a saddle between Pt.3,103m and Pt.3,195m. Now climb the Wissgrat, which is usually scree and easy rock, to the junction with the Rotgrat itself. The junction takes the form of a rock knoll which can be turned on the left or the right to reach a rock wall above. Climb this direct for c20m then traverse to the right (III+). Continue along the easy snow ridge to the point where it merges with the steep upper rock of the ridge. This first part takes 3-3,5h.

Make a traverse to the right and climb up to a good ledge below the steeper rocks. Do not enter the couloir on the right however inviting it may appear as this is very dangerous and loose. Instead climb the improbable looking terrain above for c20m to a ledge which enables a traverse to the edge of the ridge. A little higher there is a blocky belay. Steep climbing on good holds leads up slightly to the left side to a piton belay. Keep the same line over a bulge to the point where the angle relents a bit. All this is III with a rare IV move and on good rock. Several easier pitches lead to the snow on the edges of the summit plateau. The summit is on the left side (see photo #4-6). This steeper parts takes 2.5-3.5h.

[edit] West Rib (D)

SidCrward,Eome Rodri, anch'io sono curioso di vedere se Sertes porrà davvero una certa domanda a MM, come ieri sembrava risoluto a fare. Resto in attesa di sviluppi.La domanda in questione è alla fine del video della seconda parte delle domande.

#5: Topographic overview of the more difficult routes on the Alphubel

From the Täsch Hut follow a good path leading NE round the end of the Rotgrat into the Tälli valley. Keep on this path to the point where it crosses the Wissgrat at a saddle between Pt.3,103m and Pt.3,195m. Now continue in a NE direction, passing Weingartensee on your left side, to the foot of the ridge. This takes 1,5-2h.

Reach the crest of the ridge by climbing the first couloir on its N side then continue along it to the first gendarme at an altitude of 3,600m (III and rarely IV). Climb over the gendarme (IV) and continue to the next one at an altitude of 3,800m. Climb this on the right side by somewhat exposed moves (IV+) and then continue along the ridge to the next major difficulties at 4,000m.

At 4,000m there are steep slabs on the N side which are climbed for c30m (IV+). Complete the climb by making a traverse to the right side (III) into a couloir between the ridge and an adjacent rib which is then followed to the summit snowfield. Turn right to the summit (see photo #4-6). Allow yourself 7-9h for the total climb.

[edit] Overview

Route Name Hei. Dif. Dur. (h) Type Rock ° Valley Hut S. Gain Maps

Hei.:Height, Dif.: Difficulty, Dur.: Duration, S. Gain: Meters from hut to summit
Summit map is always listed first. If a map is used for 2 km and another map for 1 km, the 2 km map will be listed before the 1 km map. Overview of the Swiss maps & Italian maps.

[edit] Multiday suggestions

#6: Detailed picture of several routes on the Alphubel that can be seen from the W side

The proximity of both the Mischabeljoch Bivouac and the Mittelallalin station give the mountaineer some extra opportunities to visit multiple summits in a day or start the next day at reasonable altitude so that reaching summits two days in a row is not a real problem. The Mischabeljoch Bivouac is located at a reasonable altitude (3,851 m) and acclimatisation prior to spending a night there is highly recommended to avoid altitude sickness.

Some 1 day suggestions:

Some multiday suggestions:

[edit] Additional Photos

[edit] Recommended books

      The Alpine 4000m Peaks by the Classic Routes by Richard Goedeke

      Valais Alps East: Selected Climbs (Alpine Club Guides) by Les Swindin

      Valais Alps West: Selected Climbs (Alpine Club Guides) by Lindsay Griffin

      Valais East: Zermatt - Saas - Fiesch (Rother Walking Guide) by Michael Waeber

      Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert) by Cathy Cosley

  • You can click the images to get a bigger image of the front cover!
  • We offer you a direct deeplink to Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de to buy the book. Amazon is the biggest online store in the world and offers a safe environment to buy anything you want.

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