/ Breithorn

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Kelloggs77 on 04 Mar 2013
Anyone walked up to the top? In Zermatt in a week and was hoping to knock it off as missed it last time I was there. Question is I will be on my own, and don't really pay 150 for a sixth share of a guide for what is about 1.2k of a walk. I appreciate the risk of crossing the glacier, however was wondering that as it is such a well walked route it might be possible to follow the trail as it were, whilst also giving the glacier the widest possible birth?

Though I would test the water here!
BenTiffin - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: Are you talking about getting the telefrique to Kleine Matterhorn and going from there or walking/climbing all the way from the valley?
Kelloggs77 on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to BenTiffin: Yes, just a quick boost up to KM and then the short trip across.
MG - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: obvious path but there are crevasses particularly near drag lift...
Paul Everett - on 04 Mar 2013
There is so much snow that would hope any crevasses are easily passable. You could always hang around with a rope and hope to find another like minded person. I would be tempted to go alone You can always place yourself bertween two groups and the route will be well worn making route chosing redundant
MaxWilliam on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77:


>> whilst also giving the glacier the widest possible birth?

It is pretty much all glacier! Unlikely to be a track in winter, due to less footfall, wind, snow etc. However, the route is fairly obvious in summer. There are significant crevasses nearer the lift station where the glacier falls over down to the col, hence the route goes along the pisted road before heading uphill. I found Kl.Matterhorn can be pretty cold and windy in March (-20C).


Big Lee - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77:

The route is like a highway. You'll be fine.
Roberttaylor - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: Route is a path, no need to go near any crevasses. Probably the least effort I have ever expended to get to the top of something including Arthurs seat.
MG - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor:
> (In reply to Kelloggs77) Route is a path, no need to go near any crevasses.

Seriously, there can be big and quite hidden crevasses near the drag lift which everyone, particularly if soloing, should be aware of. The path will be very well trodden, even in winter
JohnnyW - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77:

Yes, it's easy (been up it 3 times), and the track is usually very obvious. BUT at this time of the year there may not be so many up it, (I had it almost to just our party one claggy day), and I fell into a crevasse on that claggy day too. OK, just to my waist, as the guys held me on the rope, but I wouldn't have wanted to be there unroped.

Your choice.............
Blinder - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: can you so ski, w old reduce the risk significantly.
RockShock on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77:

I don't know how the route looks like in winter, if similar to summer - it's well trodden and relatively safe*

There are obvious things to keep in mind:
- get up in the first lift, give yourself some time to let some guided groups first but then try to follow them closely
- watch out in the descent - people sometimes don't descend the zigzags, but run directly down to the plateau - when solo, however tempting, I'd stick to the zigzags in descent
- although it seems a bit of a joke for such short route, check the weather. In fog or dense clouds, the Breithorn is really dangerous as you can wander off the path on the plateau towards the cracks and completely loose orientation. Also, as the peak is such small effort, at least with good weather you can enjoy the views which are superb!

Have fun
RS

* - as in Alps, there's never perfectly safe route, even less when going solo. So, I wouldn't expect anyone giving a yes/no answer - and I am a bit surprised people doing so lightly - the question is always a balance between danger and safety
edunn on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77:

KM station was closed when I tried this a few years ago in early June so had to walk from Trokener Steg, which added an extra day (the snow was deep!!). Not sure if this is a regular thing or whether it was off-season maintainance, but worth checking as that kind of a walk is not worth it.
Mark Bannan - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor:
> Probably the least effort I have ever expended to get to the top of something including Arthurs seat.

Aye, but did you have a hangover when doing Arthur's Seat?
Roberttaylor - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Mark Bannan: Never, but I did have a crashing headache when I did the Breithorn (it was acclimatisation for the Matterhorn)
Kelloggs77 on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: Still 50/50 on this! Having just changed a grand into swiss francs I'm still considering - pants down there! What annoys me the most is tha if you get a guide, they take 6 up - meaning your likely roped to another paying customer, hence you could just f*ck the guide off and keep your cash - same result, much cheaper!
MaxWilliam on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to RockShock:

> I don't know how the route looks like in winter

I've just looked at photos I took in summer/winter about 5 years ago. There is no track visible in the winter photo, it is visible in the summer photo. Also the amount of snow at the top (size of cornice) is significantly greater.
Gael Force - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: I was there in mid Jan and skied up and down, there was no track, I didnt notice crevasses but I know from previous trips there are crevasses on the walkers path.
On previous trips in March and April people have been walking up with guides, so if I was you, ask in the Guides office if they are doing it and just follow them up for free.
Be aware the lift often goes off due to wind.
If there's deep snow it might be a bit of a slog.
Make sure you have a map just in case the weather changes, there are also some big cornices.
MG - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: If you are paying for a guide, why not do something where you may get some benefit beyond being attached to a rope with 6 others? Pollux or Castor are much better peaks and possible in a day.
davepembs - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: We did this in March a few years ago whilst on a boarding holiday in Zermatt, a change of scenary for a day! There was no clear track, another group was on the mountain the same day but they were on ski's. I fell down several slots which would have been unnerving if soloing but of no great consequence. My partner on the descent fell down a much larger crevasse on the mountain side of the glacier rather than the KM side this would potentially have been terminal if soloing. I reckon on ski's you would be pretty safe and sail over anything, soloing, well it's your call and you may well be fine, on the other hand..? Great day out though if you just want a quick 4000metre hit, great views looking back at the Matterhorn. We continued along the crest which was pretty au cheval at times and came back round under the summit to KM which made it a bit more of an adventure than just a plod. The altitude may well get you, I had a banging headache though my partner was fine.
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MG - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to davepembs:
I fell down several slots which would have been unnerving if soloing but of no great consequence. My partner on the descent fell down a much larger crevasse

How can you possibly fall into several crevasses on the same day on the Breithorn!! Did you take precautions like having your eyes open?
davepembs - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to MG: I do try to keep my eyes open! Lots of fresh snow and no tracks plus following my partners trail, she is a lot smaller and lighter than me, as for her falling in, well she was leading so I can't be blamed :)
JohnnyW - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to davepembs)

> How can you possibly fall into several crevasses on the same day on the Breithorn!! Did you take precautions like having your eyes open?

Oi! I fell down one, and believe me, I was looking hard! Sometimes, in thick weather and snow cover, they just ain't that obvious y'know.

Kelloggs77 on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to MG: Thanks - your right, however I guess my objection is paying for the guide in the first place. If only I had friends who shared my interests and were not all skint!
Kelloggs77 on 10 Mar 2013
The weather is not looking great for the middle of next week, hence I might not get chance to do this. Thanks for all the advice - didn't help me make up my mind at all to be honest, but that's no reflection on what was posted.

Much appreciated.
Kelloggs77 on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: Decided to go for the guide - no groups this week, hence bombed out. Weather was perfect today too - sun and not a cloud in the sky, no wind.

Oh well!
altirando - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Kelloggs77: Been up on my own in July. Obvious route then. Saw a group of half a dozen being led by Zermatt's oldest guide, over 80 apparently. Gives you an idea of the seriousness of the route. I regret to say I also soloed the Allalinhorn. You are all making me feel irresponsible!

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