Disclaimer

Hiking on routes in alpine terrain requires good physical health, meticulous preparation and technical skills in mountain sports. The routes presented here are undertaken at one’s own risk. If you want to safely practice mountain sports, taking training courses run by experts is highly recommended by the SAC. All the contents of the SAC touring platform are put together with utmost diligence. However, the Swiss Alpine Club and the authors cannot guarantee that the information provided here is up-do-date, correct and complete. Therefore, the SAC and the authors cannot be held liable for possible errors.

From the Britanniahütte via the West Flank (Normal route) Rimpfischhorn 4199 m

  • Difficulty
    PD, I
  • Ascent
    6–7 h, 1270 m

From the Britanniahütte you cross the Allalingletscher and over the Allalin Pass. Then follows the Mellichgletscher and ascent to the Rimpfischsattel, before the final climb to the summit. An impressive glacier landscape.

Route description

Britanniahütte - Hohlaubgletscher

From the Britanniahütte (3027 m), a path leads down to the Hohlaub glacier, which is reached at about 2950 m.

Hohlaubgletscher - Rimpfischsattel

Cross the Hohlaubgletscher at about 2950m, then cross the moraine field south to reach the Allalingletscher. Now follow the right-hand (NW) edge of the Allalingletscher to the plateau ca. 3240 m, below the mighty south wall of the Allalinhorn. Continue across the plateau to where it steepens, heading towards the rocky feature at P. 3469. Climb in the hollow beside it, and pass close under the main rock spur of the Allalinhorn and gain the Allalin Pass, 3 hrs. From the Allalin Pass (3556 m), contour (SW) along the upper firn fields of the Mellichgletscher. At about 3560 m you pass under a lateral rock/firn ridge. Now move south across a glacier bay, and (again) pass under the rock rib coming down from the Grand Gendarme (4107 m). Climb southeast up the following glacial basin, keeping proximity with glacier's eastern edge. Around 3800 m steer more south, then at about 3920 m arc (right) westward above a crevasse zone into a hollow, and follow this to reach the Rimpfischsattel (3989 m), 2 hrs.

Variant: Allalingletscher via P. 3103

This old, more direct route is no longer popular due to retreat of the glaciers, and is only recommended with a healthy firn covering. From the Hohlaubgletscher climb more west across the moraine filed and into a gap between the Hohlaubgrat, and rocky island to the south (P. 3149). Continue less steep to the rocky shoulder at 3103 m, cross it and then descend down onto the Allalin Glacier.

Rimpfischsattel - Rimpfischhorn

From the Rimpfischsattel (3989 m) you climb the usually icy slope, which leads into a snow couloir (becoming dry through the summer). Where this couloir makes a slight bend to the right, move left onto a prominent rock feature (the first which that's easily accessible in ascent). It is dangerous and pointless to follow the couloir, even if there are traces of other, "strayed" parties. The couloir is threatened by loose rocks, plus, it leads to an exposed shoulder below the fore summit, from where progress in the steep and fragile rock is difficult. From the prominent rock feature beside the couloir, climb leftwards, crossing another rockier couloir, to reach a shoulder. From here, the fore summit should be visible. Follow the less difficult rock ridge, starting up to the left of two short steep steps, before moving right and climbing a slab to directly below the fore summit. Then climb left to reach the saddle between the fore- and the main summit, and from here follow easy rocks to the summit (4199 m), 1 hour from the Rimpfischsattel.

Descent

Follow the route of ascent or to Täschhütte / Täschalp. Or: down over the Rimpfischwänggrat zum Berghaus Flue. Or: follow the impressive Nordgrat (a lot harder).

Additional information

Departure point
Waypoints
History

The first documented tour was by mountain guides Oskar and Otmar Supersaxo (with skis), around 1915. But probably, this obvious route was used at an earlier date during summer.

Author

Bernhard Rudolf Banzhaf

<p>Bernhard Rudolf Banzhaf bestieg unzählige Gipfel im In- und Ausland, u.a. alle 4000er der Walliser Alpen. Seit den 80er Jahren organisiert er Trekkingreisen im Himalaja und in Europa. Von 1995 bis 2003 war er Mitglied des SAC-Zentralvorstands.</p>

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