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Disclaimer

Hiking or climbing 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 Route Portal 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.

panorama Jegihorn via ferrata Jegihorn (Saas-Grund) 3206 m

  • Difficulty
    K4
  • Ascent
    3 h, 400 m
  • Experience
    3 / 4
  • Power
    2 / 4
  • Endurance
    3 / 4
  • Psyche
    3 / 4

A three thousand metre peak in Vallais, surrounded by some of the alps' biggest mountains? - not a particularly exciting thought. The 'real' mountains around here start from the four thousand-mark and are either engulfed in ice or blessed with vast rock walls. All of them are famous, especially one (though that one is located over in Mattertal and is hidden behind the Mischabel (or "mist gabel", in english: pitchfork, or literally shit fork) mountains). It might seem an small achievement considering the highest peak of those mountains, Dom, at 4545 m the highest mountain fully in Switzerland, dominates the valley. But this panoramic via ferrata is set among scenery yet to be rivalled in Switzerland; rock and Ice, summits and ridges in constant sight, except for those moments you look down in search for the next hand hold. Beat Burgener and his team did a fantastic job in creating a route adapted to the mountains' structure, with a logical flow and a multitude of impressions - with a bit of added thrill. Those still unsatisfied can try a new variation of the route with a 40 metre long three-cable bridge between the subsidiary- and main summit. A similar feature known from French via ferratas, which often require more balancing and crawling than climbing. Even the following rope ladder (or is it a spider web?) mounted in front of an overhang reminds of a ferrata in the back country around Nizza... This panoramic route over the Jägihorn opens up a beautiful three thousand metre peak to a wider crowd. Those little experienced in via ferrates will not feel overwhelmed, especially as the level of difficulty decreases towards the top. Here, pleasure clearly exceeds pain and one can't help but really indulge the 3D-imagery: the view into the abyss, the unmatched view onto the enormous Mischabel, resembling a big circus tent in the afternoon-shade, the panoramic views from the summit which includes many parts of the Bernese alps. Here, hikers can count all the three- and four thousand metre peaks north of the Rhone and around the Saas-valley and get an idea of the sheer dimensions of Vallais' mountain landscapes. Between Visp and the summit of Dom there are nearly 4000 metres elevation change, whilst only 10 kilometres separate the highest vineyard of Switzerland at Visperterminen from the Lagginhorn - the next four thousand metre peak, when measured horizontally. Most things are simply on a larger scale here than anywhere else in the alps.

Route description

Approach
Jegihorn via ferrata

Steel cables lead around a rock bluff and over staggered terrain to the base of a prominent groove. Continue the gradually steepening ascent (caution not to kick loose stones down!), then enter the main rock face. Climb the wall (cables, iron bars, ladders) nearly vertically and reach a shoulder. Cross another ladder to reach the subsidiary peak (3150 m). Now bear left onto a ledge and make a short descent to the start point of the large three-cable bridge. Cross the bridge to reach the freehanging rope-ladder that is followed by a steep climbing section (use the bolted-on stones for your feet!) which brings you back to the original route. The normal way leads over exposed terrain past the western subsidiary summit and down into a saddle (3093 m) right below the Jegihorn. Continue, mostly just left of the ridge over to the final summit tower. On solid rock, climb up the progressively steeper and more exposed summit tower, with one section bringing you directly next to the edge of the ridge (Iron bolts). Eventually, the steepness eases and you can trundle over the last rocky steps to the spacious main summit (3206 m).

Descent

Descend the normal route to the footpath junction at P 2738. Continue on the path, then bear right and follow the Triftbach-stream down to Kreuzboden, or traverse over to the Weissmieshütte.

Additional information

Character

K3-4. High-alpine via ferrata, equipped with five ladders, 400 iron stakes and perfectly secured by nearly a kilometre of metal cable. One should only attempt this beautiful route in good weather (no risk of thunderstorms) and perfect conditions (no snow). The ice and rock scenery of the Saas-valley is magnificent. The extremely exposed route variation «Zitterpartie» requires nerves of steel and a little artistic aptitude (K5). During times of strong winds, the triple-rope-bridge can wobble significantly.

Time

Total time: 6 hrs. Approach: 1 1/2 hrs. Via ferrata: 3 hrs. Descent: 1 1/2 hrs.

Signalisation

Approach and descent marked in white-red-white or white-blue-white. Signposted.

Author

Eugen Hüsler

Eugen E. Hüsler is a Zurich born author and photographer. He has written around 70 via ferrata, hiking and cycling guides and illustrated books. His many publications on via ferrata have led to the nickname “Klettersteig-Papst“ (Via Ferrata Pope).

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