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Dent d'Hérens 4174 m Route archive

The Dent d'Hérens stands at the very top of the Valpelline and forms the border along with the Tête de Valpelline and the Matterhorn. This almost straight W-E border runs over the phenomenal E-ridge of the remote Dent d'Hérens, which, with a length of 2.5 km, is one of the most spectacular climbs on a four-thousand-meter peak.

Of course, when viewed from Zermatt, the Dent d'Hérens stands in the shadow of the Matterhorn, but from Breuil-Cervinia the mountain appears much more massive and, with its bold rock ridges and glacier cascades, easily rivals the Matterhorn.

The Dent d'Hérens stands in a lonely, secluded corner of the Pennine Alps. Far and wide there are no roads and no mountain railways to be seen. With the Rifugio Aosta and the Schönbielhütte, the mountain has two favorable starting points; there are also various bivouacs on the S and E sides (Tête des Roèses, Perelli, Balestreri, Pellissier, Novella, Benedetti). All climbs are long and demanding. The Bivacco Perelli (3848 m) can be planned as a retreat option in the event of bad weather. From the summit you can reach it relatively quickly and without great difficulty.

The current name of the mountain refers to the Val d'Hérens. Since the Dent d'Hérens does not border on the Val d'Hérens at all and can only be seen there from a few points, the legitimate question naturally arises as to whether the name is not the product of confusion with the Dent Blanche. The Dent d'Hérens used to be called Dent de Rong (from the Latin: runcare, Patois: roncâ = land made arable); and Mont Tabor or Mont Tàbel in French (old French "tabor" = noise). The latter refers to the unmistakable noises that such a mountain makes when its glaciers crumble and break, and ice and rock falls bound down its flanks. One more thing: in German-speaking Switzerland it is customary to pronounce the word “Hérens” with an audible “s” at the end. In Lower Valais, however, the "s" remains silent.