South-west ridge (from Mittlebärgpass) | Mountain hiking | Hohsandhorn | Swiss Alpine Club SAC

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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.

South-west ridge (from Mittlebärgpass) (Normal route) Hohsandhorn 3182 m

  • Difficulty
    T5+
  • Ascent
    5 h, 1410 m
  • Descent
    3:45 h, 1410 m

Signs of global warming in the remotest part of Binntal

On Mittlebärgpass the glacier has all but disappeared so that one has to climb a few metres on brittle rock instead of ice. On Hohsandhorn the signs of global warming are particularly obvious. Nevertheless, Hohsandhorn – in Italian Punta del Sabbione – is a beautiful summit in the middle of pristine nature, from which you have a view reaching from Bernina to Mont Blanc.

Route description

Brunnebiel – Mittlenberghütte

From Brunnebiel walk upvalley on the road and the hiking trail. A bridge leads across Binna to Chiestafel and to the bifurcation of P. 2096. The signpost shows the way to Mittlenberghütte, which is reached on a marked trail on the slopes of «Lengi Egga».

Mittlebärghütte – Hohsandhorn

Behind Mittlenberghütte gently ascend eastward to a saddle at ca. 2340 m, where you can see the path from afar. (Descending first and then re-ascending is worth the effort, as traversing the scree slope would be painstaking.) Follow the distinct path, which leads to the alluvial plain east of P. 2577. From here the path gets more and more faint. Descend to the alluvial plain and follow the creek upstream until ca. 2620 m, where a rivulet (possibly dried-up) trickles down from a scree depression in the north. After this rivulet (cairn) traverse north-north-eastward the scree slopes (some cairns, sparse faint paths). Continue north traversing a rubble plateau at ca. 2720 m and a few scree walls. Ascend west of P. 2806 and aim at an indistinct rib on the wide face, on which the rubble is more stable and slightly overgrown. This rib leads all but below Mittlebärgpass (3042 m) and to the remains of a nameless glacier. Now the colour of the rock changes from grey to earthy brown. A slender cairn on Mittlebärgpass can be seen from afar. In early summer it is possible to encounter snow and ice on the way to the col (possibly ice gear required). After the snow-melt there are some metres of precarious climbing (up to II) instead. From the col hike up to the summit on scree and firn.

Descent

Descend on the same route. A small variant saves the re-ascent to Mittlenberghütte; descend to Blatt on grassy slopes instead and follow a trail (uncharted on the map) back to the bifurcation of P. 2096.

Alternative ascent across Mittlebärg

From Mittlebärghütte ascend to P. 2507 and traverse Mittlebärg. Follow the increasingly narrow ridge via P. 2694 to P. 2801. Now traverse the face to reach a ridge between Binntal and Turbe, where, depending on the conditions, you set foot on the small glacier leading up to Mittlebärgpass. No crevasses. If it is snow-free, however, ice gear is required. Saves ca. ½ h as compared to the main route, T5+.

Additional information

Departure and arrival point

Binn, Brunnebiel (1844 m)

Busbetrieb Binn Fäld – Brunnebiel von Juli bis Mitte August

www.busalpin.ch/de/regionen/region-binntal.html

Difficulty / Material

There is a faint path until the alluvial plain, afterwards only a few cairns show the way. Depending on the glacier-recession there are some metres of climbing (I to II) on brittle rock going up to Mittlebärgpass.

Waypoints

Mittlenberghütte (2395 m)

Opportunity to spread the tour over two days

Mittlebärgpass (3042 m)

Col on the way to Hohsandhorn, which is affected by glacier-recession and erosion

Author

Fredy Joss

Sabine und Fredy Joss

Alpine hiking, climbing and other mountain sports Sabine and Fredy Joss's passion. They have been writing and photographing for the SAC publishing house and the club magazine Die Alpen for many years. Sabine is also a biologist and tour guide; Fredy a proofreader and editor for various magazines.

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