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.

From the Weissmieshütte or from Hohsaas via the WSW-Ridge (Normal route) Lagginhorn 4010 m

  • Difficulty
    PD, 2a
  • Ascent
    4–5 h, 1284 m

This is the normal route from the Saas Valley. Although the map outlines some of this route as it would a normal footpath, you should NOT underestimate it: the tour is a serious undertaking of alpine character, and people often get rescued! Esp. in descent the upper, often icy, snow flank can be tenuous. Caution and good crampon technique is vital. From the starting points you reach the basin of the Lagginhorn glacier and cross this to the WSW ridge. Then follow this mixed ridge to the summit.

Route description

Weissmieshütte - Lagginhorngletscher

From Weissmieshütte (2726 m) head north to the little bridge that crosses the Triftbach (stream). Turn right just before the bridge and move northeast beside the stream. Branch off from the prominent zig-zag path, continuing northeast to cross the same stream (higher up) and gain the rounded crest of the Laggingletscher's southern lateral moraine. Follow the path eastwards along the moraine crest, then up through a rocky ridge to meet the Lagginhorngletscher at approx. 3180 m, 1 hour.

Lagginhorngletscher - Lagginhorn

Climb northeast across the Lagginhorn Glacier and up the high reaching firn slope to approx. 3350 m (on the way backs be careful not to dislodge the loosely balanced stones upon its surface - and be wary of stones loosened by other parties). Then cut back left onto a large scree covered shoulder. Enter the rocks and weave your way up to join the WSW ridge at about 3450 m. Now follow the ridge, avoiding difficulties (including P. 3539) by keeping to the right (south) until you reach a gap further east. Rocky slabs and a long scree slope lead up from here. The firn field to the left is often icy and not recommended. Tedious, but relatively easy climbing leads up through the final, brittle rocks (possible verglas) to the Lagginhorn (4010 m), 3 hrs.

Variant 1: Hohsaas - Laggingletscher

From Hohsaas (3101 m), descend northwards and cross the ski slope to the foot of the Hohlaub glacier. Keeping height here, cross the scree and slabs immediately below the Hohlaub Glacier at about 3100 m (pay attention to possible ice formations in the early hours). Now cross the ridge which descends from the south summit of the Lagginhorn: traverse along a striking band and descend leftwards (following faint tracks and cairns. Viewed from Hohsaas it is the lower of two bands). After the traverse, you must climb about up 20 m to another band, which you follow also follow left into some brittle rocks and onto the ridge P. 3123 (large cairn). Contour round onto the Lagginhorn Glacier, 1 hr.

Variant 2: entire WSW-Ridge

From the Weissmieshütte it's possible to climb the entire WSW ridge to P. 3538. Especially recommended when the Lagginhorn glacier has no more snow cover: From the Weissmieshütten on a good path towards Fletschhorn. At a cairn near P. 2926 leave the path to the right (west), following tracks (cairns). Along the ridge via P. 3231 andPp. 3354 with some easy climbing until shortly before p. 3538, where the main route from the Lagginhorn glacier joins.

Descent

Follow the route of ascent (2½ hrs).

Additional information

Departure point
Difficulty

Danger of rockfall on the Lagginhorngletscher (pass as quickly as possible) and the summit ridge, especially with little snow and/or many mountaineers on the ridge! Variant 2 over the entire WSW ridge bypasses the endangered areas on the Lagginhorngletscher.

Waypoints

Hohsaas gondola summit station (3101 m)

History

E.L. Ames plus three other Englishmen, with the mountain guides Pastor Johann Josef Imseng, Franz Andenmatten and three other Saas guides, 26th August 1856. That is rare, six anonymous climbers in the same party!

Author

Bernhard Rudolf Banzhaf

Bernhard Rudolf Banzhaf has climbed countless peaks at home and abroad, including all 4000ers of the Valais Alps. He has been organizing trekking trips in the Himalayas and in Europe since the early 1980s. He was a member of the SAC's central committee between 1995 and 2003.

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