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Old 05.09.2011, 17:36
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Highest hiking route in Switzerland

I would like to go out for some weeked hikes in Switzerland for preparation of trek in Himalaya area later this year. Does anyone know which route is the highest in Switzerland? I would like to go there and pratice in high altitude.
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Old 05.09.2011, 17:57
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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I would like to go out for some weeked hikes in Switzerland for preparation of trek in Himalaya area later this year. Does anyone know which route is the highest in Switzerland? I would like to go there and pratice in high altitude.
With the Swiss-GB exchange rate what it is, it's probably cheaper to practise in the Himalayas than Switzerland.
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Old 05.09.2011, 18:04
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

Oberothorn which is 3400+m is supposed to be the highest hiking peak in Europe, start from Fluhalp or Zermatt. I think it will be sufficiently snow-free for it to be called "hikeable" only for a few weeks of the year, this weekend could well be the last of the season, so hurry up, and check before you go.

And would be good if you come back and write a short update, as there might be others interested,

If you ask me, off the record I would say the hike from Testa Grigia hut (3500m, Italian side) hut to Klein Matterhorn (3800m) is much higher; no crevasses if you stay close to the piste edge, but the speeding torpedos/out of control skiers pose a serious danger; officially it is not a hiking path but unofficially it is what everyone uses to enter CH from Italian side.

You can also walk from Zermatt to Testa Grigia but officially it goes over a glacier (Theodulpass) and mountain guide/roping up is recommended. Unofficially you can consult the hut staff and start early, it should be safe enough, but conditions change ever so often, so check locally before you go. The whole route from Gandegg hut (3000m) to Kl Matterhorn (3800m) is snow covered and fun, straightforward walk.

Last edited by Niranjan; 05.09.2011 at 18:34. Reason: ht of oberrothorn
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Old 05.09.2011, 18:17
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

The Haute Cime des Dents du Midi is 3250 metres and would be a good one for training. Not technically diffcult but very tough physically, as the last thousand metres are all on moving, rolling stones where you go two steps forwarsd then slide one step back. It's worth it for the view though.

The Inners Barrhorn (3583 m) above the Turtmanntal is also "hikeable" - waymarked as a normal Bergweg on the map so presumably not too difficult, though I haven't done it myself.

The Oberrothorn is 3414 m on the map. There's also the Mettelhorn (3406 m) in the Zermatt valley, but it involves a short stretch of glacier.

Another option in Zermatt, for some even higher altitude, would be to join one of the many guided groups that ascend the Breithorn (4164 m). This is reckoned to be the easiest 4,000er in the Alps and is technically not difficult. Ropes and crampons are needed as it's on glaciers. Combining this with a night in the hut on the Theodulpass at 3300 m would be good for acclimatization.

Last edited by stephen_NE; 05.09.2011 at 19:51.
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Old 06.09.2011, 14:45
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

There is the 'Haute Route', ie. the high route, which is from the Mont Blanc (Chamonix France) to Zermatt. It is a quite famous route with many alternatives. Google it and you will find the various itineries. You can also do in on skis in winter.
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Old 06.09.2011, 14:53
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

From Klein Matterhorn to Breithorn takes you to 4164m

http://www.englishforum.ch/sports-fi...ain-climb.html
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Old 06.09.2011, 21:40
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

@ Tom1234

Thanks. I moved to CH from UK for a few years now.

@ runningdeer

Thanks. I wish I could take the Haute Route, however, it is too long. It takes about two weeks and I was thinking about weekend for the practice.
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Old 06.09.2011, 21:55
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

You do realize that practicing for a weekend at high altitude will do nothing to prepare you for your trip later this year? I suggest that you just go hiking and get in good shape for your trip and not worry about the altitude bit. Unless you are prepared to spend a week or two at high altitude AND then fly immediately to the Himalayas your body will not be acclimated to the altitude. You will (or you should) have a gradual ascent in the Himalayas to get your body used to the altitude and that is pretty much the only practical thing you can do.

Have a great trip!
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Old 06.09.2011, 23:17
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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You do realize that practicing for a weekend at high altitude will do nothing to prepare you for your trip later this year?
It may not help that much in acclimatization but is still good preparation. For starters, I would at least want to have a good understanding how my body handles altitude and what it feels like to do high altitude hikes before booking tickets to Himalaya.
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Old 06.09.2011, 23:59
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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For starters, I would at least want to have a good understanding how my body handles altitude and what it feels like to do high altitude hikes before booking tickets to Himalaya.
Unfortunately you won't have a good understanding if you only have a weekend to experiment.
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Old 07.09.2011, 00:04
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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Unfortunately you won't have a good understanding if you only have a weekend to experiment.
You will at least get an idea of what it feels like to hike up to 3,500 metres... which in my case is very different from what it feels like at 2,500. It's not the Himalayas, of course - but it does give an idea of how different things get above a certain altitude.
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Old 07.09.2011, 03:56
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

The two highest hiking mountains in the Alps (hiking here implying no glacier contact required) are:
* Barrhorn (3610m): short hike to the pleasant hut, then next day long hike to summit and down... it will require a short bit of scrambling up on a slightly steep rock section with steel cables, for rest it's easy going and with a magnificent view from the summit (Bisshorn, Weisshorn, etc). Just be careful to not try to take a short cut on the way down rather than backtracking (high on the summit ridge) as you otherwise might walk / slip off a cliff
http://www.summitpost.org/barrhorn/429662

* In Northern Italy there's the Monte Vioz (3645m). Another two day hike. I'd recommend the Barrhorn though as the Monte Vioz isn't that far from highways etc so you'll always be able to see that. I prefer being away from human structures etc.
http://www.summitpost.org/monte-vioz/151098

* You may also want to consider Hochfeiler (Tirol) at 3510m. A strenous 2 day hike with an airy summit. Strictly from a being in nature and getting great excercise perspective, I'd recommend the Hochfeiler.

Finally, in theory the Lagginhorn (just over 4000m) can also be done glacier free, but i would not recommend it unless you know what you're doing and can take care of yourself at that altitude also if:
- weather turns bad
- and there's ice/snow conditions as a surprise

Lagginhorn is an "easy" 4000er, but should not be underestimated.
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Old 07.09.2011, 03:59
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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It may not help that much in acclimatization but is still good preparation. For starters, I would at least want to have a good understanding how my body handles altitude and what it feels like to do high altitude hikes before booking tickets to Himalaya.
You may want to consider taking a cable car then (e.g. to Wiesmiesshutte at 3200m or so) and staying overnight. Next day go down, drive to another valley to climb to hut and then summit next day.
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Old 07.09.2011, 11:46
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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* Barrhorn (3610m): short hike to the pleasant hut, then next day long hike to summit and down... it will require a short bit of scrambling up on a slightly steep rock section with steel cables.
How difficult is that section ? I have the Barrhorn as a possible destination for this weekend... don't want to get up there, spend the night in the hut and then find that I have to turn back because of this one short section.

Would it be a similar kind of thing to this, for example ?
http://www.hikr.org/gallery/photo563...ost_id=39078#1
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Old 07.09.2011, 12:05
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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There is the 'Haute Route', ie. the high route, which is from the Mont Blanc (Chamonix France) to Zermatt. It is a quite famous route with many alternatives. Google it and you will find the various itineries. You can also do in on skis in winter.
I did some of this (Arolla - Zermatt) a couple of years ago in June, went over a few glaciers, we took a guide and stayed in mountain huts, hard but great fun.
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Old 08.09.2011, 13:49
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Re: Highest hiking route in Switzerland

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How difficult is that section ? I have the Barrhorn as a possible destination for this weekend... don't want to get up there, spend the night in the hut and then find that I have to turn back because of this one short section.

Would it be a similar kind of thing to this, for example ?
http://www.hikr.org/gallery/photo563...ost_id=39078#1
Yes, similar. Not too high/difficult. Hence Barrhorn is considered just a "hike" If you feel comfortable (sure footed, not afraid of limited heights) really it wouldn't be a problem at all.

Hold on to the cable, step by step, and you've passed it.
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