Breithorn

The Breithorn, near Zermatt, is a heavily glaciated mountain crest with several peaks. Many budding mountaineers choose this for their first 4,000-metre summit.

Description

Height
4,164 m

First ascent
13 August 1813

First climbed by
Henry Maynard, Joseph-Marie Couttet, Jean-Baptiste Erin, Jean-Jacques Erin, Jean Gras

Tip in the village

  • Zermatlantis, the Matterhorn Museum: reliefs, photos

Tips for visitors

  • Matterhorn glacier paradise: observation window towards the Breithorn
  • Matterhorn glacier paradise: observation platform (photo point)
  • Visitors can watch the rope teams on the Breithorn

Tips for hikers

  • Matterhorn glacier Trail, Schwarzsee - Trockener Steg
  • Zermatt - Furi

Tips for mountaineers

  • The easiest 4,000-metre peak in the Alps
  • Accessible in 2 hours from Matterhorn glacier paradise (cable car station)
  • Mountain guide necessary
  • Pure glacier trek

Broad and beautiful
“Breit” means “broad”: a fitting description for this mountain crest with multiple peaks, which extends for more than two kilometres. The western summit is the highest, but is also considered the easiest to climb. The middle and east summit and the Breithorn Twins form a chain towards the east. The most easterly summit, which marks the end of the Breithorn, is the Schwarzfluh (Roccia Nera). The border between Valais and the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley runs over the Breithorn. The peak also forms part of the main ridge of the Alps, which is both the regional watershed and meteorological divide.

Origin of name
The Breithorn received its name from the canon Josef Anton Berchtold due to the remarkable breadth of the mountain. The naming of the mountains around Zermatt made great progress thanks to Berchtold. He was responsible for the appearance of a number of traditional Zermatt names on the Dufour map, the oldest official map of Switzerland.

Stories about the Breithorn
Zermatt mountain guides describe people who they could guide with a good conscience only on the Breithorn as “Breithoru-Liit” (Breithorn people). In July 1995, the Zermatt mountain guide Ulrich Inderbinen climbed the Breithorn and the Allalin more than a dozen times. He was 95 years old at the time. After a harmless fall on the return from the Breithorn, Inderbinen ended his 70-year career as a mountain guide in the summer of 1995.

Reading
“Ulrich Inderbinen: as old as the century”, by Heidi Lanz/Liliane De Meester, published by Rotten Verlag, CH-3930 Visp, 1997. Available in English, German, French.

Map

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