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Dent Blanche (4,357 m.a.s.l.)

The Dent Blanche is one of the more demanding 4,000-metre mountains for alpinists. Together with the Obergabelhorn and the Zinalrothorn, the mountain forms the southern end of the Val de Zinal. The German-French language border runs through here. The Dent Blanche is a powerful, largely ice-free pyramid with four ridges in all four cardinal directions. The Dent-Blanche cabin at 3,507 m.a.s.l. is the highest located SAC cabin in Switzerland. 1,700 metres of altitude must be overcome on the ascent alone.

Origin of the name
It is very likely that there was some confusion between the names of the Dent Blanche (White Tooth) and theDent d'Hérens, which is only visible from a very few places in the Val d'Hérens. And the mountain is not as white as the name suggests – it is almost ice-free. The Dent Blanche is actually also shown at the location of the Dent d’Hérens on some old maps. The confusion is not surprising, because the first cartographers, who had not had too many good experiences with the mountain people, often produced their maps from afar. The confusion is further exacerbated by the fact that, in the middle of the 19th century, the Dent d’Hérens was known as the Dent Blanche by the inhabitants of the front of the valley, and as the Dent de Rong or Dent d’Erins at the other end of the valley. A German name for the Dent Blanche is no longer used nowadays. The name “Steinbockhorn” is historically recorded.

History / Legends
Not only is the Matterhorn African, but also the Dent Blanche. Together with its neighbouring summits, they form the Dent-Blanche nappe, a cliff of the East Alpine nappe, which is otherwise only localised in the Eastern Alps. It was a part of the African plate, and consists of metamorphous rock, gneis and gabbro.

Height: 4,357 m.a.s.l.
First climbed: 18th July 1862
First climbed by: Thomas Stuart Kennedy, William and C. Wigram with the guides Jean-Baptiste Croz and Johann Kronig via the South Ridge (“Wandfluhgrat”)

Information for hikers

Various hiking tips with view of the mountain

Hike from Zermatt to the Schönbielhütte cabin

Cabins on the trail / picnic opportunities

Zmutt, Stafelalp, Schönbielhütte cabin

Mountain railway facilities

With the Zermatt – Furi – Zermatt aerial cable car

Information for excursions

Information about the various summits

You have the best view of the Dent Blanche from the Gornergrat
With the Gornergrat Bahn Zermatt – Gornergrat - Zermatt

Short, easy walks or hikes

Rotenboden - Riffelberg

Information for mountaineers / alpinists

Valley location

Ferpècle (1766 m.a.s.l.)
Zermatt (1620 m.a.s.l.)

Starting point

Cabane de la Dent Blanche (3507 m.a.s.l.)
Schönbielhütte (2694 m.a.s.l.)

Various routes

Four ridges run exactly in the four cardinal directions from the summit of the mighty pyramid of the Dent Blanche, whereby the ridge to the south is not quite as steep, and gradually runs into the ridge of the Wandfluh. Together with its easterly neighbouring summits, the Ober Gabelhorn und Zinalrothorn, the Dent Blanche forms the southern end of the Val de Zinal, which belongs to the valley system of the Val d'Anniviers. the Val d'Hérens begins to the west of the mountain, and the Zmuttgletscher extends into the valley at the south-east foot of the Dent Blanche, whose melt water flows to Zermatt and then through the Mattertal valley.
The North-east face of the Dent Blanche is glaciated almost all the way to the summit. On all the other faces, however, the glacier ice does not extend above 3,700 m. Two short, 1 to maximum 2 km long glaciers cover the western slope of the Dent Blanche, the Glacier de la Dent Blanche and the Glacier des Manzettes. The 4 km long Schönbiel glacier has its origin at the foot of the South-east face, and is a northern side-glacier of the Zmutt glacier. The Glacier du Grand Cornier pours out from the north-eastin the direction of Val de Zinal, and combines with other glaciers to form the Zinalgletscher.
South Ridge (normal route) (“Wandfluhgrat”)

  • Difficulty: ZS, III (French scale: AD; with III. UIAA level rock climbing))
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Starting point: Cabane de la Dent Blanche (3'507 m.a.s.l.)
  • Valley location: Ferpècle (1'766 m.a.s.l.)

East-northeast Ridge (“Viereselsgrat”)

  • Difficulty: S, III+ (French scale: D; with III+. UIAA level rock climbing))
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Starting point: Schönbielhütte (2'694 m.a.s.l.)
  • Valley location: Zermatt (1'609 m.a.s.l.)

West Ridge (“Ferpèclegrat”)

  • Difficulty: S+, IV+ (French scale: D; with IV+. UIAA level rock climbing)
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Starting point: Cabane de la Dent Blanche (3,507 m.a.s.l.)
  • Valley location: Ferpècle (1,766 m.a.s.l.)

Refreshment points / mountain cabins

Cabane de la Dent Blanche (3,507 m.a.s.l.)
Schönbielhütte (2,694 m.a.s.l.)



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