Switzerland Programs



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Alps Advice

Switzerland offers tremendous climbing possibilities, beyond the well known classics which of course are justifiably popular. Much of the Swiss Alps resemble the Canadian Rockies, with similar folded and faulted topography, and green alpine meadows. But there are also cragging areas of beautiful steep limestone, and clean granite peaks reminiscent of the Bugaboos of British Columbia. Many well kept secrets await those wanting to escape the crush of the crowd. Listed here are a few well known peaks in some of the main climbing areas, but the possibilities for exploration go well beyond what we can describe in this space.

Among the several main climbing centers in Switzerland, Zermatt is perhaps the best known, but certainly others deserve equal attention.

Saas Fee, the valley just east of Zermatt, also has a wide variety of good climbs, offering perhaps even a better selection of climbs in the middle range of difficulty.

The Berner Oberland, home to the famous Monch, Jungfrau, and Eiger, also boasts other worthy objectives such as the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn. Accessed from the pastoral town of Grindelwald, this area is only about 3 hours from Zermatt by train.

The Engadine valley in southeast Switzerland is another good center, home to the beautiful town of St Moritz as well as the more mountain-climber oriented village of Pontresina. Piz Bernina and Piz Palu are the best known and most popular climbs in the area. These and surrounding summits Piz Morteratsch and Rosegg, contain some of the best alpine climbing in Switzerland. If you have enjoyed spending some time in any of the previous areas, you should definitely consider a trip to the Engadine next!

Finally, the fantastic ratite walls of both the Salbitschen area and the Piz Badile are prime destinations for the alpine rock climber.

The amazingly extensive Swiss Federal Railways system is the best way to get around the country. Using the trains we can link several areas into a great week-plus climbing trip. Grindelwald is about 3 hours from Zermatt. Saas Fee is even closer, and we often make day climbing trips to Saas from a base in Zermatt. The Engadine is further away, and takes most of a day to get reach from any of these areas. However, the short approaches to the huts on the Piz Morteratsch and Piz Palu make it possible to get to a hut on the day of travel and be ready to climb in only one day from Zermatt.


Our selection is divided into four different levels of difficulty. We have devised a simple system of symbols to allow you to judge at a glance the difficulty of a given route. Click here to see a table with explanations of symbols.

The Eiger's Mittellegi Ridge
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Switzerland - Suggested Climbs


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Mönch, Southeast Ridge
Allalinhorn, Normal Route
Weissmies, Normal Route

Monte Rosa, Normal Route
Breithorn Half Traverse
Mönch, Southwest Ridge
Allalinhorn-Feechopf-Alphubel Traverse
Allalinhorn, Hohlaubgrat
Dri Horlini Traverse
Weissmies South Ridge & Traverse
Matterhorn, Hörnli Ridge
Ober Gabelhorn, Normal Route
Ober Gabelhorn, Arbengrat
Zinal Rothorn
Portjengrat Traverse
Mönch, Nollen route
Eiger, South Ridge
Eiger, Mittellegi Ridge
Piz Badile, North Ridge
Piz Badile, Cassin NE Face
Matterhorn, Zmutt Ridge


9-day Jungfrau, Monte Rosa & Mont Blanc
5-day Monte Rosa Traverse
3-day Piz Palu & Piz Bernina

12-day Mont Blanc, Matterhorn & Eiger
8-day Mont Blanc & Matterhorn
7-day Monte Rosa & Matterhorn
6-day Matterhorn Program
5-day Piz Bernina, Morteratch, Roseg & Palu
4-day Mönch, Jungfrau & Eiger

Kathy Cosley & Mark Houston
UIAGM Internationally Licensed Mountain Guides

AMGA Certified • SNGM members
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