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Ascent of Nadelhorn 4327 mt. - the 4000 of the Swiss Alps

From
635 €

Nadelhorn is part of the Wallis massif and is located at the heart of the Mischabels range and the Saas valley.
It is a mountaineering race which evolves on a very aesthetic glacial route and which requires a previous mountaineering experience: it is necessary to have climbed several summits at 4000 meters and to be at ease at walking with crampons. Esprit Montagne offers the ascent of the Nadelhorn on its "3rd level of Mountaineering Course”.


Ascent of  Nadelhorn in the Swiss Alps - 4th level of our mountaineering programs

Nadelhorn is part of the Wallis massif and is located at the heart of the Mischabels range and the Saas valley.
It is a mountaineering race for experienced mountaineers who have already made several summits at 4000 meters and who are comfortable at walking with crampon.

Esprit Montagne offers this ascent in its "3rd level of Mountaineering Course", after the “Gran Paradiso & Monte Rosa” program in Aosta Valley (2nd level) and the “Weissmies & Alphubel” (3rd level).

It is a mountaineering race that requires good physical shape, a good mastery of the crampon technique and ridge walking.

Nadelhorn (4327 mt.) is the highest peak of the Nadelgrat, a large ridge made up of five peaks: the Lenzspitze, the Nadelhorn, the Stecknadelhorn, the Hoberghorn and the Dürrenhorn, all exceeding 4000 meters of altitude.

Nadelhorn takes its name not from the similarity to a needle, as one might think at first glance, but from a crevice at the feet of the summit, the shape of which is reminiscent of the eye of a needle.
The first to climb the summit of Nadelhorn, in 1858, were local mountain guides: Franz Andenmatten, Baptiste Epiney, Aloys Supersaxo, J. Zimmermann. They just had to set up a measuring beacon on the glacier, but unwittingly they made it to the top.

The ascent takes place over two days with the climb to the Mischabelhütte on the first day, a great eagle's nest hut at the feet of the NE Lenzspitze ridge, offering a magnificent view over the entire Saas Fee valley and over the peaks at 4000 meters all around. The path to the Mischabelhütte, which follows a sort of Via Ferrata, is quite demanding: you should not be dizzy.
The second day, the summit is done by the NE ridge, the normal route, on a glacial route which is very aesthetic, not technically difficult (except towards the end of the ridge where there is a more demanding passage) but long .

Ascent of Nadelhorn (4327 meters)

Day 1
Saas Fee - Hannig Gondola 2350 mt. - Mischabelhütte 3340 mt.

Vertical drop: + 1000 mt.
Duration: around 4 hours of walking

Meeting in Saas Fee around 12:00 p.m. in the afternoon at the start of the Hannig gondola (see where): we will take the Saas Fee cablecar to Hannig station at 2350 meters of altitude. From Hannig begins the trail which leads to the Mischabelhütte, located at an altitude of 3,340 meters. The trail, at first very pleasant, crosses the torrent and the Trift waterfall and it joins the crossing of the path coming from Saas Fee. This is where the trail becomes more demanding and climbs along a ridge on the left on a sort of Via Ferrata. Some passages are secured with chains, ropes and ladders. The climb to the refuge requires a certain balance and to be comfortable on aerial passages.
Dinner and overnight at the refuge.

Day 2
Mischabelhütte 3340 mt. - Nadelhorn 4327 mt. by the normal route along the NE ridge - Hannig cable car 2350 mt. - Saas Fee

Vertical drop: + 1000 mt. - 1900 mt.
Duration: around 4/5 hours uphill and 5/6 hours downhill to the Hannig cable car

Wake up early in the morning and departure for the ascent after breakfast. From the refuge, we will take the path that climbs on a rocky ridge to reach the Hohbalmgletscher at 3600 meters (about 1 hour's walk).
We will climb along the couloir below the Ulrichshorn, sometimes icy in midsummer, to reach the Windjoch at 3847 meters  of altitude(1h30). From there, we will follow the northeast ridge, first in snow and ice, then strewn with rocks to step over, until we reach the summit at 4327 meters of altitude (2 hours). The top part consists of a 45 degree mixed slope.
Descent by the ascent route, small break at the refuge to recover strength and the rest of the backpack. We will then continue the descent to the Hannig cable car. Arrival in Saas Fee in the early afternoon.

Prices:

  • 635 € by person, if the group is composed of 2 people;
  • 1185 € if one person in the group.

The price includes:

  • the guiding of an experienced UIAGM Mountain Guide of our Team;
  • the use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners).

The price does not include:

  • personal technical equipment: crampons, ice ax and harness;
  • the cablecar tickets from Saas Fee to Hannig (38 CHF round trip, per person and for the Guide) - see the advantages of the SaastalCard if you stay overnight in a hotel in the Saas valley;
  • half-board treatment at the Mischabelhütte (96 CHF per person; 41 CHF for the Guide);
  • meals at noon, drinks and snacks so that you can eat as you wish at the refuge;
  • all that is not mentioned in "the price included".

Mountaneering technical equipment

  • Hiking Goretex shoes suitable to crampons
  • crampons
  • walking poles
  • iceaxe
  • helmet.

Hw to dress for the ascent of Nadelhorn

First layer on the skin:

  • (merino wool) thermal/breathable long sleeve
  • (merino wool) long thermal/breathable underwear
  • woolen warm socks

Second layer:

  • warm technical sweater
  • waterproof & windproof hiking pants

Third layer:

  • thin but warm duvet (to wear just in case of cold temperatures)

Last layer:

  • waterproof & windproof Goretex jacket

Important Additionals:

  • warm winter hat
  • buff/head-neckband
  • warm winter gloves
  • headlamp
  • suncream (protection factor 50+)
  • sunglasses
  • camera

N.B. Consider a change for when you are back to the hut (you can leave some stuff at the hut).

Covid 19 Special:

  • 1 pair of light shoes for the refuge or light trails
  • 1 light sack sheet for the refuge
  • 1 pillowcase or light inflatable cushion for the refuge
  • hydroalcolic gel and masks

Level required for the ascent of the Nadelhorn, 4327 meters

Esprit Montagne offers this ascent in its “4th level of Mountaineering Course", after “Gran Paradiso & Monte Rosa” program in Aosta Valley (2nd level) and the “Weissmies & Alphubel” (3rd level).

It is a mountaineering route that evolves on a very aesthetic glacial itinerary and which requires a previous mountaineering experience: it is necessary to have climbed several summits at 4000 meters and to be at ease at walking with crampons.

The ascent of Nadelhorn is technically not difficult (except towards the end of the ridge where there is a more demanding section) but it is very long. This ascent requires good physical shape, a good mastery of the crampon technique and walking on snowy or mixed ridge. To better acclimatize, it is preferable to climb to a summit at 4000 meters the week before or to spend a day at altitude by doing one of our Trekkings in the Alps.

Insurance

We recommend to have your own personal travel insurance, covering accident abroad and repatriation.

How to reach Saas Fee

The Saas-Fee / Saastal valley is easily reacheable by car or public transport, it is about two or three hours drive from Chamonix, Geneva or Zurich. The city of Visp is connected to the main Swiss cities by direct train connections. From Visp leaves the 511 bus which takes you into the Saas valley.
For those traveling by car, there is a large car parking at the entrance of Saas-Fee (see where): access to the village is forbidden to cars, the village is accessible only to pedestrians.

Saastal Card advantages

By staying overnight in a hotel in the Saas Valley (Saas Fee, Saas Grund or Saas Almagell) you can enjoy the benefits of the SaastalCard!
All the hotels in the valley, and some apartments too, subscribe to the SaastalCard service: upon arrival, you can use free all cablecars in the Saas valley and the PostBus (Metro Alpin not included); one night at the hotel provides a free lift ticket for the current day. More info on Saasfee.ch. Remember to ask for the Saastal Card if you are staying in the valley for one or more nights.

Any question?
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