Gross Grünhorn via Aletsch Glacier

The big green peak. A curious name since it is white for most of the year, maybe black and white at best. It has a wonderful summit, and outstanding views over the Aletsch glacier and the other nearby 4000m mountains. Is it easy to get to the top of it? Well yes. But. In 2011 the reputed Swiss mountaineer Erhard Loretan died just below the summit guiding a female client, after which a spokesman for the Wallis police infamously said "it is not a particularly dangerous mountain". Maybe I climbed a different mountain. Loretan was the 3rd person to climb all fourteen 8000m summits, so was no novice. To even get to the bottom of the mountain you have to traverse the Fiescher, Aletsch or Jungfrau glaciers. Then after a night at 3000m, climb the Grünhorn glacier, which is full of crevasses. Traverse under the huge hanging seracs of Grünegghorn, and finally climb 200m of steep frozen rubble. Not hard (grade II), but any slip would almost certainly be fatal. Finally a short traverse across the summit ridge with several hundred meters of exposure either side. OK, in perfect conditions, for an experienced party, with the correct equipment, it is a walk in the park. But not particularly dangerous? Maybe I am just a wimp. Whatever your perception of danger, the climb deserves respect. That said, the climb to the summit is exhilarating, and with proper care, should not present too many problems.

Region
Switzerland - Bernese Oberland
Difficulty
ZS
Start Altitude
2850m
Finish Altitude
4040m
Height gain
1300m
Time to climb
5 to 6 hours from Komkordiahütte to Gross Grünhorn
Quality
Gold