It has been on our to-do list for seven years: to climb a 4,000-metre mountain in the Swiss Alps. On the first weekend in September, three friends – Cyrill, Marco, my namesake Reto – and I finally did it.
We chose the 4,027 metres (13,212 ft) high Allalinhorn (or simply Allalin), one of the easiest and most popular 4000-metre peaks of the Alps. Saas Fee Tourism offers an attractive package (from CHF 325 per person) with two nights in a holiday apartment (or hotel), cableways, mountain gear and a professional mountain guide – Angelo looked like the epitome of a South Tyrolean mountaineer.
Climbing the Allalin isn’t difficult, neither technically nor physically. From the summit station of the Metro Alpin funicular, you have less than 600 vertical meters to tackle. After two hours of hiking with climbing irons and rope – our mountain guide said this was a good time for first timers – we crossed the magical 4,000-metre mark. But the truly elevating thing was the stunning view. From the Bernina Range in the East through the Bernese Alps with Finsteraarhorn, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau to the Pennine Alps with Matterhorn, Monte Rosa (Dufourspitze) and Mont Blanc in the West. It was simply breathtaking.
Will these pictures arouse your desire to climb your first 4,000-metre peak, too?
- Restaurant La Ferme, Saas Fee: typical specialities of the Valais region, but also international cuisine
- Popcorn!, Saas Fee: opening at 7 am, ideal place for a quick breakfast before the mountain calls; Popcorn! is also a shop, hotel, bar and club…
Date of visit: September 2-3, 2016.
We stayed at a private holiday apartment (recommended).
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