Another peak on Breithorn range: Central, 4159 m

Lena Wilderäng, on Central Breithorn 4159 m
Lena Wilderäng on the summit of Breithorn Central, 4159 m

The first acclimatization day in Switzerland was complete, but it was just the beginning. The day after, I went back to Klein Matterhorn.

The glacier between Klein Matterhorn and Breithorn range approach

I was drawn by the possibility to traverse from Western Breithorn (Breithorn Occidentale) to Central Breithorn, but the snow ridge was a little bit too risky to attempt unroped.

Traverse between Eastern and Central Breithorn peaks - the path along the snow ridge is only wide enough for two feet.

However, I saw another approach to Central Breithorn that bypassed the ridge by following the south face diagonally towards East. 

Start of the alternative route to Breithorn Centrale peak

I decided to give it a try, and it was a much safer choice. Of course, it was not suitable for attempt without proper equipment and knowledge about how to use it. Also, good crampon technique is essential. If possible, it should be attempted roped-in.

Just before the summit, Central Breithorn 4159 m

The cornices are always a risk, however the well-thread path gives more safety. Staying away from the overhanging part (the roof) means you have to walk on the root, not too low so you don't risk sliding down - but not too high so you enter the potential fracture zone, where the cornice can break off.


Such a difference from the previous day! The sun was shining, and there was hardly any wind. I spent almost three hours on the top, having a lunch and a picnic, writing the blog, taking some photos, drinking coffee.

On the Central summit - with Breithorn Orientale (Eastern Breithorn peak) at the background.

Another perspective - with Eastern Breithorn at the background. Also, the Matterhorn is visible almost without clouds!

Some climbers came along - either traversing from Breithorn Occidentale and turning back, or doing the traverse from Breithorn Orientale. I gave them applause and congratulations on their next 4000+ summit, and offered to take photos. Normally, few adventure photos include the whole group. Now, I captured full teams of happy alpinist mid-summit, a great memory for them to have.

An alpinist party mid-traverse

I carefully descended before the snow would melt too much, rendering the route more dangerous. As the snow becomes softer, the risk of slipping or stepping through is higher. Care should be taken, especially on the way down.

Returning from the peak - looking back upwards towards the route.

I then had a few minutes to enjoy the Glacier Palace with their ice sculptures and inner access to crevasses. A very beautiful place for ice-lovers.

Rock crystal? Semi-precious Quartz? No, just the ice inside a crevasse, seen from below. Glacier paradise, Klein Matterhorn.