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Rimpfischhorn: Popular 38 Four Thousand Meter Peaks


The Rimpfischhorn at 4199 meters, is easily recognizable thanks to its distinctive shape. The pinnacles were formed from pillow lava that oozed from the floor of the prehistoric Tethys sea million of years ago. The rock subsequently eroded to leave these striking pinnacles. Rimpfischhorn is located amidst of the mountain chain that links the Monte Rosa with the Mischabel peaks. It is not an extremely popular mountain, maybe it is too easy for the experienced and too demanding for the novice. This is surprising, since it can be climbed from both mountaineer Mecca’s the Saas Fee and Zermatt. And the view from this mountain is extraordinary. Most climbers use the normal route from the Saas Fee side and sleep at the Britannia hut, and most of them prefer the skis. If hikers and mountaineers go from Zermatt, they usually stay at the Tasch hut. Even the Haute Route skiers and hikers who cross the neary Adler pass on their long way from Saas Fee to Chamonix do not honor the Rimpfischhorn with a visit, since the climb from the Adlerpass takes 3 hours and offers bad rocks. The opposing ridge from the Allalinpass is occupied by a grim gendarme (policeman) and is not much appreciated by the public either. So most tourists concentrate on the 5-6 hour walk from the Brittania hut on the normal route in ice and snow. If you think of the many crevasses that have been opened for you in fall, it is not surprising that most mountaineers prefer deep spring snow for excellent skiing. Don’t forget to take your rope, axe and crampons but you many not need them in spring.

The Rimpfischhorn, with its jagged crest, is one of the peaks of the Mischabel massif, and lies to the east of Zermatt. It is a demanding summit for mountaineers, surrounded by magnificent glaciers. The Rimpfischhorn is regarded as a training peak for the Matterhorn and climbers who prove themselves here are ready to tackle the Matterhorn. The extensive icy flanks of the Rimfischhorn are clearly visible from the Gornergrat. The Rimpfischhorn received its name from “rimpfen” or to wrinkle from its jagged north ridge.

The summit cross on the Rimpfischhorn was carried up by the guardian of the Kin hut, Viktor Imboden, together with his younger son Iwan Imboden and Henry Willi. This was in memory of Victor Imboden’s son Bernhard, who died in an accident in 1995 on the Rose Glacier in Graubunden on the last day of his mountain guide exams. The first ascent took place on September 9th 1859 by Melchior Andereg, Leslie Stephen, Robert Liveing and Johann Zumtaugwald. The oldest person who ever climbed the Rimfischhorn was the German photographer, painter and draughtsman Albert Siebenmorgen who was 78 at the time.