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Schwarzhorn: Popular 38 Four Thousand Meter Peaks

The Schwarzhorn at height of 4321 meters, forms part of the Monte Rosa massif. The black rocky outcrop presents a dramatic contrast to the white expanses around, yet rises only about 50 meters above the ice. The Schwarzhorn, or Corno Nero, located to the south of the Ludwigsspitze, was the last peak of the Monte Rosa massif to be conquered. Like the Balmenhorn, it belongs to the extended list of 4000 meter peaks. It rises only 50 meters above the surrounding ice, but the rocky outcrop is black and easily recognized. No fewer than 12 summits in the Alps bear the name Schwarzhorn, and while the Schwarzhorn in the Monte Rosa massif is the highest, it is by no means the best known. It can be reached on skis in winter and spring. The Schwarzhorn is located between the Colle Vincent and the Colle Zurbriggen, not far from the Balmenhorn. The southern side of the Schwarzhorn is a dark, steep rock face.

It is not climbed for it’s own, but mostly when collecting these 4000 meter mountains. Corno Nero is in the official list of UIAA about the 4000 meter mountains of the Alps and most authors consider it as an independent mountain. It popular area is the traverse along the ridge from Gnifetti hut to the Signalkuppe. The first ascent was on August 18th 1873 by Marco Maglioni, Albert de Rothschild with guides Peter and Nikolaus Knubel, Eduard Cupelin and three porters.

There is only one reasonable route from the basis. It is only 30 meters or so, but these are much steeper than at the neighbor peaks that are only walks ups. Crampons and ice axes are necessary to cope with the 40 degrees steep slope of snow or ice. At the summit itself, a black rock of few meters, about 3 to 5 meters, is sticking out. The small surface of this rock makes it difficult to stand on the summit itself, especially when hikers and mountaineers are not climbing individually. The little the mountain looks from the west side from the Lis glacier, the steep the east side falls into the Sesia valley. So standing high up, you gain a spectacular viewpoint on a really high mountain. To go up the summit, mountain guide is necessary and depending on fitness level, it is suitable for single or multiple ascents in the Monte Rosa massif. Since it is a multi-day trip, be sure to plan your hike well. It is not a very difficult mountain but proper gears and skills will be needed to ascent this mountain.