Breithorn Simplon
Dramatic look of the sharp ridge route to Monte Leone. Clouds on the left.

About the necessary equipment

  Recommended   Essential

Note, the type of boots depends on the type of crampons, read more in my separate text.


My climb

For me, this was again a solo trip. I climbed the mountain in 2011, and my start point was the Simplon pass where I was camping. From the summit of Hubschhorn, which I climbed one year earlier, all the glacier route to Breithorn was clearly visible, see the photo below which shows how steep the route in reality is.

I set off at 3:30 am, it was totally dark and I really had a problem finding the path over meadows and through the bush after that. But when I passed Hubschhorn’s north wall, it became easier to stick to the route.

The lower part of the glacier was like a glass. This is because it melts during the day and there is a lot of water on it, which freezes overnight. Crampons did a great role and I did not have problems. Did not feel secure in the upper part because I really did not know where I was stepping. Hidden crevasses are a reality in such an environment. I was at the summit at 9:30 am.

My plan was, in fact, to continue and to climb Monte Leone as well.  However, the weather conditions were such that the snow on the glacier was rather soft when I arrived at Breithorn pass. The long glacier walk which I was supposed to do in order to continue to Monte Leone from that point looked rather risky.

There was, of course, an option to follow the very sharp rocky ridge, which would eventually lead me to the summit of Monte Leone. But clouds were coming as well and the ridge route is rather tricky and it needs time; there is hundreds of meters drop-down on the north side of the ridge (you may see the picture of this north wall on my page about Wasenhorn), therefore it must be done carefully.

So with realistic prospects of rain, reluctantly, I had to accept that M. Leone would have to wait for me. It will be there next time.


To summarize, climbing Breithorn at Simplon was literally a solo tour for me. This because there was no other soul on the mountain all day long. Therefore there are no people (nor animals) on my photos this time, it is pure nature only. I descended the same way back, toward Simplon pass.

To stress again, this is a glacier tour which requires a few important elements of equipment for such an environment. These are described on a separate page within this site, and I suggest you have a look there.

As for accommodation, I myself have been renting apartments through Booking.com. They have plenty of options with fully equipped apartments, houses, and hotels. You can save a lot through their loyalty program

Please leave your comments below, I shall be happy to answer your questions about this exceptionally attractive climb.

Comments

  1. I was really impressed with your story. When I came across your site I found myself wondering if I’d ever attempt the same type of climb. Although I’ve never done any real mountain climbing myself, your site inspired me to consider giving it a try. I enjoyed all of your maps and recommendations for lodging accommodations.

    • Thank you Jared, so you have had a look into some of my texts. Why do not you try yourself, who knows perhaps you will enjoy it and do for the rest of your life. All the best to you.

  2. Wow the view is spectacular . That was quite a tour you took us on . The best thing is that I do not have to pay a single cent & enjoy that much of a process like i was there personally.

    I have tried Mount Kinabalu but not this. I have knee problems do you think that will actually affect my chances of climbing? Do you know of any aids which might assist me?

    • Hi Lee Zhi, I understand your issues with knees, I have the same, so what I do is with a lot of pain. There is no cure for that. There are some techniques when they inject a gel inside, but this cannot last longer than 6 months in the best case. I never did it. I shall continue for as long as I can.

  3. Great pictures of Breithorn at Simplon! Really good article with a nice design as well! I would have added a bit of meat to the text but overall you supplied a lot of valuable information overall. Great work and design! I remember seeing a lot of mountains when I lived in WA, like Mt. Rainier!

    • Thank you John, great to see your comment.

  4. Wow quite beautiful and interesting . Thank you for taking the care to take us on a tour . You are almost like our tour guide through the mountains but while the spectacular music played I felt like I was in a museum with an expensive glass of wine.
    I have gone have way up Pikes Peak in Colorado when I was in the military but never anything serious. But I want to go again some day but nothing too heavy. When did you discover and interest in mountain climbing?

    • Hi Cedric, first thank you for reading mu text and for commenting on it. I have had love for mountains in me all my life. Nothing can be compared with it. In fact I am reading your comment right after climbing Alpspitze in the German Alps, soon I shall write a text about it. So drop in form time to time, and try something similar at your side, you might say to yourself: never again without this.

  5. Wow quite beautiful and interesting . Thank you for taking the care to take us on a tour . You are almost like our tour guide through the mountains but while the spectacular music played I felt like I was in a museum with an expensive glass of wine.
    I have gone have way up Pikes Peak in Colorado when I was in the military but never anything serious. But I want to go again some day but nothing too heavy. When did you discover your love for mountain climbing?

  6. Simply amazing Jovo. The pictures of your walk up Breithorn at Simplon are beautiful. Think I’m finding myself living vicariously through your website as I’m a bit to long in the tooth for the trips you take.

    I was curious while reading your post what animals you might come across until I saw your comment that there are no animal pics. Was this because you didn’t see any or just didn’t take pictures?

    • Hi Mark, first thank you for the comment and for reading my text. This particular climb was long but indeed I have not met anybody. Normally in the Alps you would only see Alpine goats or Ibex, there are no predators like wolfs or bears. But that day it looked like I was the only living creature on the Earth.

  7. Hi Jovo. Wow the post that I just visited with the mountain landscapes was amazing. The Chopin music that you selected, as I happen to have a Masters’ degree in music fit the mood of the page perfectly.
    I actually have been to Switzerland back in Aug. of 1994 on a guided 2 week bus tour. We also visited Germany, Austria and went through parts of France and Italy. For several days our tour took us to a town in Switzerland called Zermatt. The town is unique in that no motorized vehicles are allowed. We had to depart from our bus below the town and with our luggage take a train to our hotel in Zermatt. The town is located right below the Matterhorn and I remember one morning on a crystal clear day simply gazing completely lost in thought at the majesty of that particular mountain.
    They actually have a cemetery within the town that is dedicated to individuals who unfortunately could not make it to the top of the Matterhorn, perishing in tragic accidents.
    I can easily see why your site would be something of great interest for those individuals who love to pursue the dangerous sport of mountain climbing.
    A great job on your part sir in crafting this excellent website.
    Jeff

    • Hi Jeff it is so great to read your comment. I am happy that you enjoyed music, I added it in the way that visitors choose if they want to listen, because not everybody likes that kind of music, but you are obviously deep in it. Yes I have been in Zermatt many times, this is a capital of mountain climbing in the Alps, with the biggest concentration of 4000ers in Europe. I climbed Breithorn (the same name as you see as the present text which you have read) and also Platthorn and Mettelhorn.

  8. Your pictures of the mountains are breathtaking! Anyone planning to climb Breithorn at Simplon will find your detailed information very helpful and relevant. It really helps when planning a trip to have all the relevant information at hand to make the correct decisions and to bring along the right equipment from your guidance and experience.

    • Hi Selvie, great to read your comment. Many thanks for visiting my site.

  9. Hi Jovo,
    I really enjoyed reading this article on your climb of Breithorn at Simplon. Your pictures are beautiful and the spectacular scenery of the Alps never fails to impress. The walk across the glacier sounds very exciting; good on you for doing it solo! In what month did you do this climb? And what’s next on the list?!
    Matthew

    • Hi Matthew, great to read your comment. The climb was in August. Next on the list, well I guess Similaun in Austrian Alps. Thank you.

  10. Wow, the Breithorn at Simplon just looks like a postcard photo! It looks so amazing! I love the way you give me all the information I need to go myself and your personal photos are just exquisite! Did you enjoy it? I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to do it solo!!! Great article, wonderful photos. Sammi

  11. Ah Breithorn at Simplon seems like quiet the adventure, and although I would love to do it. unfortunately my age and ailments wouldn’t allow it.

    I would be terrified to do a solo climb though even if I could make it. Is that safe? Doesn’t that scare you when you think about the thngs that could go wrong?

    I would love to be at a heigth on a mountian where you can be above the clouds. I did that in Hawaii once and it was breath taking. Is that wht you climb? The view?.

    • Hi Debra, it is great to read your comment. As for your question, it is not a perfect situation to go solo. Indeed many things can go wrong. But there is a positive side as well, flexibility to do things as you like it. In this particular case I was above the clouds and the feeling was great. The views are one of the reason to climb. But the main one is that only there I feel alive, and that I indeed live.

  12. I’m just visiting and admiring – I’m not a climber.

    The views are beautiful, but how do you know where to climb? More specifically, how do you know where the crevasses are?

    Extraordinary!

    Dennis

    • Hi Dennis, thank you for visiting my site. As for your questions, the truth is, when you are on glacier you actually do not know what you are stepping on. So it is not a good idea to go solo. You may see my tour to Bishorn, which is over 4000 meters but not technical. And then at the end of the page you will see a video about a climber who fell into a crevasse on the same route which I passed in my solo climb. This is the reality of doing solo glacier tours.

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