Breithorn at Simplon (3437 m) is one of the several mountains above three thousand meters that can be climbed from the Simplon pass (Passo del Sempione, 2005 m) in Switzerland. The others are Hubschhorn (3192), Punta Terrarosa (Wasenhorn, 3245 m) and Monte Leone (3553). Within this page, I give some essential details which you will need to know before climbing Breithorn at Simplon.
I stress ‘at Simplon’ because there are a few mountains in the Alps with the same name Breithorn. So do not mix it with Breithorn at Zermatt described in my another page.
[Chopin: Nocturne in C-sharp Minor (No.20)]
The coordinates of Breithorn at Simplon are:
- Latitude: 46.23837
- Longitude: 8.08401
How to get there?
The Pass, together with the mountains around is an area with exceptional beauty. Access roads (see the map below) from both sides (Swiss and Italian) are very good and attractive. This in particular holds for the Italian side, from the valley of Domodossola (in Italy) and village Simplon (in Switzerland) as it offers great views toward the Weissmies group.
Where to stay?
Two first-choice possibilities are:
- Simplon Hospiz.
- Monte Leone hut.
The Simplon Hospice (hospiz) is a three-story building directly on the Pass. It was raised by the order of Napoleon issued in 1801, during the building of the road over the Pass which connects Piedmont in Italy and Wallis in Switzerland. Can you imagine, Napoleon was taking care about roads through the Alps.
Though this was obviously for his own military purposes. About 1600 years before him, there was another one passing the Alps, with 38 elephants and an army of more than 40 thousand. Apparently, elephants were not good in climbing and they all died somewhere there. I am speaking about Hannibal of course. In fact, there is no consensus about his exact passage through the Alps. But from what I know, about the Simplon pass, this would have been an ideal gate to the Italian boot.
Anyhow, back to the Hospice, from the beginning it has been run by monks, and presently it can accommodate more than a hundred of people.
Monte Leone hut is at high altitude and a bit off-the-route to Breithorn, but it is in a beautiful environment and a great point directly on the route to Wasenhorn.
Regarding the accommodation in some of the surrounding valleys, I would recommend renting some apartment or house, there are many possibilities for this (see more at a separate post within this site), or you may find a camp, there are many in the valleys below.
Here below I give a few photos I made on my way to Breithorn.
About the route
The starting point is at the Simplon Hospiz. There is a lot of parking space around. From the Hospiz there are some paths over meadows in the east direction, and in general, go just below the north cliffs of Hübschhorn. You will not see any sign neither for Breithorn nor Monte Leone (this is the same route most of the time). So if you go in early hours without daylight, you’d better study the route thoroughly the day before.
When the north wall of Hübschhorn is behind you, you will continue over huge boulders where you will see some marks for the route (strangely enough, in green color like nowhere else). You will go over Homattu pass (2867 m), and soon after that, you will be at the beginning of the glacier. From this point, this is a glacier walk all the way to the summit.
On the glacier, the slope is about 40 degrees or more. When I was there, the upper part was covered by a lot of snow and I did not see crevasses. But you may be sure that there are many under your feet. It is a rather simple walk up, toward Breithorn pass (3345 m); as you realize this will be your third pass on this climb.
The summit is at a stone throw from the pass. The photos show the views and the scenery around. It is simply breathtaking.