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Coordinates: 46°38′19.5″N 8°6′55.9″E / 46.638750°N 8.115528°E / 46.638750; 8.115528
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Wetterhorn above Grindelwald
Highest point
Elevation3,690 m (12,110 ft)
Prominence211 m (692 ft)[1]
Parent peakMittelhorn
Coordinates46°38′19.5″N 8°6′55.9″E / 46.638750°N 8.115528°E / 46.638750; 8.115528
Wetterhorn is located in Switzerland
Location in Switzerland
LocationBern, Switzerland
Parent rangeBernese Alps
First ascent31 August 1844 by Melchior Bannholzer and Hans Jaun
Easiest routerock/snow/ice climb

The Wetterhorn (3,690 m) is a peak in the Swiss Alps towering above the village of Grindelwald. Formerly known as Hasle Jungfrau, it is one of three summits on a mountain named the "Wetterhörner", the highest of which is the Mittelhorn (3,702 m) and the lowest and most distant the Rosenhorn (3,689 m). The latter peaks are mostly hidden from view from Grindelwald.

The Grosse Scheidegg Pass crosses the col to the north, between the Wetterhorn and the Schwarzhorn.[2]


The Wetterhorn summit was first reached on August 31, 1844, by the Grindelwald guides Hans Jaun and Melchior Bannholzer, three days after they had co-guided a large party organized by the geologist Édouard Desor to the first ascent of the Rosenhorn. The Mittelhorn was first summitted on 9 July 1845 by the same guides, this time accompanied by a third, Kaspar Abplanalp, and by British climber Stanhope Templeman Speer. The son of a Scottish physician, Speer lived in Interlaken, Switzerland.[3][4]

A September 1854 summit ascent by a party that included Alfred Wills, who apparently believed he'd made the first ascent, was much celebrated in Great Britain. Wills' description of this trip in his book "Wanderings Among the High Alps" (published in 1856) helped make mountaineering fashionable in Britain and ushered in the so-called golden age of alpinism, the systematic exploration of the Alps by British mountaineers. Despite several by then well-documented earlier ascents and the fact that he was guided to the top, Willis was lauded in his 1912 obituary as "Certainly the first who can be said with any confidence to have stood upon the real highest peak of the Wetterhorn proper" (i.e. the 3,692 m summit)[5] In a subsequent corrigendum, the editors admitted two earlier ascents, but considered his still "the first completely successful" one.[6]

In 1866, Lucy Walker was the first documented female to summit the peak.

The 24-year-old English mountaineer William Penhall and his Meiringen guide Andreas Maurer were killed by an avalanche high on the Wetterhorn on 3 August 1882.

The famed guide and Grindelwald native Christian Almer climbed the mountain many times in his life, including on his first of many trips with Meta Brevoort and her nephew W. A. B. Coolidge in 1868. His last ascent was in 1896 at the age of 74 together with his 75-year-old wife Margaritha ("Gritli") to celebrate their golden anniversary on the summit.[5]

Winston Churchill climbed the Wetterhorn in 1894.[7]

Aerial tramway[edit]

The Wetterhorn summit was the intended terminal for the world's first passenger-carrying aerial tramway, but only the first quarter was built. It was in operation until the beginning of World War I.[8]


  1. ^ Retrieved from the Swisstopo topographic maps and Google Earth. The key col is located near the Wettersattel at 3,479 metres.
  2. ^ map.geo.admin.ch (Map). Swiss Confederation. Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  3. ^ Williams, Charles (1854). The Alps, Switzerland, and the North of Italy. J. Cassell. pp. 319–326. The Alps, Switzerland and Italy.
  4. ^ Chambers, William; Chamber, Robert (1846). Chambers's Journal. Vol. 5. pp. 59–61.
  5. ^ a b In memoriam. Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Wills, The Alpine Journal 27, 1912, pp. 47-
  6. ^ Addenda and Corrigenda: The Wetterhorn, The Alpine Journal 27, 1912, p. 235
  7. ^ Churchill, Winston S. (1930). A Roving Commission: My Early Life. New York: Scribner's. p. 37.
  8. ^ The first aerial cableway, blog of the Swiss National Museum

External links[edit]