The Weisshorn (German, lit. White Peak) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, in Switzerland. With its 4,506 m (14,783 ft) summit, it is one of the major peaks in the Alps and overtops the nearby Matterhorn by some 30 metres. It was first climbed in 1861 from Randa by John Tyndall, accompanied by the guides J.J. Bennen and Ulrich Wenger. In April and May 1991, two consecutive rockslides took place from a cliff above the town of Randa on the east side of the massif.
The Weisshorn is situated in the Swiss canton of Valais, about 25 km southwards from the Rhone, on a north-south orientated chain separating the Val d'Anniviers to the west and the Mattertal to the east. After the Dom, the Weisshorn is the second-highest Alpine summit situated completely out the main chain and on both sides the water end up in the Rhone. The Weisshorn is only one of the many peaks surrounding the region of Zermatt, along with the Dent Blanche, the Dent d'Hérens, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa.
The Weisshorn is the culminating point of the Dent Blanche nappe, a klippe belonging to the Austroalpine nappes. The mountain is composed of gneisses; the west face is also composed of sedimentary rocks from the cretaceous period.
Climbing routes :
All the routes are difficult. The normal route starts from the Weisshorn hut on the east side and goes along the sharp east ridge. The Weisshorn can be climbed from the Bishorn via the north ridge, departing from the Cabane de Tracuit, above Zinal. The first three hours consist of relatively easy walking across the glacier and lead to the summit of the Bishorn (4153 m). The second part of the ascent is very exposed and takes another five hours, during which the Grand Gendarme must be climbed.