Gazing at the impressive North Face of the Dent d'Hérens from the patio of the Schönbiel hut.
relatively short in distance at about 11 kilometers, and mostly downhill,
this day's stage covers some of the most rugged terrain of the trip. Leaving
the hut we first ascend the gentle upper slopes of the Mont Miné
Glacier to the Col de la Tête Blanche at almost 3600 meters. A quick
ascent of 3707 meter Tête Blanche is an easy, optional side trip
from here, with magnificent views. The Dent Blanche looms nearby to the
northeast; beyond it the Obergabelhorn, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn march
into the distance. To the east we see the Dent d'Hérens and our
first up-close view of the Matterhorn.
ourselves away from the views, it's time to descend the crevassed Stockji glacier to leave it where it
breaks to either side of the rock ridge called the Stockji. We pick up
a faint path that traverses along the base of the Stockji to the moraines
of the Schönbiel Glacier. Crossing these and the rubble-covered lower
reaches of the glacier, we make our way up the steep northeastern bank
to the Schönbiel hut, our last hut night of the trip. After an excellent
dinner we can sit on the terrace and watch the daylight fade on the imposing
North Face of the Matterhorn, just across the Zmutt glacier.
The view from the Bertol hut across the upper Glacier du Mont Miné. Our route on Day 6 traverses across the glacier to the Col de la Tête Blanche on the skyline on the left. In this photo you can just make out the pyramid of the Matterhorn left of center.
Arriving at the Schönbiel hut, under the North Face of the Matterhorn.
Day 6 - Bertol hut to Schönbiel hut
total vertical gain
total vertical loss
A view from the east showing the route down from the Col de la Tête Blanche to the Schönbiel hut.
Looking west from the Alphubel, on the east side of the Mattertal. The start of our trek, Mont Blanc, can clearly be seen. Zermatt lies down in the valley under the Matterhorn.