Normal route

A normal route or normal way (French: Voie Normale; German: Normalweg) is the most frequently used route for ascending and descending a mountain peak. It is usually the simplest route.[2][3]

In the Alps, routes are classed in the following ways, based on their waymarking, construction and upkeep:

Sometimes the normal route is not the easiest ascent to the summit, but just the one that is most used. There may be technically easier variations. This is especially the case on the Watzmannfrau, the Hochkalter and also Mount Everest. There may be many reasons these easier options are less well-used:

  • the simplest route is less well known than the normal route (Watzmannfrau).
  • the technically easiest route is more arduous than another (e.g. due to rubble) and is therefore mainly used on the descent (Hochkalter).
  • the technically easiest route carries a much higher risk of e.g. rockfalls or avalanche and is therefore avoided in favour of a more difficult route (Watzespitze).
  • the technically easier route requires a complicated or long approach march, or all access may be banned via one country (Mount Everest).

The term tourist route may sometimes be applied (irrespective of the level of difficulty of ascent) by those wishing to suggest that other routes up a mountain are somehow more "worthy". This belittling of the "normal route" therefore maintains a distinction between those perceiving themselves as serious mountaineers who disparage the incursion of tourist climbers into their domain (hence the term the "Yak Route" on Mount Everest).[4]

Matterhorn Hörnligrat
Matterhorn Hörnligrat - although a serious alpine route in its own right, the Hörnli ridge of the Matterhorn is the normal route that the majority of climbers use to reach the summit of this mountain.[1]


  1. ^ "How to climb the Matterhorn". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  2. ^ The Mountain Encyclopedia" by Frederic Hartemann and Robert Hauptman (2005). Accessed on 1 Jun 2014.
  3. ^ Perkins, Andy. "BMG Route Card: Voie Normale - Piz Buin". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  4. ^ Musa, Ghazali; Higham, James; Thompson- Carr, Anna (June 2015). Mountaineering Tourism. Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 9781317668749. Retrieved 3 March 2016.

Aconcagua (Spanish pronunciation: [akoŋˈkaɣwa]) is the highest mountain outside of Asia, being the tallest in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres with a summit elevation of 6,960.8 metres (22,837 ft). It is located in the Principal Cordillera of the Andes mountain range, in the Mendoza Province, Argentina, and lies 112 km (70 mi) northwest of its capital, the city of Mendoza, about five km (3.1 mi) from San Juan Province and 15 km (9.3 mi) from the international border with Chile. The mountain itself lies entirely within Argentina, immediately east of Argentina's border with Chile. The nearest higher peak is Tirich Mir in the Hindu Kush, 16,520 kilometres (10,270 mi) away. It is one of the Seven Summits.

Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the west and south. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain has a number of glaciers. The largest glacier is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior at about 10 km (6.2 mi) long, which descends from the south face to about 3,600 m (11,800 ft) in altitude near the Confluencia camp.

Two other large glacier systems are the Ventisquero de las Vacas Sur and Glaciar Este/Ventisquero Relinchos system at about five kilometres (3.1 mi) long. The most well-known is the north-eastern or Polish Glacier, as it is a common route of ascent.


The Allalinhorn (4,027 m (13,212 ft)) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps in Switzerland. It lies between Zermatt and Saas-Fee in the canton of Valais, and is part of the Mischabel range, which culminates at the Dom (4,545 m).

It was first climbed by London barrister Edward Levi Ames, a member of the Imseng family and Franz-Josef Andenmatten on 28 August 1856.

The building of the Metro Alpin funicular to the Mittelallalin (3456 m) just below the north-east face has turned the mountain into one of the easiest and popular 4000-metre peaks of the Alps, when climbed by the standard route (WNW Ridge, difficulty Grade F). On the normal route, climbers can ride up to the Mittelallalin; from there, there are only about 500 vertical metres to tackle. However, even the 'easiest' route still has objective dangers from crevasses and should not be attempted by inexperienced mountaineers without a mountain guide or adequate crevasse rescue training.

Blà Bheinn

Blà Bheinn (also known as Blaven), is a mountain on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It is usually regarded as an outlier to the Black Cuillin. It is mainly composed of gabbro, a rock with excellent grip for mountaineers and scramblers. The name Blà Bheinn is thought to mean "blue mountain", from a combination of Norse and Gaelic. Whereas blå in Modern Norwegian means "blue", the Old Norse word blá could, however, also refer to the colours blue-black and black.

The normal route of ascent for walkers is from the east. A path leaves the B8083 on the shores of Loch Slapin about 4 km after the village of Torrin. The path follows a burn, the Allt na Dunachie, into the corrie of Coire Uaigneich. From here a short steep route along the ridge leads to the summit. A small amount of scrambling is needed to reach the true top of the mountain.Alternative routes follow the south ridge, or come from the north having traversed the Clach Glas ridge which links to the Red Cuillin peaks.

The view from the summit is dominated by the Black Cuillin.

Blaven stands in the Strathaird Estate, owned and managed since 1994 by the John Muir Trust.

Borah Peak

Borah Peak (also known as Mount Borah or Beauty Peak) is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Idaho and one of the most prominent peaks in the contiguous states. It is located in the central section of the Lost River Range, within the Challis National Forest in eastern Custer County.

Dent d'Hérens

The Dent d'Hérens (4,174 m) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, lying on the border between Italy and Switzerland. The mountain lies a few kilometres west of the Matterhorn.

The Aosta hut (2,781 m) is used for the normal route.

Direttissima (climbing)

A direttissima (Italian for "shortest link") is a climbing term meaning a direct climb to the summit of a mountain up the fall line from the valley base to the top. Whilst the normal route aims to find the way with the least difficulty, the climber attempting a direttissima faces the challenge of ascending the mountain in a more "direct" way.

The term comes from Italian climber, Emilio Comici, who said: "I wish some day to make a route, and from the summit let fall a drop of water, and this is where my route will have gone"

There are usually many climbing routes to the summit of a mountain and it often takes days of studying to work out which route might be suitable.

Sometimes the theoretical considerations turn out to be impracticable or inexpedient in hindsight. But the alpinist who decides to climb a mountain peak or rock face direttissima may only depart slightly from the vertical line to the summit during his ascent. So there are many direttissime that will probably never be climbed; one of which is (not least because of avalanche risk), the direttissima of the East Face of the Kangshung on Mount Everest.

A famous direttissima in Europe is the vertical route up the Eiger North Face which is reserved for very experienced climbers. The pursuit of direttissima routes has lost its importance since at least the 1980s as the emphasis switched to the different styles of climbing, such as redpoint, on-sight and flash.

Dom (mountain)

The Dom is a mountain of the Pennine Alps, located between Randa and Saas-Fee in the canton of Valais. With its 4,545 m (14,911 ft) summit it is the third highest mountain in the Alps and the second highest in Switzerland, after Monte Rosa. The Dom is the main summit of the Mischabel group (German: Mischabelhörner), which is the highest massif lying entirely in Switzerland.

Although Dom is a German cognate for 'dome', it can also mean 'cathedral' and the mountain is named after Canon Berchtold of Sitten cathedral, the first person to survey the vicinity.The former name Mischabel comes from an ancient German dialect term for pitchfork, as the highest peaks of the massif stand close to each other.

Fionn Bheinn

Fionn Bheinn is a Scottish mountain located south of Loch Fannich in the north western highlands. It has a height of 933 m (3061 ft) and is listed as a Munro. The south side of the mountain is a shallow, smooth grassy slope, but its north face is steeper and is considered more impressive.Fionn Bheinn is most often climbed from the village of Achnasheen to the south, with the normal route following the burn called Allt Achadh na Sine to the nose at Creagan nan Laogh, and then up the grassy slopes to the summit. An ascent or descent via the east ridge is also common, this route giving better views of the north side of the mountain.

Gonella Hut

The Gonella Hut (French: Refuge Francesco Gonella; Italian: Rifugio Francesco Gonella and sometimes called Rifugio del Dôme; or Refuge du Dôme) is a high altitude mountain hut in the Aosta Valley in the Mont Blanc massif area of the Alps. It lies at an altitude of 3071 metres, above Val Veny near Courmayeur in Italy. The refuge is located on the Italian 'normal route' to Mont Blanc.

Grand Combin

The Grand Combin is a mountain massif in the western Pennine Alps in Switzerland. With its 4,314 metres (14,154 ft) highest summit, the Combin de Grafeneire, it is one of the highest peaks in the Alps and the second most prominent of its range. The Grand Combin is also a large glaciated massif consisting of several summits, among which three are above 4000 metres (Combin de Grafeneire 4,314 m (14,154 ft), Combin de Valsorey 4,183 m (13,724 ft), Combin de la Tsessette 4,134 m (13,563 ft)).

The normal route starts from the Panossière Hut, which lies on the north side in the Corbassière valley. Despite the fact that no major difficulties exist, a particularly dangerous passage has to be traversed on the north flank: Le Corridor. It is a couloir dominated by seracs continuously falling on it.


The Grünhorn (or Gross Grünhorn) (4,044 m) is a mountain in the Bernese Alps range of the Swiss Alps. It is located on the ridge between the two largest glaciers of the Alps: the Aletsch Glacier to the west and the Fiescher Glacier to the east. To the south lies the Gross Wannenhorn and, to the north, the Gross Fiescherhorn.

The starting point for the normal route via the Grünegghorn and the south-west ridge is the Konkordiahütte at 2,850 metres (9,350 ft), which can be reached from Fiesch (1,049 m; 3,442 ft).


Huascarán (Spanish pronunciation: [waskaˈɾan]) (Quechua: Waskaran) is a mountain in the Peruvian province of Yungay (Ancash Region), situated in the Cordillera Blanca range of the western Andes. The highest southern summit of Huascarán (Huascarán Sur) is the highest point in Peru, the northern part of Andes (north of Lake Titicaca) and in all of the Earth's Tropics. Huascarán is the fourth highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere and South America after Aconcagua, Ojos del Salado, and Monte Pissis. The mountain was named after Huáscar, a 16th-century Inca emperor who was the Sapa Inca of the Inca empire.

Huayna Potosí

Huayna Potosí is a mountain in Bolivia, located near El Alto and about 25 km north of La Paz in the Cordillera Real.

Huayna Potosí is the closest high mountain to La Paz. Surrounded by high mountains, it is roughly 15 miles due north of the city, which makes this mountain the most popular climb in Bolivia. The normal ascent route is a fairly straightforward glacier climb, with some crevasses and a steep climb to the summit. However, the other side of the mountain -- Huayna Potosí West Face -- is the biggest face in Bolivia. Several difficult snow and ice routes ascend this 1000 meter high face.

The first ascent of the normal route was undertaken in 1919 by Germans Rudolf Dienst and Adolf Schulze. Some climbing books report this mountain as the "easiest 6000er in the world", but this claim is debatable. The easiest route entails an exposed ridge and sections of moderately steep ice, with a UIAA rating of PD. There are many 6000m mountains that are easier to climb in terms of technical difficulty. Perhaps therefore, the main reason Huayna Potosí has been referred to as the easiest 6000m climb is that the elevation gain from trailhead to summit is less than 1400 m; with easy access from La Paz. Since La Paz is at 3640 m, climbers have an easier time acclimatizing.


Illampu is the fourth highest mountain in Bolivia. It is located in the northern section of the Cordillera Real, part of the Andes, east of Lake Titicaca. It lies just north of the slightly higher Janq'u Uma, near the town of Sorata. Laguna Glaciar, located in the Illampu-Janq'u Uma massif, is the 17th highest lake in the world.

Despite being lower than Janq'u Uma, Illampu has a steeper peak, with more local relief, and is a somewhat harder climb. In fact it has "the hardest normal route on any of the 6,000 metre peaks in Bolivia." The easiest route, by the Southwest Ridge, is rated AD (Fairly Difficult), with snow slopes up to 65 degrees. It is accessed from a high camp on the north side of the massif. The peak was first climbed on June 7, 1928 via this route, by Hans Pfann, Alfred Horeschowsky, Hugo Hörtnagel (Germans) and Erwin Hein (Austrian). Other routes include the "German Route" on the southwest face and the South Face route, both approached from the west side of the massif.

Jerzy Kukuczka

Jerzy Kukuczka (24 March 1948 in Katowice, Poland – 24 October 1989 Lhotse, Nepal) was a Polish alpine and high-altitude climber. Born in Katowice, his family origin is Silesian Goral. On 18 September 1987, he became the second man (after Reinhold Messner), to climb all fourteen eight-thousanders in the world; a feat which took him less than 8 years to accomplish. He is the only person in the world who has climbed two eight-thousanders in one winter. Altogether, he ascended four eight-thousanders in winter, including three as first ascents. Along with Tadeusz Piotrowski, Kukuczka established a new route on K2 in alpine style (the so-called "Polish Line"), which no one has repeated.

Mount Athabasca

Mount Athabasca is located in the Columbia Icefield of Jasper National Park in Canada. The mountain was named in 1898 by J. Norman Collie, who made the first ascent on August 18 of that year. Athabasca is the Cree Indian name for "where there are reeds" which originally referred to Lake Athabasca.


Reolian Public Transport Co. (Reolian), (Chinese: 維澳蓮運公共運輸股份有限公司) was one of the three Bus Public Transport Operators of Macau along with Transmac (Transportes Urbanos de Macau) and TCM (Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos de Macau).

The company was a joint venture between Veolia Transport RATP Asia (VTRA) and a company in Macau, the HN Group. It was declared bankrupt by the Macau judiciary on December 4, 2013. All bus routes and vehicles previously operated by Reolian were taken over by Macau Nova Era de Autocarros Públicos (known as Macau New Era Public Bus Co in English) with effect on July 1, 2014.

The Man Who Skied Down Everest

The Man Who Skied Down Everest is a documentary about Yuichiro Miura, a Japanese alpinist who skied down Mount Everest in 1970. The film was produced by Canadian film maker F. R. "Budge" Crawley. Miura skied 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in two minutes and 20 seconds and fell 400 m (1,320 ft) down the steep Lhotse face from the Yellow Band just below the South Col. He used a large parachute to slow his descent. He came to a full stop just 76 m (250 ft) from the edge of a bergschrund, a large, deep crevasse where the ice shears away from the stagnant ice on the rock face and begins to move downwards as a glacier.

The ski descent was the objective of The Japanese Everest Skiing Expedition 1970. Six members of this expedition died. At the same time, another independent Japanese expedition (called The Japanese Mount Everest Expedition 1970) undertook a combined ascent of (a) the normal route, including Naomi Uemura who made the summit, and (b) the first attempt at the South-West Face, the tall black face on the movie poster with the Y-shaped snowy gully. Two members of this second expedition died.Crawley won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for this picture. The Academy Film Archive preserved The Man Who Skied Down Everest in 2010.

Three Pinnacles

The Three Pinnacles are a formation of steep rocks along the northeast ridge on Mount Everest. They were one of the longest unsolved challenges in high-level mountaineering, but have now been successfully climbed.

The rocks are located at around 7,800, 8,100 and 8,200 metres above sea level (height of base of pinnacle) and are therefore already in the death zone, in which people cannot usually recover, even at rest.

The normal routes on Everest avoid this area; the normal northern route leaves it to the left.

During the various attempts to conquer the pinnacles and open a new route along the entire northeast ridge, there were frequently serious problems and fatalities. In 1982 Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker died in the first serious attempt to climb in groups at grade 5 within the death zone. In 1992 a joint Japanese-Kazakh expedition crossed the Pinnacles but were unable to continue to the summit. They found a body beyond the second pinnacle at approximately 8,200m on the Rongbuk side of the ridge. Photographs taken by Vladimir Suviga and sent to Chris Bonington confirmed that the body was that of Peter Boardman. Joe Tasker's body has never been found.

In 1988, Russell Brice and Harry Taylor successfully climbed the Three Pinnacles, but they were so exhausted after climbing the third pinnacle that they abandoned their original plan to continue along the normal route to the summit. Instead, they crossed the normal route along the north ridge and descended to the North Col.

Not until 1995 did a team from a Japanese university, supported by a group of about 35 Sherpa porters, climb the entire northeast ridge route, including the Three Pinnacles in both directions. In order to facilitate the expedition, the Sherpas had covered virtually the entire route with fixed ropes. Only after the ropes were in place did a group of Japanese go to the top.

Even today this part of the vast mountain is almost always avoided, too great are its difficulties that range from the Pinnacles themselves to the weather, the extreme cold, the winds and the altitude as well as the arduous terrain.

Almost all the mountaineering challenges on Mount Everest have now been overcome, but there remain two routes with extraordinary difficulties: a direttissima climb up the avalanche-prone East Face – the only yet unclimbed direct route on Everest, and ascent of the north pillar on the East Face over the (according to George Mallory) so-called "Fantasy Ridge". This ridge ends at the centre of the northeast ridge – below the Three Pinnacles. A climber wishing to climb up the Fantasy Ridge on his way to the summit would have to negotiate the east ridge and then climb the Three Pinnacles on the northeast ridge.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.