The ski areas of the Alps 4000

To the Gran Paradiso

To the Gran Paradiso - Photo F. melindo

Roberto Aruga

Also for the "four" ski in the Alps, there have been some attempts in the past to list, that gave results rather heterogeneous.
It is therefore proposed, in parallel with the work of listing the UIAA Commission, a list of the four ski resorts in the Alps. In this work is considered as the main reference the article by R. Aruga on CAI Magazine March-April 1981.

General principles
In order to be accepted among the four ski a peak must obviously possess the dual characteristic of being part of the four thousand, and of being judged "skiable".
Regarding the first aspect there are substantial problems: simply take as objective basis the list of 82 four official fruit of the UIAA Commission's work (see the special section on this site). The appearance of "ski conditions" is rather more complex and debatable: this concept can vary widely depending on the individual, the ski mountaineering conceptions of the various eras and techniques and equipment matching. In other words the idea of ​​skiing conditions on the one hand can pick up a set of peaks that all unquestionably judge ski, while the other end, where they appear the most challenging peaks, has an outline quite uncertain and vague, dependent on the judgment of each our.
Considering all this, it seems appropriate, to the ski peaks, give up any idea of ​​the official list from rigidly defined boundaries. It could however, more logically, start considering the peaks considered by all and indisputably as ski, dividing for example, for convenience of the skier, in two categories with different levels of difficulty (let's call them A and B). These two categories can be defined with sufficient precision. Instead the upper end, where the contour becomes blurred and debatable, we can consider a class (let's call it C) that it collects the same ski area four most controversial and consider it as a category "open", that everybody can expand by including more challenging peaks, or even restrict down, eliminating the peaks considered not ski. And 'therefore clear that this third category will be considered as a simple proposal, completely editable, and nothing more.

Definition of the three categories
To define the three categories you can found on these criteria: user ski width (ie width of the part in relation to the entire ski trail); ski difficulties; climbing difficulty. Derive immediately the following definitions.
CATEGORY A. For these peaks the above criteria give a favorable, or at least to the minimum degree of difficulty. Therefore the use of the ski amplitude extends to the totality of the route or for a good part of it, as well as a ski or climbing difficulties are mild and do not pose problems. In this group - at least in principle - enter the four thousand traditionally considered easy or "classic", from Gran Paradiso to the Breithorn Western Signalkuppe, up to a Mont Blanc (note fact that the length or the required effort does not come into this classification).
CATEGORY B. They enter those heights for which the criteria set out above lead to a less favorable assessment for earlier: the width of the ski party can begin to be reduced significantly compared to the previous category, as well as the difficulty or ski mountaineering can be to hear more clearly. Or, in some cases, the descent can be not particularly profitable. It is, in short, of those routes in which next to the purely ski area is to flank the aspect more properly mountaineering with all the feelings that are proper. Among the most typical examples: Grand Combin, Aletschhorn, Dent d'Hérens and so on.
CATEGORY C. Their presence between the ski peaks is quite questionable. For this small group of four the response of the three criteria of assessment is likely to push them to the limit of acceptability: stretch ski reduced or considerable difficulty or ski mountaineering (to fix ideas could be defined as such a mountaineering difficulty classified as PD from driving Vallot or AD by Kurz-Brandt guidance of Valais; do not forget that you are still talking about the backcountry ski path!).
Then there is that group of mountains - extremely narrow, actually - not skiable in themselves but achievable without too much trouble by a four ski area located in close proximity (typical example: on the Courmayeur Mont Blanc). We could define the peaks 'collectors'. It is, for each of these, to evaluate the logic of their ascent in terms of additional time required and difficulty.

List of four ski resorts in the Alps
It is now proposed a list of peaks, first categories A and B together, then C (the latter with no geographical divisions). It should be noted that, to avoid misunderstandings on the route to which it refers, it is also given a brief nod to the latter.

1 - Massif des Écrins: 2
1), Barre des Écrins 4101; ref. Écrins - vers. NE - cr. NO (category B)
2) Dôme de Neige des Écrins 4015; ref. Écrins -Brèche Lory (A)

2 - Gran Paradiso Group: 1
3) Gran Paradiso 4061; vers. O (A)

3 - Group of Mont Blanc / Massif du Mont Blanc: 3
4) Dôme du Goûter 4306 / 4304; Gr. Mulets - Col du Dome (A)
5) Mont Blanc / Monte Bianco 4807; Gr. Mulets - cr. Bosses (A)
6) 4765 the Courmayeur Mont Blanc; by M. White (B)

4 - Pennine Alps / Alpes Valaisannes / Walliser Alpen: 29
7) Combin de Valsorey 4184; cab. de Panossière - low road (Corridor) opp. high road (B)
8) Combin de Grafeneire 4314; cab. de Panossière - low road (Corridor) opp. high road (B)
9) Combin de la Tsessette 4141; cab. de Panossière - Corridor (B)
10) Dent d'Hérens 4179 / 4171; vers. SO - cr. OR (B)
11) Bishorn 4153; Cab. De Tracuit - vers. NO (A)
12) Breithorn W West 4165 / 4164; Plateau Rosa (or ref. Mezzalama) - vers. SSO (A)
13) Breihorn Central / Central 4160 / 4159; Plateau Rosa (or ref. Mezzalama) - cr. O (A)
14) Breithorn E (East / Ost) 4141 / 4139; ref. Mezzalama - vers. SSO (A)
15) Black Rock 4075; ref. Mezzalama - off SO (A)
16) Pollux / Pollux 4091 / 4092; ref. Mezzalama (or M. Rosahütte) - vers. SO (A)
17) Castor / Castor 4221 / 4228; Colle di Verra - vers. O opp. Colle Felik - cr. IF (A)
18) Lyskamm Occidentale / W 4481 / 4479; Colle Felik - cr. SO (B)
19) Lyskamm Eastern / E 4527; Colle del Lys - cr. AND (B)
20) Punta Giordani 4046; P. Indren - Gh. Indren (A)
21) Pyramid Vincent 4215; Postal Code. Gnifetti - Colle Vincent (A)
22) Black Horn 4322; Postal Code. Gnifetti - vers. N (A)
23) Ludwigshöhe 4342 / 4341; Postal Code. Gnifetti (or M. Rosahütte) - vers. N (A)
24) Parrotspitze / Parrotspitze 4436 / 4432; Postal Code. Gnifetti (or M. Rosahütte) - cr. NNE (A)
25) Signalkuppe / Signalkuppe 4554; Postal Code. Gnifetti (or M. Rosahütte) - vers. NO (A)
26) Punta Zumstein / Zumsteinspitze 4563; Postal Code. Gnifetti (or M. Rosahütte) - cr. IF (A)
27) Dufour / Dufourspitze 4634; M. Rosahütte - Dufoursattel - cr. OR (B)
28) Nordend 4612 / 4609; M. Rosahütte - Silbersattel - cr. SSO (B)
29) Strahlhorn 4190; Postal Code. Britannia - Adlerpass (A)
30) Rimpfischhorn 4199; Postal Code. Britannia - Allalinpass - Rimpfischsattel (B)
31) Allalinhorn 4027; Postal Code. Längfluh - Feejoch (A)
32) Alphubel 4206; Postal Code. Längfluh - vers. E (A)
33) Dom 4545; Domhütte - Festijoch - vers. N (B)
34) Nadelhorn 4327; Postal Code. Bordier - Ulrichshorn - cr. NE (B)
35) Weissmies 4023; Zwischbergenpass - cr. SE (B)

5 - Bernese Alps / Alpes Bernoises: 7
36) Aletschhorn 4195; cr. SO, opp. cr. ONO, opp. cr. NE (B)
37) Jungfrau 4158; Jungfraujoch - Rottalsattel - vers. SE (B)
38) Mönch 4099; Jungfraujoch - cr. SE (B)
39) Gross Fiescherhorn 4049; Fieschersattel - cr. IF (A)
40) Hinter Fiescherhorn 4025; Fieschersattel - cr. NO (A)
41) Gross Grünhorn 4043; Konkordiahütte - cr. SSO (B)
42) Finsteraarhorn 4274; Finsteraarhornhütte - Hugisattel - cr. NO (B)

6 - the Bernina Group / Berninagruppe: 1
43) Piz Bernina 4049; Fuorcla Crast'Agüzza - cr. S (B)

Category C: 7
44) Aiguille de Bionnassay 4052; Gh. Miage - cr. S
45) Mont Maudit 4468 / 4465; Col du Midi - Shoulder M. Blanc du Tacul - vers. N
46) Mont Blanc du Tacul 4248; Col du Midi - vers. NNO
47) Aiguille de Rochefort 4001; Gh. Mont Mallet - cr. N
48) Dent Blanche 4357; vers. NO
49) Täschhorn 4491; Domhütte - Festi-Kin-Luche - vers. NO
50) Stecknadelhorn 4241; by Nadelhorn