Liskamm (Lyskamm)

Breithorn & Liskamm at Zermatt in Switzerland in Summer

Located on the border between Switzerland and Italy, Liskamm sits in the Pennine Alps, but is sometimes considered to be less prominent than other Pennine peaks, and a part of the extended Monte Rosa subrange of mountains. But Liskamm itself is highly visible and a huge massif with two beaming summits: the Eastern Liskamm and the lower Western Liskamm.

The north face of Liskamm in the Swiss Alps

In German, the term Lyskamm literally means “comb of the Lys.” The mountain is also known as Silberbast, translating to “silver bast.”

North face of Liskamm above Zermatt | makasana photo

Trails: The main climbing trail begins at the Lisjoch by Gnifetti Hut, or from the Monte Rosa Hut. 

More experienced hikers often climb between the western Feliksjoch and the eastern Lisjoch, a trail which consists of rockier terrain than the main one.  This route is fairly safe when the weather is nice, but in snowy and icy conditions, can be dangerous.

View of Monte Rosa massif with mountain peaks of Dufourspitze (left) and Liskamm with Gorner glacier between seen from Gornergrat

Countries: Italy, Switzerland

State/Province: Aosta Valley, Valais

Mountain Range: Pennine Alps, sometimes considered part of the Monte Rosa subrange of the Pennine Alps

ParentsMonte Rosa

Elevation: 14,872 feet / 4,533 meters

Prominence: 1,234 feet / 376 meters

First Ascent: 1861, by J. F. Hardy and team

Fun Fact: Liskamm is sometimes referred to as the “Menschenfresser,” meaning “people eater,” because it poses great difficulty in climbing due to its many ledges along the ridge and frequent avalanches.

Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn aligned in the fading daylight
Liskamm East 4527 meters and Liskamm West 4479 meters Swiss Mountains from the Corner Grat, Zermatt, Matterhorn, Switzerland

Plant Life: Conifers and larch trees are prevalent in the Pennine Alps, and spring is an excellent time to see the flowers blooming on the slopes. Lovely edelweiss and glacier buttercups dot the hills of the Monte Rosa area in the spring. Locals enjoy the fruits of fruit trees, grape vines, and blueberry bushes that grow in the lower valleys.

Liskamm and Dufourspitze

Animal Life: Ibex, chamois, marmots, and stoats are common in the Pennine Alps.

Bird Life: Several species of birds live in the Monte Rosa area, including the rock partridge, golden eagle, griffon vulture, peregrine falcon, hazel and black grouse, black woodpecker, and ptarmigan.

Monte Rosa and Liskamm seen from Gornergrat at the blue hour


Liskamm peak and the moon at night

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