OverviewThe Grauspitz is the highest point in the small country of Liechtenstein, famous (sort of) for its abundant hiking trails, yet it would come as a surprise to some that there is no maintained trail that leads to the Grauspitz. The easiest route to the summit is class 3-4, that ascends first the Schwarzhorn and then moves along a razor thin ridge. With this in mind, virtually nobody climbs the Grauspitz. Falknis, 2 kilometers west of the Grauspitz, along with the Naafkopf, 2 kilometers east of the Grauspitz, see far more hikers, since there are maintained trails to those summits. The summit register of the Grauspitz is first dated from 1992. By the summer of 2006, the book was about 1/3 full. Getting to the Grauspitz requires a rather tedious approach via gravel roads and narrow trails. Once the climber reaches the farm of Ijes, steep grass slopes and awkward scree fields must be ascended. Once the summit of the Schwarzhorn is obtained, the most dangerous part of the route, the East Ridge is yours for the taking. Presuming you know the terrain (a must) and you've studied the route a dozen times, the Grauspitz can make for a very fun day hike. The view from the summit is grand, stretching from Germany in the north, the entire country of Liechtenstein at your feet, Austria to the east, and Piz Bernina in the far south. Don't let the elevation of the Grauspitz fool you; this mountain packs quite a punch for its "low" elevation.
Grauspitz (upper left)
Getting ThereApproaches to the east ridge start from the Älpli Bahn in the town of Malans. This takes you from 500 meters to 1800 meters. From there it is an 800 meter vertical ascent to the Grauspitz. To get to the Älpli Bahn, follow the directions on the Schwarzhorn page.
Class 4 below the Schwarzhorn
Red TapeIf one wants to take the tram, one must make reservations for the Älpli Bahn. The number is +41 81 322 47 64. A round trip cost for an adult (older than 16) is 15 Swiss Franks. I would assume English isn't spoken in this small town very much. Parking is free. The tram isn't open in winter. Other than this, there is no red tape.
When To ClimbThe best time to climb the Grauspitz is in the summer, when it is snow free. Fall, winter, and spring can also be good climbing times, however, naturally there will be snow and the climb will be more difficult, with the usage of crampons and ice axes needed.
Mountain ConditionsThere is a webcam in Buchs, Switzerland that almost shows the Grauspitz, located here. Fog and cloudy conditions can appear from nowhere up there, so be prepared.