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dmikiIt is fantastic, I definitely recommend it!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 14, 2011

dmiki

It wasn't too difficult (C/D); the challenge lay in its length (time/elevation gain), popularity, and the descent.
Fantastic views, good handholds and steps, very enjoyable.
Friday night we bivvied in a parking lot. We set out at 6 on Saturday morning, but the weather wasn't looking good. After gaining 1000 m, we were at the start of the route by 8; however, it was raining and thunderstorms were forecast for the afternoon, so we gave up our plan. (Many others also turned back, but some people remained unfazed and set out. In the afternoon we talked to two guys who had had a blast despite the rain, wind, hail and often low visibility.) To salvage the day, we climbed a smaller summit (Taghaube), and spent the remainder of the day resting and acclimatising in Erichhütte, between the parking lot and the start of the steig. On Sunday, we left the house at 5:30 (I already saw some headlamps moving up at 4), and made the start of the route by 7. The weather was fabulous (a full moon and sunrise on the surrounding peaks and mountain groups). While we were making our way up the many switchbacks, we spotted several lights in the route, and in daylight, at the start of the steig we saw the climbers themselves: hordes ahead of us and also behind us. Everybody seemed to be capitalising on the sunshine after the previous poor day... Some faster climbers occasionally overtook us (there was an older guy who did the entire route without ferrata equipment, probably under a fraction of the recommended time), while the route itself seemed like a roller-coaster (we climbed many towers, only to descend to the bottom of the next one). We were at the top of the route by 11, and the summit, slightly further away, at noon. There is a direct route of descent leading back to the start, but it is quite exposed/dangerous, so we opted for a 4-hour detour to reach the cars at Arthurhaus. This version also took a lot of our energy in concentration, and our feet and knees were also aching by the end. I am not sure which descent I would choose next time.
What I would do different:
- Start out even earlier. You can walk up to the start in the dark. I would start the route at sunrise. You might avoid or lessen the crowds this way (the route is very popular), the weather is probably more stable in the morning, and you need to spend less time under the scorching sun.
- There is a gap between two towers, offering two variations of the route: down then up, or via a slightly sloping wire spanning the void. We climbed over the latter with carabiners, but a pulley could have come handy.
Posted Sep 16, 2011 10:35 am

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