Classic climbing, moderate rockquality and stunning deep view on Kandersteg
Schweiz Plaisir West, 2006.
The NE-Face, also known as "Gälliwändli", is a classic rock climb on the Gällihorn. The route follows the weak spots in the northeast face of the Gällihorn. It was the first route through this 200 meter high wall. Although the rock quality is not allways great, I can still recommend the climb. While climbing one has a beautiful view on the Kandersteg area and the route offers some interesting moves through chimneys. Another advantage is the short approach and the easy descent along the normal route of the Gällihorn.
First ascent: Oskar Ogi, Werner Grossen and Hans Hari in 1958.
Re-bolted: Ernst Müller and Beat Schnidrig in 1992.
Climbing the NE-Face
Getting ThereTo Kandersteg
Kandersteg used to be the entrance to the Swiss Canton Wallis/Valais. The Lötschbergtunnel was the only connection through the center of the Bernese Alps. However, since a few years the Lötschberg-basis-tunnel opened. This leaves Kandersteg out of the main corridor between Berne and Wallis. Still, Kandersteg can be easily reached by train, bus and car. The village is located at the end of the Kandervalley and has its own SBB trainstation.
- See the website of the village of Kandersteg for more detailed information of how to get there.
- See the website of the SBB if you're planning to travel by train.
To the NE-Face
Exit the upper station of the Kandersteg-Sunnbüel cable car and head right to reach a path junction at the Winteregghütte. Start to climb across the eastern flank of the Gällihorn. As you climb higher the path zigzags across steeper ground. Before reaching the viewpoint (2165m) you will find the start of the route. The first pitch can be found at the bottom of an obvious ramp ("Rampe").
Route DescriptionRoute finding in the NE-Face route is rather easy. Only the ledges above the third belay can offer some difficulties. The route follows a system of chimneys and ledges through the wall. I can recommend the Schweiz Plaisir West if you're planning to climb this route. The route is re-bolted, but will require some extra placements if this route is near your maximum climbing level.
- First pitch, 4a: Head left by climbing the "rampe".
- Second pitch, 3c: Traverse right to small saddle.
- Third pitch, 4b: After a tricky start one has to climb under the jammed block.
- Fourth pitch, 4a: Climb the grassy ledges to the second part of the wall.
- Fifth pitch, 4c: A nice wide chimney.
- Sixt pitch, 4c: Exit the chimney while climbing left.
- Seventh pitch, 5a: A very nice and exposed traverse. Holds are a bit ackward.
- Eight pitch, 5a: A nice last pitch with one more difficult step right after the belay. There is final belay on the summitplateau.
Descent along the normal route of the Gällihorn, which is a T3 hike.
Essential Gear, Maps and GuidebooksEssential Gear: take your standard rock climbing gear and a light day pack. At least a 45 meter rope, some rocks and cams, 8 quickdrawns, helmet, approach shoes, and a jacket (it can be cold: NE-Face!). You can either leave your pack at the start of the route or take it with you. One doesn't rappel down the route. The best descent follows the normal route. By following this route you'll pass by the start of the route.
Map 1:25 000:
- SAC Map: 1247 Adelboden
- SAC Map: 1267 Gemmi
Map 1:50 000:
- SAC Map: 263 Wildstrubel
- SAC Guidebook: Clubführer Berner Alpen Band 1 - Sanetsch bis Gemmi, Ueli Mosimann , ISBN: 978-3-85902-197-6
- Schweiz Plaisir West (for the rock climbs), Filidor, ISBN 3-906087-19-0
To order SAC Maps: www.toposhop.ch
To order SAC Guidebook: www.sac-cas.ch
To order Schweiz Plaisir West: www.filidor.ch
External LinksWinteregghütte 1888 m
Self-catering mountain hut!
Phone (hut): 0041 79 417 85 24 (Obligatory!)
Other useful links:
WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF - Avalance Bulletin
Weather Forecast - Detailed weather forecast by Meteoschweiz
Railroad information - Railroad schedule
Bus information - Postbus schedule
Kandersteg - Tourist Office Kandersteg