The S-ridge of the Salbitschiijen is charakterized as the one of the most beautiful climbs on a ridge (of this difficult) at the whole alps. The rock quality of the granit ridge is perfect and there are very impressive pitches. Together with the good protection (enough but not to many bolts) and the great landscape this is a route I would recommend to everyone who's able to climb it.
The route consists of about 16 pitches. The difficulties a concentrated at one pitch (6, can be aided at 5-/A0), the rest of the routes is about 4+ with some moves of 5-. It will take about 5 hours from the start of the route to the summit.
First ascent: A. and O. Amstad, G. Masetto, 1935
Start at the Salbithütte (SAC, 2105 m). Take the well marked path direction Salbit-Biwak. This path leads one to the base of the so called Salibtzahn, a big tower at the beginning of the S-ridge of the Salbitschiijen. Before one reaches the base of the Salibtzahn turn right (path) to reach the base of a grassy gully at the E-flank of the S-ridge. Scramble up this gully (delicate) to the start of the route (1-2 hours from the hut).
The first 4 pitches are leading to the top of the Salibtzahn. From the top of this rappel 20 m. Following the ridge for 4 other pitches brings one to the base of the crux pitch. After a small, exposed notch a steep wall have to be climbed. This is done using a crack leading left to the crest of the ridge. Climb at the crest for some meters to reach easier rock. This pitch is rated 5+/A0 at all guide books I'm knowing. But all people I talked about this pitch are thinking, that this is harder (if you do not aid). So I suggest 6 as a free-rating for this pitch.
After the crux continue for 3 more pitches to the top of an tower. Stay left in general for this three pitches. From the top of the tower rappel 15 m to a notch, then continuing for one pitch to the top of the so called Zwillingsturm. From the Zwillingsturm rappel 45 m to a saddle below the final part of the S-ridge. This last part is climbed on the left hand of the ridge himself, following a system of cracks. Finally one reaches the summit, there the famous summit needle is waiting.
The summit needle is climbed at the east face in a 15 m pitch. At the top there is a bolt, use this to rappel from the needle (a very good place to take photos !).
Descent the regular route, this will take about 2 hours from the summit to the hut.
Caution: The descent route is using a snow covered couloir, below the snow there is a creek. The descent path is at the right boundary of that couloir (there is a good path).
DO NOT USE THE MIDDLE OF THE COULOIR.
There where some accidents, some climbers are drowned after they breaked through the snow and then falled into the creek.
double rope, some friends, slings, helmet, some rocks
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