The routes at the Signal at the Engelhörner are famous for there hight quality climbing. Like the routes at the famous Wendenstöcke the offers a wide range of climbing: water grooves, slabs, overhangs, cracks. All of this on perfect limestone. Because of the long, strenuous approach (> 1000 m, 2-3 hours), this routes are not done as often as those as the Wendenstöcke or other routes at the Engelhörner. It is a very good idea to take a bivy below the face and climb two or (even more days). This will give one a real, very romantic epic !
The Signal (2210 m) is located at the eastern, fameless part of the Engelhörner, far away from most touristic activities. This is a real wild part of this alpine area.
There are 5 different routes at the Signal: Optimist, Wurzelbrut, Häxering, Bärghäx, Sternwächter. All of the routes are fully bolted, but no one should forget, that this is not a small crack but a 300 m high face. The difficulties vary from 7+ to 8+.
The routes are going up the limestone tower of the signal, an by itself insignificant summit of the eastern part of the Engelhörner. To reach the signal one have to travel to Innertkirchen at the road from Meiringen to the Grimsel. The easiest way to travel to Meiringen is from Zürich to Luzern (Autobahn N14). From Luzern take the Autobahn N8 to Sarnen and then travel via the Brünigpass to Meiringen.
At Innertkirchen a small, narrow road bends up direction "Urbachtal" (signed). Just before a bridge over the Urbach an other, very small road bends right, signed "Burgalp" or "Allenschwändi", this is a little tricky to find. This road is closed for public traffic but a usage of climbers is tolerated as long as the road is not blocked by the climbers cars.
Following this road brings one up to a parking area ("Allenschwändi")
at about 900 m hight.
Now the big hike up to the start of the climb beginns: there are more then 1000 m waiting for the climber to be hiked up. Follow the trail to the Burgalp (1426 m, one hour from the parking area) and go up to the Alp Mad ("Obere Burgalp", 1/2 hour from the Burgalp).
From the Alp Mad the "Wildheuerweg", a very small, exposed trail leads to the base of the climbs. Standing in front of the Burgalp, a small trail goes up left behind the Burgalp. Following this trail will bring one up to the Wildheuerweg. Following this one will reach a prominent cave at a very exposed part of the trail. Just after this cave a very small, bad visible path bends right and up. Follow this small trail to the base of the climb.
The Optimist is the most left of the routes. It starts at a small ledge just left of a small gully. 9 pitches, max 8+ (7-,7,6+,7+-,8/8+,7+,8,7,7).
The Wurzelbrut starts at a prominent rock formation below some water grooves. 10 pitches, max 8- (4+, 7,8-,8-,7,7+,7/7+,7,8-,7/7+).
The Häxering starts at the base of an small butress at the center part of the Signal S-face. The route is fully bolted, so just follow them. 11 pitches max 8- (7/7+,8-,6+,8-,7,7/7+,7+,7/7+,6-,8-,7/7+)
The Bärghäx starts about 50 m right of the Häxering at a prominent cave. 11 pitches max 8 (7/7+,8,7+,6+,7/7+,6+,7-,7+,6-,7/7+,8,8-)
The Sternwächter starts an other 50 m right of the Bärghäx. Just above the start of the climb there is a tree right of the route (do not climb to the tree). 11 pitches,max 8- (7/7+,7-,7/7+,7-,5-,7/7+,8-,7/7+,7,6-,5-)
12-14 runners, some few rocks, double rope, helmet
Optimist: F.Meier/K.Ochsner, 1999
Wurzelbrut: Ruth and Kaspar Ochsner, 1993
Häxering: Kaspar Ochsner, 1999, solo !!!!!
Berghäx: Kaspar Ochsner, 1997, solo !!!!!
Sternwächter: M. Gruber / K. Ochsner, 1986
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