A previewYesterday, after coming down from the Hochwilde, we had excellent views of the Schalfkogel. Today we would go over it. Looking at it from the east, my first thought was to go up the direct route, but fortunately, Hermann, our guide, had other plans.
Starting at dawn from the Hochwilde Haus, we dropped down to the Gurgler glacier, but instead of going up directly after crossing it, we turned left. We gradually ascended over a rock band to the Kleinleiten glacier. We zig zagged up to the Schalfkogel Joch, the saddle south of the summit, and from there we went up the south ridge. It was just hiking, no scrambling today.
In contrast, the upper part of the direct route from the east is rather steep. It's a glaciated slope right up to the summit. There had been a lot of fresh snow a few days earlier and near the summit, we actually triggered a small avalanche when we dislodged just a tiny bit of snow - a good thing we didn't come up that way!
On the summit, we had our second breakfast, as it was still early. After that, we followed the north ridge, which has a steep drop to the east - you could say, the direct route down. Gotta stay focussed there. For safety, we stayed a bit below the ridge on the west side, which is less steep.
The ridge varies between snow and rock until it's time to leave the ridge, shortly before it goes up to the Firmisánschneide. After that, it was just a short stretch to the Ramolhaus, where we stayed the night. Friendly people and good food there!
11 July 2008.
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