Erected by P. Schwarzmann and C. Zelt in 2005, the route is bolted throughout it's 6 pitch length, and rappels could be made from any belay without much trouble.
If you descent by the suggested rappel route you'll arrive right back here on this ledge, so it's possible to leave shoes or other gear.
Route DescriptionThe six pitch climb is enjoyably sustained throughout it's length. The first 5 pitches have a homogenous difficulty of VI+! The last pitch offers a little relief with a few moves of VI. At the same time, each pitch is unique in character. Truly, it's a very nice climb.
- Pitch One (VI+), 35 m - Climb easily along the ramp up and right (IV+), until about halfway up when the line of bolts abandons the ramp for cruxy moves on small holds, leading vertically up to a belay. In my experience, this is the most challenging pitch, especially with cold fingers!
- Pitch Two (VI+), 25 m - Move easily up and right from the belay to the left side of a shallow crack. Climb along the crack, with the crux moves shortly before reaching a belay in a small cave.
- Pitch Three (VI+), 25 m - Move left from the belay below an intimidating roof that you then climb much easier than expected back over the belay. Then an enjoyable romp through a chimney/crack leads straight up to a belay stance. You might be inclined to try and combine pitch two and three due to the short length, but I'm not sure I would due to some back and forth at the roof.
- Pitch Four (VI+), 25 m - From the belay move left and up, stepping onto a fantastic and improbable-looking slab. Some magic footwork and a crack aid the ascent to a belay directly above the belayer.
- Pitch Five (VI+), 35 m - Climb a steep face to the right of the belay with small holds and delightful pockets. All the pitches have been good thus far, but this might be the best.
- Pitch Six (VI), 20 m - Climb a short but easy vertical step to a few tricky moves on a buttress above. Gain a ridge crest, and travel easily to a belay where rock fades into steep grass of the summit slopes. In early or late season, there might be snow over these bolts. In that case you might want to belay with a sling over a horn combined with the last bolt along the route.
From the last pitch hike and scramble about 60 meters to the summit.
The recommended descent is either hiking down or using a prepared rappel route (55 or 60 meter double ropes required). To hike down, follow a ridge west from the summit to the low point of the ridge connecting to the neighboring Gimpel. Follow the Normal Route of the Gimpel down to trail below the mountain (grade II+, can be sketchy with fresh snow).
To use the rappel route, descend back to about 20 meters above the belay anchors at the end of pitch six. Then move carefully right and down into a gully (steep, grassy). On the left side of the gully, just a few meters into it will be a fixed rope leading back out above the face you climbed. Where the fixed rope ends is a rappel anchor. Make 3 long rappels to reach the start of the route (40 m, 50 m, 40 m). Careful! The 2nd rappel is free hanging for most of it's length, and if you only have a 50 meter rope you'll just reach the stance due to stretch!
You can also rappel the route from any belay stance. Since pitches are short, you might be able to rappel two pitches at a time here and there. The anchors are rigged for rappelling so you won't have to leave any gear.
Essential GearYou need 12-14 quickdraws, and double 55 meter ropes. If you follow the rappel route with 50 meter ropes, expect a rather unnerving free hanging rappel that only reaches the next stance due to stretch. Better save yourself a few gray hairs and have 55 or 60 meter ropes!
- Walter Hoelzler's page with info on the route.
- A nice PDF topo - a very good photo of the route with the topo for "Wirklich Oben..." and other climbs.
- More pictures from "Kaktus Team" - to get a sense of the route.