Engelhoerner is the name for a group of limestone peaks, that are appreciated by rock climbers. This massif can hardly been seen from far, since it is hidden behind several higher mountains like Wetterhorn
. Within a massive mountaineers usually head for the highest peak, here the Gstellihorn with 2855 m. This is not the case with the Engelhoerner. Small is beautiful, so climbers prefer the Rosenlauistock (2198 m), the Kingspitz, Simmelistock, Mittelgruppe, etc. They are the Dolomites of the Bernese Oberland with excellent quality of limestone, a huge choice of easy and difficult routes, most of them perpendicular. But no vie ferrate, i.e. the mountain are still in its natural state without artificial features, such as fixed ropes.
They are all easy to access, either in one day from Lucerne or Berne, from the Engelhorn or from the nearby hotel Rosenlaui and many other accommodations.
Practically all climbs are made from the west side (Rosenlaui), although certain routes start from the Dossenhut and from the east side (Gastern valley). It is not unusual to climb several peaks on the same day. There is hardly any peak that is suited for hikes or skis, even the easiest route requires good climbing boots and a rope. But you do not have to bother with glaciers and the weather is not mean, sudden changes are rare. No water, so take a large bottle of tea with you!
Within the Engelhoerner is a tiny valley, called Ochsental, looking to the west. The first Engelhorn hut was built in this valley in the year 1912 by the Academic Alpine Club Berne, since this lonesome and creekless valley is the starting point for the majority of the climbs. An avalanche destroyed this hut and the present accomodation is surrounded by trees at the foot of the Simelistock, 15 minutes below the Ochsen Valley.
The Ochsen Valley is surrounded by the following peaks (starting north clockwise):
Klein Simelistock, Gross Simelistock, Vorderspitze, Gertrudspitze, Ulrichspitze, Mittelspitze Kl. Engelhorn, Gemsenspitze, Gr. Engelhorn, Haubenstock, Niklausspitze, Froschkopf, Prinzen, Kingspitz, Kastor, Pollux, Sattelspitze, Engelburg, Tannspitze, Rosenlauistock.
In addition to these peaks there are the following peaks north of it: Mittagshörnli, Tennhorn, Hohjägiburg
Southern peaks: Sagizähne, Gr. + Kl. Gstellihorn.
I invite you to describe those peaks under "Routes".
Guide: Engelhornführer by Akademischer Alpenklub Bern (AACB), Verlag A. Francke A.-G., Bern
Maps are not of much use.
Latitudes and longitudes refer to Gross Engelhorn.
Ho To Get There
Starting point for many climbs is the tiny /B, a valley surrounded by perpendicular walls on north, east and south.You can reach it in 15 minutes from the Engelhorn hut or in 1.5 hours from Rosenlaui, using the path of the Engelhorn hut. This access is good for over 90% of all climbs.
From Meiringen (600 m, tourist center, railroad) a road (bus in summer) leads to Rosenlaui. If you drive by car, follow the main road to Innertkirchen (Susten and Grimsel pass road) for 2 km, at the gas station turn sharp the right and follow the sometimes narrow road to Rosenlaui. Free parking 50 m above the hotel. Here start the paths to the Engelhorn hut and to the Dossen hut. You can either follow the foot path through the forest or through the gorge of Rosenlaui (fee). At 1485 m the two paths meet and and goes zigzag through the forest to about 1700 m where it separates again. Go to the right if you choose the Dossen hut, go left for the Engelhorn hut. Ca. 1.5 hours from Rosenlaui.
It is also possible to start the hike from the Meiringen railroad station. Yellow signs show you the way on a foot path that leads past the Reichenbach falls, the place where Sherlock Holmes disappeared. The novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle chose the Reichenbach falls as the setting for the death of his character Sherlock Holmes. In The Final Problem (1891), Conan Doyle wrote of Reichenbach:
It is, indeed, a fearful place. The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm, lined by glistening coal-black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip.
You do not need to go as far as Rosenlaui; at Kaltenbrunnensaege (restaurant) a steep and direct path leads to the Engelhorn hut. Ca. 4 hours. Shorter variation: take the local bus and then the cable car to the Reichenbach falls.
AccommodationEngelhorn hut, 1910 m, 50 places. Info Phone/Fax: ++41 (0)33 971 35 37
The road from Meiringen to Rosenlaui is open all year round. No fees for parking. So you can drive up early in the morning and do not need accomodation.
Hotel Rosenlaui is open only in summer. 2 km below at Pt. 1223 is Kaltenbacher Säge at a reasonable price, open all year.
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