A typical climb on the South Face, "Wirklich Oben Bist Du Nie" (VI+)
The Gimpelvorbau is dwarfed by it's famous neighbor, the Gimpel, and is little more than a bump on the ridge connecting it with the Zwerchwand and Kellespitze to the east. But the peak is notable for a selection of very good rock climbs on it's southern faces. The climbs, 5 to 7 pitches in length, are on pocketed compact slabs and faces with memorable solutions. Most of them are equipped as multi-pitch sport climbs, and owing to the sunny aspect, are popular early and late season destinations.
The popular climbs are:
- Wirklich Oben Bist Du Nie (UIAA VI+) - A stellar climb with a continuous grade through it's length.
- Paradies (UIAA VI+) - Another multipitch climb with quality throughout.
- Kuschelrock (UIAA VIII)
- Morgenstund (UIAA V+) - an easier climb, but highly rated.
Get to the Austrian town of Nesselwängle. The nearest bigger town is Reutte, easily reached from the famous German town of Füssen (where the Neuschwanstein castle is). In Nesselwängle, turn uphill at the church to reach the parking lot of the utility lift up to the Gimpelhaus. You have to pay a fee to park here, have a few euro coins handy.
Hike up the road-turning-to-trail to the Gimpelhaus, which takes between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, depending on how laden down with gear you are. At the Gimpelhaus, follow trail right and up into the cirque behind the prominent Rote Flüh and Hochwiesler which dominate the view from there. After about 30 minutes of walking, you'll be at the base of the Gimpelvorbau.
Easy way up/descent
Descending in early season to a prepared rappel route between "Kuschelrock" and "Wirklich Oben..." Long rappels on the South Face for descent.
From the base of the rock, you should keep walking westwards along trail until meeting the Normal Route for the Gimpel
. Ascend the loose, scrambly path to the ridge between the Gimpel and the Gimpelvorbau. Then, follow grassy slopes for a few minutes walk to the summit of the Gimpelvorbau. It's not really a destination to climb this way...far better to do a technical route on the South Face!
You can descend this way, though if there is fresh snow, it can be awkward. Usually, climbers descend by rappelling their route, or using one of several prepared rappel routes on the South Face.
You can stay in the Gimpelhaus
, which is so big it even has a bouldering room, or the Tannheimerhütte
, much cozier, 15 minutes additional walk along the mountainside. This saves you the hour hike up from town if you want to do routes for several days.
The climbs on the Gimpelvorbau are about 30 minutes walk from those huts.
- Toni Freudig's page - a forum and other interesting information about the little Tannheimer mountain group. Here is a link to various guidebooks about the location.
- The Panico Guidebook - with it's usual high quality, a guide to rock climbing in the Allgäu range, including these Tannheimer routes.