Met my friend from Spain at the Alplibahn parking area on Friday night and we hiked up and camped behind one of the cabins before the Alpli Stat. On Saturday we started up and, just past the Alpli Stat, started to encounter fresh snow that had fallen the last couple days.
The trail became completely obscure, so rather than successfully navigate our way to the Ijes Dairy Farm, we turned up the wrong valley which I assume is the regular access for Falknis. There was a cross on one of the peaks which we used as our beacon, assuming it to be the Hinter Grauspitz, however there are actually at least 3 peaks with crosses in the vicinity. The peak we thought was Hinter Grauspitz was actually Sammi Claus.
We got as far as the saddle between Falknis and Sammi Claus at which point reality could no longer be denied. The mountain did not conform to our description or expectation. While most observers reply that the ridge is technical and imposing, generally requiring ropes, it didn't match the pictures I had seen nor could I believe it was at most 4th class. Not to mention that the highest point was at least three peaks away and it was already technical just getting to the 'Hinter', add a significant coating of late season snow and it was quite an imposing sight.
We didn't have any pro and only an 8m rope so my friend wisely decided to call it a day. After trudging most of the day through knee-waist deep snow, I was sufficiently warmed up and wanted to try the traverse. It involved one 5th class pitch of rock climbing (I saw 8 ss bolts and 3 pitons, more might have been under snow), delicate ridge traversing with several large cornices and some hair-raising mixed climbing on wet snow. When I topped out on the real Grauspitz I could see the other cross on the real Hinter Grauspitz and realized what was up.
When I got to the saddle before Hinter it was already after 7pm so I bailed off. In retrospect it would probably have been faster and safer to continue over the normal route. It turns out bailing off the saddle is not trivial. Regardless I met my friend back in the amphitheater and we walked out as the full moon rose over the Eastern Alps. All in all, a fantastic day though I could do without the sunburn and wet feet.
Most people seem to scale this wonderful peak from the Swiss side but it can also be done from Liechtenstein. We started hiking up the Valüna valley from Steg, climbed up Liechtenstein's second-highest peak, Schwarzhorn, then did the airy ridge traverse over to Grauspitz.
A few days before, I met a climber from the area, who explained the route quite clearly. And so I went from the Pfälzerhütte to Ijesfürgli, over Schwarzhorn with the (h)airy scramble to Grauspitz, back over Schwarzhorn to Ijesfürgli and from there to the Schesaplanahütte.
Great climb to the highest point in Liechtenstein.
Hot day! Awesome ridge traverse from Schwarzhorn (Hinter Grauspitz).
Very interesting mountain and whole area. Some troubles with finding path to the summit. It's very hard to find it when visibility is not good. The steepest ridges i've ever seen.
Great climb to the highest point in Liechtenstein that I've been waiting to do for a while. Nice weather, a little foggy on the summit, nice class 3 scrambling with decent exposure on the ridge, and an interesting "direct" descent down cliffs and scree. Tiring, yet fun. 1st country highpoint!