Gspaltenhorn

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Berner Oberland, Switzerland, Europe
Activities:
Mountaineering
Elevation:
11272 ft / 3436 m
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Page By:
Gspaltenhorn
Created On: May 17, 2003
Last Edited On: Oct 31, 2009
Gspaltenhorn from the northeastGspaltenhorn from the NE (Schilthorn)

Gspaltenhorn from the southFrom the south

Overview

Gspaltenhorn 3436mFrom the N

The Gspaltenhorn is a magnificent limestone peak with a roughly triangular pyramid shape and its southwest and east ridges complicated by huge towers. It is easily seen from only a few angles and, perhaps for this reason, not as well known as other peaks of similar stature in the area. The northeast face of the Gspaltenhorn is one of the most remote and highest rock faces in the Alps at about 1700 m. (The same height as the famous Eiger Nordwand.). The great Willo Welzenbach first climbed this face with A. Drexel and E. Schulze on 7 September 1932.

J. Anderegg, H. Baumann, and G.E. Foster made the first ascent of the Gspaltenhorn on 10 July 1869 via the Northwest Ridge.

Getting There

Approaching the Gspaltenhorn and Gspaltenhorn HutApproaching the hut

Ascents of the Northwest Ridge and Southwest Ridge are normally made from the Gspaltenhorn Hut which is best reached in about 3 hours from Griesalp in the Kiental.

The Southeast Ridge is best approached from the Mutthorn Hut which is a long way from anywhere and requires glacier travel for all approaches. It is about 6 to 8 hours from Lauterbrunnen, Kandersteg, or the Löschental. It is also about 6 to 8 hours from Griesalp, frequently done with an overnight stay at the Gspaltenhorn Hut. The Southwest Ridge can also be approached from the Mutthorn Hut.

The Northeast Face is approached from Mürren / Gimmelwald with a bivouac near Kilchbalm.

TOPO MAP LINK: .

Routes Overview

Gspaltenhorn routes visible...Gspaltenhorn routes visible from the northeast:
1) NW Ridge (Normal), 2) E Ridge / SE Face,
3) NE Face - Schatz (with variations), and 4) NE Face - Wlzenbach

1)Northwest Ridge, (Normal), PD+ with places of II, can have fairly steep snow and ice earlier in the season. There are fixed ropes on the steepest step known as the Böse Tritt (roughly translated - nasty or evil step). These do not seem needed in dry conditions, but I am sure that they are a blessing when the step is iced up. Time: about 4 hours from the Gspaltenhorn Hut.

First Ascent: J. Anderegg, H. Baumann, and G.E. Foster on 10 July 1869

2)East Ridge / Southeast Face, D with climbing up to IV+, very similar to the Southwest Ridge, but shorter. Time: about 6 hours from the Mutthorn Hut.
First Ascent: O. Brügger and H. Kohler on 5 September 1932.

3)Northeast (Kilchbalm) Face, Direct (Schatz) Route, TD+, rock from IV to V+ depending on the variation, ice to 60 degrees, very delicate. This route ascends more or less directly up the left side of the face. (see photo below) Time: 12 to 18 hours on the face.

This route is included in Berner Oberland, Die 100 schönsten Touren by Hans Grossen with Gaston Rébuffat.

First Ascent: E. Haltiner, E. Reiss, and R. Schatz on 29-30 July 1951.

4)Northeast (Kilchbalm) Face, Welzenbach Route, TD with rock of IV and ice to 60 degrees. This route ascends more or less directly up the right side of the face. (see photo below). Time: 11 to 13 hours on the face.

First Ascent: A. Drexel, E. Schulze, and Willo Welzenbach on 7 September 1932.



Southwest Ridge (the Rote Zähne), D with climbing up to V. A steep ridge complicated mainly by three very large towers. Most of the difficulties involve dealing with the towers. Time: about 10 to 13 hours from the Gspaltenhorn Hut.

This route is included in Berner Oberland, Die 100 schönsten Touren by Hans Grossen with Gaston Rébuffat.

First Ascent: H. Brantschen, J. Knubel, S.W. Herford, and G.W. Young on 14 July 1914

Huts

Gspaltenhorn Hut

Gspaltenhornhütte Homepage

Gspaltenhorn Hut (Dutch) with good links

Mutthorn Hut

Mutthorn Hut (Dutch) with good links