OverviewThe Niedermann is a real classic in the Uri Alps Group
. Routes opened by Max Niedermann
allways contain a great line and solid rock. This route was the first route to established through the 400 meters high South-face of the Graue Wand
. Nowadays there are several (hard) climbing routes through the face, see the Graue Wand page
for a selection. The route lost a part of it's character in 1991, when the BGA (Bergsteigergruppe Alpina) re-bolted the route, and equipped it with good new bolts. This way more people are able to safely climb this beautiful classic, but part of the adventure is probably lost.
The climbing is pretty homogeneous and therefore very enjoyable. The route is pretty good equipped, but still you will need to place additional protection on all the pitches, which is rather easy. Especially in weekends it is very busy on the South-face of the Graue Wand. So, in order to enjoy the climb it is adviced to go throughout the week or outside the summerholidays.
First ascent: M. Niedermann and W. Sieber 1964.
Getting ThereIn General
Basicially the Furka pass road is the only starting point for the mountain. The Furka pass road is famous Swiss mountain pass which runs between Andermatt (East) and Gletsch (West). The Graue Wand is often climbed in one day from the Furka pass road, which is a bit longer than an approach from the Albert-Heim-Hütte.
* From the north via highway A2 till Göschenen and via the Schöllenen gorge (6 km) and to Andermatt. Continue along the Furka pass road untill Tiefenbach (2110 m).
* From the south via the Gotthardpass (summer) or through the Gotthard tunnel to Göschenen.
* From the Valais over the Furkapass (summer) or by car transport from Oberwald to Realp.
* From Graubünden (East) over the Oberalppass (summer) or by car transport from Sedrun to Andermatt.
By public transport:
* Andermatt can be reached by train with the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
, then continue to Realp. From here by Postbus
(July – September) to Tiefenbach (2110 m).
To the Albert-Heim-Hütte
From Tiefenbach (2110 m), 1.5 hours. Follow a well marked path which starts at the north side of the road, to the Albert-Heim-Hütte.
Or, drive by car on a concrete road to Tätsch (2270 m), and start walking from there (Attention: toll road, 7 CHF need to be payed at Tiefenbach!).
To the Graue Wand (Niedermann)
A rather short approach from the Albert-Heim-Hütte, 1 hour. Descent to point 2480 m and follow tracks in mainly NW direction (along a small river). Reach the small glacier beneath it's south-face and head for the outstanding rockspur. Ascent on the snow slope right of it (steep, about 40 degrees) and turn left to acces the rock gully. Fixed ropes help you to get to the start.
Route finding is rather easy. This because of the bolts and the excellent line taken by Niedermann. The start is just right of the acces gully, on a good platform, and left of the big crack (which runs through the whole face), at small crack.
1st Pitch - 30m - 5.8/5c:
Follow the slabs just left of small crack, slightly left and later on straight up.
2nd Pitch - 40m - 5.8/5c:
Enter the big crack and follow it. Halfway there's a interesting move.
3rd Pitch - 50m - 5.8/5c+:
The crux pitch. A pretty long pitch with few bolts. Follow the crack and work your way up.
4th Pitch - 30m - 5.7/5b:
Go left of the roof, along a small crack. Then finish through a chimney.
5th Pitch - 35m - 5.5/4c:
An easy pitch, but not very easy to find to right line. Go slightly left and exit on a plateau.
6th Pitch - 45m - 5.5/4a:
A grassy pitch, the only one. Head towards the crack on your left and follow some tracks. A short climbing passege on the end.
7th Pitch - 40m - 5.7/5b:
Highlight of the route (Ziegenrücken). A beautiful crack with a nice traverse at the end.
8th Pitch - 25m - 5.5/4b:
A short climb up a corner. Then left to the next belay.
9st Pitch - 45m - 5.8/5c:
Steep start, but a nice pitch. Not very hard for it's grade.
10th Pitch - 25m - 5.8/5c:
A short pitch up a corner. Head left after the third bolt.
11th Pitch - 40m - 5.6/5a:
Straight up to the first bolt. Then head right to the summitridge and continue to good belay, which marks the descent.
Rappel down the south face along the perfectly bolted rappelroute. Which contains some very clever belays, made for rappeling down very fast. Don't rappel down the Niedermann (especially if there are any parties behind you!).
Essential GearClimbing Gear:
- Normal rock climbing gear: climbing shoes, helmet, small rack of nuts and some cams/friend.
Map 1:25 000:Map 1:50 000:
- Mountaineering boots can be necessairy for the approach. Even sometimes crampons and ice-axe can be usefull, especially at the end of the season. It is possible to leave this at the start of the route, on good ledges.
- Topoguide Band 1, Nicole Luzar & Volker Roth, ISBN 3-00-016204-6
- SAC Guidebook: Urner Alpen Bd.2, T. Fullin & A. Bahnholzer, ISBN: 3-85902-222-9
- Plaisir OST, Jürg von Känel, ISBN 3-906087-28-X
To order SAC Maps: www.toposhop.ch
To order SAC Guidebook: www.sac-cas.ch
To order Plaisir OST: www.filidor.ch
To order the Topoguide: www.topoguide.de
External LinksAlbert-Heim-Hütte SAC 2541 m
Phone (hut): +41 41 887 17 45
Other useful links:
WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
- Avalance Bulletin
- Detailed weather forecast
- Railroad schedule
- Postbus schedule
- Hotel Tiefenbach
- Climbing report (with a lot of pictures) in German
- A lot of pictures of the climb