The slabby northface of the Kleine Gamswiesenspitze offers beautiful climbing on mostly solid rock. This route follows left (eastern edge) of the north face. One of the classics of the Lienzer Dolomites, therefore polished. But in spite of that, and the fact that is gets a lot of traffic, highly recommended!
Getting ThereGetting to the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte:
from Lienz, follow the road to Tristach, then the Tristacher See and then the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte. This road soon becomes a toll road. There is free parking near the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte.
Alternatively, there is a bus service from Lienz to the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte. More information can be obtained at the tourist office in Lienz.
From the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte:
follow the metalled road towards the Karlsbader Hütte. When the road starts making its long loops, take a zigzagging track to gain altitude more quickly. The track ends in the last loop in the road, just before a broad, flat valley area.
Here, the Kleine Gamswiesenspitze is quite prominent, directly to the south; a pointy summit with two slabby strips of rock, one above the other; divided by a big ledge. On its right is the rocky mass of the Grosse Gamswiesenspitze. On its left is the Kleine Teplitzerspitze, with its broad, slabby north face and its towered ridge.
Pick up a vague track in the direction of the Kleine Gamswiesenspitze. It crosses the stream, then zigzags up the mountain to the beginning of the route.
From the Karlsbader Hütte:
take the path to the Kerschbaumertörl and Kerschbaumeralm-Schutzhaus ("alpenvereinsführer"/alpine guidebook: R98). This path descends at first, crosses beneath the north face of the Kleine Teplitzer Spitze and then ascends to the Kerschbaumertörl.
Just before this path starts zigzagging up, pick up a small track that maintains altitude and heads on roughly west. Follow this track, which crosses beneath the north face of the Kleine Gamswiesenspitze and then zigzags up steeply on a slope of scree, keeping the rockface of the Grosse Gamswiesenspitze to the right.
The route has a lower and an upper section of slabs, divided by a big ledge halfway.
As said, this is a classic route. The belays are bolted but don´t expect many bolts in between. The first and sixth pitches are OK, but on some others, like the third, there are no bolts in between belays at all.
Also, this route tends to attract a lot of traffic. If the waiting time´s too much, you can also opt for the "Gamsplatte", a route that follows a line a little bit more to the right. This route, a recent addition, is somewhat more difficult (V-) but also has more bolts.
First pitch (III):
climb the slabs to a crack/chimney line that leads up and a little bit left. Follow this to the first belay.
Second pitch (III/IV-):
keep following the crack/chimney until its very end on the left side of the slabs (first crux). The belay is a few meters higher just over the left edge of the slabs.
Third pitch (III-):
from the belay, head up, keeping the slabs just to your right. The belay is just before the terrain flattens onto the big ledge that seperates the lower and the upper sections of slabs.
Fourth pitch (II+):
scramble up the ledge to a belay just beneath the upper sections of slabs. This is also a good place to take a break.
Fifth pitch (III):
climb up to a small ledge. Traverse a few meters to the right to pick up a ramp that heads up and left to the left edge of the slabs. Follow the ramp to the the belay, which is on the edge.
Sixth pitch (IV--):
follow the edge to a small overhang. Climb this (second crux) and keep going up straight, into a crack/chimney, while the edge curves away to your left. The belay is at the crack/chimney.
Seventh pitch (III):
climb straight up, to the summit. There is a belay there.
Lienzer Dolomitenhütte - beginning of the route: 2h30m.
Karlsbader Hütte - beginning of the route: 1h.
Kleine Gamswiesenspize Nordostkante: 2h30m.
From the summit, pick up the steel cable leading down. This is the start of the south slope.
Last time I climbed this route (summer 2011), two sections (one near the summit and one near the Kerschbaumertörl) were secured with a steel cable.
When you get down, you´re on the Kerschbaumertörl (2285m), the pass between the Kleine Gamswiesenspitze and the Kerschbaumertörlspitze. From here, you can go down right (south) to the Kerschbaumer alm. Or down left (north) to the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte or the Karlsbader Hütte.
Single rope, 50 meters.
6-8 quickdraws (11 quickdraws if you plan doing the "heavy traffic alternative", the "Gamsplatte" route).
Small set of stoppers, a few small cams.
Helmet. Especially on busy days.
Rock boots, mountain boots or approach shoes for the approach and descent.
External Links and LiteratureGerman description of the route on bergsteigen.at
Klettern in den Lienzer Dolomiten
Book Grafik Zloebl Buchdesign und Verlag
Alpenvereinsführer Lienzer Dolomiten
Hubert Peterka, Willi End
Bergverlag Rudolf Rother - München
ISBN: 3 7633 1243 9
Österreichische Karte - Lienz (179 - BMN 3712) 1:25000