Starting point is the small village Melag (1915 m) at the end of the road in the valley Langtauferer Tal. This valley is the first valley south of the Reschen-Pass, the frontier between Austria and Italy.
nice walk on marked mountain path, first in the valley, then on the left slope to the hut
Weisskugel Huette / Rifugio Pio XI (2542 m)
, 2 h, where you should stay the night.
It is a pity that glaciers are melting as much. So you have to pass a sometimes muddy moraine section to the ice of the Langtauferer Ferner glacier.
There are at least two possible variations where to gain the height of the north ridge:
a) only upper snowy part of the ridge:
Follow the middle moraine on the ice till it ends. Follow the normal route, which leads to the Weißkugel-Joch, in a wide curve. After the section with crevasses but before the last ascent to the Weißkugeljoch you can cross the glacier to the west and climb a steep slope (about 40°) to reach the north ridge just behind the last rocky section.
b) more direct route on the ridge
Cross the glaicer as early as possible (some crevasses, nothing too spectacular) to reach the very beginning of the ridge. On the righthand side of the ridge there is a small icewall. Cross the bergschrund and climb this icewall (about 40 degrees) that leads up to the ridge somewhere behind the first big tower. Follow the easy ridge to the second tower which can be passed by on a broad ledge on the right. There you meet with possibility a).
From there a steep and elegant snow/ice ridge leads to the minor summit, to the main summit it is less steep and less snow. (5 h)
If snow conditions are still good you can go down via the east flank directly to the Weißkugeljoch (3362 m). But there is a risk of avalanches and there is a Bergschrund.
Otherwise you have to cross the mountain over the rocky ridge to the south to the Hintereisjoch (3471 m) and walk back to the Weißkugeljoch. There you only have to go down to meet your ascent. Same way back to the hut and down to the valley.
crampons, ice axe and rope definetely needed
Best time is in July because in August to many snow has already melted.
update: July 2006:
the report in german
on www.basislager.ch indicates too high temperature, pure ice and risk of stonefall.
So this might develop into a ridge that is better to climb in spring.
Alpenvereinskarte (map of german alpine club) 1:25000 Nr. 30/2 Weisskugel, available at DAV life Alpin
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