Yet another defeat...
I "guided" two beginners with whom I first met on a glacier-travel course, and my best meteo-friend also came along.
The weather was supposed to be fine, so we started from Sulden, and slept in Payerhütte. In the morning we got up late, started late, after everybody, and progressed very slowly on the technical parts of the ridge, because the two guys were inexperienced in free climbing. I didn't use the rope because the lack of anchor points and intermediate belays, we had no rock climbing equipment. The snow was melted already when we reached the glacier. All parties coming down the mountain told us its too late! After that, my friend fell into a crevasse, but it was no big, and on the glacier we were roped up, so there was no problem, he climbed out quickly.
Some 250 meters below the summit the two guys stopped and said they won't go any further, the storm is coming, it's late, time to turn around. Meteo guy sayed go ahead, there will be no problem! By this time big clouds were gathering around the summit. We could not persuade the two guys, so we turned around. When we arrived to the most exposed part of the ridge, I belayed everybody down to a fixed ring above a small but difficult step, and tied the rope in. Then wind came and rain and hail began to fall, and my ixe axe began to sound on my backpack. I was getting nervous. Told everybody to hurry up. And then the sky sounded and I felt ourselves in a big piece of shit. I said it can't be... We can't suck a big storm here on the ridge... Meteo-guy said: keep calm, it will go away! We quickly continued descending, and indeed, the storm went away, stopped raining so finally we got down to Payerhütte with no problem. The two guys left their ice axes on the top of the chain-assured part because they were so scared of lightning. Anyway, the axes were made of aluminium, and they were not sounding...
Next time... via Hintergrat, or maybe Nordwand.
Great day with clouds, sunshine and perfect conditions.
Reaching the Payer hut was very tough: it rained all the time and two lightnings were very close to us: not a nice experience! The day after a sunny day and a very good climbing to the summit.
Three persons (two climbers and guide from Alpinschule Sulden) in the middle of July. We were one of the first teams in a fresh snow, after about 10 days of bad weather. Start at 5.00 from the Payerhütte, on the summit at about 9.00 (phantasctic view), back in the hut atfer 12.00. Later individual descent to Sulden. During the descent from the hut a rain (higher snow again).
We were the only guests in the Hintergrat hut and also on the Hintergrat. Started at 5:00. Good frozen snow, a good track, cold and windy, some sun, some clouds. Made it to the top at 9:30, everybody else coming 5 minutes afterwards from the Payer hut, but no crowds. We crossed the summit and reached the Hintergrat hut over Payer hut, Tabaretta hut at 17:00. No hurry. Some 15 people went up the Hintergrat the next day in rain.
Guided and within a alpine course from the Dutch Alpine Club a goup of 4 persons and a guide reached the summit on a clear day at top speed. Everything went without inccidents.
Two fantastic days with Carla, il Catena and Paglia. From Solden to Hintergrathutte. From the refuge to the top in perfect condition and down to Solden crossing Tabaretta ridge and Payerhutte. Just a problem: too much inexpert people descending!!!
Camped the night before in my car on a parking of a ski-lift up to Schaubachhütte. Next day took a cable-car up and walked (scrambled) over a glacier and moraine fields (no path) to the Hintergrat Hut. Had no reservation for the hut, but luckily they had some places free. In the evening discovered leak in my Camelbak water reservoir. Started next day (Sunday) at 4 am at the Hintergrat Hut. Not so many folks going up with the first wave (based on stories I've heard about the peak season I expected hords of climbers). The weather was nice, clear sky, good climbing conditions except of stonefall in lower sections. I was climbing solo, though had some equipment for back-roping myself if necessary. I really enjoyed the climb (regardless of the leaking Camelbak and resulting wet lower back), not too difficult, great views all around. On the summit at 9 am after 5 hours of climbing including a little bit of queueing in the difficult sections. Stayed some 50 minutes on the top. Ate, and drank the last drop of water (damned leak). Descended via "normal route" (Tabaretta ridge), it was not so trivial walking-down as I expected. There was one section after a bivouac hut where the way down from the rocks to an icefield was not obvious to find, and one had to put on crampons while still on rocky section, then climb down with the crampons a little bit, and then descend some 10 meters on pure ice. After a replenishing glass of Radler in Payer Hut it was still a long way down to the parking in Solda valley.
With a course we climbed the normal route,
there are better routes on this mountain...
The climbing conditions were good - dry & ice free rocks. Only one section with snow/ice you need crampons for is left. After 10 hours we reached the safe harbour "Payerhut". Don't underestimate the descent via the normal route ! Of course one of my climbing partners was Martin (see next entry).
Route was in bad condition, only pure ice and many stones was falling down. In case this we have to sleep about 120 m under the summit. The summit we reached next day at 9:00 AM.
We camped an Trafoi and walked up to Payer Hütte. Due to the bad weather conditions we spent the next day in, and around the house, and attemped the peak on the day after. The terrain is pretty various, rocky ridges, dense crevassed glacier, steep snowy slopes. Unfortunately the clouds covered everything just before we reached the summit.
We were lucky, because only our party of three, and three other climbers summited on that day, so it was not the usual crowded normal route.
Climbing conditions were good, but unfortunately the weather not. The summit was in clouds, heavy wind and sometimes a little snow!
The ascent was not so bad and we climbed the difficult parts quite easy. But we had more troubles at the descent along the normal route - we didn't expect it to be so difficult and we were exhausted - so we were very glad when we reached "Payerhütte" after about 10 hours!
after we failed because of too much snow a year ago, this time we had good conditions and a great day in the mountains. It took us the whole day to get to the Payer hut. Some pictures of the climb at the Hintergrat route's page or even more here
We failed some 100 meters below the summit. Too risky due to avalanches, so we better gave up. I also underestimated how slow we ´would bewith all that snow. So it would have been a very long night if we continued. It was a wonderfull day over the clouds ...
On a very fine September sunday, we climbed Ortler with some 100 others from an crowded Payer Hut. But the personell on the hut did well despite the overcrowding (diner in shifts, people sleeping in the staircase). On the summit day there was a little jam on the short stretch of rock where most people use a rope. But all this did not diminish our enjoyment of the climb and the beutiful views.