Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

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DieterVH

 
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Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by DieterVH » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:39 pm

Hi

Two friends and I are in our late twenties and quite fit. We're intermediate sports climbers and we have some experience in reaching peaks with via ferrata's such as the Alspitze, the Zugspitze, Ilmspitze (difficulty C/D), Ochsendwand, etc... We've also crossed easy glaciers and we have good equipment (rope, axes, crampons, clothing,...). One of us has already done some 4000'ers like Toubkal and has a good technical background. We also have experience in long mountain hikes such as the Tour du Mont Blanc and the GR5. Our goal and desire is to get more into alpinism so we would like to do several peaks in the European Alps in 2013 to have some nice experiences and to boost our knowledge.

Which routes or which peaks would you guys recommend? Absolute height is not the most important thing although 4000'ers would be very cool. We'd also rather do things where we won't be trampled by hordes of people and where we can practise roping up without venturing into killer ice fields or having huge vertical exposure on difficult routes.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and opinions.

Dieter

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P. Vis

 
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Re: Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by P. Vis » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:50 pm

Hi Dieter,

Maybe its an idea to climb the Rimpischhorn from Zermatt.
From the hotel Flue or bivy, easy glacier, not crowded,a bit remote, easy but not too easy (PD+) and best of al, spectacular views.
I summited it just with my climbingpartner, it's the onely 4000der we had for the two of us in summertime.

Gr, Peter

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DieterVH

 
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Re: Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by DieterVH » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:07 pm

Thanks for the tip Peter!

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damgaard

 
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Re: Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by damgaard » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:51 am

Grossvenediger, 4th highest in Austria (3.600 or so). Normal route is hiking plus 500 height m glacier plateau with large but easily bypassed crevasses. The peak is located on a plateau and you can easily reach 4-5 neighbouring peaks above 3.000 m. Difficulty is PD if I remember correct. You can make a nice round trip with overnight stays at Neue Prager and Badener Hütte.

Only downside is that with good weather you will likely not be alone. It is not overcrowded though. I was there on a day with medium ok weather in August and there were 25 people in total or so on the plateau.

-jesper

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Flachlandtiroler

 
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Re: Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by Flachlandtiroler » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:36 am

IMHO Valaisienne Alps are quite newbie-friendly due to
- dry+sunny climate
- high peaks accesible without broken glacier crossing etc. (compaired to Bernese Alps + MB group)
- trails maintained and signalled perfectly

Try e.g. the weissmies hut.
There's a ferrata to Jegihorn (+/-3200m), which also has easy but long (+/- 15 pitches, +/-4...5 UIAA) climbing routes and a simple hiking normal route.
Two 4k peaks are on offer: one -the lagginhorn- with scrambling and up to 40° snow/ice, the other one -weissmies- a glacier plod. Both PD- level.
Ok. it's not too secluded :wink:

Otherwise install youself atthe campground below arolla; there is plenty of 3500m peaks around at similar level of difficulty. Even the hut approches often are worthwile mountain trips.

@jesper: IMHO Venediger normal routes are about F (facile), aren't they?

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Re: Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by pvnisher » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:39 am

+1 on the Jagihorn, Alpendurst route. 14 pitches, well bolted, only one belay without a good stance. And it is very sustained at the grade. All 14 pitches are nearly identical in difficulty, which is great.
Then Weissmies Trift route is a good option in the area.

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damgaard

 
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Re: Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by damgaard » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:40 am

@ Flachlandtiroler

You are right. Normal routes to venediger are F. We climbed it in one shot from the parking lot, so maybe that is why I remember it as being harder :wink:

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rgg
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Re: Looking for intermediate level >3000'ers in the Alps

by rgg » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:46 pm

DieterVH wrote:We've also crossed easy glaciers and we have good equipment (rope, axes, crampons, clothing,...).


A couple of questions that come to mind:

1 Do you all know how to hold a crevasse fall?
2 If one of you guys falls into a crevasse, do the three of you have the skills to get him out again?
3 Do you always plan to go on glaciers as a three man team, or also as a two man team?

In case you've answered the first or second question with a negative, then I suggest you learn those skills first, either on a course or by teaming up with more experienced people who are willing to teach you. Only if you know that a glacier has no dangerous crevasses (either from your own experience or because you've asked around, for example in the local guides' office - which is always a good idea anyway) or it's relatively flat and has no snow on it, you can be sure that you won't need those skills.

If you plan to go as a two man team, well, holding a crevasse fall is a lot harder, as is the rescue afterwards, so experience is even more important.

Image
Looking down on the Höllental glacier from the via ferrata

You mention the Zugzpitze via ferrata. If you're talking about the Höllental route, that involves crossing a small glacier. If there is little snow on it, as in the image above, you can see the crevasses and avoid them (and consequently you don't even need a rope). If not, well, there is some crevasse risk, but there usually is a big trail, so chances of falling in a hidden crevasse are low - but not zero.
As for Toubkal, while it is above 4000, it has no glacier, so no crevasse risk. It's just a walk up. If your experience does not go beyond this, I wouldn't suggest going to something like the Großvenediger just yet, even if it is a very easy peak indeed.

Good luck,
Rob


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