The Ostwand Verscheidung provides an excellent half day of climbing on the Untersberg. Unusually, the day begins with 4 steep rappels into a wild wall. A short traverse off to climbers right, then a delightful series of pitches follow, climbing chimneys, slabs and water runnels back to the top.
The route is sparsely but adequately protected by bolts, though it's a good idea to bring a few medium cams and longer slings.
Take the Untersberg cable car
, then walk about 10 minutes towards the Salzburger Hochthron. You'll descent into a little valley, and at the bottom you should leave the trail and follow a steep track off up and left. When the track levels off, follow faint trail off to the left into "latschen" (small bushes). It's hard to describe exactly what to do here. I found it useful to walk about 3 minutes left through the latschen until I reached an overview point where I could see several steep trails (often rope protected) down into a little hanging valley.
Follow one of these trails down (be careful...it's steep and in the morning the grass on the side of the narrow trails will be slippery). You'll come to a rappel station on the left and another on the right.
Begin making 25 meter rappels from the station on the right. After 4 rappels (steep!), you'll reach a hanging grass slope. Traverse it off to the right from the end of the last rappel, passing a couple of single bolts that seem to be placed for security. Climb slightly for about 15 meters. From this point, you are about 15 meters right of and below the start of the route.
All belay stations are marked by "ring belays," usually two of them somewhat widely placed from each other. On one occasion there was only one. Occasional protection from cams, nuts or slings is available, but given the terrain, the widely spaced bolts seem to be enough.
- 25 meters, IV-. Climb an initially vertical chimney/crack. Belay from a ledge.
- 30 meters, IV. Fantastic climbing up and right along water runnels (Wasserrillen
) protected by bolts.
- 30 meters, III+. Initially very easy, scramble up and slightly left to a single bolt at a vertical chimney that blocks access to the belay. Despite being often wet, the chimney is enjoyable and not difficult if you look well right and left to stem up. Scramble up and right to a belay station.
- 35 meters, IV-. Climb easy rock up and right to a relatively smooth slab with the possibility to undercling a buttress of rock on the left side (enjoyable). Belay at a vertical wall that marks Pitch Five.
- 40 meters, IV+. The crux pitch. Excellent near-vertical climbing in a chimney/crack. Somewhat better protected than all other pitches. After 20 meters, the route trends up and left out of sight, then after a short (3 meters?) wall, reaches a belay station with the "Route Book" in a pleasant shady cave.
- 15 meters, III. Climb up and right out of the cave, initially on vertical steps, then more easily to a belay station.
- 35 meters, III+. A problematic pitch, described sometimes as a "vertical meadow," and subject to rock/dirtfall. Just go slowly and it'll work. Generally go up and right, being careful about knocking rocks on your belayer. 2 normal bolts and a belay station decorate the pitch. Continue past to a flat trail in latschen country at the top of the wall, belaying from a sling around a latschen bush.
A single 50 meter rope, though 60 feels more secure for the initial rappels.
8 quickdraws, 2-3 longer slings, and a couple of medium cams should suffice. A helmet is a good idea, not only because you are under a mountain easily accessible to tourists who take lifts, but because the route has loose sections from which it's easy to knock off small rocks.
The Bergsteigen.at route description
is pretty good.