SE-Face (West-ridge first tower)

Page Type
Switzerland, Europe
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Half a day
6a (6a obl.)
Rock Difficulty:
5.9 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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SE-Face (West-ridge first tower)
Created On: Oct 27, 2008
Last Edited On: Oct 27, 2008


The route is located at the southeast-face of the first tower of the beautiful Salbitschijen West-ridge. The Salbitschijen is located in the Uri Alps Group in the center of Switzerland. The Salbitschjen is very popular to rock climbers. The beautiful and very solid granite offers the climber awesome climbing possibilities.

The southeast-face of the first tower of the West-ridge is a so called plaisir climbing route. The belays are equipped with two solid bolts. The pitches have bolts (not always good) at the difficult climbing passages. Placing nuts/friends is easy, so you won't have long run-outs. Overall this route is the perfect warm-up route for the big Salbitschijen West-ridge. You can learn to climb on the Salbit-granite and have a look at the West-ridge route.

First ascent: A.Furrer and H.P.Geier (1972) / Bolts placed: H.Berger and M.Bircher (1992)
Climbing the SE-face routeClimbing the SE-face route.

Getting There

The start of the route is behind the Salbit-bivy(2405m) and can be reached in about 10 minutes. The Salbit-bivy has enough space for 10 persons. Water can be find about 200 meters SE of the bivy. There are two possibilities to reach the Salbit-bivy:

From the Salbithütte(2105 m): A good path leads first to the base of S-ridge and then to the bivy. Between the S-ridge and the bivy there is a kind of via ferrata. This via ferrata can be a great fun after one has climbed the W-ridge, descented the mountain and finally want to go back to the bivy. It may take 1-2 hours from the Salbit-hut to the bivy.

From the Göschener-valley: Park your car at the parking area at the Voralpkurve, a prominent bend at the road leading from Göschenen to the Göscheneralp-lake (1404 m). There a trail starts, leading to the Voralp-huts. Follow this trail up to the Alp Horefelli (1786 m). There a small, marked path bends right and up to the Horefelli-couloir. When the couloir forks one uses the right part up to a grass saddle (2202 m). Turning right and up (good path) brings one finally
to the bivy. This approach is faster (3-4 hours) then the approch via the Salbit-hut (4-5 hours in total) but not so easy to find. Do not try to find this by night. Thanks to Kletterwebbi for this part.

Map of the Salbitschijen area

Route Description

SE-Face (West-ridge first tower)Overview of the route.

Pitch 1(5.9 YDS/6a): the hardest pitch. A pretty hard slab and you need to climb it obligatory.
Pitch 2(5.8 YDS/5c+): hard start, more easy towards the next belay.
Pitch 3(5.7 YDS/5b+): nice pitch with a few more difficult moves.
Pitch 4(5.5 YDS/4c): be sure to take the easiest line, not so easy to find.
Pitch 5(5.7 YDS/5b): few bolts, nice pitch.
Pitch 6(5.7 YDS/5b): few bolts, but great granite climbing.
Pitch 7(5.8 YDS/5c): go just left of the big roof, spectacular!

From the summit of the first tower you'll have a beautiful view of the second West-ridge tower. You can rappel along this route (recommended), or along the West-ridge first tower route.

Essential Gear, Maps and Guidebook

Essential Gear:
Normal trad climbing gear. At least a 50 meter double rope and 10 quickdrawns. Bring along a small set of nuts and friends.

SAC Map, 1:25.000, 1211 Meiental
SAC Map, 1:50.000, 255 Sustenpass

Jürg von Känel, Schweiz Plaisir Ost (2007), ISBN 3-906087-28-X.

Schweiz Plaisir Ost

External Links

Digital map -
Weather forecast -
Time schedule train -
Time schedule bus -
Salbit hut -
Salbitbivouac -
To order the Guidebook -

SE-Face (West-ridge first tower)

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