I did this trip alone. On Sunday, 20 October, 2002, I arrived in Malbun, Liechtenstein, hoping to reach the summit of the Naafkopf. I was going to go there via the east ridge, leading to the Augstenberg. I parked my car in the free parking area on the north end of Malbun. I departed Malbun via foot, and walked to the south end where the road came to an end. From there, I busted trail up the east ridge and and came upon a sign that said no high heels! I would have laughed, however, I was too exhausted breaking trail in snow that come up over my knees in places. After a some minutes of serious trail breaking, I ended up skirting some cornice ridges. They were not hardened and consequently, I had to stay well to the side of the actual top. In two of the saddles I crossed, I was in snow up to and over my pants zipper. Needless to say, it was very fatiguing. Several times, I was about to turn myself around as it was quickly becoming "not much fun." I pushed on, and about at the half way point, I finally strapped on crampons. At this point I knew I would never reach the Naafkopf, and even had to force myself just to reach the Augstenberg. At about the 80% point, I ended up putting on my glacier glasses and coat, as the sun finally peeked out and the wind was letting it be known that it was there. I could see "snow devils" at the Augstenberg Summit Cross! Each step going up was a challenge, as I had to be very careful not to fall and seriously twist an ankle, as I was alone and had no "cavalry" to help. My trekking poles were a true blessing up there, and never once did I break out and use my ice ax. General balance was far more important for this climb. Anyway, after 4 hours and 10 minutes of breaking trail, I reached the summit cross. There was no summit log to sign, which was a disappointment as I had musterd up some clever wit from all of the fatigue and frustration. Since the snow was so deep I did not feel I could set up a photo and get back to the cross in time to pose. Hence, I put a U.S. Border Patrol magent on the base of the cross and took photos of everything except me. Due to the weather, I only spent 15 minutes at the summit. Coming down was much easier, and I made it in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The entire time I was up there I never encountered tracks in the snow from someone else doing this walk in the snow. I did see one other person hiking the hills below, but they were far below. I wore a helmet the whole time, in case I slipped and fell. Not having someone to help me in case of an injury made me really think this walk through. My leather boots did get wet (nothing dangerous as I was constantly moving), despite gaiters, so I can readily recommend plastic boots for this hike, if Malbun (the town) has snow in it. My Garmin 76 Map S GPS was only 3 meters off at the summit, as compared to my 1:25,000 topographic map. In my opinion, this is a superlative beginner's snow climb, though just a kid's climb in the summer.
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