The Strahlengratli is a rock ridge sticking out of the Tiefen glacier, located in central Switzerland's Urner Alps. It reaches 3021 meters at its highest point and is approximately 400 meters in length. Traversing the length of the Strahlengratli is a pleasant and relatively easy route with difficulties squarely located in the realm of UIAA III. As the ridge is not very pronounced in some places, it is at times possible to bypass difficulties or seek them out. The low technical difficulties, the short and easy approach and descent and the fact that bolts have been added to the harder moves and most belays makes the Strahlengratli a great outing for the aspiring alpinist.
The name of the ridge appears to be related to the activity of 'strahlen' which is looking for valuable minerals. Essentially its the 'mineral seekers' small ridge'.
The Strahlengratli seen from the Albert Heim hut.
The route can be reached from either the Albert-Heim hut to the east or from the Sidelenhutte which lies just to the south. Approaching from the Sidelenhutte side does require a saddle to be crossed, the Untere Bielenlucke, but this does not pose any significant difficulties.
The approach from the Albert-Heim side recommends itself for straightforwardness; from the hut follow the marked path to the Tiefen glacier. From here the Strahlengratli is clearly visible. Approach it by keeping close to its southern side, bypassing the lowest point of the ridge on the left (south) until an obvious terrace presents itself from where the ridge can be gained.
Both the huts can be reached in less than 2 hours from their respective carparks along the road from the Furkapass to Andermatt. The walk-in to the Sidelen hut is somewhat longer, from the Albert-Heim car park this route can fairly easily be done as a day trip. For those who prefer sleeping under the stars, the Albert Heim carpark makes for a pleasant bivouac location.
From the south; the starting terrace is clearly visible in the lower-right of the photo.
The route starts with scrambling but soon becomes a bit more difficult. Stick to the ridge for the best climbing. Various parts are bolted and as long as the main ridge is followed there is not much chance of getting lost. Around the half-way point there is a marked notch in the ridge, with most of the sustained climbing parts situated just before and just after it. The route ends on a broad 'summit' plateau easily recognizable as the highest point by the large stoneman.
The descent is easiest on the southern side of the ridge where you can make your way back to the start of the route via a couple of snowfields and some easy downclimbing. See the Swisstopo map for details.
Near the start of the route.
Plenty of slings (webbing).
A few small-medium sized friends and / or a set of nuts.
Approximately 4 quickdraws.
Rockclimbing shoes or mountaineering boots.
Halfway along the ridge.
Maps and guidebooks
Map: Swiss 1:25000 map #1231; 'Urseren'
Guidebook: SAC Fuhrer Urner Alpen III or Jurg von Kanel's Schweiz Plaisir Ost.