SW-ridge, via "the band"

Page Type
Switzerland, Europe
Route Type:
Rock, ice/snow and combined
Time Required:
A long day
D- (UIAA III and max. 50° ice / snow)

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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SW-ridge, via
Created On: Apr 15, 2002
Last Edited On: Apr 15, 2002


You approach the mountain from the Schreckhorn-hut. Check the "overview"-section and the Schreckhorn-page for details of how to get to the Schreckhorn-hut!

Route Description

Time needed: 6-7hours from hut to summit. Maybe faster if you don't bother with securing... You might need almost the same amount of time for the descend !!

From the hut down to the east-shore of the "Obers Ischmeer"-Glacier. Then follow the remainings of the old path to the old Strahlegg-hut (totally damaged in an avalanche in 1976) in a NE-direction up to approx. 3150m to the neve-field above the "Gaagg". The way leads you through a ton of loose rocks and neve and is quite difficult to find in the dark ! (Check out the beginning of the path the evening before!!).
From here go right (east) across a stretch of neve up to the "Strahlegg-pass". The rock of the SW-ridge doesn't consist of high-quality rock, in fact, the rocks are quite loose... Follow the ridge across a few steep sections (UIAA III) up to a shoulder at 3750m. From here follow the neve-ridge to the base of the summit-face. Hang a right here and follow the obvious system of bands, traversing several gullys and couloirs of the S-face. Once you reach the couloir which leads to the SE-ridge above Point 3915m climb up there until you reach the SE-ridge. Then follow the SE-ridge easily to the great summit !

Descend: Thats a major question !!! If you want to climb down the S-face couloir (max. 48°), make sure that you reach the summit before the sun has melted the snow / neve in the couloir ! If the neve is wet, DO NOT STEP INTO THE COULOIR !!! Many fatal avalanche-accidents -- also in the summer -- have happened !!! If you have to descend to the Aar-Bivouac, follow the rocks at the west-shore of the S-face couloir ! Another possibility would be to traverse to the Schreckhorn via the NW-ridge (UIAA IV, 5-6h from summit to summit, another 5-6hours down to the hut from the Schreckhorn-summit. Abseiling! )

CAUTION ADVICE: Make sure you know the beginning of the old path to the destroyed Strahlegg-hut from the "Obers Ischmeer" !! It will be dark when you fu.. around down there !
"The Band" in the S-face contains loose rocks and is definitely potentially dangerous! You should be used to that type of terrain. It's difficult to realize a good securing here! If the weather is not stable, get the hell out of there! If you get caught in a thunderstorm up there, the falling rocks in the gullys will turn the traverse into "russian roulette" ! Don't forget to think about the descend ! It's quite an adventure to get down and back to the blossoming valleys from the summit of the Lauteraarhorn !

Essential Gear

All the standard gear for high alpine peaks of that category! Mountaineers who try those mountains should know what they need!
If you want to continue to the Schreckhorn it's very useful if you have a twin 55m-rope for abseiling ! If you think about descending via the S-face couloir to the Aar-bivouac a second short ice-axe would be helpful ! That you need crampons up there is a matter of course!

Take care !

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Maps and SAC-Guide books needed

You will need the following maps of Switzerland:

LK 1250 ("Ulrichen"), scale 1:25000
LK 1229 ("Grindelwald"), scale 1:25000
LK 1249 ("Finsteraarhorn"), scale 1:25000

You might want to check for the following SAC Guide-Book:

Clubführer Berner Alpen 5 ("Von Grindelwald zur Grimsel"), Author: Ueli Mosimann, 1996 (ISBN: 3 85902 155-9)