The north face of the Grosser Bärenkopf west peak is a short ice route. The approach from the Oberwalderhütte is not too long (approximately 1.5 hours) and the height of the face is approximately 200 meter. The ice is up to 45 degrees steep. This ice route is (as far as I know) the steepest ice approach on the mountain as the (former) north face of the main peak has melted away and only the north east face remains.
For returning to the Oberwalderhütte the descent is best done over the west ridge (I). However it might also be interesting to visit the Hohe Dock which is not far from the main peak of the Grosser Bärenkopf.
All in all this route is a nice, short and easy alpine ice route ideally suited to start a week of alpine ice climbing near the Oberwalderhütte or for people new to alpine ice climbing. However care should be taken after heavy new snowfall as there is a risk of avalanches (given the inclination of the face).
Towards the Keilscharte
How to get to the start of the route via the Oberwalderhütte, the Schwarzenberghütte or the Gruberscharte Biwakschachtel can be found on the page of the Grosser Bärenkopf
Route on the north face of the west peak from close to the north ridge of the west peak
The route starts out on the Östliches Bärenkopfkees glacier. The bergschrund is not very big and can be easily crossed in the center of the face where most of the snow sliding down the face has filled the gap. The climb starts out less steep and slowly gets a bit more steeper. On the left it is somewhat steeper than on the right of the face. At the bottom there is ussually a bit of snow above the firn/ice but at the top it is nice. Near the top the ice face becomes more narrow until it disapears approximately 10 meters below the top. The remaining climb is over some loose rock to the top of the ridge close to the west peak.
Follow the ridge to the left (east) to get to the main peak of the Grosser Bärenkopf.
Right (less steep) side of the face
Near the top of the ice
Grosser Bärenkopf main peak
rope (for the glacier approach and optional belaying in the ice)
good high alpine clothing
pickel and ice-axe (or 2 ice-axes) and crampons
ice screw(s) (for optional belaying in the ice)
External LinksRoute description at bergsteigen
Winter trip report