West Ridge

Page Type
Austria, Europe
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Time Required:
Half a day
Rock Difficulty:
5.5 (YDS)

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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West Ridge
Created On: Jul 6, 2010
Last Edited On: Jul 6, 2010


Looking down on the West RidgeLooking down from high on the ridge.

The West Ridge of the Westliche Marienbergspitze is an interesting climb, though the start is rather loose and unasthetic. In general, as a ridge, it appears blunted, especially compared to the striking "Way of the White Snake," off to the left...a tantalizing, twisty line of white rock that eventually meets the West Ridge higher up.

But if you persist through the initial loose pitches, the reward for the climb is a ridge with occasional knife-edge sections that offers deep views north, west and south.

Getting There

Park in Biberwier at a ski lift and hike up trails under the lift making for the Marienbergjoch (the trail is signed Barbarasteig). At the pass, search for a faint trail on the ridge going up and east. It takes you on and just south of the ridge on scree and through latschen up to where the West Ridge of the peak steepens into rock climbing.

Route Description

At a cairn right where the blunted face of the West Ridge appears, begin climbing in a loose chimney just left of the cairn (III). Follow this for about 35 meters to a broad ledge.

Showing the way on the West RidgeLooking up from the top of the first pitch.

From this point you can see a broad overhanging buttress right on the crest. Scramble easy rock (II) to right of and beneath the buttress, then creep under it's overhang for two pitches of grade III+/IV- climbing on solid rock with a few pitons in place. Around the corner just above a belay stance (piton here), it's possible to climb a steep but solid chimney (IV-) for 30 meters to reach the ridge crest. At this point the most difficult climbing is over.

Now, generally follow the crest, sometimes climbing on the left or right to avoid local difficulties. The difficulty should be no greater than III-, with sometimes enjoyably exposed positions. The "Way of the White Snake" joins the ridge higher, and after several "knife edge" traverses, the difficulties abruptly end at a scree field below the summit. Climb the scree, finding better conditions back on the crest.

Essential Gear

A single rope, some nuts, cams and slings. Rock shoes may be helpful for the crux pitches. Bring gear for snow if your descent route demands it.

West Ridge

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