Monday, August 27, 2007

Furka, at the Heart of Swiss Granite

Switzerland is vast - especially in climbing opportunities. Driving to Andermatt last year for skiing, i noticed the granite towers all around. This summer was the time to discover the area. Frequented by Remy brothers, this pass fugures in the top three passes with Grimsel and Susten, to look for when climbing in this 'hilly' country.

The very recommendable Siedelen hutte, run by a loveable Gisler family - and trust me, they know how to cook!, is only 1hr from the car, and 30 min or less from the climbing. Climbing that stands up to its sister-locations at Envers des Aiguilles in Cham or Aiguilles Dorees on the Mt Blanc backside. Several peaks are accessible from this hut - and other areas, such as the famous Grau Wand, from the Albert Heim hut.

We did a mix of three routes on Chli Bielenhorn (starting up Psychides, moving through the Perrenaud and finishing on very nice last 6a pitches of Sacremotion) the first day, and the second day went up the Hanibal point - 5-pitch Capucin-style free-standing tower (see photo below of the before-last 6b pitch on Elephantrussel). The cherry on the cake is the bus station that a crew carried up fixed ropes to the top of the tower last year. Perfect spot for a summit register :)

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