Saturday, May 26, 2018

Climbing the Rigi Hochflue

We wanted to take advantage of the good weather and get out and do a nice multipitch route. We opted to go to the Rigi Hochflue. We'd seen some of the routes on our previous hike to the peak and it seemed like a nice combination of interesting approach and good climbing.

From Brunnen we walked to the Urmiberg gondola, took this up to Timpel (no need to hike up those 700m today), and then walked to Egg on a familiar path. From here we followed a trail that contours around the south face into the woods. This is clearly the route for climbers. :-)

The path takes us through the woods, down a bit, up a bit, until it starts to get steeper as we hit the base of the cliffs. Nice glimpse of a pair in front of us who are on the "ladder". At the "Nische" we put on our helmets and climbing harnesses and continue to the very exposed iron rungs that takes us straight up (a couple of points here where we weren't unhappy that there was a line to clip onto). At the top of the steps we continue to climb, following a well trod path, until we hit the base of the routes. It's fun to have a T5 approach. :-) The pair in front of us is at the base of two of the routes having lunch; that seems like a good idea, so we continue along a bit to find our own lunch spot. Over lunch we decide that we'll start on one of the easier (5a) routes instead of immediately diving into a 5c; it's been a while since we climbed on slabs and it's still pretty early in the season.

After lunch we head to the base of the route Edelwis, put on the rest of the gear, and start climbing. The climbing has great views, is a bit scary at times (we really aren't used to doing slabs), confusing once or twice (the bolts are pretty far apart, so finding the route isn't always easy), but overall quite fun. We're certainly glad that we picked the easier route... a 5c would likely have been too much. Up top we take a short break, pack away the climbing gear, and then follow the path up to join the blue-white hiking trail that leads to the Hochflue. Up top (not too crowded today) we eat the other half of our lunch and enjoy the views.

After eating we head down the ladder (same as last time) and head down the ridge. We pass some very cool faces carved into a dead tree and eventually get to G├Ątterli, which is fortunately open. Yay! After cool and refreshing beverages we follow the interesting path down to Goldau and the train back to Basel.

Good hiking, good climbing, good weather, good views, good day! :-)

Gear note: Greg did this in a new pair of approach shoes: Salewa MTN Trainer GTX. They did well.

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