Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Wasenhorn traverse

In order to escape the heat we opt to spend the weekend at the Simplon pass. We get a reasonably early start from Basel and are at the Simplon Hospiz shortly before 10. We check in at the hospiz, ditch the extra clothes and glacier gear, and then head out, under a cloudless blue sky, shortly before 10:30.

Up, up, up we go along the nice path towards the Monte Leone Hütte. We certainly aren't alone as we follow the lovely and easy path up, across a couple bridges, up, across some cool glacier polished steps, up, up, until we get to the saddle with its nice views up to the Wasenhorn and Monte Leone (that's for tomorrow!) and down to the hut and its lake. Great spot for a lunch break! After lunch we head up a bit more to the Mäderlicke where we put on the climbing harnesses (just in case) and helmets and join the West ridge of the Wasenhorn
towards Wasenhorn West ridge
Here the path takes us under the first peak to the Wasmerlicke, past the first climby bit and then up onto the ridge. The ridge itself is a nice mix of scrambling and walking, never particularly difficult, though at times pretty exposed. We pass a group of three that's roped in (that's not a quick way to move) and continue along the lovely ridge with great views until we come out at the peak of the Wasenhorn. Plenty of people up here. :-) We have a good break and enjoy the really nice views, pack away the climbing gear, and then head down the normal route (south ridge). Aside from one ugly (but short) snow patch, this is an easy descent to the plateau which leads us gently down to the Monte Leone Hütte. We opt not to stop here for a refreshing beverage (though it is super quiet). We continue on down, rejoin the path we've done already at the saddle, and then head down, down, down the path. Along the first steep stretch we cross a bunch of people coming up (the hut's not going to be quiet for long!) but mostly it's a bit less crowded than it was when we came up (no big surprise). Down, down, down we go, stopping for a refreshing break at one of the streams flowing down (hot feet in cold, cold water... nice!), down, down until we get back to the hospiz. After a refreshing beverage we take showers (luxury!) and then have so-so dinner - food is clearly not a priority here. After dinner we take a quick stroll to scout out the beginning of the trail for the next morning (we don't need to repeat much of today's hike). We actually have decent views up to the Homattu glacier and can see that the top bit no longer has snow. This prompts some thinking since that's one of the cruxes for tomorrow's tour, but we'll just have to see what it really looks like once we get up there. Regardless it looks impressive and very far away. :-) Back at the hospiz we head to bed to try and get some sleep before our early start on Sunday.
on the Wasenhorn West ridge
This wasn't a particularly challenging tour, but the ridge was tons of fun, the views were great, and we were high enough that it wasn't all that hot. Yeah!
view down to Alpe Veglia
An aside: this is one of the few E1 tours in Dani Silbernagel's Hochtouren Topoführer Urner, Glarner, Tessiner Alpen

Track:
Stats: ~14km, ~1200m up and down.





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