Monday, July 06, 2015

Dossengrat, Dossen, Ränfenhorn, Gaulihütte

An early start - breakfast at 4:30 and a planned departure at 5:00 - somewhat delayed by a quick rain shower. We depart out under cloudy, but dry skies and follow the route scouted the day before up to the Dossengrat with all its fun. This is definitely an entertaining route: good scrambling, bits of cable, rungs in the wall, etc. Good going despite the wind and somewhat dodgy looking sky.

After a good bit of fun we hit the Dossensattel, where we rope up and then start the climbing. This isn't difficult, but we do have to search for the best route and dealing with belaying is a fun challenge. We enjoy our way quite a bit and hit the peak after a totoal of just under three hours. It's windy as hell, so we don't hang out long but continue on our way along the ridge towards the Ränfenjoch. After a bit of the ridge we find a wind-sheltered spot (a bivak) where we can have a good rest and a bit to eat, then its further along the ridge. This is a nice ridge walk up to the last bit where we head steeply down, past a lot more bivak spots, to the glacier. The snow is soft, so we don't need crampons, just a quick switch of the rope to glacier mode and then we start out across the glacier and up to the Ränfenhorn. This is no problem at all and the weather plays along: quick moving high clouds but no rain, good views, and not too hot. The snow is definitely soft, but given how warm it has been, this is no real surprise.

We have a short break on the peak and then head down the other side. According to the book, getting back down to the Gauligletscher is the trickiest bit of the tour. Thanks to the snow, we manage to do the first part without problems, but it does take us a while to find a not completely optimal (but functional) track down to the glacier (lots of loose crap getting down that last bit of moraine, not too much fun). Now we follow the glacier down until it is completely bare and we reach about 2560m, where we transition back to the rock. After a short break we head up a bit to find the blue-white path that takes us to the Gaulihütte. We had done this the other way in the early morning on the Ränfenhorn tour, but we didn't really appreciate it then: it's a nice path! At the hut we settle in, have a cool beverage, have a rest, do some planning, have a nice meal, and then head off to bed for an early start the next day.


Stats: ~11km, 1128m up, 1587m down.

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