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Tour report Girenspitz east ridge (2253 m)

The perfect Toblerone is not found in the supermarket. No, it is encountered in the Alpstein mounains. Its name: “Girenspitz”, its altitude: 2253 m. The indication of the altitude is pretty important. There exist at least 11 peaks named “Girenspitz” in Switzerland. In the Alpstein alone, there already exist two.

Conquering the “Girenspitz” is a must for enthusiasts of T6 hikes and lovers of steep grass climbing. Whoever sees this mountain will immediately understand the essence of mountaineering, or never. In terms of form and beauty it is not less impressing than its big brother, the world famous Matterhorn. All routes to the summit are difficult and serious. The safest one is probably the climbing route named “Toblerone” (6a) leading through the south face. Here we describe the technically easier but more serious route via the east ridge (T6+). It is almost impossible to secure this climb.

We start at the parking lot “Chuchitobel” in Wildhaus. From there, we follow the hiking trail marked in white-red-white, leading through the “Flürentobel” to “Alp Tesel” and then to “Chreialp”. Shortly before arriving there, the “Girenspitz” including its south face and its east ridge become visible for the first time in all its splendor.

The “Girenspitz’” base can be climbed directly through step and rugged terrain up to the bottom of the rocky south face (T5+). From there the entry point of the east ridge is reached traversing below the giant rocky wall. At the east ridge, the heart of the tour starts. Steep and exposed the grassy and rocky ridge leads to the summit (T6+). The exact difficulty is depending on the grass quality. In the lush sommer grass, one might feel a little more comfortable than in spring directly after the snow has molten. In any case, an ice axe can help to get additional footing. In the uppermost third of the climb, the terrain turns rockier and rockier (II). Soon after, the pre-summit is climbed the summit can be conquered via an exposed ridge connecting the two peaks. The view encountered on top is magnificent.

Descent is either possible via the route of ascent or via rappelling via the climbing route «Toblerone». Herefore, two 50 m ropes are needed.

Conclusion: The “Girenspitz” east ridge is a short, tough and exposed T6 climb leading onto an unknown, but very unique summit. It might be an uninteresting tour for the modern mainstream alpinist. For the T6 adventurer, however, it marks an indispensable and unforgettable entry into the tour book.

 

Details

  • Region: St. Gallen, Alpstein

  • Date: July, 16, 2017

  • Difficulty: T6+, II

  • Route: Wildhaus, parking space Chuchitobel – Flürentobel – Alp Tesel – Chreialp – Girenspitz – Wildhaus.

  • Time to summit: ca 3 h

  • Vertical meters: 1100 m

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