A foggy and adventurous hike up to Zuestoll

Publiziert von 360 Pro , 15. Oktober 2007 um 14:46.

Region: Welt » Schweiz » St.Gallen
Tour Datum:10 Oktober 2007
Wandern Schwierigkeit: T6 - schwieriges Alpinwandern
Klettern Schwierigkeit: II (UIAA-Skala)
Geo-Tags: Churfirsten   CH-SG 
Zufahrt zum Ausgangspunkt:cff logo Walenstadt
Zufahrt zum Ankunftspunkt:cff logo Alp Selamatt

My original plan was to walk from Walenstadt via Tschingla to Palisnideri and from there up to Zuestoll. On Zuestoll I wanted to inspect the northwest groove of Schibenstoll, because I’ve heard from people who chose that route in order to get up there. Supposedly it is T6-isch/III, the right thing for a “desert” after Zuestoll.

Since I started the report with “my original plan” you probably already guessed that it turned out differently:

I started in Walenstadt and walked along the marked route to Tschingla. Right below Alp Tschingla the fog started to get very thick. I thought it’ll clear up soon I just have to go a little higher. So instead of following the path from Tschingla to Paliis, I decided to ascend northwest wards towards the south walls of the Churfirsten and then following these walls to the access to Palisnideri. This wasn’t the best decision I ever made :-).

Well the fog didn’t clear up but got thicker. In order to make sure I went the right way, I kept checking my altimeter and compass. In one of the checking processes, I must have not put the altimeter back into my pocket but dropped it on the ground without noticing. The next time I wanted to check the altitude I noticed the mishap. I decided to walk back and find it, but of course didn’t. The fog was just too thick and I wasn’t following a path but walked in rubble and grass. After quite some time I finally gave up and went on without my altimeter.  Magically right then the fog cleared up for a few minutes and I could kind of see where I was. At the same time I also saw about 30 chamois running up a couloir. A few minutes later I was back “in the washhouse”, visibility about 5 meters. With all the fog and walking back and forth trying to find my altimeter I didn’t really have a good feeling any more how far from Tschingla I actually walked west, so I thought the couloir where the deer ran up must be the access to Palisnideri. If 30 chamois can run up there I can too…

After about 100 meters into the couloir I was finally out of the fog and could see things. Pretty soon I realized that it wasn’t the couloir which would take me to Palisnideri. There was no zigzag path going up and there was no turn east after a while. Instead the terrain got more difficult by the minute. I thought though I’ll check it out anyway and see how far I can go. A sign with the name of 3 people who died here in the sixties didn’t really make me feel more comfortable. Just about when I was saying to myself I probably should turn around now, I saw a hook with a sling and further up a saddle coming up soon, so I decided to go on anyway.

The question was: where exactly am I? After looking around all of a sudden I recognized the saddle coming up, I was about 100 meters below Stollenfurgge and I saw the beginning of the Schnüerliweg.

I then checked my SAC guide about my position and further options. The first thing I read about the couloir I just came up was that it is strongly discouraged to come up this way: “Von der Begehung des einst benutzten südseitigen Couloirs zwischen Stollenfurgge und Tschingla muss wegen Erdrutschen dringend abgeraten werden”. Great! I’m not sure I really want to go back down this way again even if I have to.

I kept reading about my other options. Going west to Palisnideri below the Zuestoll south wall or going all the way up to Stollenfurgge? According to the SAC guide the way from Stollenfurgge to Palisnideri can only be done from east to west due to 35m of repelling right at Stollenfurgge. For my current position (a little west of and below Stollenfurgge) it would have meant: climbing up 35m, without any safeguards 35m IV+ - no thanks. This doesn’t sound like something I should even think about trying.

Instead I decided to check out the fixed-rope-like route along the south wall of Zuestoll to Palisnideri: “An einigen Abschnitten Drahtseile, längs derer eine Selbstsicherung nötig ist.” ”… wo ein stellenweise sehr ausgesetztes, in mehreren Abschnitten drahtseilgesichertes Band waagrecht in die Wand hinausführt…”

Even though I didn’t have any safeguards with me I thought it might work. However, soon I reached a point which was extremely exposed and went around an awkward corner. It looked quite hard even with a steel rope to hold onto, but I tried anyway. I was holding onto the steel rope and the rock, but the rock wasn’t solid enough, but gave way... That’s when I decided to not go any further, but turned around.

So I returned to below Stollenfurgge and “just for fun” checked out those 35m of climbing up to Stollenfurgge. It turns out that the SAC guide is probably out-dated for this place. These days there is not only a very thick steel rope present, but also u-shaped metal steps mounted in the rock. There is no need to climb the whole 35m, because you access this step about half way up from west through a very exposed band (Schnüerliweg-like), first without then with a steel rope as aid. Later you can hold onto the before mentioned metal steps and only for the last 5 meters you need to climb without aid (II). Even though the whole passage is clearly still nothing for the fainthearted (very exposed, tricky climbing, T6), in my opinion it is feasible for an experienced T6 hiker. (However, even though I didn’t see any signs of landslides one should not forget about the clear warning in the SAC guide!)

I was very happy to be up on Stollenfurgge and not having to return the way I came up. I decided to not visit the northwest groove up Schibenstoll, not only because I already had my adrenalin rush for the day but also too foggy for trying another T6. Instead I just visited my favorite Churfirsten, Zuestoll (going up on the west side of the back and down the normal marked route to Sellamatt, from where I took the cable car down to Alt St Johann.

One last remark for the Zuestoll: Not many people seem to know about it (any more?) and the SAC guide doesn’t mention this either: The last part right before the summit, where the marked route is secured with a rope and goes up on the east side, there is a relatively easy alternate way up on the west side. You just need to follow a horizontal grass band westwards which takes you around the corner (a little exposed but not difficult at all), and then without problems up the grass slope on the south west side to the summit cross.

Once again Zuestoll was in the fog when I was up there and only a few seconds I was able to look down to Walensee and/or Toggenburg. I can’t remember being up there without fog – maybe the next time when I’ll complete “my original plan”.

Exact Route
Walenstadt Bahnhof – See – Unter Säss – Tschingla – Stollenfurgge – Zuestoll – Selamatt

Tourengänger: 360


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Kommentare (4)

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Alpin_Rise hat gesagt:
Gesendet am 16. Oktober 2007 um 17:26
Sounds like a really f***ing adventurous trip. Glad you returned well! Churfirsten Soutflank with fog is not an easy piece of climbing...
By the way: Zuestoll is also my favourite Churfirst!

Stani™ Pro hat gesagt: +1
Gesendet am 16. Oktober 2007 um 18:19
Glad you returned well

Very interesting report! Tnx to Alpin_Rise for his comment, otherwise I could miss your report. We definitively need "Add to favs" option for reports.

Zaza hat gesagt: RE:+1
Gesendet am 17. Oktober 2007 um 07:53
Hey Stani, I agree...with that many new members it's getting tricky to keep your bearings on hikr.org!

kind regards, zaza

Alpin_Rise hat gesagt: RE:+1
Gesendet am 21. Dezember 2007 um 00:06
Yes, it would be interesting to do a system like the favourites for photos to sort the reports!

The report-mountain is growing to himalayan heights ;-)

bye, keep up the excellent work, alpin_rise

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