Publiziert von Stijn , 2. Juni 2014 um 21:28.

Region: Welt » Schweiz » Appenzell
Tour Datum:31 Mai 2014
Wandern Schwierigkeit: T4 - Alpinwandern
Geo-Tags: CH-AI   Alpstein 
Aufstieg: 600 m
Abstieg: 1250 m

I was looking forward to a quiet weekend, recovering from the Rigimarsch. But if the weather is good at the start of the summer hiking season, then that just needs to be taken advantage of. This hike marked exactly one year since I moved to Switzerland, and it's a route that's been on my wish list since day one: the Marwees ridge in the Alpstein massif.


Together with Abi, I drive to the valley station of the Alp Sigel cable car at Pfannenstiel. In Brülisau, a parking attendant already wants to direct us to a parking space, but when we mention that we are headed for the Alp Sigel cable car, we are allowed to drive on to Pfannensteil. At 17 CHF for a single ticket, the cable car is rather expensive, and in other circumstances I would not have bothered with it. But just two days after the Rigimarsch, I can still afford a little laziness without losing any honour.

The cable car brings us to 1597m. A bridleway (T1) leads to Alp Sigel, where a path (T2) continues to Obere Mans. Here, we need to fork left for the Bogartenlücke. This is signposted, but a little confusing since the path seems to disappear completely. However, as soon as we turn left over the crest of a hill, the path reappears, and soon starts to climb steeply (T3) to the Bogartenlücke.

On the other side of the Bogartenlücke, the white-blue-white marked Marwees path (T4) soon starts. There is one patch of snow in a coulour, which looks rather problematic from a distance. However, on closer inspection it is not quite that steep, and there are good steps in the snow. It would also have been possible to go around the snow, which would probably have been preferable in descent. On top of the couloir, there is a short, sharp, grassy ridge to the left, leading to a nameless mini-summit (T5, careful if the grass is wet). It just looks too appealing, and I check out the view on top, which is well worth the small effort. The continuation to the easternmost Dreifaltigkeit summit look cool as well, though apparently that would involve grade III climbing.

Going back to the main Marwees path, this quickly reaches the famous ridge. Most of the ridge is actually fairly gentle and the majority of it is T3. From its reputation and from the pictures I had expected it to be more exposed. Or maybe it's just the clouds that are hiding the exposure? But don't get me wrong, it's still a very pleasant ridge hike. After the east summit of Marwees (P. 1991 - cross; bench; log book), the main path drops down onto the north side of the ridge a little. Those who are confident, however, should definitely keep to the ridge itself. This involves some easy scrambling, which for me is the most fun past of the route.

The marked path actually misses out on the main summit of Marwees (P. 2056 - cairn). This summit, however, is easily reached (T3) by just keeping to the ridge when the main path starts descending the south face of Marwees. Other reports say that the view here is absolutely worth the detour. Unfortunately, I can't confirm this, as clouds are blocking the view.

I would prefer clear skies any day, but I have to admit that the coming and going of the clouds also creates a great atmosphere. The Widderalpstock, the scene of a fierce battle between clouds and sunlight as we descend, looks particularly stunning. There is a large snow field on the descent from the Widderalpsattel, but the steeper parts can easily be avoided. The entire descent is easy (T3 until Widderalp, T2 until P. 1317 and then T1 all the way back), but pleasant with nice views over the Sämtisersee towards Hoher Kasten. We have a break at the Plattenbödeli restaurant, and then it's just a steep, short descent down the road to the car park at Pfannenstiel.


Following the weather forecast, we had hoped for the skies to be a little clearer, but we had a nice day anyway. And at least the clouds meant that the eyesore of a transmission tower on Säntis was never a nuisance... Every time I come back, I keep loving the endless possibilities that the Alpstein offers more and more. The Marwees ridge hike rightfully belongs among the top routes in the area.

Tourengänger: Stijn

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