Widderalpstöck (Hauptgipfel, nameloser Turm, Mittelgipfel) - the non-climbing routes

Publiziert von 360 Pro , 22. Oktober 2008 um 08:25.

Region: Welt » Schweiz » Appenzell
Tour Datum:19 Oktober 2008
Wandern Schwierigkeit: T5 - anspruchsvolles Alpinwandern
Klettern Schwierigkeit: II (UIAA-Skala)
Geo-Tags: CH-AI   Alpstein 
Zufahrt zum Ausgangspunkt:cff logo Wasserauen
Zufahrt zum Ankunftspunkt:cff logo Brülisau, LBHK

The peaks of the Widderalpstöck are an Eldorado for climbers and on a weekend like this frequently visited by them. Alpine hikers often neglect them, probably for several reasons: The close by Hundstein is higher and offers a "better" view of the Alpstein, the non-climbing accesses to the peaks of all Widderalpstöck are not easy, in addition if you don’t spend the night in one of the huts in the vicinity you will have to walk quite a bit in order to get to the Widderalpstöck. I went and visited them and was delighted by their beauty.

I started my hike in Wasserauen and walked up to the Bogartenlücke on the marked route, then continued to Fälensee and the Hundsteinhütte. From here the path to the Hundstein is marked white/blue/white. I continued to follow it to an altitude of pretty much exactly 2000m. From this point one has a good overview of the two main peaks of the Widderalpstöck Hauptgipfel. The right one (east) is a little higher and with its 2066 meters the highest point of the Widderalpstöck. In order to get to the summit I went up in steep grass and some rocks (more on the left side) and got to the saddle between the two peaks. From the saddle I then climbed down a step of about 5 meters to the north side. This was a little tricky, because the northern side was kind of icy, slippery and still covered with snow, but otherwise didn’t really pose any difficulties (II), except maybe that a slip would result in a free fall of about 200-300 meters with not so soft landing on the path from Widderalp to Widderalpsattel. Once I successfully conquered this crux, the access to the Hauptgipfel was not really difficult any more; it obviously follows a grass band on the northern side all the way to the summit. (All together T5, L in the SAC guide seem an OK rating)

From this peak you have a very good sight of the Mittelgipfel and how to access it (see this picture). Don’t get tempted to try to go there directly on the ridge from the Hauptgipfel, because what looks feasible at first, is a clear dead-end (see this picture taken from Mittelgipfel). So I went back down to the Hundsteinweg the way I came up and then down to an altitude of about 1940 meters. On the way up towards the saddle west of the Mittelgipfel through steep grass and rocks, I saw a group of 6 ibexes (4 female adults and 2 babies, less than a year old). When I saw them first, I stopped and took some pictures, because I was afraid they would run away. Then I got closer and closer and they didn’t seem to be afraid of me at all but just stayed where they were. I actually ended up less then 10m away from them, beautiful!!!

The “namenlose Turm” is between the eastern Hauptgipfel and the Mittelgipfel and can easily be accessed via the south facing grass flank. In order to get to the Mittelgipfel, I went up a relatively easy way-through in the west flank of the Mittelgipfel, about 50 meters below a little tower between the namenlose Turm and the Mittelgipfel. Once in the south flank, I followed a groove more or less in the direct line to the summit for the way up (T6). My choice is actually not described in the SAC guide. The way described there is in a groove a few meters further to the right. From below the one described in the SAC guide actually looks more difficult than the one I took, but in fact is easier (T5) and you will see bolts here and there. I took it on the way back down.

The top of the Mittelgipfel is quite wide and its eastern end offers an excellent view to the rest of the Widderalpstöck peaks (and of course the Alpstein and down to the Rhine valley). According to the SAC guide, the so-called Fähnligipfel can be accessed on a non-climbing route as well, but I didn’t have time to visit this peak too.

From Mittelgipfel I finally went back down to the Hundsteinweg, said hi to the group of ibexes again and then followed the hiking paths down to Brülisau via Bollenwees – Geisserhüttli – Appenzeller Sämtis – Plattenbödeli and down the Büeltobel.

Remark: I rated the whole hike T5 even though on the Mittelgipfel I went up the groove which is more difficult than the one described in the SAC guide. If one follows the SAC routes I’d say all Widderalpstöck can be rated as a T5.

Wasserauen – Chatzensteig – Hüttentobel – Mar – Bogartenlücke – P. 1317 – Stifel – Hundsteinhütte – Schafberg – Widderalpstock Hauptgipfel – nameloser Turm - Widderalpstock Mittelgipfel – Hundsteinhütte - Bollenwees – Geisserhüttli – Appenzeller Sämtis – Plattenbödeli – Büeltobel – Brülisau

Tourengänger: 360


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