Fürstensteig + Drei Schwestern

Published by Stijn , 10 November 2015, 21h10.

Region: World » Liechtenstein
Date of the hike: 8 November 2015
Hiking grading: T4- - High-level Alpine hike
Geo-Tags: FL   A   A-V 
Time: 5:45
Height gain: 900 m 2952 ft.
Height loss: 1600 m 5248 ft.

The Fürstensteig and the Drei Schwestern is probably the most famous hike in all of Fürstentum Liechtenstein. The numerous reports that exist on Hikr (e.g. recent ones by Linard03 and SCM) are also used in the field: in the bus to Gaflei I spotted two women with a Hikr printout. Don't forget to reserve this bus, by the way (+423 268 31 56).

The route can also be done in the opposite direction, from Planken to Gaflei. This involves considerably more ascent and considerably less descent. On Sundays and public holidays however, this direction is a bit problematic, since there are no buses to Planken in the morning.

The spectacular Fürstensteig, constructed in 1898 (!), leads for a bit more than a kilometre through the steep and brittle west face of the Alpspitz. The path is well-constructed and often secured with cables (T3+).

The path from the Gafleisattel to the Kuegrat is easier, with nice views and beautiful autumn colours. After the Kuegrat, there are again several sections where the path is constructed impressively into the rock (T3+), leading over the Garsellikopf and onto the big sister (P. 2052).

The direct descent from the big sister to Sarojasattel is marked white-blue-white. It's indeed the steepest section of the route (T4-). After climbing down two ladders, the route goes through a spectacular rock window (excellent photo spot). Soon afterwards, the path gets easier again.

From the Sarojasattel, the long descent to Planken takes us past the Gafadurahütte, which has unfortunately already been closed since mid-October. A cold beer would have been really nice in this tropical November heat... At least the little waterfall in the stream at P. 926 offers the possibility for a cold shower :).

Some optional extras:
  • In the upper section of the Fürstensteig, a small pinnacle stands enticingly right next the path. Scrambling up is easy, standing upright on top of the pointy pinnacle is a different story. It's a great photo spot for those who dare to stand up, but this requires nerves and absolute balance.
  • The summit cross on the Gafleichöpfli (P. 1983 on the Swisstopo maps) is a quick detour from the marked route. There and back along an obvious path that stays just south-east of the ridge (an easy T3).
  • The crag south-west of the Drei Schwestern (P. 2048 on the map) is not to be confused with the equally high Mittlere Schwester / Vollandturm (which is north of the big sister and unmarked on the map). I have corrected the waypoints on Hikr to reflect this. My spontaneous ascent went over easy terrain to the north-west foot of the summit crag. From here, I did a steep, exposed and brittle traverse through the east face, in ascending line onto the summit. T6, harder than it looks and not particularly recommended. Careful not to knock stones down onto the hiking path below. (A more direct ascent along the north-west ridge would offer more solid rock, but I'm not sure how hard the climbing would be.)
    The summit is not even one of the three sisters, though it's taller than the little sister. If I would have done my research better, I would probably have had a go at the middle sister instead (no pun intended).

The Fürstensteig and the Drei Schwestern is not a lonely hike by any standard, but I can fully understand why it's so popular. It's simply a great day out high above the Rhine valley.

Hike partners: Stijn

Click to draw, click on the last point to end drawing


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Comments (1)

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SCM says:
Sent 11 November 2015, 10h25
Nice report, thanks! I never dared to climb the pinnacle :( Maybe next time :)

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