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Parpaner Schwarzhorn


Published by Stijn , 13 December 2015, 20h23.

Region: World » Switzerland » Grisons » Lenzerheide
Date of the hike: 5 December 2015
Snowshoe grading: WT4 - High-level snowshoe hike
Waypoints:
Geo-Tags: CH-GR 
Time: 8:00
Height gain: 1500 m 4920 ft.
Height loss: 1500 m 4920 ft.

The Arosa-Lenzerheide area is not supposed to be a quiet place in winter. However, the Tschiertschen ski area was still closed due to lack of snow and Arosa-Lenzerheide was also struggling to get the winter season going. We took advantage of the unusual quiet by doing a snow shoe hike onto the Parpaner Schwarzhorn, and indeed we didn't see a single living soul all day.

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From the terminal bus stop in Tschiertschen, we hike up towards Furgglis and Alp Farur. A little below Alp Farur we put on our snow shoes, because there's still quite some snow in the shadowy Alpbach valley up to the Obersäss cabin, where we finally reach the sunshine.

The first steeper passage climbs past a rock outcrop at 2260-2280m south of Obersäss. We pass the outcrop on the west side, though the summer hiking path passes it on the eastern side. Reaching P. 2447, fabulous views open up over Lenzerheide and the whole of western Graubünden. The final ascent from here onto the Parpaner Schwarzhorn is also the steepest part of the route. We roughly follow the summer hiking path: first along the west ridge, then into the south-west face and finally over the (almost snow-free) south ridge.

Though the Parpaner Schwarzhorn is by no means the highest summit in the area, the panorama stretches over almost all of Graubünden and includes countless 3000er summits.

On descent, we attempt the ridge over the Öfen towards Stelli and Gürgaletsch. After mastering a first steeper passage on descent from the picturesque P. 2417, we have to abort our ridge traverse at P. 2389. The summer path descends down the north-east face, but the path is completely hidden under a steep snow slope. We switch from snow shoes to crampons and ice axe, but even so, both of our attempts to find a way down get too steep for comfort. We backtrack a little and then find a gentle way down into the (once again shadowy) Alpbach valley and further down to Tschiertschen.

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Climbing the Parpaner Schwarzhorn from Tschiertschen involves a long, shadowy approach and at least 1350 metres of ascent, a considerable amount in the snow. On the other hand, I really liked the peace and quiet than we found at this time of year, not to mention the fabulous views in the upper part of the route.

Hike partners: madu, Stijn


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