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Fruttstägä via ferrata + Chaiserstock

Published by Stijn , 18 July 2016, 21h24.

Region: World » Switzerland » Uri
Date of the hike:16 July 2016
Hiking grading: T4+ - High-level Alpine hike
Climbing grading: I (UIAA Grading System)
Via ferrata grading: D-
Geo-Tags: CH-SZ   CH-UR 
Time: 7:15
Height gain: 1050 m 3444 ft.
Height loss: 950 m 3116 ft.

The Fruttstägä via ferrata is two years old but is yet to see it's first Hikr ascent. It's a short route that can be done in half a day, or it can be the start of a longer tour in the Chaiserstock massif. We go for the second option.

From Biel/Kinzig, signposts show the way to the start of the Fruttstägä via ferrata (K4-). The via ferrata runs just west of the Fruttstägä alpine hiking path. The route is quite short and there are other rock faces around that might have offered a more impressive line for the via ferrata. Still, there are some fun elements, most notably the exposed bench in the middle of the headwall. The crux is right at start of the route, with one rather technical diagonal move and a short, slightly overhanging section. Later on, the vertical headwall is more exposed, but with a generous quantity of iron rungs. After the log book and donation box, there is an optional rope bridge to finish things off.

An astonishing amount of fresh snow is still lying above the Fruttstägä. It's an incredible touch of winter in the middle of July. The white coating over the whole landscape makes the walls of Rossstock, Fulen and Chaiserstock stand out even more impressively than usual. We break a trail to the Schäferhütte and then to the Liderner Planggeli (T4). The steep ascent to the saddle is a little uncomfortable through the deep snow - an ice axe would have been nice. Just before the saddle, we exchange a few words with a hiker coming down, who turns out to be Hikr's parinacota, who has just come down from the Chaiserstock.

We are still headed for the Chaiserstock (T4+, I) ourselves. The ascent begins in earnest just below the Chaisertor. Several people have passed here by now, so there is not too much snow left on the route, though it's still rather slippery. At the Chaisertor, the route drops down briefly on the northern side of the mountain. Fixed cables subsequently make things easier as the route rejoins the ridge. A chain is fixed along a steep 5m step. Above the step, the remaining 100m of ascent are over a wider slope with some 20cm of snow. It's not as steep as the Liderner Planggeli, but an uncontrolled slip would not end well, so an ice axe would not have been out of place here either.

The descent is along the same route down to the Chaisertor. Where possible, we secure ourselves with the via ferrata equipment - since we have it with us, we might as well use it for extra safety. The remaining hike down to the Lidernenhütte takes its time in through the wet snow. At the Seelenen, we finally step back into a summer landscape. Above the Lidernenhütte, we almost end up on the path towards the Spilauer See, before realizing our mistake and crossing back over towards the cable car at Gitschen. There was no time for a beer, since we have to catch the bus at Riemenstalden Chäppeliberg. A 45 minute wait for the train in Sisikon gives up plenty of time to enjoy a well-deserved beer after all.

(NB: without snow, you should be able to do the route about one hour faster without much effort, i.e. in about 6h15.)

Hike partners: Stijn

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Comments (1)

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gbal says:
Sent 19 July 2016, 19h20
It seems a demanding tour complicated by the snow and the via ferrata is not easy at all.

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