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Wageten + Chöpfenberg east ridge

Published by Stijn , 22 December 2016, 19h43.

Region: World » Switzerland » Glarus
Date of the hike:18 December 2016
Hiking grading: T5+ - Challenging High-level Alpine hike
Climbing grading: II (UIAA Grading System)
Geo-Tags: CH-GL   CH-SZ   Oberseegruppe 
Time: 5:45
Height gain: 950 m 3116 ft.
Height loss: 950 m 3116 ft.

The alpine hiking routes on Wageten, Brüggler and Chöpfenberg are rather popular and well-documented on Hikr. Therefore, this report mostly exists because of the photos, that showcase a fantastic atmosphere, with a mix of light clouds and sunshine. Moreover, we could witness a fascinating "inversion" of the snow line, with a white dusting (probably rime rather than snow) on the trees low down in the foggy valleys, while autumnal gold-brown dominated in the mountains.

A white-red-white marked hiking path passes just south of the Wageten ridge. From here, the normal route onto the summit is clearly marked with a blue arrow. The ascent loops around the west and north of the summit, before some brief scrambling leads to the summit cross. (T4, I)

We take the southern route past the Brüggler. Often there is a visible path, and when in doubt, it's usually best to stay as close to the foot of the south face as possible. There's quite a lot of climbing going on the many routes of the Brüggler south face.

We then head straight for the Chöpfenberg east ridge, which is not to be underestimated in difficulty. The "T4" given by the SAC Alpinwandern/Gipfelziele guidebook is either a typo or a grave misjudgement. T5+ and II is more appropriate. There are two cruxes, which almost offer a bit of T6-feeling, though they are passed quickly. The first crux is a non-trivial down-climb (see also Schlomsch' photo). The second crux occurs where the ridge almost becomes knife-edge for a couple of metres. Here, the ridge can be "ridden", but a probably more elegant solution is to use a remarkable slanted rock ledge (about 10cm wide) on the southern side (see also Daenu's photo). To me, both of these cruxes felt harder than they looked on photo. Being a bit taller is an advantage. Apart from these two points, the east ridge is never easy, but in dry conditions, the scrambling and steep Schrofen are generally very enjoyable. Close two the summit, there are even some fixed cables (though not entirely trustworthy...).

We descend from the Chöpfenberg via the normal route (blue markings, topo by Schlomsch) towards the south-east. There are some more fixed cables here, ensuring that the difficulties don't exceed T4. At the 1750m contour, the most serious part of the route is over, though if you stop paying attention, then you are still likely to land on your ass on the steep grass of Marchegg :).

Hike partners: Stijn

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