Il Cattivo, Il Buono e ...

Published by Grossvater , 22 October 2019, 03h34.

Region: World » Switzerland » Schwyz
Date of the hike:12 October 2019
Hiking grading: T5 - Challenging High-level Alpine hike
Climbing grading: II (UIAA Grading System)
Geo-Tags: CH-GL   CH-SZ   Glärnischgruppe 
Time: 10:00
Height gain: 900 m 2952 ft.
Height loss: 1500 m 4920 ft.
Access to start point:Mit der Standseilbahn von Linthal nach Braunwald, dann mit der Kombibahn bis Gumen.
Access to end point:Standseilbahn von Braunwald nach Linthal.

TL;DR: once upon a time I tried to scramble upon the Bad, but he said no, hence I turned to the Good, and she said yes :)

Started from Gumen at about 9.30 -- first mistake of the day: I had misunderstood that the first train from Linthal to Braunwald would be at 8.30 and no, it was the first Kombibahn Braunwald-Gumen at 8.30 (first Standseilbahn from Linthal to Braunwald is at 5.20), so I could have started one hour earlier. I quickly get to Bützi (10.00), then to Ober Boden (2262 m), from where I hike up more or less erratically towards the Schäfer Hütte (11:00), across the lunar rock landscape south-east of the Fulenplänggeli.

Until that far I had managed to avoid most of the increasingly present snow patches, however from that point onwards most of the land was covered under a layer of fresh snow, initially 30-50 cm, then at times I would sink into it until my thighs -- second mistake of the day: I had underestimated the potential for presence of snow and had brought no gaiters along (double shame on me). Therefore, upon reaching the morenic hill (2550m) facing the Bös Fulen, I unsheathed crampons & picket and down I went onto the glacier which, like the entire Fulenplänggeli, was covered in 50cm to 1m of fresh snow. There was nobody in the whole area, the only noise to be heard was that of a thousand mini-waterfalls dripping down from the walls of the Bös Fulen.

My original intention was to climb to the Bös Fulen via the "Schuttband", see e.g.

However, the ramp leading to the band was covered in a thick, thigh-high layer of fresh melting snow, under which the rocks were soaked and extremely slippery, I could not even maintain grip with the crampons in those circumstances, snowshoes would have been a more effective option. I reckoned that insisting would put my life at risk (and uselessly at that), therefore I turned back (2640m, 12.10), with great disappointment :)

"It's too early to go back", so "what can I do now"? Well the Bad told me no, hence I turned to the Good. I started descending on the Fulenplänggeli, parallel to the ridge between the Bös and the Guet Fulen (Grisset). The south-west flanks of this ridge were also covered by large patches of fresh melting snow, so I reckoned that they would also be too risky/slippery. The rock ridge descending southward from the Grisset also seemed invalicable, so the only option to climb the Grisset would appear to descend until the Grissetenchranz (P.2312m), but of course I was too lazy to "lose" as many as 200m height?? :) so I kept looking for a miracle and then a miracle showed up :)

Standing on the edge of the Fulenplänggeli, I saw a coloir across the south rocky band of the Grisset and I guessed that it would end up at 2600m, crossing the whole rocky band onto the south flank of the Grisset. And so it did :) The path did not seem overly exposed to me, however the circumstances (fresh/melting snow hanging on steep slopes, with grass and debris on the bottom) required focus and care. I took the right, rocky side of the colouir. After a short suspence, there I was on the south, debris-covered flank of the Grisset. From there to the top (2700m) it was relatively easy, the solid rock near the top required some "hands-out-of-the-pockets".

The view from the top was of course magnificent
. I was particularly impressed by rock and grass spiral-like patterns just south of the Pfannenstock (Grüenen Blätz), and by the immense Karst landscapes across the Chilchbüelen and the Charetalp.

From the top (2732m) to about 2600m, most of the south flank of the Grisset was covered by thigh-deep patches of fresh melting snow on top of rocks, debris, and/or older more compact snow. This part of the descent required great care. I felt safe again once I was below 2600m, and the steepest tract was over. I headed soutwhard towards the Grissetenchranz, then at about 2350m I turned eastward across the Karstland, in direction of Bützi. By the time I got to Bützi, the last Gondel had departed from Gumen (17.30), so I had to walk down to Braunwald :) And thank Heaven the Standseilbahn to Linthal was still open when I got there at 19.30 :)

Hike partners: Grossvater

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