Cheselenflue Rock Climbing
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|Shared By:||Colin Winter on Oct 18, 2008|
|Admins:||Dan Flynn, Mark P.|
At Cheselen, the abseils may get your adrenalin flowing more than the climbing.
The approach is 30 minutes, less if you hustle... And its downhill. The rock is a very solid limestone, and the bolting is absolutely perfect.
As a result, however, one is seldom alone. On weekdays one will typically have the pick of the litter, but on weekends, if you are fixed on a specific route, you may have to get in line, and almost certainly will either have somebody above or below you en route. This is of special relevance in the meteorit sector. Although the climbing terrain itself is very solid, there are intermittent bands/ledges along the way that accumulate loose stuff. When abseiling off the wall, despite all precautions, stuff invariably comes down when the ropes are pulled. Accordingly, it is really important to have a helmet on, be alert when others are above you, and be super cautious when you are abseiling and other folks are below.
The exposure is east/southeast. Although in the mountains, it is at a relatively low altitude (around 1500 meters above sea level), and can get quite warm around noon on a sunny day in the summer.
There are two primary sectors to the area, with routes ranging from 180 meters to 200+ meters in length. To the left of a big recess in the wall is the "meteorit" sector, a large, grey vertical slab of rock with technical face climbing. Just to the right of the big cave is the "chaltbach" sector, offering steep, exposed climbing on yellow/orange rock. In total, there are over a dozen routes at Cheselen. For more information and topos for most of the routes, look to the Swiss guidebook "Schweiz - Plaisor Ost".
For all routes in both sectors, descent is by abseil, generally back down the route. A special note to the abseils in the chaltbach sector: as the routes are overhanging and extend out over the big recess, the abseils are a bit unique. Fixed ropes are connected between the abseil anchors, and you need to clip into them when you leave an abseil anchor, so you can pull yourself into the wall to reach the next anchor. If you are not accustomed to such shenanigans, it can be a bit unnerving, hanging in space, 20 to 30 meters away from the rock. Just make sure you don't lose that fix rope, and make absolutely sure that you have a prusik or some other blocking device so you can use both hands to pull yourself in. Reactions vary, but if your sphincter is of the type that releases instead of constricting, no worries, there's a creek on the way back to the carpark you can use to dispose of all evidence.
Food, drink and accomodation can be found up at the Melchsee-Frutt resort, or down in the Melchtal valley.
To get to Cheselenflue, follow the one-way road leading up from the end of the Melchtal valley to the Melchsee-Frutt resort. Around 2/3 of the way up the road, when you are at an altitude slightly higher than the area, you will see a small shack on the right side of the road, with a small cable car for transporting materials. Park here, and follow the only trail around, which takes you downhill for a bit, then through a pasture. This trail connects with a large, proper hiking trail. Follow it downhill for a few hundred meters to the first big bend. At the bend, a small trail breaks off, up through the bushes, and will take you the rest of the way there.
Note that the one-way road is open for uphill traffic on even hours, and downhill traffic on odd hours. In the summer, particularly on weekends, you may have to pay a toll to drive up.
Classic Climbing Routes at Cheselenflue
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