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Areas in Wendenstöcke

Pfaffenhut 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Reissend Nollen 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Vorbau 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Elevation: 5,282 ft
GPS: 46.753, 8.397 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 1,451 total, 49/month
Shared By: Monty on Jul 7, 2015
Admins: Dan Flynn
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Description

To sum it up, Wendenstöcke is the premier alpine “sport climbing” destination in Switzerland. Its reputation of being extreme is exemplified by the brutally steep approach (2-3 hours), the spacing of the hardware, and the abundance of thread-throughs. With this all being said, it is simply brilliant!

Climbing on these big walls is truly special. Being amongst the high mountains and glaciers, with the echoing cowbells in the green valley below is magnificent. The exposure you get on these walls is unparalleled. Not to be missed.

Climbing and Gear:
The walls are south facing and get lots of sun, but even the warmest days are accompanied by a pleasant cooling breeze. The best rock at Wenden is of the dark blue, holy shit variety of limestone. The climbing varies from slabs, to technical face mixed with steep headwalls roofs and the occasional crack. The routes are predominantly bolted, but a very light rack can be helpful as well as an assorted bag of tricks.

Being that the only descent is by rappel, 2 ropes are required to climb at Wenden. We climbed with a tag line and a small pack, which was nice because we could always haul the pack and never be weighted down. It is recommended to bring 8 slings, 4 draws, a small rack, and extra cordage to leave at anchors or to replace deteriorating thread-throughs. Also, Kaspar Ochsner must have been a very tall man, as some of his bolts are just out of reach of good stances (and I’m 6’2”!). We used a “cheater draw” multiple times and were very happy to have it.

If you are visiting in the early summer, consider bringing some lightweight crampons and an ice axe. We were fine without in early July, but we did have to descend quite a ways to bypass a snowfield on the approach to Pfaffenhut.

For topos and more information on climbing at Wenden, refer to the excellent extremWEST guidebook and the website obsig.ch.

Weather:
Weather is a very important thing to consider when climbing at Wenden. The area is steep, very exposed, and believe me when I say, it’s the last place you want to be caught in a storm. Don’t put yourself in that position. The climbing season starts in June and runs through September, though the snowfields may be problematic in June. In the early summer, the walls are often enveloped by clouds which can be very disorienting along steep descent. We visited in early July and had great weather, but it sounds like we got lucky.

The best location to check weather for Wenden is Gadmen, but keep in mind it will be several degrees cooler up on the walls. We climbed on a day that was 26° C in Gadmen and were comfortable on the wall in t-shirts. The website yr.no seemed to be very accurate for weather forecasts in Wenden and other parts of Europe.

If the weather does keep you from climbing the big walls, there are a few crags nearby that are fairly weatherproof. Lammi, just outside of Meiringen provides a nice shady workout in the heat/storms.

Groceries/Climbing Shop:
There is a small market near the camping in Gadmen, but for any major stocking up, it is best to drive 20 minutes to the Coop in Meiringen. Propane canisters can also be found at the Poloux in Meiringen, as well as any climbing gear needed.

Camping:
Rogue tent camping is frowned upon in Switzerland, though if you have a campervan or a vehicle you can sleep in, it is possible to camp in the parking area for Wenden. Otherwise, there is a great campground 7 minutes away in Obermaad called Camping Gadmen. They have nice showers, paid laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi and a pizzeria that is quite delicious. For a small car, tent and 2 people it averaged around 25 CHF a night. For more info check:

Bivying Opportunities:
Being that the approaches are long, and the routes are even longer, there are a few great bivying opportunities to increase your odds of sending. When we visited, there were two, fully equipped caves that had stoves, sleeping bags, some food, fuel, books, etc. There is one at the base of Excalibur, and another at the base of Reissend Nollen.
Fee for road usage. Details

Getting There

Find your way to Gadmen then continue east past the camping in Obermaad until you see a small concrete road heading uphill to the walls on the left (north). A large parking area exists just before the small cattle farm of Wendenalp.

IMPORTANT! Pay the 10 CHF fee (Taxe) with two 5CHF coins. The ticket is good for 24 hours and shows the cattle ranchers that you respect their willingness to allow climbing access to this beautiful place. Don’t screw it up!

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Monty
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
Words and pictures do not do these walls justice. Truly spectacular and one of the most amazing places I've ever climbed. Aug 7, 2015

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