Type: Trad, Sport, 1150 ft, 11 pitches, Grade III
FA: 1960 Ruedi + Werner Vieli
Page Views: 2,639 total · 31/month
Shared By: Dan Flynn on Dec 12, 2011
Admins: Dan Flynn, Mark P.

You & This Route

5 Opinions

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A very fine route up a beckoning ridge of rock. Fantastic granite ridge climbing, with full-value exposure on the upper pitches. Retreat back down the ridge would be very tedious.

This description follows the 'directissima' start from the northern-most tip of the ridge, marked as route 142 in the posted topo. Pitches are also described as they made the most sense to us, linking a few easy traverses on flat ground and building belays at logical spots. Start at 'Grat 5c' carved into the stone!

P1 - 5c. Layback and then across bolted slab. Head up the short chimmney and either belay on top of the chimmney or walk across grassy patch to the obvious corner.

P2 - 5c? - Two options, left and right crack. Right crack is half picture-perfect 5.9 crack climbing, half 5.10 offwidth at the top. I would go left next time!

P3 - 5c - Original route starts at a cairn down and to the left. Direct route (not shown in topo here) goes up right. Scurry up some slabs to large corner, go in and make some traversing moves up to a chimney.

P4 - 4c. Now joins original route. Grovel elegantly up a chimney, walk right, head up corner.

P5 - 4b. More chimney work, and now head around to exposed western side of the ridge.

P4 - 2a. Traverse across a flat table, with nothing but air on both sides! Would for sure be an easy stroll without snow/ice on the table…

P5 - 5b. Sidepull/mantle/thug up some blocky holds.

P6 - 4a. Walk across the ridge, then follow the pitons and bolts up the face. Note: at the ledge, can exit left to reach the abseil stands for Nanouk and Medea.

P7 - 5b - Headwall to the top!

Descent is equipped for a single 50m rope… if you don't mind doing 10 rappels. Quite fast with 2 x 50 or longer. Have to scamper 20 min across talus field at the bottom to return to packs.

Additional information about the route and area over on SummitPost.


All bolted, but also nearly all easily protectable on gear: bring some wide stuff (up to 4").
Colin Winter  
Can highly recommend the intro pitch that we followed (there are many options) - begins on the wall left of the tin containing the ascent log, with a "6b" etched in stone at the base of a prominent crack. There are two bolted lines taking off at this point, one following a smaller crack straight up, and the other following a somewhat wider crack that veers a bit more to the right. We took the latter, which goes at around 5c and was a jam fest.

With 2x60m ropes, the rap off the east side was a very quick affair (4x, straight down). Jul 24, 2012
David A
Boulder, CO
David A   Boulder, CO
This is a really good route, and a fine intro into the longer alpine rock climbs found all over CH. We did it 13 pitches, but could be lead in considerably less, with some simuling. FWIW, the route does not top out on the actual summit of Zerfreilahorn. If you want to get to the actual summit, be prepared to slog over 3rd class for a while once the route tops out. Jan 11, 2013
john parks  
Missed the Blue/White marker showing the climber's path to the route, so generally followed other tracks to the obvious start. The first 5c pitch was great. Tried the left crack on the second. Wider than my fists, so went back right. Bottom portion was great, OW was rough, but very well bolted. No need for a rack as the entire route is bolted, even the cracks on the first two pitches. 7ish pitches w/ some simuling. Rope drag was bad on the flat/traversing pitches, though. Sep 23, 2015