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Routes in Riffelhorn

Egg S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Thermometeregg S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Unknown 5.4 S 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
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Type: Sport, Alpine, 600 ft, 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Martin Lehner, Andreas Perren 2000
Page Views: 433 total · 18/month
Shared By: JJ Furman on Jul 5, 2016
Admins: Dan Flynn

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Description [Suggest Change]

This is the furthest climb on the south face of the Riffelhorn. 6 pitches of relatively easy but great climbing on hard gneiss. Stunning views of the Matterhorn, Gorner Glacier, and numerous other peaks. Handholds are consistently bomber (except perhaps the last pitch) but the rock itself is somewhat slippery. All pitches felt rather runout, definitely not the typical "plaisir" bolting style of Switzerland. Indeed, route finding was tricky, giving this route a nice Alpine feel.

P1 - 4b, short warmup pitch (~25m). Unclear why this is 4b.
P2 - 3b, longer, fun (~40m)
P3 - 4a, short, tricky, and exposed traverse. 3 bolts
P4 - 3c, easy ladder climb
P5 - 4b, vertical crack / lieback with nice feet. But just 3 bolts (that I found).
P6 - 4a, corner, then slab. Tricky route finding as first bolts are high. Crux, despite grade. The numerous stuck nuts and cams left behind are evidence.

To find final anchor, don't go straight for the peak, but instead look right around a corner.

Location [Suggest Change]

The approach was a bigger challenge than the climbing (especially with small kids) as this is the furthest climb from the train station. Relatively sketchy traverses on smoothly polished gneiss surfaces with few handholds. To improve safety there are large nails which you can drape a travel rope over (see photos), as well as a few bolts.

To get to this climb you will be following a loose trail clockwise around the Riffelhorn, looking for blue signs that mark the path. Topos in Filidor Plaisir West are illustrative, but you might still want some specifics:

1st Sign: "Routen Riffel Sud" 45.98140 N, 7.76262 E
Second to last: "Egg ^ Kante >" 45.98057 N, 7.75883 E

With those 2 you should be able to use the Plaisir map to find your way.

Descent east off the peak involved 3 vertical rappels, all with a single 60m rope. ~15m, ~25m, ~10m.

Protection [Suggest Change]

We took 10 draws + 2 alpine draws for traverse protection of multiple followers. If I did it again I would bring a few small cams (BD 0.4-1) since most pitches were runout. Lots of opportunities to put pro.

All anchors (except the top) had chains linking the bolts. The chains looked thin for rapping, but ok. All belay stations were comfortable and roomy enough for 4 (though top of pitch 3 was tight).

PG13 rating if you use draws alone.
Dan Flynn   MA  
Thanks for adding this climb, good to showcase the diversity of routes in Switz -- and pretty cool you took the whole family up! Jul 20, 2016

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