Last week I enjoyed the rope climb Kupfersteig at Hüttenschlag/Großarltal. It was strenuous at the one hand but at the other hand it was a great feeling to have coped with it. If I would have informed myself thoroughly from profound sources before, I would surely not have done it.
Afterwards I read the description which is as follows: another masterpiece by Richard Franzl for the climb professionals, which requires courage, a profound climb technique and long-lasting power! Not recommended for beginners. At many parts difficulties of category D and D/E – a very exhausting rope climb comparable with a rope climb of category E!
Thanks to the climb guide Sebastian (ask me for his contact data!) who gave me the courage to hold on and gave me hints how to cope with the difficulties I was able to overcome the rope climb and was even having fun all the while!
We needed a bit more than one hour all in all, but it seems to be very okay – not regarding the 11 minutes which it takes the climb guide or his son. The following day for example the mountain emergency had to pick one person out of the rope climb, who was completely exhausted.
Here is the short description of the Kupfersteig rope climb from the internet: across the entering panel (B and B/C) turn to the big rope climb toward the glacier. Then upwards at the left side of a jut-out roof (C and C/D) and zigzag over beautiful steep panels until reaching a vertical wall which is the key place (D/E, a grasp bow). After a earthy zone of grass the second key place follows (D/E, very steep and exhausting, two grasp bows). Afterwards a little less steep across panels (C to D) turn to the left and within a traverse (B to C) turn to a partly jut-out very prominent pillar (C/D and D) with a final traverse, over which you reach at the rope bridge. Thereafter you may cross
the short exit pillar ( C ) up to the view pulpit (grid).
Let me complete this as follows: The second key place can be by-passed meanwhile with an alternative way of level C/D (but only under dry weather-conditions). The path is fixed with ropes everywhere, but I would partly prefer shorter distances between the ropes. I also have to advise you to wear professional climb shoes. I was there only with trekking shoes and I often needed to have more grip at the rock! It will also be helpful for you to have a spring-hook in spare.
Finally let me give you more information about me and my preparation, which might help you to estimate much better how difficult it could be for you: since about 6 month I am indoor climbing and reached there at level 5 which is actually not a very professional one. I used to go jogging four one hour regularly and enjoy two or three times per year mountain excursions in the Alps or at volcanoes. From time to time I do pull-ups and push-ups at home. I am father of three little children. Taking everything into consideration it is a great experience to me and motivating to train much more in order to be able to cope with similar or more difficult ascents e.g. Königsjodler, Sky Walk!
I used all my possible spare time at the weekend to make a tour with lodging-place at the Engadin.
Day 1: Departure after delay by 02:30 Friday night with the CNL, arrival 06:54 at Basel, meeting with a friend and continuing to go to Scuol-Tarasp by SBB, arrival 12:15 a. m. in the bright sunshine.
Taking coffee quickly, then starting the ascension to Chamonna lodging-place (about 1,100 from 2,500 metres) – always steep at the same level, 3.75 hours of convenient walking, sometimes some drizzle rain, right at the twilight the sun came out again. On the way we saw marmot and chamois and arrived at the lodging-place by 17:30. Actually we thought, that we would have the reserved lodging-place almost on our own. But far from that: it was completely booked with others. In consequence we had to sleep one against the other like the fishes in the tin. Three sleeping-places had to be shared by four people. I went out for a short time and saw some ibexes which I snapped a few times and by 18:30 we took supper with soup, lasagne and panna cotta, then we were chatting, drinking a lot and turning of the light by 21:45. Despite of the tight accommodation and three times going out and returning immediately 🙂 the night was calm and I slept well.
Day 2: We took breakfast by 06:30 right after a short check of the weather-conditions: no clouds,that meant we would start our activities right after taking muesli and bread. It’s a great experience to wake up, to step outside, to be already in the mountains and ready to start the tour immediately. A magnificent tour. The first light of the day covering the mountain tops, fighting ibexes, snow hens while we ascended up to some more than 3,000 metres.
The sun shone brightly and we had a panorama view over the valley, towards the tops of big mountains, onto a rocky rubble plateau, just as if we were at another planet, far away from any civilisation. What a wonderful way of recreation! We left out the Piz Lischana and preferred to walk over rubble to the lake Lajet da Lischana. That deep blue lake reflecting the mountain top was the perfect place for a cosy break.
The descending afterwards was steep and adventurous, lots of rubble, very slippery. The way was partly fixed with chains, (walking-) sticks and gloves were a must. Short after 13:00 we arrived at S’carl. Cleaning and refreshing the body at a well, drinking coffee, taking the post-bus to Scuol, going by SBB to Basel, buying chocolate and returning back home by ICE. Arrival on Sunday evening short after 22:00 – it was a great tour!
When I wanted to find out about possible tours in the Kleinwalsertal I became interested in e.g. the offer about rope climbing from the local climbing school. We started indoor-climbing half a year ago, that’s why I immediately got interested. In the folder they wrote that it’s meant for ambitious and experienced people and at the internet site alpintouren.com they wrote that the Zweiländer sports rope climb were the most demanding rope climb ground within the Allgäuer Alpen. Even if the wall needed “only” to be traversed, the climbing sometimes is very much brushing aside and therefore a strong biceps is required. – I see. – Before I booked it I preferred to ask at the climbing school. But they said, that it should be no problem for me.
The first attempt failed due to bad weather-conditions (a thunderstorm with hail), the second attempt was successful and the weather was excellent. But I have to admit, that I was uncertain, whether it would turn out to be okay for me, what I initiated here. Then at rope climb category D, I had to fight, but I was victorious again – thanks to first of all the great mountain-guide and secondly the climb group being homogeneous. Also the key difficulties were possible for me and it was simply a great experience to climb straight to the rock with a limited risk which one could count on. I surely will do it again! It took us not more than two hours and we could ascend down the Walsersteig from where we had great views!
The short description at the internet site via-ferrata.de describes it as follows: The entrance to the climb rope 2-Länder starts moderate over big blocks of rock. It isn’t very difficult to gain height (at most level C) before one reaches at the traverses brushing aside (D). An even a ramp is followed by a steep wall which involves much power to be overcome. One has to cope with a cable bridge and a few more upward circles and traverses and soon you can see the cross on the top of the pulpit wall. Remark: We had a spring-hook in spare with us which is surely advisable. The above mentioned steep wall is as long as four ropes, but crampons are adjusted there. That’s why from my point of view it is not as difficult to manage or as much consuming power as it had been described!