The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Kandersteg, Switzerland

A short topo to some of the icefalls in Kandersteg.

Kandersteg in all it's Glory.

Kandersteg's such a fantastic & beautiful place and one of my favourite venues for icefall climbing.
Kandersteg itself is very picturesque and superbly placed at the head of the valley with easy access either by car or train.

It's great climbing when it's in condition and also a safer haven during a period of heavy snow as a lot of routes are sheltered from avalanche, although for many of the routes you need to be climbing well.

Kandersteg isn't a high venue (around 1000m in altitude) so be careful when the temperatures rise - during  these warmer periods you'll get falling ice fringes and stalactites around the edges of the icefalls higher up and when warmer still the steep pillars will detached.

Also be aware of climbers high up on routes knocking ice down especially when there is little or no snow around cushioning any falling ice, as it will bounce all the way to the bottom.

The picture show's some of the classic lines starting from left to right -
Area - Kandersteg Staubbach
A – Blue Magic V+ 180m
Area - Kandersteg Oeschinenwald
B – Mehr Power durch sportliche Aufkleber VI  50m
C – Baretritt V+ 70m
D – Namenlos IV+ 165m
E – Namenlos IV 50m
F – Reise Integral VI 80m
G – Grimm IV 50m
H  - Haizahne V+/VI- 120m
I – Rattenpissoir/Groll V+ 170m
J – Arbonium IV+/V- 260m
H – Pingu V+ 200m

Area Staubbach with the classic Raubazhl on the left & Blue Magic on the right

Looking straight up at the classic Raubazhl

Technical and very featured climbing on Raubazhl grade VI

High on the second pitch of Raubazhl

The line of the beautiful Blue Magic

Tim seconding the steep third pitch on Blue Magic

Looking straight up at Blue Magic after some fantastic climbing on a great route

Mehr Power unformed on the left and Baretritt on the right

Me enjoying the steep first pitch on the fantastic Baretritt

Looking up at Namenlos after climbing the route which is on of the best grade IV's in the area

Looking back at the steep column of Reise Integral on the left & Grimm/Haizahne on the right

Me leading the steep freestanding column of Reise Integral

Treading carefully on the fragile column of Reise Integral

Looking back across at Grimm/Haizahne

Colin leading Grimm with the steep pitches of Haizahne looming above

Me leading the first pitch of Rattenpissoir

Climbing the steep pillar which is the second pitch of Rattenpissoir

High on the second pitch of Rattenpissoir

The line of the classic & must do Arbonium grade IV+/V

Tim enjoying the first pitch of Arbonium

Colin leading the last pitch of Arbonium

The top pitches of Arbonium on the left and great climbing on Pingu, on the right.
Colin & I climbed the central rarely formed line which was awesome. 

A very happy Colin topping out on the rarely formed steep central line left of Pingu

Looking down at Kandersteg from one of the icefalls

I've just mentioned some of the great routes to climb in Kandersteg with many more only a short drive away and to many to list here.

So go explore for yourself, you'll have an absolutly fantastic time, just make sure it's cold enough.



  1. Bonjour
    Quelles sont les conditions à Kandersteg pour Pingu et rattenpissoir ?