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GrossglocknerGPS Northwest ridge

The walking part of the ascent is identical to Stuedelgrat. From Stuedelhuette we ascend steeply towards glacier Teischnitzkees. The gradient relieves after some time and we can see the whole ascent route and Northwest ridge. We go as high as possible and than step on the glacier (from Stuedlhuette 1 km, 25 minutes, 3040 m). Protection with rope due to crevasses may be necessary. We continue along Luisenkopf and Luisenscharte to the branch to the Stuedlgrat (2,2 km, 1:15, 3300 m). We still go parallel to the Stuedlgrat and turn to the beginning of the Y-gully as late (=high) as possible. This way we avoid the highest crevasse on Teischnitzkees. The last 200 meters below Bergschrund is pure travers, without rising. After short steeper slope we reach the Bergschrund (2,6 km, 1:45, 3350 m, Image 2, Image 3, Image 5).


The Bergschrund may be difficult to cross. It will be most likely possible in the point where it is sealed with snow falling from I or Y-gully (Image 3). Y-gully, officially called South gully (Suedrinne), is firn of 40-50 deg, distance 250 metres. The beginning - "neck" (Image 3) - is said to be sometimes without snow. Than it is less convenient to cross (protection...). Above the neck we have option to continue vertically to the Untere Glocknerscharte (UGS) or bypass Lower NW Ridge over right arm of the Y-gully (our previous experience). In our experience (6 a.m., end of August) the firn was hard. We did not use protection but it was close to our limit (one ice-axe, summer boots, old crampoons,..). Steeper parts of the slope are around the neck and than below the UGS - there was also ice. Direct to the right indentation of USG (Image 3) because there is the first bolt. we were here the day before during the day and saw several stones sponteously falling in the Y-gully (helmet). Time from Stuedlhutte 2:30, elevation 3598 m. Now it is possible to take off crampoons and rearm to rock climbing.


The beginning is one easy pitch (50 m rope) to small tower with 10 m rappelling. There was no bolt but fixed sling with side protection with piton for rappelling. Stand on sling after rappelling. Than there is one easy pitch to the one of key spots of the NW Ridge. It is five meter-high vertical wall (IV-). There is bolt at its bottom. Both left and right edges of the wall are vertical at the beginning and than they slightly convergate. We climbed 2 meter in the middle (friend) and than to the right edge. Next bolt immediately after the spot.


Both small tower and difficult wall is possible to see from a distance as shapes in the ridge.

Now about 2 pitches to the base of Teufelshorn (III-, III+). Somewhere in the middle is short (3 m) wall with bolt and one more difficult step. The ridge is than very exposed. There is bolt about 10 meters prior to Teufelshorn and than another one directly above the indentation prior Teufelshorn. Fixed sling with knotes facilitates descend to the indentation (4 m). Sling is however short and onw unconfortable step is required. Bolt in indentation.




1. over the summit of Teufelshorn


There are two pitches to the summit of Teufelshorn. The guide recommends to keep to the right where rock is more solid and in upper part to go through the one or two chimneys. Chimney and ribs on the west side are running from the right down to the left up. The first pitch is easy - I climbed it almost without protection. Stand in slings. I missed however one bolt - our friends used it (it was on balcony with snow). The second pitch is more difficult. It ends on the west summit of Teufelshorn - we had there stand in slings. The rappelling is on the east summit - 8 meters of easy but very exposed climbing (5:30 from Stuedlhuette, 3680 m).


Rappelling consists of bolt and steel rope with carabiner. After 20 meters of overhanged rappelling is stand with two bolt, one of them has carabiner. With longer rope it is possible to continue to rappell. About 10-15 meters from the base of the Teufelshorn is another bolt. It requires about 45 m of rope (we had 2x50 m twins). We pulled down the rope without problem.


2. travers of Teufelshorn from the south. Over multiple ribs. (End-Peterka)


End of variations


We continued on the boundary between rock and snow to the saddle between Teufelshorn and Glocknerhorn. (Remark - this is snow of the right arm of the Y-gully and it is possible to return from here to Teischnitzkees - proven, Image 3).


We did not stop in the saddle (no bolt) and continued to the summit of Glocknerhorn. Glockner has almost the same height as Teufelshorn and its west face has the same structure - ribs and chimneys running upwards left. The first pitch was easy - without protection. Bolt and stand on the balcony with snow in the chimney. Than we saw piton higher left in our chimney and climbed that direction. It might have been mistake. The piton was loose. It was however not impossible to pull it out and maybe it was OK for pulling downwards. Than follows more easy climbing to the summit. This second pitch has about 15-20 meters, stand in slings (6:30 from Stuedelhuette, 3783 m). The summit of Glocknerhorn is ideal rest place.


(Note - it is also possible to travers Glocknerhorn from the south but it is not recommended for bigger difficulties - End-Peterka.)

There is about 40 meter walking down to the snow of Groegerschneide. In Groegerschneide we walk easily 100 m along the angular horizontal firn ridge (visible from satellite, Image 3, Image 4). The last 30 meters of firn are steep. In fact, it is right side of the small rib connecting to the NW ridge from north. We had stand at the big stone laying on the scree next to the firn edge. The climbing was unpleasant - hard firn and big exposition. We turned right to the rock before the end of snow. Self-made stand.


From now it is only rock climbing to the summit of GrossglocknerGPS. The direct distance from here to the summit is only 180 meters. Now we made two full-rope pitches over sharp exposed small towers and than rising ridge. Both stands were self-made. Now the ridge starts to climb up steeply. There was bolt down in the indentation which we therefore did not use. Another bolt was high up below the big step on the ridge. It was possible to reach it using full lenght of 50 m.


This is another key site of the ascent - 10-meters wall with classification of IV-. The wall is in fact the righ flank of our ridge and maneuver is to traverse to the right and than climb up and left back to  the ridge. Again more slowly :-) - there is another bolt in the same level but 5 meters to the right. It is possible to reach it easily over balcony. There is crack between these two bolts - running up and left back to the edge of the ridge. The crack is good for holding with the right hand. The worst are the first steps. Another bolt is above the wall - suitable for belaying, not visible from below.


(Note - End-Peterka mention more easy variation - after second bolt to continue traversing  to the right and than to climb up along the another crack - III. This did not look tempting - we did not see steps which should be made and wall here has big exposition because it is beyond the end of balcony.)


Another 10-15 meters are still steep but easy and the rest is only easy. It may be possible to reach the summit in one pitch (9:00 from Stuedelhuette, 3798 m).


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