Guffertspitze Traverse

The Guffertspitze is an impressive peak and the West ridge is a wonderful climb for those looking for a relatively low stress adventure in the mountains.

Alpine Climbing Difficult

Distance
13 km
Ascent
1.4 km
Descent
1.4 km
Low Point
999 m
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
30˚
VIEW ON MAP
Guffertspitze Traverse Map

Description

This is a fantastic day out and would most certainly be one of the best ridge climbs in the area, if it weren't for the rather arduous walk-in! The route is clearly not frequented by climbers, which is wonderful for having a mountain to yourself, but which unfortunately also means that the forest of mountain pines which you have to cross on your way to the start of the route is dense to say the least. The route finding can be tricky, and the bush-whacking exhausting and never ending, but it’s worth it, because rest assured that once it’s done, the rest of the day is nothing short of wonderful. Hopefully now this fantastic route is featured on FATMAP, the additional traffic will perhaps serve to make the walk-in more user friendly.

Park at the Gasthof Waldhäusl in Steinberg and follow the path in the direction of Guffert. Climb up steeply until you're just below a large limestone cliff and then turn left on a vague path through the trees. Fight your way through the pines, following the vague hiking trail and the occasional cairn towards the west ridge. The ridge begins to the right of a flat area after the very last mountain pines. Scramble up the short scree field under the west ridge and cross to the left to reach the fixed rope signalling the start of the route.

The route itself is mostly grade 1 or 2 scrambling, with very occasional sections of grade 3, and a 30m rope should be sufficient for pitching any difficult sections. Follow the clear ridge, where ring hooks and drill hooks for belaying will let you know that you are on the right track. Fairly near the start you will come to a 60m sport climbing variant, where it is possible to take the right hand fork on to a section of 2 x 30m climbing pitches, graded at 6- and 4-. For those not wishing to take this option, simply follow the left hand fork to continue the scramble, beginning with a short section of grade 3.

The scrambling is sustained and enjoyable, and shortly before the west summit of the Guffert, the ridge becomes slightly narrower with a short section of grade 2 and 3, but this can be avoiding by staying on the ridge to the north. Once on the west summit, descend briefly down the grassy bank and continue on towards the east summit via a 15 metre abseil (from in-situ slings) on the south face of the mountain. Sections of the final scramble to the East summit can feel a little steep and exposed, but there are a couple of fixed bolts in place for those looking for a little more security.

From the East summit, follow the path eastwards down towards a col and swing right back down towards Steinberg via a long, descent, rejoining the ascent path midway down.

Difficulty

Difficult

The beginning of truly technical terrain which might involve pitched climbing on rock and/or ice, exposed terrain and complex route finding in ascent and descent. Equivalent to AD, AD+

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Much of the route is difficult to protect and a fall could be disastrous at certain points.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Equipment required

  • Quickdraws
  • Wires and Friends

Guidebooks in this area