Magnificent and varied late season tour

Statistics

5 - 6

hrs

1,268

m

1,269

m

41

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Difficult

Description

The Fluela Pass is a great late season touring destination (you can drive to 2300m), but either peak on their own makes for a short day.

Together you get a much more interesting outing.

Park where you can on the S side of the Fluela Pass (keeping in mind you may get a ticket if you don't park in a designated bay and instead park on the road side).

We left the car at 7.30am and were back by 12.00.

We moved faster than most, but had lunchstop on the summit of the Schwartzhorn). The ascent to the Radont is straightforwards (and in normal conditions protected from avalanches), until you reach the final couloir (which is hidden from view until at its base). The start of the couloir is often filled with frozen avalanche rubble, and a nasty ski - but don't be put off.

If you time it right, the upper 200m should be fun spring corn as it face E.

We booted all the way up without crampons, but less confident parties, or those who are less sure-footed will definitely want them - the couloir is not too steep, but at 40-45 degrees, a slide could be hard to stop.

Competent skiers will ski from the summit - but it should be noted the ridge is a little narrow and flanked on both sides with cliffs, so a fall could have serious consequences. Once you've skied the couloir you traverse, keeping as high as possible, to the Schwartzhorn.

Hopefully, the crowds on this peak will have skied down by the time you make the ascent.

The only tricky section is gaining the ridge at c.2900m.

Here the skin track is very narrow and steep, and you may need to boot pack. Magnificent panorama from the summit and a fine ski back to the car. Note that we skied this route on 30 May 2021.

There was no wind and full sun.

The max air temperature at the pass was forecast to be 3C, but by 11 the E slopes were very cooked and we had to take the most mellow line possible in order to stay safe - we saw a party try and ski a steeper pitch right above the road, c.

40 degrees, and the whole slope slid, taking 2 skiers.

Fortunately both fine having pulled their airbags.

DONT BE LATE - REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE TO GET BACK TO THE CAR AND THE SNOW 500M BELOW YOU WILL BE VERY DIFFERENT.

BETTER TO BAIL EARLY AND STAY SAFE.