Alpine Ski Mountaineering Vol 2 - Central and Eastern Alps
Ski tours in Austria, Switzerland and Italy
This guidebook describes 11 multi-day Alpine ski tours and ski mountaineering routes in the central and eastern Alps, covering hut-to-hut trails in the Bernese, Urner, Albula Alps as well as the Tour Soleil and classic tours through the Bernina, Silvretta, Otztal, Stubai and Ortler. Skiing, mountaineering and navigational skills are all necessary.
SeasonsGenerally March until mid-May. Each route has a suggested best time to go.
CentresLes Diablerets, Kandersteg, Andermatt, Preda, Pontresina, Ischgl, Obergurgl, Gstaad, Grindlewald, Neustift, Innsbruck.
DifficultySki mountaineering is a potentially dangerous activity, and should only be undertaken by those with a full understanding of the risks and with the training and experience to evaluate them.
Must SeeIdyllic conditions of perfect snow, few crevasses, a track in place, and perfect clear weather!
The European Alps offer some of the finest and most accessible ski mountaineering in the world. A combination of magnificent and varied terrain, an enviable snow record, excellent public transport, unrivalled hut system and a long ski season make them a focus for mountaineering and skiers throughout the world.
This guidebook includes some of the finest ski tours of the central and eastern Alps – hut-to-hut trails that explore the Bernese, Urner, Albula and Bernina Alps of Switzerland, as well as classic tours through the Silvretta, Otztal, Stubai and Ortler regions of Austria and Italy. None of the routes is extreme, although the conditions can be, and it’s for that reason that mountaineering judgement and sound decisions are all important.
The 11 tours in this guidebook cover a significant part of the Northern as well as the Central and Eastern Alps. They range across Alpine Switzerland from its north-west corner to its south-east tip, from Vaud to Graubunden, before sliding east, following the vast arc of the Alps into the Austrian Tyrol and South Tyrol of north Italy.
All the tours described in this guidebook are in areas that bristle with 3000m peaks, glaciers and extensive permanent snowfields. The Central and Eastern Alps also have an enviable snow record, and in many instances can offer ski touring when other areas are waiting for better snow cover to fill crevasses and make travel on dangerous glaciers possible.
The selection in this guidebook covers tours in the most important Alpine regions. They are also varied in length and difficulty, although most fit within a full week’s touring. Of course, if poor weather or conditions prevail they can take a lot longer. The routes also include a mix of circular tours, which are convenient for those wishing to leave car or equipment in one place, and linear routes that journey hut to hut or even from country to country.
The routes described are all Alpine – they require both skiing and mountaineering skills. While technical climbing ability of a high standard is not essential, the skills required to operate on steep slopes and glacial terrain, where cramponing, ropework and crevasse rescue may be necessary, are essential for safety, as are navigational skills. It goes without saying that avalanche awareness skills and knowledge are vitally important for everyone who intends to ski mountaineer.
Using this Guidebook
The Alpine Hut System
A Safety Strategy for Ski Mountaineering
Grading and Difficulty
Bernese Alps West
Stage 1 Col du Pillon – Les Diablerets – Glacier de Tsanfleuron – Arpelistock (Arête de l'Arpille) – Gelten Hut
Stage 2 Gelten Hut – Wildhorn – Wildhorn Hut
Stage 3 Wildhorn Hut – Schnidehorn – Weisshorn – Wildstrubel Hut
Stage 4 Wildstrubel Hut – Weisshorn – Wildstrubel – Lämmeren Hut
Stage 5 Lämmeren Hut – Roter Totz – Kandersteg
Stage 6 Kandersteg – Selden – Alpetli glacier – Mutthorn Hut
Stage 7 Mutthorn Hut – Lauterbrunnen
Bernese Oberland North
Stage 1 Grindelwald – Jungfraujoch – Louwihorn – Konkordia Hut
Stage 2 Konkordia Hut – Trugberg – Konkordia Hut
Stage 3 Konkordia Hut – Wyssnollen – Finsteraarhorn Hut
Stage 4 Finsteraarhorn Hut – Finsteraarhorn – Finsteraarhorn Hut – Grünhornlücke – Konkordia Hut
Stage 5 Konkordia Hut – Kranzberg – Hollandia Hut
Stage 6 Hollandia Hut – Äbeniflue – Fafleralp
Alternative Stage 6 Hollandia Hut – Mittaghorn – Fafleralp
Bernese Oberland 4000ers
Stage 1 Grindelwald – Jungfraujoch – Mönch – Mönchsjoch Hut
Stage 2 Mönchsjoch Hut – Jungfrau – Mönchsjoch Hut
Stage 3 Mönchsjoch Hut – Gross Fiescherhorn – Hinter Fiescherhorn – Finsteraarhorn Hut
Stage 4 Finsteraarhorn Hut – Finsteraarhorn – Finsteraarhorn Hut – Grünhornlücke – Konkordia Hut
Stage 5 Konkordia Hut – Gross Grünhorn – Konkordia Hut
Stage 6 Konkordia Hut – Aletschhorn via the Hasler Rib – Riederalp
Alternative Stage 6 Alternative Route via the Mittelaletsch Bivouac
Stage 7 Mittelaletsch Bivouac Hut – Mittelaletsch glacier – Aletschjoch – Aletschhorn, via the NE ridge – Riederalp
Urner Alps Traverse
Stage 1 Realp – Albert Heim Hut
Stage 2 Albert Heim Hut – Winterlücke – Lochberg – Gwüest
Stage 3 Gwüest – Chelenalp Hut
Stage 4 Chelenalp Hut – Sustenhorn – Hotel Steingletscher
Stage 5 Hotel Steingletscher – Sustli Hut
Stage 6 Sustli Hut – Grassen – Engelberg
Stage 1 Realp – Rotondo Hut
Stage 2 Rotondo Hut – Witenwasserenpass – Piz Rotondo – Rotondo pass – All'Acqua – Corno Gries Hut
Stage 3 Corno Gries Hut – Corno pass – Griessee– Blinnenhorn – Cesare Mores Hut, or Citta di Busto Hut
Stage 4 Rifugio Claudio e' Bruno – Hohsandhorn (Punta del Sabbione) – Talli Glacier – Binntal Hut, or Mittlebarg Hut
Stage 5 Binntal Hut – Albrunpass – Alp Devero Rifugio – Castiglioni – Scatta d'Orogna – Citta di Arogna Hut
Stage 6 Citta di Arogna Hut – Kaltwasserpass – Monte Leone Simplonhospiz
Stage 7 Simplonhospiz – Niederalp – Sirwaltesattel – Oberfullmoos – SaasBalen – ascent of Sengkuppe
Albula Alps Traverse
Stage 1 Julierpass – Fuorcla d'Agnel – Piz Agnel – Tschima da Flix – Jenatsch Hut
Stage 2 Jenatsch Hut – Val Laviner – Fuorcla Laviner – Piz Laviner – Val Mulix – Nax – Preda – Rätische Bahn to Bergün
Stage 3 Bergün – Tschimas da Tisch – Murtel da Lai – Fuorcla Pischa – d'Es-cha Hut>
Stage 4 d'Es-cha Hut – Porta d'Es-cha – Piz Kesch – Kesch Hut
Stage 5 Kesch Hut – Alp Funtauna – Scalettahorn – Piz Grialetsch – Grialetsch Hut
Stage 6 Grialetsch Hut – Fuorcla Sarsura – Piz Sarsura – Val Sarsura – Zernez
Bernina High-Level Route
Stage 1 Diavolezza – Munt Pers
Stage 2 Diavolezza – Piz Palü – Boval Hut
Stage 3 Boval Hut – Piz Bernina – Marco-e-Rosa Hut
Stage 4 Marco-e-Rosa Hut – Bellavista – Marinelli Hut
Stage 5 Marinelli Hut – Fuocla dela Sella – Piz Sella – Ils Dschimels – Coaz Hut
Stage 6 Coaz Hut – Il Chapütschin – Pontresina
Stage 1 Ischgl – Zeblasjoch – Heidelberger Hut
Stage 2 Heidelberger Hut – Breite Krone – Jamtal Hut
Stage 3 Jamtal Hut – Dreiländerspitze – Weisbadner Hut
Stage 4 Weisbadner Hut – Piz Buin – Silvretta Hut
Stage 5 Silvretta Hut – Schneeglocke – Saarbruckner Hut
Stage 6 Saarbruckner Hut – Bielerhöhe – Galtur
Ötztal High-Level Route
Stage 1 Obergurgl – Schönwies Hut – Langtalereck Hut
Stage 2 Langtalereck Hut – Hohe Wilde N Summit – Annakogel – Gurgler Ferner – Hochwilde Hut
Stage 3 Hochwilde Hut – Schalfkogeljoch – Schalfkogel – Martin Busch Hut
Stage 4 Martin Busch Hut – Similaun – Similaun Hut – Hauslabjoch – Hochjoch Hospiz
Stage 5 Hochjoch Hospiz – Fluchtkogel – Vernagt Hut
Stage 6 Vernagt Hut – Brochkogeljoch – Wildspitze
Stage 7 Braunschweiger Hut – Pitztaler Jöchl – Pollesjoch – Hinter Pollesalm – Huben
Stubai High-Level Route
Stage 1 Oberiss – Franz Senn Hut
Stage 2 Franz Senn Hut – Wildes Hinterbergl – Franz Senn Hut
Stage 3 Franz Senn Hut – Ruderhofspitz – Wildgratscharte – Amberger Hut
Stage 4 Amberger Hut – Wietenkarsattel – Windacher Daunkogel – Hildesheimer Hut, or Dresdner Hut
Stage 5 Hildesheimer Hut – Pfaffenjoch – Zuckerhütl – Wilder Pfaff – Sulzenau Hut
Stage 6 Sulzenau Hut – Pfaffenneider – Müller Hut – Wilder Freiger – Nürnberger Hut – Ranalt
Ortler Grand Circuit
Stage 1 Sulden – Zaytal Hut – Zayjoch – Schafbergspitze – Zaytal Hut
Stage 2 Zaytal Hut – Zay glacier – Angelusscharte – Laaser glacier – Lyfijoch – Zufritthaus, 1880
Stage 3 Zufritt Hut – Gramsenferner – pt.3285 Martellerjoch – Hintere Schranspitze, and Hintere Rotspitze (optional) – Careser glacier – Veneziaspitze (optional) – Köllkuppe – Hohenfirner – Marteller Hut
Stage 4 Marteller Hut – Zufallfirner – Monte Cevedale – Monte Pasquale (optional) – Pizzini Hut
Stage 5 Pizzini Hut – Gran Zebru glacier – Königspitze (Gran Zebru) (optional) – Col Pale Rosse – Miniera pass – Cima Della Miniera (optional) – Vth Alpini Hut, or Bertarelli Hut
Stage 6 Vth Alpini Hut, or Bertarelli Hut – Monte Zebru – Ortlerpass – Niederer Ortler glacier – Bergl Hut – Trafoi
Appendix A Summary of the Tours
Appendix B Further Reading
Alpine Ski Mountaineering, Volume 1: Western Alps
Sheets: 1285, 1286, 1266, 1267, 1247, 1229, 1231, 1211, 1191, 1251, 1249, 1271, 1270, 1268, 1290, 1289, 1309, 1256, 1236, 1237, 1217, 1218, 1277, 268 (Julierpass), 1159, 1179, 1198, 1178
Sheets: 272S, 273S, 263S, 264S, 255S, 245S, 268S, 258S, 259S
Alpenvereinskarte 1:25,000, Sheet 26
AVK 1:25,000 Sheets: 30/1, 30/2, 30/6, 31/1
Tobacco Carta Topographico 1:25,000 Ortles - Cevedale Ortgebeit.
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Alpine hut seasons
Readers should be aware that seasons for individual alpine huts are determined by the people who manage them and may change. The suggestion of a hut as a stop on a ski tour in this guide does not guarantee that the hut will be open (although most huts have winter rooms open and available throughout the winter as explained in the guide). You should always check ahead, by ringing the numbers given in the guide or by looking at the appropriate Alpine Club website. These websites have the most up-to-date information on the huts: Austrian Alpine Club - www.alpenverein.at; Swiss Alpine Club – www.sac-cas.ch; Italian Alpine Club – www.cai.it; French Alpine Club – www.ffcam.fr; Slovenian Alpine Club – www.pzs.si; German Alpine Club – www.alpenverein.de.
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Bill O'Connor is a mountain guide with extensive winter ski mountaineering experience and is an author of books to trekking in Nepal and Lakeland Scrambling.View Articles and Books by Bill O'Connor
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