2011-09-18

Gross Chärpf (2794m)

Revenge! My last attempt climbing the Gross Chärpf failed due to bad weather. The weather forecast this time around wasn't very promising either: overcast and cloudy with strong winds of 55km/h, thunderstorms and rain in the afternoon. I figured I could still do it if I slipped in and out before the really bad weather hit. I don't like travelling the same path twice. Since I had exhausted the easy access route last time around I now had to use the more difficult one. It is far longer and covers twice as much vertical distance.

I left my apartment in the dark at 5:15 in the morning and returned in the dark at 21:30 in the evening. In between lay a hike of 33km, 2406m ascent and 2445m descent covering a total of almost 5 (!) vertical kilometers. The trail is rated T5 in the higher parts with extra difficulty for route finding and dangerous rock fall. The last 100 height meters towards the summit don't have a marked trail at all. I used the normal route for descent but climbed a near vertical and partly overhanging cliff for ascent. So I scaled the most difficult route for ascent, circled the peak and pissed on it - mountain vs BuschnicK 1:1 ;-)

Since I was racing the weather all the time (and didn't have much daylight for a trip this long anyway) I didn't stop for rest even once. Only on the summit did I take a break to eat my traditional summit Wasabi flavored peas. The posted hiking time to the hut is 4:40 hours which took me 3:30 hours. Just when I was down from the summit the clouds moved in and a fierce thunderstorm hit the area. It soaked me in the 2 minutes it took to don my rain gear. The rain would soon stop though and allow me to witness a beautiful dance of clouds in the sky. I cannot imagine a more beautiful or majestic place to be than the mountains. No place radiates so much raw energy, is so uncaringly wild yet is home to delicate life.

All in all I beat my personal height record in a single day, scaled the most technically difficult peak yet and returned home safely and without feeling overly exhausted. Epic victory ;-)

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