Schwarzhoren (2928m) via Schwarzhorn via Ferrata

For our Sunday trip Volker and I chose the Schwarzhoren at Grindelwald. It's a technically easy mountain that still gets you to relatively high altitude of nearly 3000 meters. To make it a little more exciting we elected to go up via the via ferrata and use the normal route only for the descent. We also wouldn't use any of the many cable cars and shortcuts in the area which brought the total elevation gain to 2000 meters while covering a distance of about 25km.

The monarch: Eiger.
This part was called the marmot trail. For good reason: we saw dozens and dozens of the critters.

I own only one via ferrata kit which I gave to Volker. For myself I improvised a whip with regular carabiners and a piece of climbing rope. This would give you a little bit of elasticity/dynamism in the event of a fall, but you really don't want to test this kind of setup. In all likelihood it would break your back before finally snapping. Anyway, the via ferrata is really easy and nothing happened. In fact, I did most of it without any protection.

Volker the cow whisperer.
We came up on the right and will go down on the left.

When we started in the morning I was wearing shorts. I didn't apply sunscreen to my legs because I thought once we got to altitude it would get cool and I'd extend my pants to cover my legs. It never did get cool and I got the worst sunburn in years. My calves served as a kind of sundial where I could tell my orientation towards the sun by how much my calves were hurting. I didn't even know you could feel the sun this directly and instantly. A few days later I was shedding my skin.

The Schwarzhoren and surrounding mountains are piles of rubble. You can see the ladders marking part of the via ferrata.
On the ridge.
On the ladders...
...and my view of Volker.

While we were hiking up the Schwarzhorn we got beautiful vistas towards the Eiger. Which gave me a wistful longing, knowing that one of my regular climbing buddies, Arne, was on the mountain that very day. We later learned that he had already gained the summit and was on the way back down by the time Volker and I left the parking lot to start our day ;-) The difference between a "proper" mountaineering objective and a tourist hike...

Slabs on the ridge.

After three days of back to back climbing and hiking we decided to take it easy on Monday and just went swimming in the lake with Anita and Leonie. Good fun and a nice way to bring Volker's visit to a close. Maybe we'll get to climb a 4000er next time ;-)

Dozens and dozens of chamois.
A herd of chamois to our left and another one behind us. I have never seen this many in one place.
Sunburn is good for your skin.

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