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Wiwannihorn (3001m), Swiss Alps

Wet September Approach To Wiwannihorn & Hut

The hut, visible on the centre right, is easily accessed in a 1.5hr walk from the end of the private track above Ausseberg. The walk is pleasant and easy but a permit must be bought in the Hotel Bahnoff in Ausseberg before driving up the road & parking. The Wiwanniihorn summit is marked by a large cross just visible above Rory's blue cap.

Lovely Evening Light On The Wiwannihorn Westgrat

This fine PD mountaineering route is marked by blue paint to assist considerably with the route finding! The scrambling is pleasant, protected by the odd bolt but never technically too hard (F3 max). Whilst many teams use the route as the descent from various longer climbs the Westgrat also presents an enjoyable ascent to the summit which can be completed in a swift round trip from the hut, as per this sortie on a fine evening after a very wet day!

Fine Sustained Slab / Wall Climbing On The Long First 5a Pitch On The Steinadler Route

This tough 5a pitch starts with a short steep wall to access a long, sustained and very enjoyable big slab pitch with quite spaced bolts!

Wiwannihutte, An Excellent Base Camp For Climbing

The Wiwannihutte has a lot to offer! A friendly welcome, very hospitable staff, great food and lots of climbing around from 10 mins to an hours walk away from the hut, single pitch sport climbs to alpine ridges. All set at an altitude between 2500-3000m so often out of the really bad high mountain weather, as on this occasion in mid September 2015.

Fine Slabby Climbing On Pitch 2 Of The Steinadler Route (F5a)

The first pitch of the route is easily located with the hut topo and is also labelled with a painted name at the base of the route! The first few pitches offer some good rock & climbing but also various loose ledges that must be crossed. Retreat would not be appealing as this lower section is loose and the upper section takes a strong leftward traverse.

Tim Tackles The Steepest Section Of The Steinadler Route

There is a more technical section higher up (F5c) if the direct route is taken but this short wall offers the steepest moves on the climb. The holds are pretty big but it's an awakening in comparison to the more gently angled walls on the rest of the climb. The reward for tackling this short steep passage is a very fine sustained big slab pitch and continuing quality 5a climbing up through the next several pitches also.

The Stunning Views South From The Wiwannihorn

Across the Rhone Valley to the south the Swiss Valais giants can be seen with the Dom, Weisshorn & Weissmeis / Lagginhorn being particularly prominent on the southern skyline. The reward for reaching the top of the route is an impressive view North to the nearby Bietschorn as well as West down the Rhone and with the peaks of the West Oberland skylined on the north side of the valley.

Steep Slab Climbing On Steinadler Pitch 6 With A Tricky Move Left

If the Direct option is not taken on the next pitch these moves are perhaps the crux of the route and are well protected by a bolt at the level of the traverse.

Fine Steep Slab Climbing On Pitch 7 Steinadler Route

This photo is taken from an optional belay on the left of the slab where the direct route continues straight up to a higher belay. Thus whilst the direct option is more like 5c, the easier left hand option is probably more like 5a.

Enjoyable Easier Climbing On The Upper Steinadler Route

With the Wiwannihorn Summit on the far left and the upper ridge of the Ostgrat joining the fore summit from the right. The Ostgrat presents a very fine and different alternative to the Steinadler. It also has 5a pitches but then lots of easier ground with up to nearly 20 pitches if teams do not move together on the easier 'alpine' terrain.

Wiwanniihorn Summit (3001m), Fantastic Views

Whatever route you have climbed the summit of the Wiwannihorn presents a magnificent high alpine panorama, especially to the South and giants of the Valais. Most teams will then descent the pleasant Westgrat which has a few protection bolts and plenty of blue paint flashes to aid route finding!