Ascent of Wildspitze on 2011-09-01

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Dave Kenyon
Andrew Tibbetts
Lee Newton -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Thursday, September 1, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:12362 ft / 3767 m

Ascent Trip Report

To be completed....

We climbed this peak from the SE, the day after our Grossglockner ascent, with Dave Kenyon, mountain guide from UK xxx. There is a cable car from Vent which gains 450m of ascent, running from about 8 a.m. However, the weather forecast was relatively poor so we needed an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms, so we hiked from the trail head, starting at 0550.
At the W end of Vent, a small road leads to a car park just before a bridge (xxx). We continue on foot across the bridge, past some buildings then uphill to a signpost indicating Wildspitze and Breslau hut. We follow this as it zigzags uphill, gaining height rapidly. We fork L at xxx then arrive the hut. From its top LH corner we follow a sign for Wildspitze. The path climbs a little then contours round into a big wild cirque, bouldery underfoot at times, paint-marked. At xxx is a fork, at the foot of a steep slope. We go R here, taking the most obvious path, but later discover that it is best to go L: this avoids some rubbly ground. The stony trail curves R, becoming lost in rubble occasionally, then climbs a steep snow slope to the foot of a cable protected climb which leads up L to the xxx joch. The hardest move is up the 2m wall at the start: the rest of the ?40m climb is straightforward, albeit very steep and exposed. Although the climb is ice free we find it convenient to keep our crampons on. Once at the joch we are at glacier level. We turn R and follow its top edge, keeping the rocky ridge to our R. We are in cloud, with 500m visibility at this point, although it closes in to 20m and begins to snow as we climb, curving R, crossing a few crevasses, mostly small although one is wide albeit well bridged. We hear voices at the summit up to our L, and our route curves up L to the bouldery base of the summit. We remove our crampons and ascend 100m of stony path to the summit, which is marked by a cross and a small trig bolt (Mess Punkt = measuring point).
We summit at 1130 and quickly head down, keen to get out of the weather. It is now snowing quite heavily although no sign of thunder which is our main concern. The boot trail is still visible and easy to follow. We curve L, keeping the rocky ridge to our L, taking care not to fork R for the Pitz valley route. We are soon back at the joch. For the steep rock descent we remain roped up, threading the rope into the pigs-tails as we go. Back on the glacier we carefully descend the steep section then further down we shortcut across the lower section of glacier, avoiding a rubbly stretch of path. We follow the paint marked trail back to the Breslau hut (I notice another Mess Punkt trig bolt just above the hut), then back to the trail head (at xxx, be sure to follow the sign for Rothof, not Vent). It is raining as we get back to the cars at 1500. We adjourn to xxx for a meal before Lee heads home and we head to Engadine ready for our Piz Lagrev climb tomorrow.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5352 ft / 1631 m
    Extra Gain:66 ft / 20 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.3 mi / 15 km
    Route:Vent, SE, Normal route
    Trailhead:Vent: Rofenhof  7142 ft / 2176 m
    Grade/Class:PD YDS4
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide
    Weather:Snowing, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes

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