Ascent of Ober Gabelhorn on 1949-08-23

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Guide Josef Biner
Murray Brush
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, August 23, 1949
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ober Gabelhorn
    Elevation:13330 ft / 4062 m

Ascent Trip Report

After yesterday’s rewarding climb of the Zinalrothorn’s Rothorngrat, we were ready today for a traverse of the pyramidal Obergabelhorn, ranked by some ahead of the Matterhorn and Weisshorn for beauty. Another early morning start from the Rothorn Hut took us first to the Wellenkuppe, where we arrived in good time by 7:00AM. From here we headed for the NE ridge of the Obergabelhorn, descending to a saddle on the narrowing snow ridge to the foot of the Grand Gendarme (Kluckerturm), surmounting it with the help of fixed rope. Then an exhilarating climb up the steepening, narrow snow ridge with spectacular, very exposed views down the north face. We reached the rocky summit block at 10:00AM. To complete the traverse
of the Obergabelhorn we descended the good rock of the Arbengrat (WSW Ridge). It is very tricky finding the route from the Arbenjoch (3564m) down to the Arben Valley. At 2:30PM we connected with the well traveled path between the village of Zmutt and the Schönbiel Hut and continued to the hut to spend the night in preparation for an ascent tomorrow of the Dent Blanche. However, our good luck with the weather ran out and turned for the worse during the night. While Murray made the wise decision of staying in the sack, Josef and I made a feeble approach to the Dent Blanche, but after about an hour we gave in to the deteriorating weather, returned to the hut, and endured the hike back to Zermatt in constant rain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3231 ft / 984 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4819 ft / 1467 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3231 ft / 984 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2903 ft / 884 m; Extra: 328 ft / 99m
    Loss on way in:328 ft / 99 m
    Route:via Wellenkupe & NE Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Rothorn Hut  10427 ft / 3178 m
    Time:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4491 ft / 1368 m
    End Trailhead:Schoenbiel Hut  8839 ft / 2694 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Wellenkuppe-Obergabelhorn Traverse

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Wellenkuppe1949-08-23 a2878 ft / 877 m
1Ober Gabelhorn1949-08-23 b3231 ft / 985 m
Total Trip Gain: 6109 ft / 1862 m    Total Trip Loss: 9285 ft / 2830 m

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