Ascent of Tödi on 2016-08-07

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Lee Newton -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Sunday, August 7, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:11854 ft / 3613 m

Ascent Trip Report

2h15 to hut, 5h15 summit, 4h hut, 2h15 trail head. An opportunistic short notice weekend bag as Lee and I both happened to have a free weekend, the weather came good and we got a cancellation for the Punteglias hut.

The route from the south can be reached via a narrow road zigzagging up from Trun, private with a self service pay station (7 Francs), and parking at top of road or on verges just before.

Track descends to house then good path continues beyond with net descent of 100m. Couple of streams crossed, one steep slabs with steps cut and a chain which might be useful if icy. Path bends R and climbs a valley with fine waterfall at far end. Path climbs out steeply R at far end, quite rough and wet in places.

Ponteglias hut by stream above steep headwall, small with friendly knowledgeable guardian who says weather tomorrow will be the stuff of dreams. Excellent. Good meal and early to bed with a 0315 breakfast for the 12 folk planning to climb Todi.

From hut the path follows bank of stream, cairned and surprisingly with occasional lights as far as makeshift bridge which crosses L to far bank, continuing along stream bank, then climbing L away from stream to eventually cross col, snowy final ascent. Presence of the other parties makes route finding easier.

At col we fit helmets and descend trail which traverses R down and across scree and snow to reach glacier at xxxx. Here we rope up and ascend (no crevasses, at least not this early in season) with fine dawn views behind, to top of glacier with cliffs to R and steep chain protected slabby climb, today covered in fresh snow from Thursday's storm. This Lee protects with extenders clipped into chain. Party of four ahead knock minor debris down, mostly snow. Chains continue to top of 60 degree snow slope, we cross col at xxxx then short descent on 40 degree snow, cross minor glacier on wide snow bridge then easy glacier climb bypassing obvious crevasses, bits of ice and snow falling from steep slopes up to L but nothing serious. Quite a few parties climbing this upper section of glacier from the north route (unusually still in condition - more of a springtime route). Last part of climb zigzags steeply up to summit ridge, high up traversing windslab from recent storm, which doesn't look too safe but no one seems concerned and it stays put.

Summit reached in 5h15 from hut, superb view in very clear conditions, summit a rock xxxx next to a cross. Cold wind, head down after 15 mins, carefully across the wind slab then easy snow descent. Carefully back down the rock passage, again protecting with ascenders which I as second slid back down the rope for Lee to reuse, quite an efficient and straightforward descent. Plunge stepped down remaining glacier, traversed L until past the main snow, then gear off and back over the lower col, semi glissaded down soft snow and hiked trail back to hut. Lunch of tasty soup and Rösti before hiking back in hot sun to trailhead.

Into Andermatt for a meal to celebrate a superb mountain day and a long awaited peak - this was the sixth time we had planned the peak although the first time the weather had allowed an actual attempt - this is one of the wetter parts of Switzerland.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:984 ft / 298 m
    Total Elevation Loss:7031 ft / 2142 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Glacier Climb, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Hut Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:492 ft / 149 m
    Loss on way in:492 ft / 149 m
    Route:South route, Punteglias
    Time:7 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:6539 ft / 1993 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 6047 ft / 1844 m; Extra: 492 ft / 149m
    Gain on way out:492 ft / 149 m
    Route:South route, Punteglias
    End Trailhead:5807 ft / 1769 m
    Time:6 Hours 15 Minutes

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