Eiger-Ostegg via ferrata | Via ferrata | Eiger-Ostegghütte | Swiss Alpine Club SAC

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Disclaimer

Hiking or climbing on routes in alpine terrain requires good physical health, meticulous preparation and technical skills in mountain sports. The routes presented here are undertaken at one’s own risk. If you want to safely practice mountain sports, taking training courses run by experts is highly recommended by the SAC. All the contents of the SAC Route Portal are put together with utmost diligence. However, the Swiss Alpine Club and the authors cannot guarantee that the information provided here is up-do-date, correct and complete. Therefore, the SAC and the authors cannot be held liable for possible errors.

Eiger-Ostegg via ferrata Eiger-Ostegghütte 2320 m

  • Difficulty
    K4, T5
  • Ascent
    1:15 h, 260 m
  • Mountain Experience
    4 / 4
  • Power
    3 / 4
  • Endurance
    2 / 4
  • Psyche
    2 / 4

Who would have thought so: four man-made or heavily worked routes on and through the Eiger (3970 m): that bulwark at the forefront of the Bernese Alps, whose north face has made headlines continuously since 1934. First there was the cog railway, built between 1896 and 1912, which rattles through the Eiger for 4 kilometres and has several stops: the (previous) Rotstock station (1899-1903), Eigerwand (since 1903) Eismeer (since 1905) and finally the Jungfraujoch (from 1912 onwards). A climb to the Rotstock, fitted with metal ladders, was open as long as the station of the same name was operated. The Rotstock station and route have since been closed, but from 2000 on there has been another route to the Rotstock, approached from the north side, via an adventurous ferrata. Then there's the Mittellegigrat, an iconic climb, first done in 1921, which has had fixed ropes in place since 1926 (in total today there are 200 metres of it). Finally, there is the Eiger-Ostegghütte, built by the Grindelwald mountain guide association in 1998. To ease the difficult approach, steel cables and iron bars were installed, forming a short via ferrata. Which of these four routes will be chosen to feel the Eiger up close and personal, depends on personal preference. A hint: The Eiger-Ostegghütte receives the least visitors by a long shot.

Route description

Approach

From the station Alpiglen (1616 m) follow the Eiger Trail to the junction at P. 1758 where the path to Bonera and Grindelwald splits off. Along this down to a brook (bridge, 1734 m), then more or less horizontal to the turnoff (ca. 1750 m) for Eiger Ostegghütte (¾ hours).

Eiger-Ostegg via ferrata

There is no steel cable on the first steep rock step! You must be able to free climb on easy terrain. Afterwards the route ascends safely through a gully, with three steep steps: The second is vertical, the third slightly overhanging on the left side of a chimney. More brittle terrain follows before the land starts to level out and a path eventually leads you left to the Ostegghütte, which is located on a wonderful grassy terrace at 2317 m (3 hours). If you wish to peer into the valley of the Lower Grindelwald glacier, you can also teeter along a path eastwards to a pulpit in the north ridge of the Ostegg. Incredible vantage point for watching the alpenglow light up the Schreckhorn mountain chain.

Additional information

Character

In the most difficult places a rope should also be used; not everywhere can one hold on to iron. Furthermore: iron rungs are only set where they are really needed. If you do not have a steady step, a good head for heights, and a bit of strength in your arms, you'll be better off enjoying a nice hike to Alpiglen and enjoying a "Käseschnitte". Most beautiful in the evening alpenglow, followed by an overnight stay at the Ostegg hut (call / visit Grindelwald Sports to book your bed).

Time

Total: 5 hrs. Approach: 3 hrs. Descent: 2 hrs.

Signalisation

The approach path is marked with red paint and the odd cairn, but is not all that obvious.

Descent

As for ascent. Instead of returning to Alpiglen (2-3 hours), you can descend on the trail over Bonera to the Hotel Gletscherschlucht (1014 m) and go through the village to the train station Grindelwald (3½ hours).

Author

Daniel Anker

Daniel Anker is a Bernese author and photographer. The historian has written around 40 ski tour, hiking, via ferrata and mountain bike guide books as well as detailed monographs on individual peaks in Switzerland.

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