From Aarbiwak (Normal route) Strahleggpass 3332 m
- AD-, 3c
- 3–4 h, 650 m
A valuable connection between the Grindelwald and Grimsel regions, the Strahleggpass provides the shortest route from the Schreckhornhütte to either the Aarbiwak or the Lauteraarhütte. It is a grand scenic tour and is often undertaken for its own sake, though it can be combined with an ascent of the Strahlegghorn 3461 m via its North Ridge (PD). While the ascent from the Schreckhornhütte is quite easy, the descent to the Strahleggfirn through the so-called "Strahleggwändli" is quite difficult. Numerous iron rods facilitate orientation and can be used for abseiling and securing. Important Note: The descent does not start at the lowest point of Strahleggpass, but a little north of it.
From Aarbiwak (2733 m) head in a northwesterly direction over the Strahlegggletscher (glacier) to the foot of the rock wall that leads to the Strahleggpass. The climbing starts at an indistinct brownish rock rib, approximately in the centre between the main couloir and a wide rift that cuts through the flank to the north east of the Strahleggpass. The route is protected roughly every 20m by iron rods.
To start with, make 1 - 2 rope lengths on the compact rock of this rib (Grade III, best abseiled in descent) then follow easier but more brittle terrain to about one third of the wall's height. Traverse left (westwards) and then again straight up. With the ridge near at hand instead of continuing straight up, trend left once again to be brought out lower down the ridge, just 100m north of the Strahleggpass (Cairn) ca. 45 min to 1 hr from the base of the wall.
Descend this route in the opposite direction.
- Departure point
- End point
Due to glacier retreat, reaching the first iron rod has become more difficult and requires climbing up to 3c (4-) depending on conditions; situation 2020.
Although as early as 1748 a shepherd is thought to have crossed the pass, the first official crossing was made in 1812 by Dr Rudolf Meyer of Aarau (who also climbed the Jungfrau with his brother Gottlieb), travelling with two guides from Grimsel to Grindelwald. The 'Strahleggtour' would later become fashionable, with many people finding a glacier wander through such ancient and impressionable terrain more worthy than simply gaining a summit. In this regard and to this day, the tour has lost none of its charm.