Saturday, April 30, 2016

Adventure in the heart of Urner Alps - Gross Windgällen North East Face

Gross Windgällen, 3187m, has been on my radar couple of years after I saw a photo by Christoph Moser. Last Saturday I wanted to ski something interesting close to Zürich before going to a hard core Finnish 1st of May party...Windgällen would be close and with good conditions should be doable in a day. It only took one call and Dani bought the idea. We knew it was going to be bit of a battle against bad weather coming in. But who knows with some luck there might be a little window for us. Especially with foehn you never you how it goes, so lets give it a try!

After ride from Zürich we started 5am from Golzeren (1395m). As a good warm-up we walked up the first 500 verticals. From 1900 onwards we could continue fast with our skis. Couple hours later we were already at bergschrund getting ready to climb the face. With some deep snow it took us two hours to climb. Too bad the storm rolled in and we had to climb the upper face in total white-out with some gusty foehn throwing spin-drift on our faces. The weather was definitely adding some spice to our adventure.

At the cliffs 20 meter below the summit we clicked on the skis started our descent in a white-out. To have some contrast we skied the fall-line through a steepish couloir. That worked well and lower down we could even see something and enjoy nice powdery turns.

About eight hours after our start we were happily back at Golzeren. It was a good push with 9km approach and 1900 verticals. This is just what you wanna do before going to a 1st of May party ;-) Thanks Dani for the great adventure!

Gross Windgallen with its shady NE-Face ©Christoph Moser (

Private lift at 5AM...only in Switzerland 

Dani checking the views down to valley at Golzeren 1395m

1.5 hours warm-up hike

Windgallen Hütte 2032m with our target on the left
Beautiful morning above Windgallen Hütte


Dani doing the work above bergschrund

Clouds were closing in half way up the face ©Danski

Ready to drop in..too bad we couldn't see much.. 

Finding our way through the vertical rock band at the top section

Steep turns

Long hike back to Golzeren Bergstation

Back to spring! 

Windgällen line

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