Switzerland

Climbing Lagginhorn (4010 m)

Don't take it with a flash

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Climbing Lagginhorn (4010 m)
Inserted: 06.07.2018
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

To Lagginhorn along the South Ridge or South Ridge; difficulty AD (III / IV). Beautiful and exposed climbing in quality granite in Wallis, Switzerland. Cottages Hohsaas and Weismiesshütte. Thunderstorm below the peak, hail and snow, static electricity all around. A moment of despair. An unforgettable experience that turned out well. Beginning of July 2018.

Acclimatization to Jegihorn

Multi-length climbing on a hill called Ježibabí hora

In the morning, after an evening arrival in Saas-Grund, we went upstairs. There were a total of eight of us and our base was the camp in Saas-Grund, by the way full of Czechs, he is actually the whole Wallis is a bit full of Czechs. That first evening we met a group from Viktor Kořízek who went on a well-known „Spaghetti tour“; for the uninitiated: this is a mountain leader and his successful hike through the main ridges of Monte Rosa. But back to our group and our plans, they were not small – three four thousand: Lagginhorn, Lendspitze and Nadelhorn.

Jezebabi mountain
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

Jezebabi mountain

This is a light climb, the maximum difficulty 5– along the path called Alpendurst (yes, you will be thirsty there, the path is facing south), it is perfectly unlocked with rivets (some would certainly say „overwhelmed“); 14 lengths. The ferrata also leads upstairs, if you see a long rope bridge from the cable car from Saas-Grund / Kreuzboden to Hohsaas, that's her, don't worry, children also go there. From the top of the mountain, you descend normally with stone rubble, and if you manage to do so before the fourth, you can take the cable car at the Kreuzboden intermediate station and save your feet either up or down.

Skip the stream

If you want to go to Jezebab, skip the stream. We jumped the stream near the Weissmieshütte several times, it is part of all the descent paths and it roars to the whole area. There are also two footbridges, but you don't always hit them.

Skip the stream
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

With the sun in his back

When climbing the Jegihorn, you have the sun in your back all the time and then it leans against you from the left. You are constantly looking to the left, because there is a group of four thousand above Saas-Fee. In the distance beyond Allalinhorn and Strahlhorn you can even recognize Monteros, including the Dufourspitze. The mentioned ferrata on the Jegihorn leads to the right of the climbing path on the other side of the mountain, it is not visible from the stands.

With the sun in his back
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com
At the top of Jegihorn (3206 m)
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

At the top of Jegihorn (3206 m)

I don't like the cross, I rather stretch my calves and my legs pressed from the climbers hurt terribly. The top book is gone.

Unique top view

Set of 4,000 above Saas-Fee: Allalinhorn (far left; behind it rises the sharp ridge of the Rimpfischhorn), Alphubel (snow bay hidden behind a cross), Taschhorn, Dom (hidden in the clouds), Lendzpitze and Nadelhorn (two canines connected by a saddle).

Unique top view
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

Lagginhorn along the South Ridge (Südgrat)

When it's not time to take pictures at the top cross

We sleep at the Hohsaas hut in three thousand meters, the alarm clock at 3:15. At four we stand in front of the cottage, there are six of us, one of us does not have a headlight. It doesn't matter at all, it will soon be dawn that it will be a big problem later, of course it doesn't occur to us at all, we plan to catch the cable car down at 4 pm. We go happily, first climbing to the Lagginjoch saddle on the rock above the hut and then a longer section on the snow, at six in the morning we are under the ridge and we climb the rock.

Boarding the ridge

There is no peak on the left, about the first third of the way can be seen in the photo. Climbing through the snow goes smoothly, as does climbing a rock.

Boarding the ridge
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com
North ridge of Weismiess
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

North ridge of Weismiess

The Lagginhorn ridge flows smoothly into the Weismiess ridge in the Lagginjoch saddle. The sun rises, it is a beautiful day suitable for conquering the four thousand mountain in Wallis.

View from the Lagginhorn ridge in a north-easterly direction
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

View from the Lagginhorn ridge in a north-easterly direction

The comb is not unlocked, there are only about three places along the way where you will find a fixed loop. The rock is very rugged and yet solid (granite). We use the classic methods of continuous securing, a rope into the gaps, we throw stones, sometimes we use our own loop to secure ourselves, about twice also a friend.

VHT is not rock climbing

VHT is not climbing, or alpine tourism does not have much in common with sport climbing on secured routes and it is good to keep this in mind. It will not happen to you that you somehow reassure us and walk too slowly. The Lagginhorn ridge is tempting to do so, there are quite a few more demanding passages and no one wants to fall. However, it is necessary to look for reserves in better work with the rope (not in securing) and in improving the so-called continuous securing. Use more half-boat (half boat loop), because it allows you to move the rope back and forth, not to rope down short sections, etc. We also took a little more pictures and talked, especially when six people go together and on heavier climbing sections on it awaits itself, the delay time of the whole group adds up and a mountain like Lagginhorn does not forgive it. At eleven o'clock in the morning, we are only halfway up the ridge, and we wanted to be at the top. Later tracking from the watch showed that we found a total of about six kilometers along the ridge (do not compare with the distance on the map), I do not know how much the watch can be trusted, but it says something.

In the second half of the way to the cross
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

In the second half of the way to the cross

We rescheduled the peak to six o'clock in the evening. It didn't seem so terrible to us, considering that we would then have „only“ a normal downstairs and see them by ten. Certainly, there has also been a collective responsibility, that is, if everyone were there for themselves, perhaps he would study time more carefully and consider whether it was not appropriate to call a helicopter, as a perfectly adequate solution to the situation. At that moment, it was the last moment when the helicopter could be called. As we later learned, one flew to the Matterhorn that day for the Czechs as well, calling him in an interesting way – through the Liberec fire brigade, they were much lower at that moment than we were.

What are these bugs?

It's not bugs, it's buzzing, I'm answering, and I've known for a while that everything's wrong, it's static. The storm is starting. She was supposed to come later. It's six o'clock in the evening and we are under a rock tower, from which it is descended for about twenty meters, the top is in sight, but there is at least an hour left. It's not raining yet, but the air is literally charged with tension, it costs us hair. We call 112 (yes, it was supposed to be 144, which is the number of the mountain service, he is also a bit stupid in the four thousand), however, no one will send us a helicopter anyway, no rescue helicopter is flying until storm and at night. We expect that they could advise us on another descent path. We put ice axes a few meters from us, we consider options, but we don't have many of them, there is no place to camp and we are not even equipped for that. First you can't call at all. On the second attempt, we are received by a line worker who does not speak English, and when we tell him the location, they play music … Then they shuffle us, it falls out a few times and they start beating hail on us … Finally we get a mountain leader on the ear. At that moment, Radek is ready to abseil to a place where it seems that we could traverse to normal. Unfortunately, the guide tells us that we have to do exactly what looks most dangerous and what we don't want at all – going to the top, there is no other way. „And the colleague who wants to abseil, let him forget it,“ he adds, "you won't get out of there, abseil from the tower to the rock shelf and continue on your way, the abseil circle is a few meters on you – yes, there, what shows the other (Charles) ". We later learned that he was looking at us from Saas-Fee through binoculars at that moment, and we were also being watched by guides from the Weissmiesshutte hut, where the normal road ends. It pours like a can, lightning whizzes around our heads, it's just a matter of time, it goes through the head of each of us. But they all behaved great, no panic, focused forward, we are like ferrets. After rappelling the tower, we quickly overcame a steep snow field, then finally the last part of the ridge came, a hundred meters to the top cross, a while ago it cracked into it. I throw myself at the rocks on cats like a tiger, behind me on the rope of Honza, we have both already felt weaker electric shocks, the whole rock is sparkling. A huge lightning conductor protrudes directly under the cross, but we are finally up and we are starting to descend down to normal, finally just snow! Don't take it mainly with lightning, it became a joke for the rest of the expedition. Of course, no one took the photo at the cross. Normal or normal path is of difficulty PD, quite steep slope, we roll down as fast as we can, fortunately traces are visible. After a while, darkness begins and it's us who has only one headlamp. Below us, we see the light of Karel and Radek in the distance, and when the lights of Aleš and Monika appear above us in time, we say that we will probably survive. A huge amount of snow had fallen and was still pouring, the storm slowly stopped. At ten o'clock in the evening we are half a kilometer below the summit, unfortunately we come to the rocks, where no traces are visible. The speed decreases rapidly as we control the route on the map using location. We are already exhausted and frozen, I always run away and then I turn around and shine on the way to Honza, who also lost one cat in the rocks. The rocks are endless, we already have our teeth full. Below us, we will suddenly see three lights rising up towards us, and this will give us the last strength. Guidi from Weismieshütte is opposite us. We get tea and with one of them we set off on the way to the cottage, the other two go opposite Aleš and Monica. Their lights stopped still terribly high; we later learned that they had buried themselves. The story is coming to an end that was happy. Monika and Aleš arrived at the cottage at six in the morning, we around half past three. Our ice axes were lowered guidi two days later as they walked the southern ridge with the clients. The weather throughout Wallis deteriorated for a few more days, so we spent the rest of the time relaxing, sport climbing in the Saas-Fee valley and also climbing the Allalinhorn, an easy 4,000-meter train accessible from the Mittel-Allalin metro station. We are on our way home to the Czech Republic and we are very happy for that.

Panorama at the end

I noticed that quite often they were the first to climb the hills by spiritual, not only normal, but also climbing routes. Likewise, in the case of the Weismiess group, the Saxon pastor became the first on the mountain tops. One wonders if it was mainly because no one else had the means, time and, after all, no special motivation, and whether the clergy were looking there mainly in ecstasy or other inspiration. The peaks are inspiring anyway.

Panorama at the end
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com
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