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Vorder Glärnisch south-north traverse

If you've looked across the lake of Zurich on a clear day, you might have seen the 2327m Vorder Glaernish towering above the Glarner Alps, eclipsed only by the Vrenelisgaertli. Despite its seemingly imposing vertical wall, the Vorder Glaernish can be traversed from the south valley (Schwaendi) to Kloental north of the peak. This hike will do just that - taking us straight up to the summit for amazing views across Glarus, and back down into the waters of the Kloentalersee for a cool dip.

This is a very strenous climb (not a hike), with between 1,500 - 2,000m of steep ascent and descent. No technical gear is required, but should things become too difficult for the group or the weather deteriorate, I will cancel the hike / turn back. At the top, the hike is rated between T4-T5 (http://www.hikr.org/post2984.html). To sign up you should have done at least a few high alpine hikes in rocky terrain, should be in good shape, and should not be afraid of heights. You also are required to have climbing boots with stiff soles and ankle support.

The plan would be to:

- Take the 7.40am train from Zurich to Glarus, towards Schweandi (700m). It is possible to overnight in Schwaendi itself to start early, particularly if the day is forecast to be very hot.

- Work our way up to the summit, where we will have lunch.

- Walk down to the Kloentalersee, with time to cool down and have a celebratory drink.

- Take the bus back latest at 5.50pm, to be in Zurich at 7.30pm.

Please bring with you:

- A one way ticket to Schwändi b. Schwanden GL, Post. Return from Klöntal, Rhodannenberg

- Plenty of water, snacks, and a packed lunch.

- Sun, wind, and rain protection depending on the weather.

- Climbing boots. Hiking poles would be useful for the descent.

- Swimming gear, if you wish to dip in the Kloentalersee.

- The desire to celebrate with the group at the end of the afternoon, time permitting.

Given the path is both steep and in places narrow, this will not be a large group. RSVP yes only if you absolutely intend to join, not just to reserve a spot and be a no show or a last minute drop-out.

If you have questions on the climb, please read these summaries for a few of many variations: http://www.hikr.org/tour/post50799.html; http://www.hikr.org/tour/post41807.html. If you've done this climb before and are familiar with the routes, please let me know.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful views, thanks Dweep!

    August 27, 2012

  • Ola

    Grazie mille Davide :)) so according to this file we did 55 effort km in 7,5 h :))) that is goood :)))

    August 26, 2012

  • Davide

    Here is the link to the gps track recorded during the hike:

    https://sites.google.com/site/davikokar/gpx/2012_08_26_Schwändi_Braunwald.zip

    August 26, 2012

  • Davide

    Very nice hike.

    August 26, 2012

  • Natalia P.

    It was great notwithstanding the weather in the beginning of the day.

    August 26, 2012

  • Ola

    We did not do the initial plan, but amazing organizing skills in finding plan B, C, D, E, F in those difficult weather conditions :))) Had huge fun, thanks for organizing :))

    August 26, 2012

  • Nastya

    Another weather update - it rains dogs and cats here in Lachen. I am looking at the mountains in the direction we are heading and things are not looking up so good. Even if it miraculously clears up, wet rocks are the worst to climb! slippery and very bad grip. been there. done it.

    i wish youd move it to the next weekend so i could join but doesnt look that way. bad for me. :(

    You guys have tons of fun!

    August 26, 2012

  • Dweep

    Last weather update - it will be cold tomorrow. Please remember to bring warm clothing.

    August 25, 2012

  • Davide

    Ok let's meet directly on the platform or on the train.
    To the ones coming from Luzern: If you take the train 6.35 we'll see us there.

    August 25, 2012

  • Fran

    me too :)

    August 25, 2012

  • Natalia P.

    See you, guys! Let's do it ) I'm also coming from Lucerne

    August 25, 2012

  • Dweep

    Davide - Suggest you (and anyone coming from outside Zurich) meet us on platform 3 or on the train (leaving at 7.40am). My number is[masked] 77.

    All - please remember to buy a 1-way ticket to Schwanden. We will buy an onward bus ticket once there.

    August 25, 2012

  • Davide

    HI, I'm also in. I will arrive in Zurich at 07:25, with the train from Luzern. See you there.

    August 25, 2012

  • Nastya

    Hi Dweep, I will jump on the train in Lachen to join you guys. Once Im on Ill find you. Thanks for organizing the hike. Looking forward to meeting everybody.

    August 25, 2012

  • Dweep

    Thank you for the enthusiasm...I'd say we have a quorum! Please bring a pair of light gloves with you, in addition to rain gear. See you tomorrow!

    August 25, 2012

  • Lukas

    i am in!

    August 25, 2012

  • Ola

    I'm in :)

    August 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in!

    August 25, 2012

  • Dweep

    Weather forecasts suggest rain tonight with clearing skies from the early morning, and sun in the afternoon. It could make for a great day, but I am inclined not to do this hike except in stable weather. However, I have identified two other challenging hikes in the area, with at least one of the alternatives also having a slightly less imposing but still challenging climb to the summit. I suggest that we meet at the train station and head to Schwanden and depending on weather decide which of the three to do. Please update your rsvp if you do not plan on joining.

    August 25, 2012

  • Claudia D.

    thanks for the update, dweep. I like plan b too, I'm in tomorrow.

    August 25, 2012

  • Dweep

    Folks - given the many concerns about this hike I wanted to reiterate my view. This is a hike that, as far as I've been able to find out, does not require technical climbing. However, you are expected to be comfortable at heights and be surefooted, with experience in rocks. Despite not having done this hike before I am comfortable attempting it - with the emphasis on attempt. The intention is to proceed with caution and to assess the path as we go along with the option to turn back. Please assess your level of comfort accordingly, and if you still think its a good idea I will welcome your company - if the weather gods smile, that is!

    August 23, 2012

  • Jos K.

    Hi Dweep,
    interesting, challenging trail but like it. One question though, is the following climb on this specific picture part of our trail?
    http://www.hikr.org/gallery/photo649957.html?post_id=43232#1
    (copied from the link you posted)
    Thanks, jos

    August 23, 2012

    • Dweep

      Jos - yes, that is one of the trails up. There is at least one other route up which is potentially easier. My intention is to take a call once there depending on conditions and people's abilities.

      August 23, 2012

  • Dirk

    As the group has filled up now, I step back and will hike to Schreckhornhütte. Maybe cu another time then. Take care and have fun.

    August 23, 2012

  • Dweep

    Folks - if you have concerns on the path please see the photos in this tour description: http://www.hikr.org/tour/post43232.html
    As you will see there are a few coulours that are steep and require surefootedness. No ropes are generally needed, and one area is secured. You should feel comfortable climbing these colouirs.

    Of course, if someone wants to bring ropes & harness, happy to have that as insurance and use it when necessary.

    August 23, 2012

  • Natalia P.

    Dweep, are you sure harness and ropes are not needed ?

    August 22, 2012

    • Dweep

      Natalia, Riikka - no harness and ropes are not needed.

      August 23, 2012

  • Dirk

    Thanks for clarification, Dweep. Have you done this trip yourself before? Or did you just read about it? I am very sorry to ask, Dweep, but could you clearify your own alpine experience? Some of the reports I researched sound a bit frightening. But of course it is hard to say if such a report was made by an experienced mountain geek or by some flat-lander being overwhelmed. And as I read there might be various paths and weather conditions that have a big impact on the level of difficulty.

    Looking at the participants, I saw only a rather low level of experience ... as far as I can judge. So at least one of us should really have significant experience and being able to guide the group with enough reserves to handle a difficult situation. I feel comfortable for myself, but I am not sure about my ability to look for others.

    August 20, 2012

    • Dweep

      Hi Dirk - I have not done this route myself, but read the reports like you and spoken to at least one Glarus resident. My understanding is that this is not a technical climb and does not require ropes. I've done a number of tours and know the basics of rock climbing. I also believe I know when its time to turn back.That said, everyone has to take their own call and I will not decide for anyone else.

      August 23, 2012

  • Moni

    Hi together, I have a GA for Sunday. We can talk about the price, what is suitable for you. If you live in Zurich I can bring to you. My mobile number is: 0 766193454. Or you can send me a message [masked]. Cheers, Moni

    August 23, 2012

  • Natalia P.

    At least it is not North Face :) should be ok.

    August 22, 2012

  • Britta S.

    sounds interesting, but even if in good condition I guess I'd need something more beginner-friendly when I look at that red line on the pic!

    August 22, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dweep, I would also like to know your reply to Natalia's question of the required gear. I'm fine if no special equipment is necessary for this climb, but if it will be actual mountain climbing with ropes etc. I need to drop out - not there, yet.

    August 22, 2012

  • Aaron B.

    I think this hike is one step to difficult for me at the moment. I need to get some more climbing practice before I take it on. Have a great time!

    August 20, 2012

  • Mike B.

    That's a great trip! Unfortunately on holiday, otherwise I'd definitely join you.

    August 20, 2012

  • Dweep

    Dirk - I meant something like the La Sportiva Karakorum or Nepal Evo. BTW, please check with me before booking an overnight, in case the weather changes.

    August 19, 2012

  • Dweep

    Aaron - this is not a technical rock climb requiring ropes, but does require scrambling and sure footedness. Generally it is not harder than UIAA rating III.

    August 19, 2012

  • Aaron B.

    Hi Dweep, this is a very tempting event! Thanks for organizing. hikr.org seems to be down at the moment and I want to be sure to read the details before I say "yes". I'll check back tomorrow. At this altitude, we need to consider increased risk of falling rock. (The warm nights mean nothing stays frozen up there.) What's the difficulty rating of the climbing sections?

    August 19, 2012

  • Dirk

    I would really like to come. I think[masked]m would be close to my limits. If there are temperatures above 27°, I cannot do it. That's why I am not signing in yet.

    As I am coming from Bern, I am considering going one day earlier and maybe camping, relaxing, swimming, BBQ etc. on Saturday. Anyone interested to join.

    With climbing-shoes, do you mean those shoes that you wear when doing rope-climbing?

    August 19, 2012

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