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 Fredt 16 Feb 2020

I’m looking at soloing the Allalinhorn Hohlaubgrat route, but I’m not sure about the rock step. In Les Swindin’s Valais Alps East, he gives it AD, saying the rock section alone gives it that Grade, but he doesn’t give the rock a technical grade, just says ‘climb the broken rocks...’

Martin Moran on the other hand gives the route PD+, saying the route is ‘direct and simple, and does not warrant the AD grade given in some other guidebooks’.
He gives the rock bit grade II. 

GoPro footage on YouTube makes it look steep and exposed, but GoPros tend to do that by default.

So, anyone on here done the rock bit? How would you grade it?

Thanks in advance.


 Agar Jelly 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Fredt:

Did it 25 years ago - it was nicely snowed up and no problems at all.

Edit, if you're soloing I'd also be concerned about the crevasses in the glacier lower down!

Post edited at 14:34
In reply to Fredt:

Id say MM is about right. And yes, the glacier is crevassed

In reply to Fredt:

martin moran is right. I echo comments about the glacier - I wouldn't be keen on soloing it.

In reply to Fredt:

I did it last summer and would say the rock part is comparable to Pollux which is graded PD+. The rock climb is about 4 or 5 moves max although I would say 2/3 rather than 2. After the first belay post it's a scramble and then a steepish snow climb to the summit ridge. The approach from the Britannia hut is magnificent though. Can't say the same about the descent to the Allalin Express top station.

 cb294 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

I did it a few years ago late in the season with very little snow, and the first move off the ridge was rather tricky, ended up doing it "mixed", hooking a hold you can normally easily reach with my ice axe. Then 4 or 5 more moves at UIAA 2 or 3, up to the first belay post, and it is game over.

As the others said above, though, there is no way I would solo the glacier below.


In reply to cb294:

I was with 3 Czech friends who for some reason have an aversion to putting the rope on. They insisted on leaving the rope off, which I was carrying, until we got to the rock band and then a major faff ensued getting everyone roped up.

A couple of years ago we set off to climb the North West face of the Gran Paradiso and they were adamant they didn't need to put a rope on. I wasn't so confident and about turned and descended from the bergschrund then climbed over the Laveciau glacier to join the normal route. An Italian guide quite rightly shouted at me for not being roped up!!

 jon 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Fredt:

I'd echo all the above. The glacier is distinctly gnarly but the rock step isn't really a problem. I've also done it by taking the first metro and getting off at the midway point - I don't know if they still allow it - but it does miss out the lower really crevassed part of the approach from the Britannia. I still don't think I'd want to wander across there unroped though, as it's still crevassed. 

 HansStuttgart 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Fredt:

> So, anyone on here done the rock bit? How would you grade it?

I rappelled it once, the ropes got stuck and I soloed about 2/3 of the pitch to free the ropes. Felt very easy, about 2.

 tjhare1 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Fredt:

Easy climbing, but a fall with serious consequences... and I’d echo what others say RE glacier.

 streapadair 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Fredt:

Soloing the ridge some time ago, I moved a few metres to the right of the usual route and scrambled up the broken rocks, carefully I might add, and had no problems.

It was late in an unusually hot summer, and the glacier was more or less dry.

 mcawle 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Fredt:

I've done it twice, summer 2018 and again 2019. Rock step was dry both times and crumbly in places.

In 2018 the party just ahead of us got helicoptered off after one of the party took a direct hit to the head from a large rock falling off it. Luckily she had a helmet on and seemed like she'd be okay.

First few moves to the first belay post are quite steep although not hard, and as others have said you wouldn't want to fall because you'd likely keep going past the base of the rock step.

Glacier is crevassed from Britannia and also above the middle metro station. They do still stop at the middle station sometimes if requested but it seems a bit unclear whether you can request it yourself or if it's only possible if the guides happen to have already organised it that day.

There are also crevasses on the descent down the normal route.

It's not something I'd want to solo due to objective hazard.

Post edited at 04:10

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