/ Kuffner Ridge in Winter

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triq-D 29 Aug 2019

Just wondering if anyone has done the Kuffner Ridge in Winter in recent years. I know it has been done but just wondering if it's total insanity or if there is a chance to have good conditions. I've looked here and elsewhere and can't really find anything. Maybe that means no one in their right mind has done it (or hasn't survived long enough to put up a report!) Especially interested as it seems hot dry summers make it pretty sketchy.

smithaldo 30 Aug 2019
In reply to triq-D:

Given the likelihood of deep snow, I imagine the main issue is with the logistics in getting to it and getting off it, rather than necessarily the climbing once on it.

I guess snowshoes might help. Simply as unless you are really good, it doesn't seem like a route you would ski into, climb with skis on then descend on skis, as isn't the tacul normal route really hard on skis?

Maybe late winter might work if it was a low snow year and it was all consolidated?

BarneyLoosemore 30 Aug 2019
In reply to triq-D:

I'd imagine the likelihood of unconsolidated snow would make the exposed sections (e.g. the demi-lune) a more serious proposition. That said Jeff Mercier recently posted a pic on instagram with him on it in what looked like winter/spring conditions, so it's probably possible. Maybe April/May would be ok? 

triq-D 02 Sep 2019
In reply to BarneyLoosemore:

Thanks chaps. Actually was able to find this:


I guess it's doable. But I'd make sure to do it with someone who I can trust and you'd also have to monitor the conditions. Anyway, I'd like to do it some day. But I'm not going to kill myself just to make it happen.

pec 02 Sep 2019
In reply to triq-D:

I have a friend who once tried it after heavy snowfall (though not in winter) and after about double guidebook time they were only halfway up it and had to turn back.

My own experience of climbing ridges out of season (not strictly in winter) and under heavy unconsolidated snow is that it's painfully slow.

Climbing it in winter, even with a lot of snow on it may be fine but unless it's consolidated you could be in for a long day (and a long cold benightment!)

BarneyLoosemore 03 Sep 2019
In reply to triq-D:

Do you have a particular desire to do it in winter, or is that just because you think it’s no longer possible in summer given the drying of the Alps? There’s no doubt the melting of perma-frost in successive hot summers has had an effect on the route, but it should still be doable at some point (June most likely) every summer. If we have another extremely wet summer like in 2014, it could be in practically the entire season (provided you got a break in the weather, and fresh snow has had time to consolidate), so I wouldn’t write it off. 

triq-D 04 Sep 2019
In reply to BarneyLoosemore:

Yeah I'd definitely like to do it in Winter, but not hellbent on it. And also haven't written it off in summer either. I'm planning a week end of March and just looking for some off the beaten tack stuff. But all is dependent on conditions at any time of year.

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