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Freeride tour of the week | Nagelfluhkette

Classic in the AllgÀu: from Hochgrat to midday

by C. N. ‱ 01/10/2016
The tour is described in almost every AllgÀu tour book. If you are looking for solitude, you are probably in the wrong place on the Nagelfluhkette. Nevertheless, it is a special tour that everyone should do at least once. It is a series of ascents and descents and offers countless variations. The longest variant from Hochgrat to Mittag is described here.

The physically demanding tour should be started very early from the Hochgratbahn parking lot (for a fee), take one of the first gondolas (touring ticket available, http://www.hochgrat.de/) or climb up to the lovingly managed Staufner Haus (www.staufner-haus.de), spend the night there and set off from there the next morning.

Tour description

If you don't want to use the gondola, it's best to walk away from the ski area via the lower Lauch-Alpe and roughly along the toboggan run towards Staufner Haus and from there up to Hochgrat. Here you start the first descent via one of the gullies to the GĂŒtle-Alpe.

It's worth keeping your eyes open for downhill options throughout the tour. The "main descents" are often tracked on the tour after longer periods of stable weather, while a few meters to the left or right of them you can collect turns in untracked snow in sometimes somewhat "hidden" gullies. This is also the case on the first descent: while most ski tourers tackle the main gully, the southern shoulder often remains untouched...

The second ascent begins at the GĂŒtle-Alpe, which leads over the gentle slopes below the summit in front towards Rindalphorn. From here, you descend again via one of the steep gullies of varying widths into the basin of the Vordere Rind-Alpe. In the area of the Rindalphorn, you can still find dry powder for a long time in the steep north-facing exposures.

From the Vordere Rind-Alpe, the next ascent is to the GĂŒndleskopf. From there, descend to the GĂŒndles-Alpe via a steep gully (to the right in the direction of travel) or a somewhat flatter gully (to the left).

The next ascent takes you from the GĂŒndles-Alpe to the Buralpkopf. In critical conditions, you can also reach the Buralpkopf from the GĂŒndleskopf via the ridge.

From the Buralpkopf, descend via gentler south-east-facing slopes towards the Gatter-Alpe. There you put on your skins again and climb over a ridge with loose trees to the Sedererstuiben. From there, follow the ridge to the Stuiben. Alternatively, you can ski down the northern slopes of the Sedererstuiben and then ascend to the Stuiben.

If you have had enough or have already taken too long, you can take a shortcut via the Gundalpe and Mittelbergalpe through the Steigbach valley towards Immenstadt.

Other options are from Stuiben via one of the north-facing access points over the slopes "Im Grund" towards Hintere Krumbachalpe, from where you can walk up the wooded north-west slope to Steineberg.

From Steineberg, you can easily reach its eastern summit. From there, first descend a few meters to the south before taking the narrow and steep entrance on the left into the last gully of the tour. From here, you should keep to the left and then ascend a few meters to the BĂ€renkopf. The route now takes you to the ski area at midday via a pull trail and then on foot from the valley station to the train station in Immenstadt.

From here, take the train and bus back to the Hochgratbahn valley station.

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Tips

Before you set off on your tour, you should make sure that the skins will stick reliably. You should pack a piece of adhesive tape in your emergency kit just in case, so that you can at least make a makeshift fix for skins that go on strike. You should also pack as light as possible and still take an extra change of clothes with you.

Do not underestimate the length of the tour and, above all, the duration with the frequent changes between ascent and descent. It's better not to dawdle on the tour. It is worth taking a look at the train and bus timetable, which is not particularly tourer-friendly (www.bahn.de and www.rba-bus.de), as a cab ride from the train station in Immenstadt back to the Hochgratbahn parking lot costs a pretty penny...

The east-facing gullies in particular, with their sometimes steep entrances, require safe conditions. In spring, you should keep an eye on the daytime warming and especially the conditions on the south-facing slopes towards the middle and end of the tour.

Information

Difficulty: ***
Average gradient/maximum gradient: Up to a maximum of 35° on the ascent/up to a maximum of 40° on the descent - depending on the line chosen.
Exposure: all
Metres in altitude uphill and downhill: If using the lift and short variant, at least 1.500m, depending on the choice of line or with an additional ascent from the parking lot significantly more.
Duration: All-day tour, duration also strongly dependent on speed when frequently switching between ascent and descent mode.
Best time of year: January-April
Directions: From Kempten via the B19 to Immenstadt. From there via Oberstaufen and Steibis to the Hochgratbahn. Coming from the west via Lindenberg or Lingenau towards Oberstaufen.
Topographical maps: Alpine Club map BY1 "AllgÀuer Voralpen West - Nagelfluhkette, Hörnergruppe 1:25,000"

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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