Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany
Watzmann, 2713 m
Climbing the Watzmann East Face with friends, having a wonderful day on the mountain with fantastic views of the Berchtesgaden Alps – that was our goal.
The Watzmann East Face is the highest Face in the eastern Alps and in combination with the subsequent Watzmann Ridge a real challenge for strong climbers with great endurance.
The cruxes are sometimes quite exposed, routine in rope-free climbing shouldn’t be a problem. The main requirement is the orientation amidst a 1800 meter high rock face, which is structured into many ledges and numerous chimneys. Additionally during the summer months, it requires sufficient water and a good endurance for the whole tour.
Let’s check the location:
September 2nd and 3rd, 2016, together with Achim Schneider.
August 10th, 2014, together with Achim Schneider, Aleksandr Karakozov and Johannes Riedelsheimer.
St. Bartholomä. Drive from Berchtesgaden to Königssee, park there and walk to the harbor. The boat brings you in 30 minutes to St. Bartholomä. North of the hostelry, on the edge of the forest, is the East Face bivouac Ostwandlager. The key and food for dinner is available in the hostelry up to 6 p.m. From the Ostwandlager you reach the beginning of the climb near the snow field “Eiskapelle” in one hour.
Best time of the year:
August and September. In July there is still a lot of snow in the wall, and the danger of falling rocks is huge. In September, however, it is possible to have snow in the summit area. Crossing the Bergschrund of the snow fields “Eiskapelle” and “Schöllhornkar” (Kederbacher Weg) can be very tricky in September.
Wall height of 1800 m, climbing lenght about 3000 m.
Difficulties on the Salzburger Weg:
We crossed the Bergschrund of the snow field “Eiskapelle” on the upper left rim over a debris field. After that we traversed over a knoll and climbed a gully to reach the first grass field. The Salzburger Weg offers six pitches of demanding climbing, and has a 4. pitch, which is nearly impossible to protect.
Difficulties on the Berchtesgadener Weg:
Climbing the East Face via Berchtesgadener Weg isn’t a particularly big problem. Nevertheless, one should be able to climb the route with backpack and mountain boots, be superior in ascent and descent, as well as on wet rock. The first three gutters must be abandoned on partially insignificant paths to the right. The climbing difficulties in two areas are at 3+ UIAA (one slab section in middle of the wall and the eight-meter-wall in the upper part). It is necessary to have a great endurace, a good sense for orientation, be free of vertigo and to be adept in climbing without a rope on exposed sections.
In the middle of the wall there at various opportunities for bivouacs, in the upper third of the wall there is a fixed bivouac. On top of the Hocheck there is a bivouac hut.