Rätikon is a range of mountains in central-eastern Alps located on the border between Switzerland and Austria. Its most appealing climbing parts are the south faces of the huge, 15km long rock wall, that offer the biggest number of difficult, multi-pitch routes in Switzerland and perhaps even in all the Alps. The wall is divided into two smaller regions: the western part, close to the village, Schluders and the Grüschner Älplï hut and the eastern part with Dorf St. Antönien and See von Partnun lake.
Climbing history of Rätikon
The history of first ascents in Rätikon region dates back to the XVIIth century. In 1610 David Pappus, Christa Barball and Claus Manall, all of them from Vorarlberg, climbed the highest peak of Rätikon , Schesaplana (2965m). By the year 1870 all highest mountains of this range had been climbed.
The beginning of the modern climbing era in Rätikon dates back to the 20’s and 30’s of the last century, when the south face of Drusenfluh, Kleiner and Grosser Drusenturm were climbed. The first ascent of Kleiner Drusenturm by south-east face was done in 1935 by Gerd Heinke and Horst Uilbrig. In 1954 Max Niedermann and W. Fleischmann established the classic Schwarzpfeiler on Grosser Drusenturm. The forthcoming years brought the appearance of another classic routes on Salzfluch and in 1957 Max Niedermann and P. Diener faced the Schijenfluh wall and did the first ascent of Westverschneidung.
It was not until 1974 when Vital Eggenberger and U. Hew opened the first route leading through the famous slabs of Kirchlispitze. The new route was named Via Pardutz (now 6c+), and many years later was re-equipped with bolts. Nowadays this route is one of the most beautiful and popular in the region.