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Europe, Switzerland, Unclimbed Tower Near Furka Pass

Unclimbed Tower Near Furka Pass. Starting from the Hotel Furkablick, one can reach the base of the tower in an hour’s hike following the trail to the Sidelen Glacier to the stream draining the glacier and then up left into the snow basin immediately south of the Furkahorn. The ascent on the 400-foot east face of a tower on the Sidelen ridge, involved difficult artificial climbing on excellent Aare granite and was completed on August 15 by the Swiss Pedro Casanellas, Bill Kees of California and me. On the 13th Pedro nailed up the central line of roofs to a sling belay in an alcove. Early on the 14th I nailed up the ensuing overhanging dihedral to a black friction slab, but it was already raining and we retreated in a thunderstorm. The next day rain kept us from starting before noon, but we then climbed unexpectedly fast and soon found a small belay point above the friction slab. Pedro led the next section: a combination of free and artificial climbing and — it started to rain again. Bill led the last section, a large open-book ending in the narrow summit ridge. Since it was getting late we were relieved to discover that a 140-foot rappel off the south side got us down to easy rocks and snow. We left 25 pitons in place; for a repetition one needs two ¾” angles, two 1¼” angles, two knife-blades and a half dozen assorted pitons. NCCS F6, A4 or UIAA V, A4.

Peter Zvengrowski, Simian Climbing Club