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Ascent of Aroser Rothorn on 2011-08-22

Climber: Lee Newton

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, August 22, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Aroser Rothorn
    Location:Switzerland
    Elevation:2980 m / 9777 ft

Ascent Trip Report

On one of the hottest days of the year I drove east towards Chur then Arosa. Going all the way up to Innerarosa I found the bottom station of the "Hoernli-Express" cable car without difficulty. Parking cost CHF 8 for the full day. Setting off up the valley past the 2 small lakes Scwellisee and Aelplisee, I soon came tot he extensive Alpine meadow above. Here the difference in colour of the rock on the Rot (red)-horn and the Weiss (white)-horn was already striking in the morning sun. The path junction leading to the Erzhornsattel is not particularly obvious in the stony terrain but the continuation above is always in sight. The main trail continues up the valley along the south slopes of the Parpaner Weisshorn and is much used as a mountain-bike descent from the Parpaner Rothorn cable car (accessible from Lenzerheide). Above the obvious shoulder, the rock underfoot changes to a very unstable black scree which is okay for a while but becomes intimidating high up as the path deteriorates. I would have been much more comfortable on rock twice as steep as I was on this loose crap and I cannot recommend this as an ascent route. Indeed it is marked blue and white instead of red and white which normally in Switzerland indicates steep or exposed scrambling or sometimes glacier crossing. I learned later that the designation had been changed after some experienced mountaineers had slithered and slid to their deaths down the loose stuff - you have been warned!

From the Elzhornsattel I could see that the S side was obviously better used and far safer, and I resolved to return that way. The ridge from the sattel to the Aroser Rothorn looks quite intimidating but is actually very easy with a straightforward path winding through all of the difficulties. Soon I was on top to admire stupendous views from Piz Bernina in the south to Toedi in the Northeast. A heat haze obscured more distant peaks and I was glad to be at nearly 3000m where the temperature was a mere 20C instead of in the valley below (Chur hit 35C that day..).

A couple of hikers had crossed the ridge from the Parpaner Rothorn after coming up by cable car. Although this route is very short there is still a lot of loose rock so not really one for the scrambling connosieur. Save your hands for a mountain that's stuck together better...

Returning to the Elzhornsattel I descended to the Swiss Alpine CLub hut Ramozhuette - an unmanned but pleasant looking facility with a spotless and odourless outside loo.

The walk down the valley to Arosa got hotter and hotter and I was glad to reach the shady forest in the lowest part where I soaked my blistered feet int he river for a while. About 1km short of Arosa I turned left uphill (signposted Innerarosa) and followed the river uphill back towards the cable car station. Just before reaching that level (as the path crosses back to the south side of the river, cut uphill between two old wooden houses to reach the road end 100m east of the car park. A long drive back to Basel completed an excellent day out.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1396 m / 4580 ft
    Elevation Loss:1396 m / 4580 ft
    Distance:17 km / 10.6 mi
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Very hot and humid
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1147 m / 3760 ft
    Distance:6 km / 3.7 mi
    Route:Elzhornsattel N side
    Trailhead:Bottom Station - Hornli-Express cable car  1833 m / 6017 ft
    Time Up:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1396 m / 4580 ft
    Extra Gain:249 m / 820 ft
    Distance:11 km / 6.8 mi
    Route:Elzhornsattel S side and Welschtobel
    Trailhead:Bottom Station - Hornli-Express cable car  1833 m / 6017 ft
    Time Down:5 Hours 



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