Ascent of Piz Kesch on 2014-07-21

Climber: Lee Newton

Others in Party:Dave Kenyon
Date:Monday, July 21, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Piz Kesch
    Elevation:11214 ft / 3418 m

Ascent Trip Report

On Sunday afternoon we parked just east of the Albulapass at Pt 2251m, and walked up to the Es-Cha Hut, a fantastic simple, old-fashioned mountain hut with friendly staff and great food. The walk up took about 80 minutes and the path goes through one of the biggest marmot colonies I have ever seen with dozens of the little creatures cavorting around the hillside. After a good meal and an early night we were delighted to get up at first light to see reasonable weather outside (forecast was not good). We got moving as quickly as possible on the good and obvious path that leads from the hut to the Porta Es-Cha. The last section involved traversing a short but quite steep slope on mixture of loose rock and old snow (rockfall, wear a helmet), to the foot a small sloping chimney, which was well protected with a cable and was anyway fairly trivial in the dry. Above, a few meters descent got us on to the glacier, which was well snow covered and had no crevasses visible, although we nevertheless roped up. The target from here was to go up into a bowl, and eventually trend right on to the rock ridge. We climbed the first third in crampons before we got past the last significant snow patches. Thereafter it started to snow, so we kept moving.. there were one or two steeper sections with a couple of bolts (3 quickdraws are plenty) but they are very short, and there is plenty of walking terrain in between. We were at the summit 3 hours after leaving the hut (09.30) and descended the ridge with reasonable haste as the snow was getting heavier and heavier. As we left the glacier, we caught the only other party on the mountain who, being an hour behind us decided not to begin the rock climb in the snow (likely wise). We arrived at the hut at 11.10 (1h40 down) in what was by now (at this altitude) heavy rain, and hung around for a couple of hours eating Rosti for lunch and mulling over further plans. Around 1 it stopped raining so we scooted down to the car (1h), and drove down to the Engadine to get mobile reception. Since the forecast was for the weather to stay dodgy in Switzerland, we drove over several passes towards the Brenta dolomites, for a climb of Cima Brenta the next day.

GPS track only recorded from hut to summit.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3961 ft / 1207 m
    Extra Gain:66 ft / 20 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.3 mi / 15 km
    Route:via Es-Cha hut and East ridge
    Trailhead:Albulapass  7385 ft / 2250 m
    Route Conditions:
Scramble, Rock Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Snowing, Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 40 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Lee Newton
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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