Großglockner Northface, Mayerl Rampe, 28th of May 2018

Actually, it is already summer end of May, at least in the valley: it is warm, frankly hot, then humid and thundery. Nevertheless, my guest and I had fixed this time window for more than a month to wrest the North wall of the highest mountain in Austria an ascent.

The omens are anything but good: when driving up it was humid and hot; the air conditioning in the car at maximum we arrive at the Franz-Josef Höhe: here rain, wet and cool. After some back and forth, we decide to climb to the bivouac, we have trouble, the snow is soft, the track is only partially present and the motivation … well.

The night in the bivouac is, at least for me, pleasant (there are only 7 people in the “box”, so few I have never seen here ;-)) and, at least it partially cleared up in the night but the snow has hardly frozen. Nevertheless, since we are already here, we climb also to the initial couloir of the Mayerl Rampe. After crossing the (extremely fragile) snow bridge over the bergschrund, the decision has been made, at least for me: the tour is possible and we will go through it.

The conditions then turn out to be surprisingly good, except that the center of the ramp is covered with about 10 cm of light snow and hard ice underneath – this equals bare ice or is actually even more unpleasant. The exit from the ramp was then again very good: firm snow and handy ice. From the Grögerschneide we could enjoy the -man listen and marvel- a pretty well snowed northwest ridge climb to the summit. All round a successful tour!