|Jungfrau, Normal Route|
The Jungfrau (4158 meters, 13,638 feet) is the westernmost and highest of the famous Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau trilogy. It is a truly high altitude alpine route with an easy approach by train from town!
The Jungfraujoch railway is a wonder of 20th century technology and ambition, drilled through the solid rock of the Eiger. It spirals its way through the mountain, emerging only for terrifying glimpses over the Nordwand and the Eismeer Glacier, and finally ends at the Jungfraujoch, the 12,000+ foot high pass between the Mönch and the Jungfrau. The original plan was to continue burrowing to the summit of the Jungfrau itself, but wartime and lack of finances intervened, and thankfully the idea was abandoned.
Most climbers spend a night in the cozy and comfortable Mönchsjochhütte (try saying that ten times fast) at 12,000 feet, before the climb. Starting out before daylight, the route crosses the Jungfraufirn, and climbs steep mixed snow and rock to the Rottalsattel, at the base of the summit tower. From here, we traverse a steep snow and ice slope which leads to the easy but somewhat airy rock of the summit ridge.
This climb has a bit of everything, a glacier approach, followed by rock climbing, then a snow ridge to a pass, and more and steeper snow, ice and rock to the airy summit.
|The Jungfrau from the Mönch|
The Jungfrau is considered to be a moderately difficult route, not well suited for beginners but appropriate for intermediate climbers with experience on both snow and rock. While the absolute technical difficulties are not great, the route is long, complex and fairly continuous, especially in the upper section where there is no letup in angle until you reach the summit. Expect to climb a bit of low 5th class rock and ice to about 60 degrees.
PrerequisitesThis is a route for experienced climbers, who are fit, can handle exposure well and are comfortable on easy 5th class rock in mountain boots.
The Mönch is a very logical peak to combine with the Jungfrau. A good two-day combination can include both summits, the Mönch on the first and the Jungfrau on the second. It is also possible to include the Eiger for a harder three-day outing.
Kathy Cosley & Mark Houston
AMGA Certified • SNGM members
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