Iseler – Kühgund ridge traverse and Salewa Klettersteig

We were looking for a climbing rest-day and a chance to get a bit higher up into the mountains, and spotted a leaflet for the Salewa Klettersteig on the Iseler.

This fairly moderate Via Ferata can be accessed by an inexpensive chair lift and combined with a traverse of the Iseler-Kühgund ridge for a really enjoyable day out. The lift takes most of the toil out of the approach

… and after 20mins or so of zigzagging,

… Helen and I parted ways, as she took the “High Road” via the well-marked path and I took the more direct route up the cable.

Plenty of we’ll-kitted-out VF-merchants, but nobody took me to task over my makeshift sling attachment, and people were very polite in letting me past

– I was on the Iseler summit in about 20 minutes (somewhat shy of the 1.5 hrs guide time!)

… with Helen arriving shortly afterwards

Most of the walkers and VF crew call it a day at that point, and the crowds thin out significantly, so the onwards traverse to the Kühgund (the actual high-point of the ridge) is much more enjoyable.

Again, you’ve got the choice of cable-clambering or regular walking. The descent westwards off the end of the ridge offers spectacular views and enough exposure to keep things interesting (being careful to stick to the left side of the path rather than step into Austria, as the ridge now forms the border).

The path finally drops steeply down…

to join the Schmugglersteig path, which brings you in a very satisfactory loop back to the van.

A well judged schedule with a bit of a wiggle at the end got us down in time to zip over to Sonthofen for our table reservation at the Hirschbräuerei – also highly recommended!

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