26 - Feb - 2018
from Hannes Heigenhauser

From the Riffelbahn II mountain station to the Rossfallscharte

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via ferrata is just for the summer.... And above all you don't go on a via ferrata with skis on your back... Those who take this view should be brave in the next few lines. Because my winter ascent of the via ferrata at Rendl was an absolute highlight on the Arlberg for me!

To St. Anton

Best weather is forecast for Saturday. So after a short time of planning, we decide to finally tackle a project that has been on our to-do list for a long time:

The Arlberg winter via ferrata

In the early morning we go to Zürs and with the new connection we go to the St. Anton ski area. Thanks to the new connection, we can reach our starting point, the top station of the Riffelbahn II, in less than an hour.

Preparation for the via ferrata

Directly at the top station we see the start of the via ferrata. In front of us, the first via ferrata walkers of the day have already created a track that we gladly use. So we put on our climbing harness and check our equipment again before we march off towards the beginning. 

The first few meters

Right at the beginning it starts steeply and immediately we perceive the serious character of this via ferrata. Those who reach their physical limits here at the beginning should better turn around and not become mistakenly ambitious. After the first few metres in the vertical, the route continues westwards over many ridges and peaks. The view wanders around in the direction of the Verwall Group and back to the Lechtaler Alps, we enjoy using this view to stop for a moment and enjoy this moment of silence. 

Going on and on...

The industrious walkers in front of us have left a perfect trail. In this way, we can make rapid progress and enjoy every metre along the via ferrata. Secured with the via ferrata set, the route continues over to the Rossfallscharte, partly uphill but also downhill again and again. Definitely nothing for people with vertigo! The via ferrata is just under 850 metres long and, in good conditions, can be done without problems for sporty tourers. Our mountain and ski guides also offer guided tours. 

The last few meters

After about an hour we reach the highest point of the via ferrata, the Vordere Rendlspitze. Here we can see the exit for the first time and realize in the distance that our foremen have just reached the exit. Here full concentration is required again because over a narrow ridge it goes down from the top. The last few metres to the Rossfallscharte we look back to the via ferrata before we suddenly stand on the Rossfallscharte from the vertical. In the midst of the tourers, who are just stopping up here and watching us a bit surprised, I recognize my colleague Katja. With a grin she asks me,"if her track was good". There can't be that much coincidence...

Ride & Return

Thus, four of us enjoy a snack and prepare for the descent to the Malfontal valley to Pettneu. In the slopes on the shady side, the powder is still flowing off before the forest path takes us back to civilization. The ski bus takes us back to St. Anton. Now we're going back to Zürs, but how? Ski guide Caro, of course, decides to go downhill via the Valluga back to Zürs. Only ski guides are allowed to go up with their guests with skis, otherwise the Valluga is a wonderful viewpoint. Back in Zürs we earned a break and coffee on the sun terraces. A via ferrata is so wonderful in winter...

Did you get the taste for it?

For all those who have now gotten a taste for it: The mountain and ski guides in Lech Zürs offer guided tours for the via ferrata. An overview can be found here:

www.lechzuers.com/skischools

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