- Argentina 20 alpine routes
- Austria 1,113 alpine routes
- Chile 25 alpine routes
- Ecuador 8 alpine routes
- France 102 alpine routes
- Germany 136 alpine routes
- India 8 alpine routes
- Italy 753 alpine routes
- Nepal 15 alpine routes
- Romania 13 alpine routes
- Russia 12 alpine routes
- Spain 21 alpine routes
- Switzerland 412 alpine routes
- Tajikistan 5 alpine routes
- Tanzania 6 alpine routes
- United Kingdom 4 alpine routes
- United States of America 12 alpine routes
What is meant by alpine route?
An alpine route usually leads through the nival zone (covered with snow or ice all year round), i.e. the route usually runs over 3,000 meters in altitude, is often pathless and therefore requires special equipment such as crampons, ice ax and safety materials (carabiners, climbing harness, rope, etc.). Unsecured climbing passages in rock and / or ice are possible. Once the passion for high-altitude touring has seized, it won't let go!
Due to the altitude and the length of the ascent, alpine routes usually take longer than a day, and overnight stays are usually in huts. In addition, there are a number of alpine dangers, which is why this type of mountain sport is reserved for experienced alpinists. However, there are also easier alpine routes, which are also possible for the less experienced in the company of a mountain guide.
In addition to guided mountaineering routes, there are also special mountaineering courses that are mainly offered by the various alpine clubs. There you learn how to walk on ice / snow with crampons, crevasse rescue techniques, first aid methods and orientation options on glaciers. In addition to courses for beginners, there are also courses for advanced learners. The Alps offer us a large selection of high-altitude routes of varying degrees of difficulty, be it in the Ötztal Alps, in the Valais, in the Bernese Oberland, in the Mont-Blanc massif or in the Bernina Alps.
What do you have to consider for alpine routes?
In the high altitudes of glaciers, the danger of falling into crevasses is always present. Therefore, safety ropes, crampons, climbing harness, belay device and ice axe are part of the basic equipment of every mountaineer. Rope teams are formed to face the dangers of the ascent together in a group.
In addition to the physical dangers of the mountain, there are other risks that mountaineers have to face. The thin air at high altitudes leads to a lack of oxygen and can cause serious altitude sickness, which is why mountaineers have to undergo lengthy periods of acclimatization at high altitudes in advance.
High altitude routes are energy-sapping, sport-demanding undertakings, where the greatest risk is not so much the technically demanding climbing, as in sport climbing, but rather the frequently rapidly changing weather conditions in the cold of high altitudes. Knowledge and experience of ice and snow conditions as well as weather conditions and the mountains are just as essential as sure-footedness, freedom from vertigo and experience in climbing on rock and ice.
Classic north faces, which are usually still completely covered with ice from glaciers, such as the Zuckerhütl north face or the Hintere Schwärze north face, also belong to the High Altitude Tour category. Depending on the conditions, these tours can be climbed completely in firn (rather in winter and early summer) or are completely out of ice in winters with little snow or in summer, so that every pitch must be climbed in ice. Depending on the tour and difficulty, good firn or ice is better. For such alpine tours, you can assign the tag "ice tour" when creating the tour. Basically, one moves in classic north walls in extremely steep and high alpine terrain (over 45° slope inclination). In addition to an exceptionally good physical condition, you also need the intuitive and absolutely safe handling of the equipment required in this terrain (ice tools, ice screws, crampons). Solid knowledge in the field of avalanche awareness completes the requirement profile of a tour aspirant.