Eiger : Mittellegi Ridge
Eiger: Mittellegi Ridge

Eiger 3970 m
Start of the route (hut) 3355 m
AD+ 4a>3c IV P2

Mittlegi Ridge on the Eiger is a serious route on a serious mountain. The Eiger falls just short of 4,000 meters, so it doesn't attract as many people as the Matterhorn or Mont Blanc. However, the route is difficult, long, and descending from it is a separate adventure. But the views and atmosphere are indescribable. Although the route passes through quite shattered rocks, it is quite safe - the ridge is sharp and everything flies to the sides. I recommend doing it in good weather and in good condition.

History

The first descent: July 31, 1885,
First ascent: 10 september, 1921,
First winter ascent: 12 feb, 1934.

Approach to Mittellegi hut 2 hrs

To get to the Eismeer station, take the train. Upon arrival, exit the train on the left-hand side and find the entrance to Tunnel 4. Once inside, turn right and proceed down the path (be careful, it may be slippery) to the outside exit. Follow the ledge to the cable (if there is one), or use the bolts if there is no cable. Descend to the glacier. Head left on the glacier (the Mittelllegi hut should be visible by this point) while moving quickly to avoid falling seracs. Exit onto the rocks at about the "Grosse Turm" level, which can be identified by the second snow tongue. Cross the bergschrund onto the rock face, which is the key ascent section to the hut. This involves a rightward-angling pitch with very small holds and ledges (IV- UIAA), with 6 bolts (25m). Then climb another 20m, reach a stack, and continue another 20m to the diagonal scree ledge. Then move diagonally to the right along scree ledges (I-II) and steps (markers will help) to the Mittellegi Hut, which is spectacularly located on the northeast ridge. Along the way, there is a short rappel (15m) to cross a scree corner. The final ascent to the hut is on very shattered rocks.

Mittellegi Hut Approach
Hut approach

Topo

From Mittellegi Hut, go straight along a fairly wide ridge. The route is obvious. Meeting gendarmes is best handled head-on, as detours are usually inconvenient. With the exception of a few steep short walls, often equipped with handholds (III), all difficult sections are equipped with fixed ropes. From the summit of "Grosse Turm" (3689 m), rappel 20 m to the saddle at the base of the cable line. The cable line runs along the north side of the ridge. From the upper point of the cables, there are a couple more steps (with handholds, II, III), and then the ridge flattens out. It becomes snowy. Move either along the ridge or slightly lower on the rocks (south), depending on the conditions. At least 4 hours from the hut. Sometimes it is necessary to put on crampons fairly early, as the ridge can be snow-covered after bad weather. If it is dry, crampons will not be necessary until the very end of the snowy section.

Mittellegi Topo
Route line

Descent

On the south ridge: from the summit, continue moving south along the ridge, initially easy and then becoming steeper (II or III, with some fixed anchors). A series of short rappels (approximately 6x25m, with pitons and bolts) lead to the Nördliche Eigerjoch ridge (2-2.5 hours). Cross the first snowfield (as of summer 2022, it has crumbled along with rocks, making it difficult to cross). It is quite steep. Continue along the ridge or just next to it on the northwest side, with easy climbing and bolts and pitons for protection. The rock is excellent granite. It is necessary to cross another snowfield. Next come three gendarmes, with the most difficult section being IV. After passing the third gendarme (3770m), reach the Südliche Eigerjoch saddle (1.5-2 hours).

From the saddle, traverse in a south direction, avoiding or bypassing the crevasses, then after a short ascent, reach the Monschjoch and the hut. It's another half an hour to the Jungfraujoch station. (Total minimum time from the summit is 4 hours).

Descent route
Descent route
Topo from the book
Topos from the book


Distance: kilometer
Elevation (loss): meter
Elevation (gain): meter

Specific

  • All difficult sections are equipped with ropes.
  • The good level check is a rock wall (IV) on the approach to the hut - if there are problems with it, it's better not to risk.
  • Before taking the train, you can buy a ticket only up to Eismeer at the ticket offices in Kleine Scheidegg, Grindelwald, or Lauterbrunnen.
  • The full fare from Grindelwald Grund in 2022 is 73 CHF. The descent from Jungfraujoch is 107 CHF.

Equipment

  • 50 m rope for the rappels on S ridge.
  • many quickdraws or binners, for the protection on the spikes and fixed ropes. Better to have some Petzl Whiliam.
  • a few slings.
  • few cams could be useful.