Foto Speedy Füllemann
Climbing in the Eldorado | Grimsel
golden slabs in a dreamlike setting
At least once in your climbing life you should visit the Eldorado and put your hand and feet on these world-famous slabs. Because in the Eldorado many qualities come together: a breathtaking setting, over 500m mighty slab walls, a granite of the highest quality and a lot of climbing history. The area is located in a breathtakingly beautiful environment, which is characterized by a strong landscape contrast. The Grimselsee and the lovely vegetation create almost a beach atmosphere on one side. On the other hand, the glaciated Bernese Alps with the mighty Lauteraarhorn north face give the setting a high alpine touch. A unique mix.
The climbing style in the Eldorado is old school, characterized by technical slabs, cracks and dihedrals, whereby the first ones predominate. Neither strong fingers nor a thick biceps help here, but precision, trust in the feet and a good balance. All those qualities are often needed when climbing high above the last bolt. After a long absence, already pitches in grade four can feel surprisingly demanding. This has already happened to numerous aspirants, regardless of whether they are rising stars, experienced climbers or mountain guides. But familiarity comes back soon with the exercise and you run them up again, those smooth slabs.
The lines in the Eldorado are aesthetic, as if drawn by hand. The rock is golden and the routes are long. The tireless Rémy brothers discovered and developed the Eldorado practically on their own. Initially even without a drill machine, minimally equipped with a hand drill, hammer and simple mobile safety devices, they ventured into these walls. Their performance deserves the greatest respect. Over the years, bolts have been added to many routes, but the character of most has remained serious .
Approach and descent Eldorado
Approach in about 1: 45h along the beautiful path to the Lauteraar hut, which runs under the Eldorado. The descent runs on the east side of the rock dome via a faint trail and cairns. Nevertheless, you can lose yourself. After the first third there are two options: downclimb a gully on the left or briefly abseil on the right. About 45' to the hut path.
Highlights in the Eldorado
Motörhead | 16SL | 550m | 6b (6a + obl)
Rémy brothers 81, refurbished 03, 11
Motörhead was the first route in the Eldorado and today is probably one of the most famous climbing routes in the entire Alpine region. Without a doubt, Motörhead offers beautiful climbing along a great line. The route follows a logical dihedral and crack system and, in addition to jamming and laybacking, requires precise footwork on slabs. The protection is mostly ok and can often be supplemented with mobile devices, but there are sections where a fall could end badly nevertheless. The highlights of Motörhead include
L3 / 6a + wonderful, aesthetic crack dihedral
L6 / 5c extremely rewarding slab, crack and finally dihedral climbing
L7 / 6a very rewarding but slopy dihedral
L12 / 6a wonderful and versatile with a steep intersection, roof and crack climbing at the end
Big names and moderate difficulties attract the crowds. It is not uncommon to find aspirants in Motörhead who are overstrained and fight their way up the individual pitches, particularly at a snail's pace, and cause a real traffic jam behind them. Unfortunately, it is often these rope teams that are found at the base of the crag early in the morning. So you better design an even earlier plan, travel during the week or with a little patience.