Fixed-rope route level 3-4. Due to its length this is a challenging via ferrata (mountain trail with fixed cable); most exciting passages at the beginning and by the distinctive tower, in between however also lots of grassy patches (flowers!), which is why hikers are recommended to attempt this route in dry weather conditions only.
Hikers opting for the "Nostril Route" (Nasenlöcher-Route) need headlamps, a 20-metre rope and a few biners and links for intermediate securing.
Ausserberg (1008 m) at the Lötschberg South Ramp. Bus from Visp.
Ascent to fixed-rope route
From Ausserberg (1008 m) initially on tarmac along the sunny hillside up to the Niwärch, an old irrigation channel. Then along a narrow trail ascending gently with the irrigation channel to the picturesque Baltschied Valley. Behind the huts of the Üsser Senntum (1287m above sea level) the mighty trench which runs straight down from the Wiwanni Hut soon comes into view; the via ferrata runs across the ridge to the right of it. Blue markings indicate the way from the valley trail (plain) across stony meadows and rocks to the mouth of the Klamm and, to the right of it, the beginning of the fixed-rope route marked with a large red exclamation mark (about 1780m above sea level).
Baltschied fixed-rope route
Immediately along the wire rope up a steep incline over rock steps and gullies onto the huge, partly grass-covered slope and continuing to ascend sharply up to a distinctive rock tower. From there around the tower on the right and along a very exposed route section diagonally down to a notch; then over rocks and a ridge rib back onto a grassy patch and along the wire rope to the end of the fixed-rope route (about 2440m). Follow the track heading over to the left to reach the Wiwanni Hut (2463m) which has been visible for some time.
Along the hut trail marked white-red-white down to the Lerchwald, then keeping left to the avalanche barriers. From here in a zigzag line down to a country track. The country track soon turns into a small road which in big loops descends down to the Telwald. The road crosses over the Niwärch at a few huts and eventually leads to Ausserberg.
Eugen E. Hüsler/Daniel Anker: Wandern vertikal. Die Klettersteige der Schweiz, AT Verlag, Baden 2004
Region: Southern Bernese Alps, Bietschhorn Group
Summit/culmination point: Wiwanni Hut (2463m above sea level)
Hiking times: Ascent to fixed-rope route 2 h 45 min., fixed-rope route 2 h 45 min., descent 2 h 30 min.; 8 hours in total.
Difference in altitude: 1500m