This one has been on my list for years, I just never had a partner that wanted to go do it. I really liked the fact that it would be a close drive for something cool for once. Silvana who I have done a few trips with nowadays and who is a good rock climber who leads trad and sport was keen to give this one a go. We drove up to the gondola and the road is in really good shape this year, most cars with abit of clearance will make it up. Whenever I drive this road I always shake my head at the time me and SimonC pushed our bikes up from the valley bottom to do Co-Pilot when the road was fully deactivated. Damn that was gross.
The appeal to taking bikes in the back of the truck is when you park at the gondola gate, you can bike for almost 5km's to the Habrich turnoff trail, the last 2km are pretty rough but still worth it if you have a good bike. The trail to get to the base of Habrich is definitely a climbers descent trail, there are a handful of switchbacks, otherwise it's just straight up and steep. We arrived at the col where there is a nice flat rock to put on our harnesses and fuel up.
The route we would be taking is the route that SimonC and Doug Ross did and put up on here, it's doable without a rope on the ascent depending on your comfort level, and then Steven Song years later did the same route and published a detail report on it on his website. It is also mentioned in one of the old guide books. It's basically the North side for abit, then NW face to the summit. There are also climbing routes that you pass by on the way up the most popular being Escape Velocity which is the same starting move which has 2 bolts with some old tat hanging from them that you can use for aid if you require.
Now it's just routefinding and picking your way up until the terrain leads you to the always wet corner. The exposure is real and a slip on the wet will send you sliding back to the bottom, we felt comfortable enough hugging the wall and staying low and doing 1 long step across the upper wet to get to safe ground so we didn't have to use the rope or build an anchor.
After the wet corner, it leads you into a short but fun chimney and then it's walking ledges covered in bush to go with whatever works. We kept plugging along and ended up finding the first fixed line up a slab, and then found another fixed line.
The upper portion of the mountain was a blast cause it went from steep wall scrambling into nice slab walking, and eventually topping out on Habrich
We had good views and stayed for about 30min and then started down, downclimbing went fine but we did end up rapping down the chimney, and then basically rapping down the wet corner, and then rapping the very first starting move.
Pretty uneventful hike down, we found our bikes and started down the road. The bikes I brought are from the 80's so they aren't the best for how rough the road is, I managed to fight the conditions off but poor Silvana ended up pushing it down alot of the upper section until we hit the smooth road. It was still a time saver. Then some beers and jerky and tunes back at the truck.