Approach via summit of Vorderer Schwarzmooskogel

Although relatively close to the Bergrestaurant in pure distance terms, the summit area of the Vorderer Schwarzmooskogel is an inaccessible location, hedged around with small cliffs and patches of dwarf pine.

There are three possible approaches, of varying merits, and which is used depends as much on the favoured starting point, as on anything else. From the Bergrestaurant itself, it is possible (though not easy) to follow the Nipple path, not as far as the Nipple itself, then hack up towards the summit, possibly via Schwabenschacht. However, this is only really useful if also visiting caves near this path.

A second approach, equally usable from the road or from Top Camp is a direct assault of the small cliffs and dwarf pine from the Schwarzmoossattel, or slightly down valley. This appears to be the route used most frequently when the summit area caves were explored in the early eighties, but has not been used recently.

The "modern" approach is to follow the 161 approach, hacking off at either of two points, depending on whether caves east or west and north of the summit are the destination.

summit pic For the north and west, a recently cairned path seems to be the most popular approach to the summit by walkers, and is clearly destined to become increasingly clear with traffic. Indeed, it is becoming an easy route for those approaching 161 and the col to get side-tracked onto. It ascends close to laser point 0/1, and the small group of nearby entrances, the most obvious of which is the open shaft of 1623/156. This should be skirted on the left (uphill, east) side. Following the cairned route through various patches of pine leads to the summit, not obvious until you are almost upon it.

The route taken by early eighties surface surveys, to caves on the east side of the summit (and perhaps best for those based at Top Camp familiar with the route to Kaninchenhöhle), is to go along a traverse route marked with orange paint (by a French caving group, we believe), from the 161c entrance. This path leads below 162 and 163 to lead eventually towards the Eishöhle area, between Kaninchenhöhle and Stellerweghöhle. This zone has various caves not explored by CUCC, and as such was neglected by us for many years. However, around 2000 it became clear that it was a critical area beneath which the much sought-after connection between the two biggest caves in the area must lie, and it received much attention from both CUCC and Arge for several years (although the connection was eventually found elsewhere). See, for example, the 2000 Expo goals document. This area can also be accessed via the Nipple path, which was the main access route for the CUCC explorations in Eishöhle.