Some say that the name Gastlosen comes from the Latin castellum, meaning castle or dungeon. The chain does look like a superb defense development, especially when arriving from the Juan pass on a clear day.
This is a Fribourg pre-alps rock climbing area with over 700 routes between 1 and 16 pitches on the North (harder, overhanging sector) and South (slabby, with more morederate routes) sides of the 15 km-long range. Most of the 61 summits of the range have only seen their first ascents during the XXth century. Gastlosen is appreciated for its high-quality limestone with many recently bolted developments.
From the beginning of the 70ies the new routes in Gastlosen became more and more hard-core with FAs of the North side, although aid climbing still dominated the scene. After the free-climbing revolution of the 80ies, the number of FAscentionists exploses at Gastlosen with first 8as by Jean-Claude Bovard such as Mamy Onsight and Seaside Vacation. He also places bolts on Torture Physique, which is climbed only in 1994 with a rating of 8c announced by Elie Chevieux. Several climbers stay many months at Gastlosen that becomes a magic climbing rendez-vous in the midst of the high looming peaks.
Gastlosen is between 1500 and 2000 meters of altitude, thus snow can appear as early as November and stay as long as June. However climbing is possible year-round if you are willing to carry skis for approach in winter and choose a sunny day.
Other sports are possible in the area, such as hiking, biking, ski touring in winter or sky diving and parapente during summer.
You can find more info about lodging, getting around and topos at Gastlosen.ch.
The closest lodging is at the Soldatenhaus on the North-West side or the Challet Grat on the South one. Good price/quality option for lodging might be the Ritzli Alp bed&breakfast further in the valley, with dorms or private rooms available. Camping is also possible for 5CHF during the summer months behind the bridge near Maxim's restaurant with WC and telephone available. A car is still needed to access the crag from this spot though.
|Nearest town or city:||Jaun|
|Directions:||Go to Fribourg then Jaun|
|When to Climb:||Autumn Spring Summer|
|Quantity of Climbs:||Year|