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200 Years First Ascent of the Tödi

Updated: May 18

In 1824, Father Placidus Spescha and the two chamois hunters Placi Curschellas and Augustin Biscuolm climbed the summit of Piz Russein (Tödi) for the first time, starting in the Surselva. The courageous first ascent will be commemorated in 2024 with events in Glarus and Surselva.

The Tödi was first climbed decades before the Matterhorn and other famous Swiss mountains. A great achievement that was an impressive challenge with the equipment available at the time. This achievement, linked to a rope team, characterized by courage, endurance, pioneering spirit, heroism and perseverance, triggers humility. Humility for the pioneering, tenacious alpinists of their time who were willing to discover our mountains. Thanks to them, SAC huts, alpine schools and mountain tours led by mountain guides exist today.


On September 1, 1824, the chamois hunters C. Purtschellas and P. Bisquolm climb Piz Russein under the guidance of a priest from the Disentis monastery. It is said to be the first ascent to the highest point of the Tödis. The priest is no stranger to the alpine regions: Father Placidus a Spescha from Trun led the first ascent. For reasons of age, however, he stayed behind on the Russein Alp and followed the two chamois hunters with a telescope. He himself was thus never able to realize his great dream of climbing Piz Russein, and other personalities before and after him would also attempt to climb Tödi. A controversy surrounding the first ascent kept history on the mountain on its toes, and further exciting stories were written on Tödi in the years following the first ascent. Among other things, the idea of founding the Swiss Alpine Club was born here when Dr. Rudolf Theodor Simler from Zurich climbed the mountain and stood in front of an imposing mountain world.



2. Rudolf Bühler, the first ascents on the Tödi,


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