Tuesday, 13 May 2014

April Alpine trip

April had arrived already, so I set off for the alps with the hope of some climbing and ski touring and hopefully some sun. The result was some sun.. some snow a little too much time on the planks and not so much climbing but still a good trip.
I certainly learnt a good few life lessons on this trip and gained some good ski touring experience in slightly challenging conditions.
A good couple of days on the Verbier haute route with guy.
Guy on the summit ridge to Rosa Blancha

Two nights in the Dix hut so we went for this peak, which I had aspired to climb when walking the Chamonix Zermatt haute route with my Mum as a teenager.
 Following this there was an atempt on a north face, and some sunny rock climbing and relaxing in the valley before I set off on another tour this time to the Bernese Oberland with Matt. The weather forecast was looking variable but we went for it and achieved more than we expected.

The first day up the from the Jungfraujoch train to the monchjochhut was a full on scottish winter skin, thankfully there were poles to follow and a hut to hide in. Then the weather cleared and we headed to the Gross Fischerhorn with an open mind as we didnt know how much snow and fresh windslab we might have to avoid. I broke trail in to the climb to the col and we noticed some unnerving whumphing sounds under our feet but the steep ascent was fairly scoured.

Matt on the rocky ridge up to the Gross Fischerhorn

Very quick summit shots on the Gross Fischerhorn looking to the Kleine Fischerhorn and Grun horn, before a rapid descent to get down the dangerous crevased section of the glacier Walliser Fischerfern before the visibility left once again and the weather closed in.
The most gripping descent I have done yet... similar to a roller coaster, with sections of track missing and no seat belt. Thankfully the cloud stayed off until we were down on the flat of the glacier. Matt on the right on the final friendly section after negotiating some rather thin snow bridges.
Skinning up to the Gross GrunHorn, many thanks to the guide who broke trail all the way!

Narrow snowy summit ridge.

Woop woop...Pow pow, amazing descent 900m fresh tracks.
In high spirits we set off for the 8km gradual ascent to the Holandia hut... spirits were slightly lower by the time we got to the hut but the warm welcome from a friend of matts, the guardian in the Holandia hut made up for it.

Final day setting off from the lovely, friendly Holandia hut up to Mittaghorn for a descent we have been told about all week.

More Pow Pow.. photos from Nicolas who we befriended in the hut and have persuaded to return for another go at Scottish winter this coming year. I couldn't leave him put off after a wet and windy visit in February this year.
Amazing seraces above our intricate descent from the mittaghorn.

Just a bit excited about that amazing descent.
And some good old heather skiing to finish.. we were that desperate to stay on our skis.

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