Rimpfischhorn 4199m, WSW ridge, PD+ – 2nd September 2011
This striking peak, with its summit ridge like the back of a porcupine, lies between the mountain areas of Zermatt and Saas Fee. From the summit you might see the odd lift installation but really the view is of a vast area of mountains and little sign of humanity.
The long walk-in adds to the sense of isolation, for us it took over 4 hours of an approach on glaciers to reach the start of the difficulties from the Britannia Hut above Saas Fee.
After the long approach, the difficulties were concise and interesting and soon took us straight to the summit. A great finish to a busy week for John, Grant and Kevin, with guides Olly and Matt.
Dent du Géant, SW face, Mont Blanc Massif – 30th August 2011
The Dent du Géant (the Giant’s tooth) located at the start of the Rochefort arete on the French/Italian border is a striking feature amongst the peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif. An obvious and natural rock-climb to reach the summit of this lofty 4000m peak, no easy feat at this altitude, although it is made somewhat easier these days by a chain of fixed ropes to aid progress.
Great climbing and situations lead directly to the SW summit, followed by a short summit and final climb to the main summit at 4013m.
Aiguille d’Entrèves traverse, Mont Blanc Massif – 29th August 2011
Grand Cornier, north ridge AD – 18th August 2011
Mont Blanc de Cheilon, traverse east to west (AD) – 16th August 2011
Matterhorn, 4478m, Hornli Ridge (AD) – 11th August 2011
Thanks to Graham Frost for these images that follow…
Grand Cornier, SW ridge (AD) – 9th August 2011
The Grand Cornier is one of a handful of alpine peaks whose height is just under the 4000m mark, so subsequently it is not widely known about and is never busy. Which is just as well as it’s ridges don’t have much space available for crowds.
Starting from the Dent Blanche bivoak hut (just visible behind in the above photo) the scrambling starts almost immediately, and soon the nature of the climb becomes apparent.
Always narrow and exposed, the route finds a way over towers or around them, on very good rock mostly but the challenges don’t let up even to reach the summit. And always at the back of the mind is that we are going to return back down by the same route.
A very good alpine mountaineering excursion, with spectacular views and ambience, and very good training for our next climb…
Zinalrothorn, south face & SW ridge (AD) – 3rd August 2011
The Couronne de Bréona, south-north traverse (AD) – 31st July 2011
Starting from beneath the Moiry Glacier in the central Valais alps, this was an enjoyable excursion on good rock and with plenty of exposure. Some good climbing up and over the prominent Clocher and on the other towers along the ridge.
Abseiling and down-climbing followed each ascent, making the route very good training for the alpine routes we aspired to doing later in the week.
A very snowy summer on the Lagginhorn, west face PD – 29th July 2011
Bishorn (4153m) with a school group from West London – 15th July 2011
The Bishorn was the main objective this week, for a group of 16 pupils and their 3 teachers, accompanied by 4 guides in total. Preparation began with a glacier training day followed a day of rock-climbing at venues nearby to our base in Grimentz, in the central Swiss Valais.
We staged the final summit attempt over 3 days to allow for better acclimatisation, so we started from the remoter Turtmanntal and its mountain refuge at the edge of the glacier. This also helped avoid being high-up through some particularly wet weather.
The following day was a glacier approach up to the Tracuit hut. We were able to glimpse the summit from below for half an hour before the clouds rolled in again. However the rain, and subsequently the new snowfall higher up made for a beautifully fresh white mountain the next day.
With a perfect weather forcast the 4 teams made steady progress up the Bishorn glacier, hard work, but a determined bunch of lads and teachers all made it to the top. It was quite a feat in itself to coordinate everyone’s arrival to be on the summit at the same time!
Tour Ronde SE ridge (AD) Mont Blanc Massif – 5th July 2011
Windy on Mont Blanc – 25th June 2011
Sea cliff climbing on the Moray coast – June 2011