Searching for a big face on a large mountain, we found the Balmhorn, smack dab in the middle of the Bern-Valais border I love to ski. Though I wanted to ski more spring snow, we decided to go here because of the strong Foehn forecasted. Spring snow would probably remain frozen all day (it was), but powder at altitude is still good. I’ve wanted to ski this face for years, so it was a blast for me to finally get on it! On the map, it looks steep, rolling off the flat summit towards the elbow of the Schwarzgeltscher. It’s a good long climb of 1800 meters from Spittelmatte, and good steep skiing on a north face. This climb can be a bit technical, requiring some crampon use on the upper glacier, and ski crampons, after the freeze/thaw cycles in spring. We got to use all of our cool alpine gear, making it a proper alpine, ski mountaineering summit, in a day. And the ski descent was superb!

April snows will certainly add the alpine snowpack, creating great conditions for alpine ski ascents like these this Spring. We will climb some of these peaks in a day, and others over two days. People should be able to skin for 4-6 hours and be comfortable skiing down steep slopes. Send me a note if you would like to join in fun. Prices will start at around SFr.170.00. Details can be found on the new page I have created for Alpine Ski Mountaineering.

This entry was posted in Ski Mountaineering on by .

About Hans Solmssen

I am a professional mountain guide living in Verbier, Switzerland. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii after my father moved to Hawaii to teach at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He created a horse program at this high school, located in the middle of the largest, privately owned cattle ranch in the US. Horses were a major part of my life, even playing polo for a few years. I moved to northern Vermont to go to school, and discovered skiing. Little did I know, this would become my life's passion: guiding friends and clients over the mountains around the world on skis and foot. I moved to Verbier, Switzerland in 1982, and entered the Swiss guide's program in '88. I received my UIAGM "pin" 3 years later in 1991. I have two kids, Anya and Kevin.

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