A Summer of Alpine Climbing

From short-roping along remote rocky ridges, to nice long hikes, day after day, all summer long, I’m  in a new kind of space. Sharing these alpine experiences with new and old clients alike, gives these experiences way more significance.

Ton and I climbed the Grand Darray in early July. What an outstanding climb that was! There we were, a stone’s throw away from the Chamonix valley, where hoards of people populate popular routes, queing to get on the rock, stuffed into large refuges, queuing for breakfast.Thanks to the efforts of Raoul Crettenand, we climbed a super fun multi-pitch climb just behind the hut on our arrival afternoon. Touching this fine, fresh granit, so high in the mountains, stepping lightly up on grippy stone, was an absolute delight.

We spent the night in the tiny Cabane de l’A Neuve, catered to by the lovely Martine, snacking on her scrumptious cakes and enjoying great food so subtly spiced. Breakfast by candle light, we set off at daybreak the next day into a deserted valley, all to ourselves. To me, this is mountaineering: being alone in a valley, onto the peak, to the top, together, alone. We took 1 hour to the start of the route, then 4 hours short roped and belayed climbing on the ridge, choosing left, heading right, placing the toes of my new Scarpa Ribelle boots on big and small holds, opposing hand holds to balance our way up, placing a little “pro” when needed. The descent was so fine, down the north ridge, which is mostly scrambling, a short rappel, to the col at 3400, then left (east) onto the Darrey Glacier, and slip sliding down to the Saleinaz Hut. What a nice day out! Then a really nice haute route from Chanrion to Zermatt with Jason. Chanrion is an awesome little spot, located way-way up our pristine Val de Bagnes. Hut warden Rene Buémi is handing the reins over to his son Célien to care after the hut. But they were all there, with Nicole his wife, adding warmth and charm to the hut. Crossing up and over the Otema Glacier the nest morning is like a himalayan trek, deceivingly long distances, warping your estimated time of arrival. Down into Arolla for an amazing luxurious night at the Kurhaus Hotel, next day up to Bertol, the most alpin of alpine huts with the gregarious Ann Marie, serving her famous lasagna and chocolate cake, over the Tete Blanche next morning and long, long down to the Shönbuel Hut, then to Zermatt the last day. What a very cool “hike”! Then bagging the Eiger, Matterhorn and a few more remote peaks, rounded out July and August summer alpine climbing.

What now? Anyone for an inexpensive holiday to Greece aboard a 40 foot catamaran? It’s a luxury holiday at non luxury prices, stopping to kitesurf and eat whenever we can. The price for the 7 day trip will be around €790.00 per person. Have a look then send me a note to hans@mountainadventures.eu to make a plan.

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