Vadim was back again to climb in these Alps and we decided to base ourselves in Grindelwald. What an exceptional valley for climbers! From the magically silent cliffs of Hintisberg and the Engelhorner, to the ice palace at the Jungfraujoch, and the wild jaunt ascending to the Mittellegi Hut, this valley has everything for the ambitious mountaineer (and hill walker and tourist!). We were hoping to climb the Schreckhorn, Monch, and Eiger, but of course the weather determined our program.
We started with a few climbs in the surrounding valleys, then worked our way up to the heights. Cow bells echoing off the high walls surrounding Hintisberg sounded the way towards the Eiger. The changeable weather then chased us to the Mediterranean Sea and a couple more limestone cliffs.
Have a look at the photos and let me know when you are coming! Autumn air is creeping into the weather, and it looks like climbing possibilities shall be with us for a good number of weeks still.
We spent a few days smearing our way up a few of the famous Grimsel slabs. Located between Meiringen and the Grimsel Pass, this little valley of Haslital is well known for its plethora of technical, multipitch rock climbing. Though our technique was certainly improving after more than 30 pitches on these smooth slabs, my toes were killing me! This area is smack dab in the middle of other world class climbing areas such as Graue Wand and Winterstock above the Furka pass, the Salbit valley below Andermatt, and the Englhorner range above Meiringen.
These climbs are part of the multipitch rock climbing trips I organize. Have a look at some of the places we can visit together.
Andy and I climbed the Terrasse a Choucas above La Fouly yesterday. The heat has finally arrived in these Alps for the first time this “summer”, making this north facing, rock climbing route at 2000 meters, an ideal choice. Olivier and Andrea Roduit, Charlie Fellay and Jean-Yves Michelod put this route up a few years ago in the Val Ferret. The climbing is varied, with the more difficult moves on slab/friction. 10 rappels gets one quickly back down to the base and into La Fouly for cold beer.
The forecast calls for sunny days with afternoon thunder showers probable for the next 5 days. The high peaks are still in great shape for ski mountaineering, and as the snows from last week’s fall quickly melt, the pure rock routes will quickly come into shape.
Hot! It’s hot! And beautiful. What a fine spring it is in these Alps. The weather is gorgeous, the flowers are coming out, and the grass is a color green that one sees only in the Spring.
We drove an hour south into the Val d’Aoste last week, with the pretense of skiing on the vast quantities of spring snow there. Just an afternoon’s climb, followed by a trip to a fine Italian Hut. Ok, well, a second day for a multi-pitch climb since it is so warm. Day 3? We found ourselves driving two and a half hours, due south, to the Italian coast, to climb stunning limestone above the sea. It was slightly cooler than Verbier, 12C mornings with a high of 20. Perfect climbing temps for the cliffs above Finale. How nice this spring is.
In the Aosta Valley, just an hour’s drive from Verbier, we stayed at the B & B Maison de Noe. The architect and local guide, Andrea Duc has created and amazing oasis in the beautiful valley one returns from at the end of the multi-pitch climbs. It’s worth a stop just to have a look at the amazing restoration he has done with this little “hameau”.