To be honest, this is not the right summer to do some alpinism and mountaineering around the glaciers of the Alps, somewhat like in 2003. We had a general dry winter all over the Alps, then in June we were already roasting because of the heat wave that brought the isotherm over 5000 meters. The snow disappeared below 3000 meters and huge crevasses came out almost everywhere…not the ideal situation in few words.
The end of July, my schedule featured a mountaineering trip in the Bernese Oberland to climb the classic 4000ers, Monch, Jungfrau and Finsteraarhorn. The weather was not the best, it even snowed on day 1 early morning when the forecasts promised a clear and sunny day, and walkind down the Aletschgletscher we got hit by a storm that soaked us to the bone. Long story short, we spent 2 days around there and the third morning we went back up to Jungfraujoch to go somewhere else and so try to save the rest of the week.
For the latter part of the week we moved to Valais, up the Saas Valley. From Saas Almageller we went up to the Almagellerhutte, a beautiful hut and a “must” for those who want to climb on the Dri Hornlini or the Portjengrat and get some training for more ambitious goals, and yet very popular amongsts alpinist who want to climb to the top Weissmies via the easy and classic south ridge.
In a beautiful sunny morning we traversed the Dri Hornlini, climbing the classic south west ridge, a very nice route on perfect gneiss up to grade III +, pretty insteresting if climbed on mountaineering boots in order to get ready for more challenging peaks like the Matterhorn, to give you an example. Traversing the Dri Hornlini you will find a bit of everything, some nice cracks and slabs, and lots of exposed traverses as well as some exposed down climbing sections plus a short rappel. Once on the summit, you follow a nice easy path back to the hut, usually you have to count 5-6 hours round trip from the Almageller Hut.
On the last day we climbed the Weissmies via the south ridge, then we went down the normal route to Hohsaas. We did not find good conditions, there was hard snow on the upper part and a couple of huge crevasses with very thin snow bridges (currently there is a wooden ladder) they required absolute care.
In other words, if you’re fancy to climb some good rock it’s gonna be a way better plan this summer.
Gallery with some nice pics below here.