Saturday, August 14, 2010

Valais Alps 8-Day: Matterhorn, Breithorn, Allalinhorn, Jagihorn, Riffelhorn, and more!

Just returned home from another great trip to the Valais Alps of southern Switzerland. This area is steeped in a long history of alpine sport and a perfect place to enjoy an adventurous mountain holiday!
View of the Matterhorn from our deck on the first day we arrived in Zermatt. A little snowy!
 Jon and Lars came from Colorado for 8 days of climbing on the ridges, crags, and glaciers surrounding Zermatt and Saas Fee. With our eye on the Matterhorn, we starting training and acclimatizing. Our first day we climbed the classic Half-Traverse of the Breithorn.
North Face of the Breithorn. The 1/2 Traverse starts in the saddle on the left, then climbs the three rock steps to the snow arete finish.
The men performed well and we were quickly on top and back to the Klein Matterhorn tram for a ride back down to town.

Past the rock towers with the final snow ridges ahead.

Lars and Jon on the summit with Matterhorn and Dent Blanche in the back.
Day 2: Rock Skills Training on the Riffelhorn!
Beautiful views, good rock, and lots of different routes to work on.
Station Rotenboden: Depart Gornergrat train for Riffelhorn. Our first training route of the day was Skyline 4a on the left edge of the formation.
Route #2 for the day, Thermometer - Egg 5c (french grades!)
Pretty steep for mountain boots on rock, but lots of handholds.
Summit of the Riffelhorn.
View of the Weisshorn from Riffelhorn.
Back to our humble hillside abode in Zermatt. The Matterhorn is getting drier!