For the first time in years we drove to the Alps. No more paring the gear down to the Easyjet 20 kg. limit. Just throw it all in! After a day and a half of driving we arrived in the Zinal Valley. A five hour walk trough thunder, lightening and rain to the hut was rewarded the next day with fine weather. Our luck ran out there though. After the usual Alpine start, an unwelcome 5.00 am breakfast we headed off for a 780m AD climb on Besso just to the rear of the hut only to get completley exhausted by boulders and glacial morraine without actually setting foot on the mountain. We headed back to the valley with our tails between our legs.
Two days later Jon and Ian successfully climbed the Brunegghorn at circa 3800m. This was done from ther Turtmann Hurt in the next valley.
Then it was across to the Saas Valley for an ascent of the easiest 4000m peak you’ll ever do. The Allalinhorn is a short day trip from the cablecar and railway but gives fantastic views of the surrounding area.
Next day we were off again for a traverse of ther Mittaghorn and Egginer both at about 3300m. A rocky scramble/climb graded AD high above Saas Fee. A late start ensured we didn’t finish and get down until dark.
Then finally Jon and I made an attempt at the Arbengrat on the Obergabelhorn an 800m AD climb. A good six hours was spent flogging up to the bivouac hut.and next day we were going well only to be stopped some 400m from the summit by incoming cloud and rain.
So another season slips by with a mixed bag of results but we’ll no doubt be back for more!
Alan Hardie August 2012